Ar t . M u si c . P l i n th .
R Freddie Gibbs | Chelsea Wolfe| Oneohtrix Point Never | Au Revoir Simone
Trash Talk Collective | Zebra Katz | Marcel Dettmann | Andrew Weatherall
K F r e e
FRI 25TH OCT
HOSPITALITY CAMO & KROOKED
DUB MOTION DAVID RODIGAN • MR VEGAS
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £14.50 / £16.50 / £18.50 + BF
FRI 4TH OCT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 / £20 + BF
PRESENT I AM LEGION FRICTION • WILKINSON DISMANTLE • CULPRATE CULTURE SHOCK • DIMENSION SLY ONE • LOKO • COEXIST
HOTFLUSH vs AUS MUSIC
TROUBLE VISION PRESENTS:
SAT 19TH OCT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 + BF
PLASTICIAN PLASTICMAN SET B.TRAITS • TC • GORGON CITY DARQ E FREAKER & D DOUBLE E WOZ • FRACTURE • MONKI KRUST • SAM BINGA • DAFFY
STB SHY FX • DJ HYPE
THE BLAST PRESENTS:
FRI 18TH OCT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £12.50 / £14 / £16.50 + BF
SCUBA • GEORGE FITZGERALD DUSKY • MIDLAND • WILL SAUL RECONDITELIVE • DENSE & PIKA SOUTH LONDON ORDNANCE ARTIFACT • MR SOLID GOLD PARK RANGER • HESSLE TIME
UKF NOISIA & FOREIGN BEGGARS
SAT 28TH SEPT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £15 / £16.50 / £18.50 + BF
DYED SOUNDOROM B2B CASSY HYPERCOLOUR: LUKE VIBERT HUXLEY • ALEX JONES SAM MOLE • SHANTI CELESTE GOLESWORTHY REAL NICE vs PIFF
IN:MOTION LAUNCH KERRI CHANDLER B2B
KERRI CHANDLERS BIRTHDAY
FRI 27TH SEPT
FOR FULL INFO & TICKETS SEE WWW.BRISTOLINMOTION.COM
REDLIGHT LIVE • SHADOW CHILD • MARIBOU STATE FRIEND WITHIN PEDESTRIAN • DRUMS OF DEATH AZ & TOR • APEX COLLECTIVE ORIGINS PRESENTS SYMBOLS SHOWCASE: KASTLE LIVE ATLAS • LAKOSA • IO SOUNDS ORIGINS SOUND • SANCTUARY
SAT 12TH OCT
SATURDAY 16TH NOV
TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 +BF. TIMES 22:00 - LATE
SKREAMIZM: SKREAM JACKMASTER • ONEMAN SOPHIE LIVE • HIJACK EDIBLE: EATS EVERYTHING JUSTIN MARTIN • RICHY AHMED LUKAS
FRIDAY 15TH NOV
TICKETS £14.50 / £16.50 / £18.50 +BF. TIMES: 22:00 - LATE
TRAP MAGAZINE: PEARSON SOUND • BODDIKA • FLOATING POINTS • HAPPA • TREVINO VS PANGAEA • SPECIAL GUEST: ZEBRA KATZ • IDLE HANDS: L.I.E.S. SHOWCASE - RON MORELLI • SVENGALISGHOST LIVE • MARCOS CABRAL CHRIS FARRELL • DONUTS: ALEXANDER NUT (4 HOUR SET)
TRAP MAGAZINE IDLE HANDS DONUTS
FRIDAY 8TH NOV
TICKETS £16.50 / £18.50 +BF TIMES: 22:00 - LATE
ANDY C (4 HOUR SET) LOADSTAR • DELTA HEAVY D*MINDS • MIND VORTEX LOKO HENCH PRESENT: JOKER B2B SWINDLE FEAT BUGGSY PHAELAH • JAKES • KAHN FEAT FLOWDAN • MRK1•HIZZLE GUY
RUN VS RAM
SATURDAY 2ND NOV
TICKETS: £14.50 / £16.50 / £18.50 +BF. TIMES 22:00 - LATE
ARC, RFID, LIMBIC CINEMA & LASERPOWER. LFO LIVE / LED SHOW JIMMY EDGAR • ADDISON GROOVE • LUKE ABBOTT LIVE BLACK AMIGA • UBERDOG EXIT RECORDS: DBRIDGE • CALIBRE RADIOACTIVE MAN INDIGO APOLOGUE RECORDINGS: JOE FARR • PATRICK BOLTON JAMIE CURNOCK • DAMIEN SCHNEIDER & MANSELL
FEATURING PROJECTION MAPPED IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS CURATED BY:
SATURDAY 30TH NOV
TICKETS: £17.50 / £19.50 / £22.50 +BF. TIMES: 22:00 - LATE
SVEN VATH • ADAM BEYER SHAPES 2ND BIRTHDAY: MATHEW JONSON LIVE GUTI • FUZZBUZZ • SIDE A OLLYWOOD DISCO LINE UP TO BE ANNOUNCED
FRIDAY 29TH NOV
SOLD OUT-100 TICKETS ON THE DOOR
TICKETS: £17.50 / £19.50 / £22.50 +BF. TIMES: 22:00 - LATE
ANNIE MAC • DUKE DUMONT FEAT MNEK • CYRIL HAHN LULU JAMES DUTTY GIRL PRESENTS: DAZEE DISSMISS • SAFESOUL • KASH HONEY • SARAH B • KLAIR
SATURDAY 23RD NOV
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 / £22.50 + BF
COLDCUT FT JON MORE & MATT BLACK • DJ FOOD&DK • CHEEBA SPECIAL GUESTS: BENJI B CIVIL MUSIC: OM UNIT DEBRUIT LIVE • RESO BRASSICA LIVE • CIVIL MUSIC DJS • INFLECT: EAN • ADAM ELEMENTAL • WASCAL • DAFFY KENSEI
ALL BASSES COVERED DJ SHADOW DJ SET
FRI 11TH OCT
SOLD OUT-100 TICKETS ON THE DOOR
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £19.50 / £22.50 + BF
JUST BE • TOM RIO EMPATHY: COPY PASTE SOUL STEVE PARRY (SELADOR) STUART WILKINSON • ADAM KENT • 4OURS: GLENN ASTRO
CARL COX THE REVOLUTION CARL COX • EATS EVERYTHING
SAT 5TH OCT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 + BF
HIGH CONTRAST • DANNY BYRD RONI SIZE • NU:LOGIC • FRED V & GRAFIX • TECHNIMATIC ROOM 2 CURATED BY DANNY BYRD GARAGE SET FOUNDATION AKA STICKY & SCOTT GARCIA • ARTFUL • BOBBY TANK ORIS JAY HISTORY SET • A.QUAKE MEDSCHOOL
TICKETS: £15 / £20 +BF. TIMES: 21:00 - TILL LATE
BALKAN BEAT BOX YOUNGBLOOD BRASS BAND HOT CAKES LIVE (FT DEEKLINE, ED SOLO & JFB) • MR BENN DJ SMERINOV 2ND WAREHOUSE: THE PARTYSQUAD • UZIMON ONLYJOE + NANCI & PHOEBE PSYCHOFREUD • KING YOOF TUNNEL: FAR TOO LOUD TOMB CREW • STAGGA KANJI KINETIC
FRIDAY 1ST NOV
TIMES: 2300 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £15 / £17.50 / £20 + BFF
JOY ORBISON • SOUL CLAP BEN UFO • ZIP • MR G LIVE LEON VYNEHALL • DAN WILDD TOM RIO • PARDON MY FRENCH • FEEL THE REAL
JUST JACK HALLOWEEN FREAK BOUTIQUE DÉJA VOODOO!
SAT 26TH OCT
TIMES: 2200 TILL LATE • TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 / £20.50 + BF
DUB PHIZIX & STRATEGY STYLO G • MUNGO’S HIFI FT MR WILLIAMS • FIREMAN SAM RUFFNEK DISKOTEK: JUS NOW • DJ DIE • DUB BOY DUTTY INSPECTOR•STYLATRON BROTHER WETLANDS WICKED WICKED
TICKETS: £16.50 / £18.50 +BF. TIMES 22:00 - LATE
DIXON CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM PBR STREETGANG HORSE MEAT DISCO • SESSION VICTIM • OUTBOXX • VAKULA CHRISTOPHE & LUKAS • JAMES WELSH• FUTUREBOOGIE DJS
FRIDAY 22ND NOV
TICKETS: £14.50 / £16.50 / 18.50 +BF. TIMES 22:00 - LATE
BOYS NOIZE RECORDS: BOYS NOIZE • DJ FEADZ • RITON DJEDJOTRONIC • CRUMP VII.Y.P.: ANDREW WEATHERALL DANIEL AVERY • BRENDAN LONG VII.Y.P. DJS • CUT A RUG
Cut Copy - Free Your Mind Nov 4th Preorder now at recordstore.co.uk
Shine 2009 - Our Nation Oct 14th “evoking the atmosphere of dark discotheques” - Pitchfork
Various Artists - Club Mod Oct 28th 15 dancefloor-shaking tracks from our sister label
Pond - Hobo Rocket Out now “ Unrestrained creativity and sonic exploration.” NME
Visit your local indie record store for Modular titles at special prices + a free sampler Visit modularpeople.com/modcast for 160+ guest mixes from Modular artists + friends
The Presets - Pacifica: Oct 14th Deluxe Edition comes with Remix Bonus Disc
Tame Impala - Lonerism Out now Includes ‘Elephant’ “#1 Album of the Year” NME
Various Artists - Modyssey Out now 15 tracks feat Tame Impala, Cut Copy, Bag Raiders + more
07 1 e (Live) id ks Dar Jaar & as ol Nic rington ar H Dave
1 honica fP s o incent (Live) r a Ye V 10 evon Gerald L led Cal Heidi y u tor AG Hec 2 ) cis ran r (Live F y r e r Te Roth n y hon rdvsio H Ant
1 chards Ri g ai Cr Jamie Jones e) Tone of Arc (Liv 2 Matt Tolfrey & B Ryan Crosson B2 tt Ryan Ellio Avatism (Live) 3 Terry Francis Kate Simko
Pu 1 re C Jo arl Int e n Ru Cox c nd ell
3 honica e) Liv fP s o Isles ( r a o Ye 10 Of The & Soh a d g Lor Anthe n Rig k o m o i S ny R c s m Jon Willia an ri k Nic Not B n Bria
fabric October 2013
19 f 14th abric Bir t hda y â€” 30 H Non ours Stop Of Mus ic Crai g Ri cha Te Rica rry Fran rds rdo cis Cloc Villalob Cos k work os min Der ren TRG Sma Jue DJ Qu r t Ma rgen J No rcel De unker Reg Cr ttm u aig 1 PBR lar Pla ann M R y Stre ( a L ce icha She etgan ive) D o J T P rds d Skre g en lex am (Live) ( nis D Son i s c o Se ja M O A n t 2 da e Sou oonea ) m Re Tam l Clap r Sh co a S Sum ub elto rds S Wol h o Jo au b- n f& hn n La A B2 B Zip mb Ja Dim Ree n ck v Wi as ( es ck Liv ha e) m Te 3 rry Fra nc is
Exclusive Illustration | Martin Falck www.martinfalck.se
For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Matt Aitken Julian Smith Victoria Holden Del Boy (Clifton Hotels) Esme May Rees Laura Sunnocks Graeme Bateman Chris Randall Alex Trochut Todd Wills Kayleigh Fellows Rory Garraway Bill Murray Mitch Church
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0117 2391219 © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.
is getting used to living the van life.
What we’re getting at is, those mags don’t stack themselves in neatly-stacked stacks in every corner of the country. No sir. We jump in the van. Four vans, in fact. We all do rock-paperscissors and decide how far we have to drive. “Bristol”, “YES!”. “Manchester”, “fuck”. And off into the blossoming daylight we head, the van engorged with half a ton of newsprint. Henry Rollins, back when he was lead fucker of Black Flag, compiled the definitive record of the van life, entitled, obviously, Get In The Van. Admittedly, his misanthropic annal is more focused on endless nights nursing fresh wounds after assaults from packs of neo-Nazis, rather than nervously scoffing Tesco meal deals while parked in the bus lane with your hazards on. But our point still stands. It’s a strange life, the van life. Normal rules don’t apply in the van. If you find yourself wheeling that Parquet Courts rap tune four times, that’s fine – in the van. Passenger is key, in the van. Passenger entertains, passenger rolls fags. Passenger is a slave, when you’re in the van. And another thing about the van. You always end up coming home with one more person than you left with, when you’ve got a van. And maybe that’s the magic of the van. When you’re outside the van, all you want is to be in the van. But once you’re in the van ... well, we’re gonna make you deliver some magazines.
Fashion Charlotte James Paul Whifield Contributors Christopher Goodfellow Josh Baines Billy Black Celia Archer Tom Howells Joshua Nevett Robert Bates Leah Connolly Phillip James Allen James Balmont Gabriel Szatan Suzie McCracken Holly Matthews Alex Gwilliam Ayesha Linton-Whittle Claude Barbe-Brown Alex Hall
It’s a strange life. See, it’s all well and good putting the final touches to a magazine, sending it to the printers and doing a high-five then heading out for a drink (only that never happens because we invariably end up saying ‘morning to the milkman as we exit the office. Not that we get milk delivered to the office – big up Lexi’s for their reasonably priced four pinters – but we digress).
Jake Applebee email@example.com
SIMPLE THINGS 2013 has been created using: Modeselektor - The Black Block No Ceremony - Heavyhour Jon Hopkins - Abandoned Window Face + Heel - Chipped Tooth Motor City Drum Ensemble - Raw Cut #2 Dam Mantle - RGB Summits - Del Mar The Portillo Moment - St. Catherine’s Halls - I’m Not There Temple Songs - Passed Caring Royal Blood - Out Of The Black Paws - Jellyfish Empty Pools - Exploded View Fear of Men - Seer Eagulls - Moulting Arrows Of Love - The Knife Benjamin Damage - 010x Joey Fourr - All We Are Typesun - The PL Seka - Pangolin Splashh - Headspins Misty Conditions - Diablo Nicole Willis - Heed The Sign (Maurice Fulton remix) Pantha Du Prince - Welt Am Draht Rikki Humphrey - This Is Real Andre Bratten - Be A Man You Ant Artifact - The Way It Do Spectres - Lump Nicolas Jaar - Colomb Outboxx - The Fade These New Puritans - Fragment 2 DjRum - Honey Wet Nuns - Hanging Portico Quartet - Ruins Idles - Meydei Hookworms - Away/Towards Islet - Tripping Though The Blue Room (Part II) Dopplereffekt - Tetrahymena DJ Rashad - Drank, Kush, Barz King Midas Sound - Aroo The Wytches - Digsaw Letherette - D&T www.crackmagazine.net
Doc:Hook - Jacking Dogs The Field - 20 Seconds of Affection The Pastels - Check My Heart Darkstar - Amplified Easte No Age - C’mon Stimmung Hyetal - Northwest Passage John Wizards - Lusaka By Night Lady Lamb The Beekeeper - Aubergine Phedre - Ancient Nouveau Fair Ohs - Ya Mustapha Oliver Wilde - Stomach Full of Cats Seams - Hurry Guests Fimber Bravo - Life After Doomsday Moko - Summon The Strength Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs - I Watch You Forrests - Tarifa iTAL tEK - Babel Ital - Boi Mykki Blanco - Kingpinning Evian Christ - Horses In Motor Glass Animals - Psylla
With the support of
With the patronage of
3 RECORDS // CONTENTS THE KNIF E - 1 4 P u s s y Ri ot Punk Praye r P la n n ing t or oc k Door way T he Kn ife Rag i ng Lun g FREDDIE G IBBS - 1 6
CRACKMAGAZINE.NET THE BEST Of OUR WEBSITE THIS MONTH
T he -Drea m IV Fre ddie G i bbs Lay It Dow n Riha n n a D i am ond s ANDREW WEAT HERALL - 1 8 Pollye s t er Voi ce s (Ba r is K R e m ix) Ja pa n d or f Udon Ma n fre d Ma nn I Thi nk It ’s G o in g To R a in To d a y CHELSEA WOLF E - 20 Ru s s ia n C i r c l es Me m ori al Tr u e W i dow Ci rcum am b u la t io n Dea fhea ven S unb athe r ON EOHT RIX P OINT NEVER - 22 Pe te S w a ns on C.O.P. (Edit ) Holly He r ndon Control Sa m p le Hu e rco S. Pri nzi f
ITA L + T I M P A R I S C R A C KC A S T S / / S I M P L E TH I N G S C O U NT D O W N // Depending at what point during October you’re reading this, you’ll either be eagerly anticipating the arrival of Simple Things Festival in all its glory on the 12th, or you’ll be winding down from the exhausting impact of 16 solid hours of incredible music. If it’s the former, then hit up the Crack Blog for our dayby-day countdown of some of the most unmissable things going on at the Bristol-based, Crack-affiliated all-dayer and get yourself all juiced up. If it’s the latter, well, have a look anyway and remember what went down at the best day you’ve had in ages.
Continuing the Simple Things theme, we’ve got an exclusive DJ mix from Brooklyn boy Daniel Martin-McCormick under his art-damaged, noise-indebted beat alias Ital. He’ll be appearing twice on the day, first at the Red Bull Music Academy Firestation stage, then in the murky surroundings of the Planet Mu takeover of the abandoned police cells. And on top of that, we’ve also got a stunning offering from Tim Paris, staple of the French underground and one half of It’s A Fine Line alongside Ivan Smagghe. Two of the best from a couple of exhilarating talents.
ZEBRA K AT Z - 2 5 Icon a Po p I Don’t Care Ju lio Ba s h m or e Battl e For M id d le Yo u Björk H unter TRA SH TALK COLLECT IVE - 26 Lil B H o Suck M y Dic k Lil B Suck My Dic k Ho e Lil B Im m a Eat He r Ass AU REVOIR SIMONE - 34 Dra ke Take Care Ka yn e Wes t Yee zus Ta me Im pa l a Lone ri sm M ARCEL DET T MANN - 46 Ben ja mi n Da m a g e 010x An s we r C ode R eques t Peri pe ti a Un told M ot i on The Dance
D O U B LE ALB U M S: TH E B E ST + TH E W O R ST //
M A STE R S AT W O R K // Before they took to the stage as part of the mammoth line-up at this summer’s Eastern Electrics festival, Crack caught up with Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez, one half of one of the most recognisable duos in house music, the game-changing Masters at Work, alongside Little Louie Vega. The NY legend proceeded to deliver a healthy dose of real talk on the current state of the ever-expanding house music world. When it’s a figure of this stature, you just sit back and listen.
As soon as we heard Arcade Fire’s Reflekor is set to be a double-album, we got to thinking about that peculiar entity. The double-disc is traditionally seen as the point at which a band loses sight of its shit filter, along with any understanding of their audience, and releases a hopelessly bloated collection of every semblance of an idea they’ve had, as if their talent justifies it. But delving further, we also found plenty of examples where a truly significant talent found themselves on far too hot a streak to restrict to a mere single disc. So we put our heads together, and wrote a little bit about some of the finest, and suckiest, examples ever produced. Guns ‘n Roses fans are advised to give this one a miss.
DARKSIDE fa bric 7 th Octo ber
Th e M o u n ta in Go ats Un io n C h ape l 8th Octo be r
Last Of T he Ligh t Brig a de The L o ck Tavern 9 th Oc to ber
f a b r iclive W i nter s eas on + fabr i c 1 4th Birthday
Until January / October 18th-21st Prices vary
Everything Everything, Ghostpoet, Drenge, Pinkunoizu, Waxahatchee Venues Across Cardiff October 17th-20th Weekend Pass £65 / Day Passes Vary
Here at Crack, we love a good season. So when fabriclive announced the details of their winter 2013 calendar, we were particularly hyped. Representing the usual, wildly eclectic fabriclive cast, the programme includes sets from Blawan, Jimmy Edgar, Anthony Naples and JME, all on top of the musical odyssey that is an eight hour set from Four Tet. And that’s as well as their 14th birthday bash on October 18th, which welcomes Oneman, Sasha GoHard and Lil Silva. In fact, that’s just the first evening of the annual 30-hour marathon that runs through until some vague, bleary hour on Monday afternoon. Across the weekend they’ve secured Craig Richards, Terry Francis, Marcel Dettmann, a Skream disco set, Shed, Zip, DJ Qu, Soul Clap ... oh, and Ricardo Villalobos nestled cheekily halfway down the bill.
Look, we were all a bit upset when that weird lot from Atlanta known as Deerhunter cancelled their UK tour, but it also served to remind us of the thing that keeps us returning to Swn year after year: new music. And away from the more established and anticipated likes of Everything Everything and Ghostpoet, the real thrill comes from digging into the array of venues dotted around the centre of Cardiff to discover your new favourite band – keep a particular eye out for Oliver Wilde, Wolf Alice, Temples and Swearin’. Seriously, Swn just rules.
J o h nny Flyn n Hac kney Em p i re 10th Oc to be r
Lady Lamb Th e Bee ke per Ho xto n B ar + Kitch en 14 th Oc to ber
Islet B irth days 16 th Octo be r
Ra n d o m Magi c wi th Om ar S
Fire Vauxhall 26th October £15
Kimya Dawson, MØ, Money, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Field Music, James Holden 3rd-10th November Various Venues
The very special guest for Random Magic’s Halloween Special is house legend Omar S. Easily one of the coolest DJs on the planet, the Detroit mainstay has been doing things his own way for the past decade, culminating in his Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself LP released this year. In addition to this rough and ready stream of raw house, you’ve got Bristol label Futureboogie in the second room alongside full frontal disco troupe Horse Meat Disco to bring you plenty of auditory Halloween treats. Shirk your bunny ears and make room for real entertainment.
You know, all that spiel about these months being the gig season is really true. Just look at this Rockfeedback-curated series, which kicks off with a show which includes Kimya Dawson and Aidan Moffat (formerly of The Mouldy Peaches and Arab Strap respectively) on the line-up. Over the course of the week there’ll also be performances from Danish synth songstress MØ, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Wampire, the Planet Mu-signed South African project John Wizards and the Gilles Peterson approved Owiny Sigoma Band at a multitude of locations including XOYO, the Roundhouse Studio, Electric Ballroom and the Jazz Cafe. Visit illuminationslondon.com and take your pick.
L i vi t y S ound D ance Tunnel 17t h O ct ober
Fa b ric 1 4th Birth d a y
Wa xa h a tch e e
19th - 20th October
Z h a n g En li: S p a c e Pa inti ng ICA October 16th – November 22nd Free Zhang Enli is set to transform the ICA with a set of imposing works sprawled across the walls, floor and structure of the gallery. Transforming menial everyday objects into encompassing works of art, Enli’s approach is inspired by his time in the small provincial town of Jinil in the North of China, as an overwhelming move to the metropolis of Shanghai forced him to look deep into the ordinary, unpretentious objects that surround him for inspiration. Implementing that ideal onto tangled wires, cargo netting and empty, decaying rooms, Enli will turn the bare-bones foundations of the ICA into his canvas.
S we ar i n' S hack l ew el l Arms 2 1st O ct ober
ATP Prese n ts: Dyla n Carlson + T h u rsto n Moore The Lexington 17th October £10 (early show) Although it’s the billing of the rather iconic former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore that might catch the eye of the more casual music fan, there’s good reason why Dylan Carlson has been given the headline slot here. Carlson formed the wildly experimental seminal doom metal outfit Earth in the late 80s while he was hanging around with close buddies Tobi Vali and Kurt Cobain in Olympia, and now he’s about to release his first ever solo album. While the initial show has sold out, these guys have put on a 5-8pm matinee, so booking early is recommended. Like, now.
Jon H opki ns O v al S pace 2 2 nd O ct ober
Ju st Jac k Ha llo w e e n Fre a k Bo u tiq u e Corsica November 2nd £12.50-15 adv.
S imp le T hin g s Fe stival Colston Hall + The Island, Bristol 12th October
Bristol house instution Just Jack’s iconic Halloween Freak Boutique sets its sights on London, with a night of music and mischief brought to you by Colonel Wrongface and the gang. The second leg of their Halloween celebrations, the event welcomes a sterling line-up to accompany the blood-dripped bunting, sweaty haze of half smeared moustaches and faces daubed in glitter. Soundtracking these goings on are Nick Hoppner and Amir Alexander alongside residents Tom Rio and Dan Wild, with a Room Two takeover from house/disco connoisseurs Cher. Throw in a dress code of ‘Circus Freak/Zombie Chic’ and you might just have yourself a legendary night from Bristol’s finest.
20 Years of Kompakt Fi re 2 5 t h O ct ober
L i g h t n i n g Du st October 28th Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen £8.50
M ac D e M ar co S cal a 2 8t h O ct ober
While scrolling through the influential, mostly excellent Gorilla vs. Bear blog earlier this year, we were pleasantly surprised to find a new video from Lightning Dust, the Vancouver-based, tranquil indie-pop duo whose members had fractioned off from the riff-heavy rockers Black Mountain. The band had been quiet for a few years, and the clip in question was for Diamonds, a song that radiates bittersweet high school dance poignancy and stands as one of their best tunes. Their 2013 album Fantasy is consistently gorgeous, and if you claim indifference to Amber Webber’s emotive warbles, you need to stop pretending to be so hard all the time.
Pa ra lle l Lin e s p re se n ts: O liv e r Wild e St. Pancras Old Church October 27th £7.50
DJ Sprinkles Thes e New P uritans Electric Brixton 15th October
J a c k s o n a n d h is C o m puter band Al bum L aunc h Village Underground 18th October £13.50 Jackson and his Computerband’s latest album Glow is a heady mix of throwback electro with the addition of dizzying contemporary trap mentalities and lashings of menace. Comeback to the legendary 2005 Smash album which abandoned the limitations of French house at the time, Jackson Fourgeaud’s striking offering for Warp Records gets its very own launch party at the Village Underground. He will be commanding his Computerband alongside a host of other treats; as Jackson himself says, “hand made and manually played, my Computerband is now fully alive.”
Oval Space October 25th £17.50 Crack covered the enigma that is Terre Thaemlitz, aka DJ Sprinkles, a few issues back. The Japanese-residing producer and DJ is revolutionary in transforming the way we think about gender and dance music, using the floor as a space to explore transcendent sexuality. Team this extremely rare London appearance with sets from Ian Pooley, Rekids boss Radio Slave and Ripperton and you’ve got an intriguing mix of stimulating entertainment at one of London’s consistently brilliant venues.
We get the impression Oliver Wilde isn’t the kind of artist who’s motivated by record sales, international attention or opportunities to have AAA pass stickers plastered on his jeans, but after releasing his beautiful album A Brief Introduction To Unnatural Lightyears he’s been showered with praise by publications ranging from underground blogs to The Guardian and NME. Utilising a Sparklehorse-esque sound palette of lo-fi acoustic guitars and tape loops, this is one of the most intriguing talents to emerge from Bristol in eons.
E f t e r kl ang H eav en 2 9t h O ct ober
S cuba f abri c 2 nd Nov ember
O ma r S o u le y ma n Oval Space 10th November
Ki m y a D aws on I sl i ng t on Assembl y H al l 3 rd Nov ember
Bla ck Liza rds H o n e yblo o d There’s a fairly accurate tag buzzing around Honeyblood’s name right now: ‘crunchpop’. And for those with a soft spot for breezy but distorted indie jams, we recommend you direct your attention towards the band’s amazing new single Bud, which gets released on October 22nd via Brighton’s FatCat Records (Mazes, Traams, Dead Gaze, Paws). “Shona (McVicar, drums) and I had met from being in bands before in Glasgow, we arranged a practice, I played her a song and we finished it that day”, Honeyblood’s frontwoman Steena Tweedale tells us. The quickly-assembled tune in question became the demo for No Spare Key, which feels like a fuzzy ode to adolescent heartache and sounds like you’re listening from the outdoor smoking area while the band tear through it onstage. We’d love to be able to say ‘You heard about these guys in Crack first’, but with spotlightattracting support slots becoming a regularity (“Sleigh Bells were awesome, the loveliest people”, Steena says of her past tourmates), and hype about Bud steadily brewing, it seems we’re not the only ones eager to shout about them. yumhoneyblood.tumblr.com
T in k
There’s something resoundingly appropriate in the fact the self-titled debut album from Black Lizard has felt the direct impact of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe (who assisted the band during recording in Berlin) and Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (who mixed the record). Not just because this Finnish neo-psych quartet come from the same school of thought as that esteemed duo; one of smothering, textured sway teamed with an unshakeable knack for melody. But also because this is a band who are knowingly indebted to their predecessors, and embrace their glowing referentiality. That said, the LP – which receives a UK release this month on Finnish imprint Soluti – stops short of homage. It’s a gloriously constructed collection which ingests the ageless psych template whole, reemerging as woozily potent as ever.
Tink’s track Kilo came to our attention this summer while scrolling through the Chicago rap blog Fake Shore Drive. The video depicts the singer/rapper dressed in business woman attire, rhyming with sugary-but-fierce delivery while counting bank rolls before teenage drill tag team Lil Herb and Lil Bibby jump in to drop menacing verses. She’s becoming increasingly in demand as a featured, and How To Dress Well’s Tom Krell – a man of impeccable taste – recently shared a remix of her gorgeous slow burner Can I. Picking up from last year’s Blunts & Ballads mixtape, new release Boss Up sees Tink slide between lovestruck R&B jams and hardheaded street bangers where she flaunts her innate sense of swagger.
Tune: Dead Light
File Next To: Sasha GoHard | Katie Got Bandz
Tune: Bud File Next To: The Girls At Dawn | Rilo Kiley
File Next To: Singapore Sling | 13th Floor Elevators
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This hardcore band from Olympia, Washington have been championed by the likes of Kathleen Hanna, Pissed Jeans’ Matt Korvette and Calvin Johnson, owner of legendary Olympia imprint K Records, but while we’re sure they appreciate the gestures, for now they seem to be doing just fine by running as a completely autonomous, DIY unit. They’re abrasive, thrillingly politicised but funny (their logo is an appropriation of the Black Flag icon, with the stripes replaced by bloodied tampons) and the raw live footage floating around on YouTube is proof that their shows are fucking insane. Strongly recommended.
Birmingham trio Female Smell’s debut EP Normal Today was recorded around a fortnight after their formation. Among the highlights of this fruitful session is 50p – a noise punk inspired offering that drones and crashes while the ‘Smell’s singer yelps desperately, hanging onto a metal riff that props the whole thing up. Punk bands that embrace their dirtiness always have a certain charm and Female Smell are no exception. See the manic video for Look At Me Now if you don’t believe us.
Tune: Outside In
File Next To: The Birthday Party | The Damned
Go then Gothen is the 60s-influenced orchestral folk created by Salt Lake City resident Evan Jolley. The musicality on standout Mong York is like the cinematic sister of Grizzly Bear’s Shields, and the nine tracks on his debut LP showcases remarkable arrangements and melodies which draw inspiration from the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Joanna Newsom and Daniel Rossen. But while these influences are clear, songs like Sacred Masses, Overman and Dim Actors aren’t the sounds of an artist recycling his record collection. Undoubtedly worth parting with the $8 bandcamp fee for.
femalesmell.bandcamp.com gothen.org Tune: Mong York File Next To: Grizzly Bear | The National
File Next To: Adjustment To Society | Minor Threat
V ic M e n sa “And I still get jealous of Vic, and Vic still get jealous of me” Chance The Rapper confessed on his game changing Acid Rap mixtape. Of course, the competition is good natured – Vic Mensa contributed a verse to Cocoa Butter Kisses from said tape and he’s counted as a member of Chance’s Save Money crew. Having disbanded his rap-indie-soul hybridising band Kids These Days, Mensa has just dropped his debut solo full-length INNATAPE, which sees Mensa rapidly rhyme and sing through a psychedelic soundscape. And with a tracklist that includes contributions from Thundercat, Hit-Boy and the Grammy-winning Channel Orange producer Om’Mas Keith, there are plenty of signs pointing towards this guy being huge. @VicMensa Tune: Hollywood LA File Next To: Ab-Soul | Chance The Rapper
In typically subversive fashion, the album itself explores physicality by
In replacement of an insincere, slickly-written press release was a biography for the album and project as a whole written by poet Jess Arndt, holding a distinct focus on the complex relationship between the internal and the social, the head and the body. They screamed with raging lungs to outline their gripe with ‘manufactured knowledge’, patriarchy, the class system, environmental degradation; ‘a blood system promoting biology as destiny’. Then came the videos, with A Tooth For An Eye and Full Of Fire both acting as political forays, focusing on those more commonly left out of the media spotlight: the elderly, the queer, the empowered young female. The accompaniment to Full Of Fire, described as a ‘short film’ by friend and feminist porn director Marit Östberg, featured a pick up at a political protest and a woman urinating in the street.
Shaking The Habitual is extremely ambitious, yet the chaotic and at times unsettling album fell, on the most part, to rapturous acclaim. Its 98 minutes thunder with cacophonous textures, incommunicable drones, gamelan-style drumming and an undertone of playful mischief. While some defining features of their previous work arise, embellished with calypso tinges, on the whole the sound is fluid and, as it fluctuates, habitually indefinable.
From the glistening electro-noir of Silent Shout to their own modern classic Heartbeats, Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson have long walked a tightrope between pop sensibility and avant-garde experimentalism. Notorious for using music as a reflexive, ungendered space, The Knife’s work often facilitated the warped manifestations of Karin’s voice into an androgynous, posthuman drawl, switching gender narratives and relocating the listener into the surreal. After a six year hiatus – with Karin performing her hugely popular Fever Ray project and Olof working on his own techno productions in Berlin – the pair agreed to work together again. Only this time, just as they’d used the pop-leaning textures of 2003’s Deep Cuts to access a wider audience, this time they vowed to utilise their project’s growing scope. With this communicative responsibility in mind, Olof took a Gender Studies course, and Karin borrowed his reading list. Inspired by post-structuralism and post-colonial feminist theory, The Knife set out to deconstruct your preconceptions.
As part of a plethora of incendiary media, this album set the path for one of the most provocative musicoriented projects of recent years. Setting out to quash such structures with cunning and vehement showmanship, the latest output from the seminal Swedish brother/ sister duo surged into our consciousness, encouraging us to reassess our own entrenched value judgements. The Knife were back, shirking fictive mythology for blatant politics.
'Everybody is always desiring already imagined things' goes The Knife’s battle cry. A snippet of Shaking The Habitual’s potent philosophy, it epitomises in one sentence their distaste towards the endless homogenisation of our musical, sexual and socio-political sensibilities.
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O: One way of shaking the habitual and questioning N the norms was questioning T Y H what we imagined the idea and IS the representation of The Knife is, and we wanted to go against the idea ” that people have agreed upon: that The Knife is a mystical act. I think the mystifying is depoliticising and disarms the political potential of someone’s actions. We wanted to try other strategies and we wanted to be critical by also getting inspirations from musicals and cabaret, which have turned out to be such a no-no for people who like The Knife to be ‘dark and mystical’.
Whilst the album certainly doesn’t shy away from provocation, the live show is a vibrant, colourful experience. What lies in this juxtaposition?
K: Now we are touring and doing shows at festivals, it’s a bit surprising that it’s so very conventional, that the idea of performing music is so very narrow. I got a question from somebody giving out clothes at a festival the other day; “oh, so you’re not wearing jeans onstage? Why
O: The idea that everything is drag is quite crucial because it really helps us understand how we are in everyday life; that we perform a set of expressions and power manifestations like gender and sexuality. I think onstage we also think about how we can be in drag without any actual objects or certain clothes on. We are basically doing everything while exploring the possibilities of how things can be done.
We’re particularly interested in how you explore Judith Butler’s ideas of performativity, that all everyday acts are performance or ‘drag’?
K: What we have been playing with is the idea of ‘artistic quality’. There are so many ideas about what ‘quality’ music is and it’s a term so often used by music journalists who have this idea about what that is. And that makes it really fun to play with these ideas when finding sounds.
O: One thing we haven’t done before, so much, is to play the music manually with instruments and improvise with long jam sessions, which we’ve had mixed feelings about before because I have a past in jazz music and have related improvisation to the male virtuosos, which I would do a lot to move away from. So we were talking about how to go into the field of improvisation in a fun way. A lot of these tracks come from jam sessions and I think that’s what makes the arrangement quite fluid and constantly changing. We try to do sounds that are difficult to pinpoint, and sounds that can hopefully give feelings that one thing is not more authentic than the other.
In what ways did this conceptual focus affect the production of the album, musically?
as we do to question the norms within your own profession. That’s when we put together this group for the show.
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What advice would you give to those yet to experience the live show?
O: We often get questions like, ‘how can you combine music with feminism and politics? It sounds strange, how does that work?’ I think it’s good to receive critical questions, but maybe not from the right wing or non-feminist way, but from peers who can help the conversation move forward.
K: We said that if we’re going to work together it has to be fun. We want to learn new things; that is fun. We also want to work with a lot of people; that is fun. Also finding people who share the same interests
What made you want to reassess your method and replace it with this conceptual emphasis of focusing on process rather than product?
O: From people I met or I know, or people who come and say that they’re so empowered, it’s so great that you don’t have to think about gender so much but rather you have this utopian situation, and people find it funny and very humorous. But then online we’ve been reading as much negative response. It’s the worst thing they’ve seen. It’s bad dance, bad costumes. They don’t think me or Karin are onstage and they just really hate it. There are strong feelings in all directions.
Karin: It’s much more interesting to have a conversation where you don’t have to start from scratch to describe what you think feminism is about. There were so many situations we ended up in where feminism was questioned and solidarity, socialism, etc was questioned and we never came to discuss what the show or the music was really about because there were so many, especially male, journalists who ended up not understanding these terms.
Shaking the Habitual is available now via Rabid.
O: Bring your dance shoes. And an open mind.
How has the reception been to the project as a whole?
O: We are definitely part of a capitalist system. We get paid and the money we get from these festivals is partly funded by the sponsors. I’m very hesitant about our presence in this world, it’s very problematic at many points. So we do what we can to use this environment to discuss the issues we do, like what can a concert look like, what is a show, let’s talk about gender onstage. But it is very difficult to be autonomous and I think it’s very difficult to make things that don’t get sucked up by commercial forces. It’s easy that any left wing or queer-related issues become commodified. It’s a constant struggle.
Do you think that yourselves, personally, can express artistic freedom from within the constraints of capitalism?
K: The presence of sponsors at festivals, and also clubs but festivals especially, I think it makes it very hard for people to speak out and say what they want, they don’t want to interfere with the sponsor’s message. I think that makes music a bit … lame. There are so many people making music that don’t think they have a responsibility. When you have the possibility to speak and say things, you don’t use that responsibility, even as a civilian or a musician, because it is so closely connected to the commercial world.
O: Yes, absolutely. I think the norm of believing in ‘artistic quality’, for example saying, ‘we only book ‘good’ or ‘quality’ music’, ‘we don’t think about gender’. I think it’s a very strong norm, and I think it’s very hard to cut through that. I think it is the commercial environment that is the biggest problem.
Do you think the music industry is neglecting its responsibility to challenge existing structures?
K: And it’s extremely hierarchical. It’s very different if you’re a headlining act or if you start a festival day. It’s almost 100% men who work behind the stages, the technical crew. It’s very rare that there are women behind the stages. It’s an extreme situation.
O: Some of the mainstream festivals can be quite violently conservative. Walking around on the festival area gives me a really strange feeling, it doesn’t feel like a safe space for queers or women to some degree.
are you not wearing jeans?” It struck me, that is one of the most common things, that is what people think about. Festivals – Rock – Jeans. It’s very conventional, the environment that we perform within at the moment.
Olof: Initially when we released the album, we asked the label to find interviews with people who were interested in discussing these issues that the album touches upon. Then we had a situation with almost only guys, and one or two female journalists and so we reacted upon that, asking to talk to feminists, basically.
For this interview you wanted to speak to someone with an awareness of feminism and gender relations. What role does this play in the larger message you’re trying to get across?
Their old masks down, The Knife are a world away from the inscrutable mysticism that previously clung to the duo. On introduction, they ask cheerfully how we’re doing. They welcome us into their world, as if to break down some preconceived ideas about artist idolism or press relations. Karin and Olof are two forward-thinking individuals who admit their own “experiment” is an open-ended and constantly evolving project.
With the industrial yet organic feel of the album, the intense bodily presence of the live show and the new collective of writers, performers, choreographers and so on that became The Knife, they broke down the evocative sense of mythology that had surrounded the band in the seven years since Silent Shout. In doing so, they flooded tangible physicality into a world they saw increasingly constantly masked by commercialisation, indifference and fandom.
These dense and unsettling notions were accompanied by an equally challenging live show. The wholly vibrant and exhausting experience saw The Knife’s expansive team surge and leap, uncloak their hoods and lose their masks, revealing a sweaty haze of glitter, pinks and orange, like a smudged watercolour. The show was met with a mixture of intrigue, bewilderment and frustration. For The Knife, this only affirmed the enduringly conservative framework for performance, and a music history written by the ‘privileged white male’.
turning it on its head, creating human sounds with non-conventional means and vice versa. Fracking Fluid Injection commonly gets a mention as just under 10 minutes of indistinguishable yelps and stabs created with an old bed spring meant to convey a sense of the ground, crying. 19-minute ambient noise track Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realised embodies the outcome of hours editing resonant feedback from a PA system in an empty boiler room. Shaking The Habitual’s seductive manipulation of sound pulls at the strings of the structural fabric, one by one snapping as it breaks through.
“ I T H I N K I ’ M T H E M O S T V E R S AT I L E A R T I S T I N R A P, A N D I ’ M D E F I N I T E LY T H E M O S T G A N G S TA ”
© Danny Manhattan
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P H O TOS D anny Manhat t an
Freddie Gibbs A lways immune to industry bullshit, the Indiana rapper is taking full control
Even if you were to scan the darkest recesses of the rap Internet, you’d struggle to find a bad word written about a verse laid down by Freddie Gibbs. The Midwestern heavyweight has been dropping mixtapes for nearly a decade, and he’s earned his cred by totally dominating any beat thrown at him with his robust but insanely agile flow. Gibbs first landed on Crack’s radar during summer 2009, when he self-released two excellent mixtapes, Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik and The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, after his deal with Interscope had dissolved. Like many of his tapes, these releases had post-regional, diverse beat selections which ranged from heavy, paranoid trap sounds to 90s-referencing, sunsoaked G-Funk. Rugged in texture but smooth in delivery, Gibbs’ style has repeatedly drawn comparisons to Tupac and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and he’s got a habit of rapping in double time as if he’s overcome the natural obligation to take a breath once in a while. And for those among Freddie Gibbs’ fanbase who’re hungry for more alt-leaning beats, it comes as good news that there’s a collaborative album with Madlib in the can, due for a February 2014 release. The pair first hooked up in 2011 for the Thuggin’ EP, the title track of which saw Gibbs stamp hard, streetwise lyricism into Madlib’s gloopy oriental-feeling beat. It’s a highlight among both artists‘ discographies, and it cemented the MadGibbs tag-team – Madlib’s third hybridisation after forming Madvillain with DOOM and Jaylib with the late J Dilla. But Crack’s phone call with Gibbs takes place in the aftermath of his recent album ESGN (it stands for ‘Evil Seeds Grow Naturally’), which might just be his toughest record to date. Gibbs was once a loyal disciple of Young Jeezy, the hardass noughties trap don with a voice that suggests he munches gravel for breakfast. But this year, Gibbs walked away from Jeezy (the ‘Young’ has been dropped due to impending maturity) and his CTE label with a middle finger raised, making plenty of noise on his way out. Gibbs’ various public disses include the accusation that what Jeezy says is ‘fake’, and that by pretty much shelving him, he made Gibbs ‘look stupid’. “Jeezy wrote me off, he traded the trap for office jobs”, is one of the many lyrics on ESGN which, along with shots fired at the ‘pussy boys’ who work in the music industry and a total absence of potential radio hits, gives the record its maverick attitude. But while Freddie Gibbs gets all aggro and unapologetically
sociopathic on record, over the phone he comes across as laid back, funny and brutally honest. Oh, and his answerphone message is a clip of him singing a Charlie Wilson tune, in case you were wondering.
Have you got a favourite track on ESGN? Probably Freddie Soprano, that’s the one where I really let loose lyrically. It’s like your mission statement.
Firstly, can you tell us about your upcoming project with Madlib? Yeah, Cocaine Piñata. It was definitely an experience making that album, definitely a challenge to rap on tracks of that nature, with those kind of samples. But I think I played it well, I think I delivered something that’s gonna be a cult classic. If you like Madlib, you’re gonna love this new Gibbs and Madlib shit. The ESGN album feels like a rebellious record. What frame of mind were you in when you went into the studio to make it? I was mad, I was really heated. You can probably hear the anger flowing out. I was mad at a couple of people. And y’know, I mean mad enough to the point where I wanted to kill them. So I took all that energy and put it into this record, and that was definitely therapeutic for me. Critics always say that you have the ability to rap over pretty much any style of beat, but in some ways do you feel like ESGN is the signature Freddie Gibbs sound? Yeah definitely. I mean I think I’m the most versatile artist in rap, and I’m definitely the most gangsta. My signature sound is about making gangsta rap. I think not too many people do that. A lot of people talk about street shit on their songs, but they’re not staying true to the art form of gangsta rap, it’s just baloney really. There ain’t too many rappers I respect right now. I mean there’s guys doing their thing, and I respect the fact that they’re feeding their families off their craft and their music. But there’s not too many doing music I love, I guess I don’t delve into their styles so much, I’m so wrapped up in what I’ve got going on. Are there older rappers who you’ve looked up to because of their attitude? Umm, yeah, like Scarface, Ice Cube. They didn’t take no shit, they did what they wanted in this game with no limitations and that’s what I’m trying to do too, that’s the main focus.
Yeah, definitely. And it’s one of the many tracks on there which has some ‘fuck you’ lyrics aimed at the music industry. As an artist, what kind of problems do you have to look out for in this business? I don’t know man, my experience of dealing with people in the music industry hasn’t been great. Right now, I’m probably public enemy number one in the rap industry, there ain’t too many rappers who fuck with me like that. And that’s cool, I didn’t get into this shit to make friends, I got into this shit to feed my family and make some money, not to be the cool guy at school or the most popular or the most liked. I came to represent the street brand of music. There’s those people fuck with it, and there’s those who really don’t. With me man, I’m Gangsta Gibbs man, know what I mean? There’s no in between with me, and I don’t want no grey area, you either love me, or you hate me. And I’m fine with that, totally fine. A lot of people hate me, and I use that to my advantage, I think it suits me well being the bad guy. Right, so at this stage, do you feel as if you’re 100% in control? Yep, that’s was the beauty of ESGN – I’m the boss, the artist and I’m 100% in control. With you being a well-known name in the industry, do you ever get offers that could help you out commercially but you decide to turn down?
There’s a lot of dick sucking in rap right now! [laughs] But I guess that’s part of the game man. I ain’t gonna do a record with someone just cause it’s the cool thing to do, I don’t give a fuck about that shit man, know what I’m saying? That shit’s lame. I hate a remix with like 12 rappers on it. I feel like this shit has really turned into fast food, it’s like McDonald’s, anyone can bite, anybody can get into the game and eat, that’s fucked up. It is what it is. What’s the touring lifestyle like, is it all it’s cracked up to be? The tour life? It’s definitely all that, drugs and pussy. If you can take it all in, and don’t let it control you, you’ll be just fine. We wanted to book you to play Simple Things festival here in the UK, but you’re seriously expensive! [laughs] Ah come on man, you have to fuck with Freddie Gibbs, I know I don’t cost as much as Lil Wayne! OK, the last thing we need is for you to pick three records, old or new, that you’re really into right now. We list them on our contents page. Umm, what songs do I like right now? ... Lay It Down by me, I fuck with that heavy ... Oh yeah, and The-Dream – IV Play, that’s actually my favourite ... I like Rihanna, I wanna fuck Rihanna. ‘Shine bright like a diamond’, I love that shit, that’s my joint. Hell yeah. I was chopping up some molly, some pure molly my nigga, and I was like ‘man, Rihanna must have made that song about this, cause that shit is looking like diamonds’. (sings in Rihanna voice) ‘Shine bright like a diiiiiamond!’ Really? Yeah, I’m totally serious! [laughs]
There was a point in my career when I though that’s what I had to do, but now I don’t give a fuck. I used to feel like ‘ah man, I got to do this, maybe the radio will play this’, but I’m never gonna stress myself out about that again. Like I say, either you love me, or you hate my guts, and I love that. Do you think that too many artists collaborate for the sake of publicity, even if the track doesn’t really work?
Wouldn’t have had you down as a fan of that stuff. Ah man, it’s a real feeling baby ...
---------Piñata will be released on February 14th via Madlib Invazion
A N D R E W W E A T H E R A L L Andrew W eatherall 's 3 0 years of record collecting have informed one S I TE soundcl oud.com/andrew -w eat heral l
of the most distinguished careers in music production and D J ing
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WORDS Thom as Frost
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Pinning Andrew Weatherall down in such a meagre introduction is utterly futile. You can grapple all you like with the boundless musical exploits the man has traversed across a remarkable cross-section of work and a career spanning 25 years, but to try to peg him with any kind of reductive definition is more or l ess moot. A glance at the clock during our time with Weatherall delivers a sinking feeling; one that can only come from the knowledge that time constraints are about to sever a conversation you know was just a surface glimpse of what this man has to offer. Weatherall’s delivery is rapid and verbose, his London drawl adding to the deep-rooted authenticity which informs his every opinion, a breadth of knowledge and a musical history that very few can rival. Electronic, but only to an extent, Andrew Weatherall’s output stretches across around 20 different aliases and production monikers, including his own. Initially, the twisted dub of Sabres Of Paradise was a stamp of quality bathed in early 90s hedonism. However, it was with long term collaborator Keith Tenniswood as Two Lone Swordsmen that real acclaim followed. Their output over seven albums made them a Warp records staple and combined a fluid understanding of post-punk, downtempo and house and electro influences. Resisting the lure of DJ superstardom in the 90s in favour of a path that was more musically led, his album production credits include two classics from two different eras: Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons and, most notoriously, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Recently, his collaborative album with cohort Timothy Fairplay as The Asphodells, entitled Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust, saw him straddling a slower bpm and a
more considered interpretation of dub, krautrock and disco, but never fully relying on any of them for a distinct watermark. It heralded a return towards his electronic tendencies after his last record, the more songbased solo effort A Pox On The Pioneers. But it’s as a selector where Weatherall is perhaps most commonly appreciated. An avid collector of boogie and rockabilly records from the 50s and 60s, his love of this bygone era is tempered by a renowned affinity for acid house, techno, electro and disco punk. And anyone who has seen Andrew Weatherall educate a young crowd at a Bugged Out! night, tear the second room of Fabric a new one with his balls-out acid tinged techno or been lost in a fit of psychedelic disco otherworldliness fuelled by his recent Love From Outer Space project with Sean Johnston will testify, you don’t ride these numerous genres with such masterful dexterity without soaking up a lot of music. Therein lies the addiction with Weatherall: music in all its guises. Maintaining an ear quite that well honed as you enter your 50s makes him an almost complete anomaly, as well as an absolutely essential DJ to witness on any bill. Oh, and he dresses like the coolest motherfucker in town. Sold? If you aren’t then you’re reading the wrong magazine.
together to make up the finished thing. Sometimes I think ‘I can’t believe you’ve made such a good track with all these hideous ingredients’. That happened recently with a band who are good friends of mine. It was a really horrible collection of harshly recorded bits and they’d made this beautiful track out of it. I still to this day wonder how they did it. When you put together the Asphodells album there was no intention to make a record of this kind? When we aren’t remixing other people we just keep making music, y’know. Every few months you start tracks you abandon, but we don’t erase them, we still keep them in the computer and after a few months you go back to them and you think ‘ah, that wasn’t so bad’. So after five or six months of recording, perfectly speaking, that’s usually when I think I’ve got an album. We don’t just rock up on the Monday and be like ‘come on boys, we need a new album’. That’s too daunting, too blank a canvas. We never start anything because we never stop anything, if that makes sense. We just continue recording, and it’s only after a few months that you start thinking, ‘oh, we’ll make an album’, but it’s quite good because you’re already three-quarters of the way through. So when is the actual stopping point?
So, what was the process in selecting the producers for the Asphodells remix album? It was easy, really. It was people we liked and people we could do a swap with, so we’d do a remix for them and they’d do one for us in return, which is how a lot of remixing works these days. When it’s other people’s work I enjoy, I like dissecting it to hear the elements that go
It’s when you’ve got an album that you think works well as a collection of tracks. Sometimes you think of format, say if it’s a CD you’ve got have 70 or 80 minutes. If we were back in the days when it was just vinyl you’d be thinking 15-20 minutes per side tops. You should never be thinking you should fill up the format, but unfortunately you sometimes do. You see, I’m always thinking value for money dear boy! Maybe next time if I’ve got 40 minutes and it makes a good album I’ll do that. It’s just in this case
© Asphodells Gullick
I had 70 minutes of good stuff. It’s still nice to give people a reasonable amount music to choose from, even if they only end up downloading three or four tracks. I like that, cause at least it makes it appear like I’ve done some work! Your output is far too weighty for anyone to accuse you of not doing work. It’s quite prolific, isn’t it? I was tidying out my room the other day and I found bags of DATS dating back to 1992 with stuff on there I have no idea or even any recollection of doing.
I think people like A Love From Outer Space because it contains elements of post-punk, balearic, house, techno, dub, and it’s going back to the mélange I used to play when I first started DJing, but with a nod to the future. ALFOS gets a mad mixture of young 25-year-olds and then the 35 to 50s, as it has an energy that the younger crowd are into and then a nod to records from the past the older crowd also enjoys. I love the heritage and I love the fact I’ve been through these pop culture trends, but there is no point in hankering – it’s a waste of energy. My spectacles aren’t rose tinted, they’re nicotine stained Have you ever thought of writing a book?
Nostalgia is very, very debilitating. I love my heritage and I watch old footage of bands and get shivers up the spine, but I very rarely sit there and go ‘it’s not like it used to be’. I’m 50 years old, there are 18-year-olds getting the same joy of discovery that I got when I was their age and the same transcendence through music that I got. The means of delivery and style may have changed, but the human condition hasn’t changed in thousands of years. I still love that there is pop culture going on around me even though sometimes I hate it and shout at the TV, like I did it this morning to some new, scrubbed, fresh-faced boy band who are an annoying bunch of irksome tits, but it’s still all good. There is great new music being made. Also, it’s not a good look when you get to 50 to be sat there going ‘oh, young people today...’ What’s the point in being grumpy?
Yeah, yeah, I will do. Just what the world needs, an autobiography of a DJ! Have you ever read a good one? I’m actually the artist in residence at Faber & Faber the publishers, there’s a book coming out called Unreal City by Michael Smith and I’ve just done the foreword and an annotated version of the novel. I will eventually do a book, but it’ll be all these short anecdotes. I’ve got so many great little stories, and a great story is a great story, it doesn’t have to be set within an autobiography. In fact, if it isn’t in an autobiography you can twist it and almost make it better. It would be boring to put them into a narrative arc. I’d like to illustrate it myself and put it out as some kind of box set. Lee my contact at F&F said: “If you think the music industry works slowly, welcome to the world of publishing.” I’m in no great hurry though. I’m 50 and the clock is ticking, but I’m maybe less hurried. I’ve had 50 years of doing things off the cuff and a bit hurriedly. Sometimes that works, but sometimes artistically it’s better to wait.
With things like your current Love From Outer Space work, you’ve never really needed a new lease of life as such?
Right. Who the fuck is your tailor and can we have his phone number?
Having been a part of almost every subculture since punk, is there any nostalgia attached to what you do these days?
[laughs] It’s a guy called Mark Powell who has been making stuff for 30 years. He’s based in Soho and I’ve known him personally for years and liked his stuff. That’s the only tailor I go to. But I’m always on the look out for good books, always on the look out for good music, and always on the look out for good trousers! I live in one of the best cities in the world and walking to work I can hear great music, be influenced and pop into bookshops. The rents are high, the rewards are many and the museums are free. Did you always have this rich appreciation for your environment, even in your 20s? I was just fascinated by pop culture in all its forms and that leads you to literature and art and fashion and then, when you get older, style, because you realise following fashion is pointless because you look like a fool. My dad was a mod, pre-modernist type, before it got commercial, when it was all about jazz and dressing up. Maybe I got it from him, but also because I was brought up in the suburbs, it was all a bit monochrome. I had a very nice upbringing, but pop culture offered a parallel universe that was in colour.
Andrew Weatherall plays at Warehouse Project, Manchester on November 30th. The Asphodells Remixed is available now via Rotters Golf Club
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“I just wished I could play music but be invisible or something,” Wolfe tells Crack regarding the introverted manner of her live performances circa her 2010 debut LP, The Grime & The Glow. “But I love playing with different ideas to fight that, different looks. The veil was something I brought in as a nod to funeral marches, but I realised it helped me to feel more comfortable on stage” she adds. Death-clad and riddled with apprehension, it was Wolfe’s sophomore LP, 2011’s Apokalypsis – a doom-folk/black metal-indebted hybrid that channelled PJ Harvey to nearby plagiaristic measures while borrowing blankets of caustic reverb from Sonic Youth – that served to exorcise her demons. “Apokalypsis translates to ‘lifting of the veil’ as well as ‘revelations’”, she says of the title’s Greek etymology and ‘end of days’ symbolism, “so I felt it was a significant time to let the veil go.” Despite this sea change and marked personal growth, Chelsea Wolfe 2.0 is still evocative of a 4am visit to your local crypt: doleful, isolated and bereft of any semblance of light. It’s a mood she continued to favour on her 2011 folk canon Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, a record which saw Wolfe compelled by vulnerability, but still drawn to the kind of bloodcurdling menace more akin to the suspenseful predictability of an 80s slasher film. Wolfe’s body of work has become synonymous with these deathly connotations, an affinity she attributes to visual reference points such as the 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film The Seventh Seal. “I was introduced to the character of Death [from The Seventh Seal] by Ingmar Bergman as a kid, and the image crept into my consciousness for years” she says. “I have written songs about death, the afterlife, what it’s like to lose a loved one, because it helps me understand, learn and accept.” Where Apokalypsis was concerned with metaphorical ruminations of our collective impending doom, creating gothic melodrama at every turn, and where Unknown Rooms had stripped those motifs down to the languished strings of an acoustic guitar, Pain Is Beauty is Wolfe at her most sophisticated, modernistic and fully formed. It’s here, on tracks such as the brooding four-note Moog stab of Feral Love and the lush digital orchestrations of House Of Metal, that the darkness is allowed to fully bloom. The 12 tracks could be a hymn to Portishead but veer towards the contemporary stylings of Zola Jesus, via a grief stricken Grimes affected by deep-rooted malaise. Bat For Lashes is also cross referenced on The Waves Have Come, all delicate piano climes and orchestrated strings beside Chelsea’s chilly choral vocals.
© Chelsea Wolfe
Afflicted by anxiety, C helsea W olfe lifts the veil for her arresting fourth L P, Pain Is B eauty
The notion of performance anxiety is a paradoxical affliction for a musician on the precipice of releasing their fourth LP in as many years. Case in point: American singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, to whom the spectatorship of the collective masses was (“I never considered myself comfortable in front of others, performing”) and still is to some extent (“It’s not something I’ve overcome, as much as accepted”) an occupational phobia. To put things into perspective, at the time of writing, Chelsea recently performed at FYT Fest, a festival with a capacity of around 20,000 prying eyes and expectant gazes, in her native Los Angeles. This was the inaugural date of her umpteenth tour this year in support of an album, entitled Pain Is Beauty, which depicts upon its front cover her most explicit and preening photographical portrayal to date. In it she stands, face exposed, arms folded in trepidation and restraint, brow slightly furrowed in contempt of the incendiary red dress she wears in breach of her typically all black dress code. The re-imagining of her former self – the veil wearing, self-effacing enigma that was prone to mid-set mini-meltdowns – is holistically transfigurative, yet she’s still a far cry from the gregarious spotlight protagonist one might imagine, a role which has long eluded her.
There’s a quasi-concept here, too, she maintains, which deals in reconciling with “ancestry, land, nature and memory” amid an undertow of “tormented love, separation and loss of love”. Pain Is Beauty marks a pointedly more humanistic and electronic approach, with Chelsea insisting that “I don’t put limits on myself musically and creatively” when asked about the preconceived themes and genres already associated with her music. A fine enough jump-off point for the next record then? “I’m always experimenting with different styles and sounds, so I’m sure I’ll do more electronic stuff in the future,” says Chelsea. “I choose songs that best fit together in one home though, regardless of genre.” Wolfe’s semi-emergence from her supernatural underworld is another advance in a transition that spans four records, slowly peeling back the pallid layers of her personality for a bewitching collection of orchestrated gothtronica and sparse instrumental arrangements that retain the wraith-like nuances of her formative years, minus the Black Death. We ask her about the visual and sonic monochromatic colour palette that’s become synonymous with her identity, to which she replies with a quote from Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto: “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.” However you chose to interpret that quote, the fact of the matter is: Chelsea Wolfe has slayed her demons and most importantly, she’s bloodthirsty for more.
---------Pain Is Beauty is out now via Sargent House
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DA B B L I NG I N T H E VI R T UA L , M AN I PUL ATIN G S O UR CE M ATER I AL A N D EX PLO R IN G TH E R EC E S S E S OF TH E M I N D ; W E P RE S S DA N I E L LOPA TIN O N S O M E M O R E TA N GI B L E CO N CE R N S
Nearly four years in, who do you consider to be the most important underground electronic artist to come to prominence this decade? The obvious triumvirate of Four Tet, Caribou and Bonobo have a solid case to make, balancing mainstream accessibility with a genuine connection to UK club culture, but records like Rounds and Up In Flames dropped ten years back, so they are hardly fresh faces.
Similarly, many of the key players within that nebulous house/techno/ bass scene poked their head above the parapet as the 00s were winding down. Only perhaps Nicolas Jaar could lay claim to belonging almost exclusively to a post-2010 musical landscape, but even then, as successful as the boy wonder has been, he has just the one solo album to his name. The figure we’d put forward has three full-lengths, two collaborative records and a 3xLP compilation in the timeframe.
record that, to me, are just illogical; when I’m really honest with myself, sometimes saying “I don’t know” is the right answer. Something you hopefully feel comfortable explaining is the application of space this time round. It’s a much less busy record than Replica. A lot of what I was thinking about when I composing for this record was how you characterise the distance between one musical object or experience, and another. To do that, it helps if it’s not so dense and vertical, which tends to obliterate distances. What I wanted to do was make something a little bit more narrative and sweeping, and naked; strip away all the smoke and mirrors and see what’s left, then work with it. With the formal constraints of what had happened in mind, then I start building in dense ideas or weird, vertical, hypnotic synth things. It was different in that sense, for sure. I do appreciate the record’s nakedness – everything is in clear view, and mostly all of what we hear on the record have been considered. In the past, I think it was less a matter of consideration and more, ‘well, this is the result of what happened, so we’re just going to go with it.’
even saying do FLAC! If you want to do MP3 or M4A, fine, but you didn’t even do 320, so where are your priorities, buddy? You just want to get it out there as soon as possible. I don’t really care that shit’s leaked: I’ve listened to leaks, I’ve participated in stolen music, and I’m not overly judgemental about that kind of thing at all. But there is a certain aspect to it where you have to understand what you’re listening to, and what you’re experiencing – even visually – with a thing is that, if it’s not the whole package, then don’t call it that, y’know? It’s a lie. R Plus Six?
While Daniel Lopatin’s pop-leaning hook-up with producer Joel Ford heralded a good album (Channel Pressure) and a great EP (That We Can Play), and his record label Software has put out a spate of solid releases – most recently Huerco S.’s bracing debut – it is his work as Oneohtrix Point Never that has garnered the lion’s share of acclaim. If you count 2012’s reissue of Rifts, a mammoth assembly of early limitedrun cassette & vinyl releases, Lopatin has put out one record proper per year, as well as a collaboration with ambient noise kingpin Tim Hecker. It’s an impressive body of work to amass in such a short stretch of time, even more so given that he refuses to retread old ground. The sonic space occupied by Rifts, Returnal and Replica (learn your three Rs, kids) is broad, encompassing stargazing synth epics, hypnotic drones and loop-based vignettes stitched together from VHS archives of 80s commercials respectively; but as with all top-tier artists, a common strain binds Lopatin’s productions. A somewhat reluctant breakout, he now fronts a wave of -waves, swells of micro-genres that derive influence from the aesthetic as much as the aural. Occupying a peculiar ground between retro-fetishism and dystopian daydreaming, theirs is a world where commercial and human interests are inseparable, soundtracked by a cloud of soft New Age textures and maximalist beats that drifts around a Web 1.0 world.
[Laughs] Yeah. It’s this shitty, parasite-orientated iteration of it that he should've put him name on. That guy from the blog or whatever should have put his name on it, like ‘Da Remix’ or whatever the fuck, and take credit for it. So people know what kind of man he is. That’s all there is to that, really. I’m happy that people have heard the record and have been saying extremely nice things about it. I’ve got some strange and new experiences out of it too: people being like, “I really have to apologise to you because I downloaded your leaked record and I’m really enjoying it.” That’s fundamentally interesting to me.
Do you think that’s a reflection of how you view life in general? What’s your observational perspective on what goes on around you – do you view things in the micro or the macro?
What is your ideal live situation? We once saw you at All Tomorrow’s Parties at two in the morning and everyone was lying down.
That’s a good question. My honest take is micro and macro in flux, communicating in a somewhat jagged rhythm. You tend to go through life with these very concrete experiences, and an oblique sense of how they happened in retrospect. Inversely, I find that I have these very strange, obtuse experiences that really were probably inconsequential, and then I try to structure them in retrospect, and imbue them with some kind of personal meaning. I find that to be kind of troubling and strange because I have very little control over thought or expression or how I remember things, or what I want and what I actually get.
Hey, I remember that! Oh, that was a killer show.
Speaking of looking back, is the high level of consideration that goes into the visual aspect of your art informed by anything in particular from your childhood?
It was like walking into a gas chamber. It’s interesting how you take your music and portray it live, and whether you’re now reaching for larger venues because of the ‘sweeping’ nature of the music.
I struggle a lot with determining the right kind of environment for a set. It was actually very touching to me that at the ATP one everyone just kinda figured out what they wanted to do. That gave me purpose and energy to tap into, and I could cater to that. It was really nice, and it doesn’t happen often. You know what it is: a festival bar slot, with a bifurcation in the room between people who want something intimate and people who are just circumstantially there. I understand that, but for me, I want to be there with people who want to be there too! Maybe a space can qualify that a little bit more? So we’re trying, experimenting and attempting to find the sweet spot, and inversely to stay away from places that have historically been tricky for me to play! [Laughs]
Actively stepping away from the background chatter, Daniel Lopatin has returned with a new studio album and the backing of Warp Records. R Plus Seven is in some ways a neat summation of everything he is about: there are Juno jams, alien textures and wisps of deconstructed samples, but with much less clutter than any of the three preceding it. As before, he has offered up a record that requires careful investment, exploring the spaces that few others even conceive. It is the sound of an artist who could be considered leagues ahead of the competition, were he not operating on another (non-linear) plane entirely. Never say never say Never.
Your latest record R Plus Seven is out now, would you like to give it the hard sell? Erm, I don’t know. I may not be qualified to do that, I’m not a hard sell kinda guy. Maybe you guys can do a hard sell if you like it? Do you feel it’s difficult to express your own music? When people ask the specifics, do you struggle? I feel like it’s tedious to explain in detail to people that don’t have the context. I’m usually tempted to find the least common denominator way to say it. Like to a family member at dinner, I just say “electronic music” and pretty much leave it at that. I tend to be pretty verbose if I don’t put a lock on it, so I’m trying to discipline myself to be a little more enigmatic. Does that extend relatively shadowy.
I’m a fairly well-adjusted guy and I can speak to what I’m doing. There are often things to talk about. Naively, I think I just answer whatever anyone asks me, but it’s not really a stable answer. Having realised that, and having been a bit more weathered by these things, I’m a little bit more shy nowadays because I know typically my answers are something I won’t even believe myself a few weeks later. There are aspects of the
[Pause] I have a horrible sense of my own childhood, so probably. I had a somewhat typical suburban American upbringing. Wait, your question just brought to my mind a horrible childhood memory of my hand being smashed by a rock. This kid told me to put my hand down on this cement embankment in a playground, and then he smashed it with a rock. I think probably he had something to do with it.
Do you feel an external pressure making music compared to a few years ago, as if you’re straightjacketed by public expectation? You are, for better or worse, a crossover act, and often the entry point for people to start delving deeper into this area of music. It’s a very funny thing to me. But I don’t care, I really simply don’t. It’s kind of fascinating. What I’m saying when I put out music is ‘are we attracted to this, or do you find this somehow lurid, or interesting, or addictive on some level; or are you repulsed by it?’ So when there’s repulsion, what did people expect? By nature of what I do, there’s going to be repulsion. If I started trying to cater to expectations, I would end up … it’s like one of those carnival games when you hit the fucking thing and two others pop up, you know? I don’t know if it’s a productive approach. Although I’m sure people are very good at reverse engineering expectations, it’s tedious to me; it just hurts my brain! I’d rather take my chances. You did seem to care when – around two months in advance of release date – the record leaked in 256kbps. You described it as ‘lazy’. Was that purely to do with it being a lower bitrate? That’s just it. The whole experience of it ends up being this kind of … diluted … if you’re going to rip something, and leak it, just do it like a fucking pro! If you don’t have the album artwork, if you don’t have a lossless file to share, then what you’re basically saying is ‘I’m a shitty fucking cultural parasite’. It’s as if I give you this fake Céline bag, a fake version of the real thing. If you go buy a fake then that’s cool, but you start noticing the zipper is a little lower than it should be, or the material on the inside falls apart quicker. I wouldn’t say it’s such a huge deal, 256 or whatever, but like, yo, the option for 320 was right there! I’m not www.crackmagazine.net
A friend saw you just after lunch outside at a festival. This was pre-Replica, so your profile was still relatively low. It’s just not the right idea at all. It’s horrible! When you’re first starting off you put a lot of trust in the people that are helping you out: managers, booking agents, stuff like that. You go through a few experiences and start seeing patterns emerge with what works and what doesn’t. I’ve always been baffled by it. Like, ‘you really thought this was a good idea? Or did you just not put in any time? You had other things to do or bands to look after, so you threw me to the wall?’ But we’re trying to temper that; I’m trying to temper that. Because it’s very sad in those situations too when people who came to enjoy it, or who are fundamentally into seeing what I’m doing, get the short end of the stick as much as me. They’re the ones who suffer. I’m in a bad mood, I start kinda slacking off or just lose the cojones to do it, just standing up there, biding my time because the situation’s so shit. Then when I reflect on it afterwards, I realise that, “Jesus, I fucked over all those people!” It becomes strange and a little upsetting. But I’m at a point now where I want things to be a little bit more thought-out. More considered. Hopefully with your increased standing and the additional flexibility to chose those options, your inherent distrust of people will start dwindling. Yes, well my inherent distrust for booking agents and managers will never change! ---------R Plus Seven is out now via Warp
T H AT,
T O M E , A R E J U S T I L L O G I C A L ; W H E N I ’ M R E A L LY HONEST “I
TU NE Z ebra
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P H O TOS poi nt nev er.com
7/8/9 March 2014 Southport “ Thanks Bugged Out for a faith restoring night.” THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS “ The Bugged Out weekender was a 5 star event!” DJ EZ “ Bugged Out was absolutely class” JACKMASTER
Book with £50 deposit
“ As far as weekend activities on this Earth go, there’s little to be had that’s more glorious” NME
Dave Clarke / Dixon / Dusky / Eats Everything / Erol Alkan / Heidi / Justin Martin / Kölsch / Paul Woolford / Sasha / Skream
3 Nights / 3 dance floors / 60 acts / Pool Parties / DJ competition / Pub Quiz / Rave Karaoke (and you’re only ever metres away from your bed)
Accommodation included NUS Discount Tickets available from £145 + bf / book in groups of 4/5/6/7/8
ZEBRA KATZ www.crackmagazine.net
© Zebra Katz
The voguing rapper ’ s alter - ego continues to ascend
SITE z ebra ka tz .com
25 seconds into Zebra Katz’ DRKLNG mixtape, the boundarypushing artist pierces through a dystopian fog and buckled blasts of white noise with his sound tag – “Zebra Fucking Katz” – in a voice that sounds like Siri’s unhinged sister.
“I decided to make a tag and I was playing around with voices”, Katz tells us. “I found that one, and it just stuck.” It’s a perfect sonic illustration of the Zebra Katz experience: menacing, ominous and glowing with a unique identity. Crack spoke to the man behind the moniker, Ojay Morgan, after a year where the Brooklyn artist’s viral release Ima Read has continued to spiral, while his hybrid of underground ethos with superstar flair has pushed the divides of rap music even further apart. It was when his breakout single was used by Rick Owens during Paris Fashion Week that Morgan was able to leave his middle management position in the catering business and fully dedicate himself to the sphere of music. That continued bond with the fashion world is integral. “I’m very conscious of fashion and design – it’s how we go in an out of character. I use my style to go in and out of character. The opportunity to work with designers, even just to soundscape their shows, is a trajectory; the continued opportunity to design and collaborate.” Due to Zebra’s tie with the fashion world and his edgy, elaborate dress sense, lazy associations with NYC’s ‘Queer Rap’ movement – which counts Mykki Blanco, Le1f and Cakes Da Killa as affiliates – have been made. It’s a brand of rap music that intimidates through sexual expression and warps misconceived attitudes about homosexuality in hip-hop to the point of non-existence. Katz is no stranger to this ilk of MCs, but by gaining acclaim in tandem with them, he found his sound grouped into something he didn’t feel a natural association to. “I don’t see it any more,
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other people see it”, he insists. “The downfall of the scene happened to be what it was titled. Calling it ‘Queer Rap’ is what limited it to just sexual preference. It was no longer about the sound or the function, it was just about sexuality and identity. That’s where my tendency to back away from it came from. It’s bigger than that, it’s so much bigger than that. It’s not Zebra Katz. I think what people hear from Zebra Katz is very androgynous and very open, I don’t think that putting the music in a category does it any justice.”
There are numerous facets to the Zebra Katz persona far beyond sexuality. An art school grad, Ojay openly refers to Zebra Katz as a conceptual alter-ego. One of his key focuses is ensuring that the character gains notoriety and evolves in response to intrigue and publicity. “It’s fun to have a change, be aware of it, and let the character grow. It’s definitely the darker side of the real me” he muses. “Some people don’t really get me, and I think that’s great. I love how the media picked out these images and moulded a character out of photos stored on the internet for the last 12 years, they're helping me to create the aesthetic. It’s so fun for me, to have the audience to work off for the interviews, the live shows, the shoots.” Zebra Katz is a rare case of an internet success story that evolves in parallel to the hype. After over 90 remixes of Ima Read had brought the blogosphere to its knees, Katz reached significant enough status to convince Busta Rhymes to rap over the beat for his DRKLNG tape. “I’m still in shock that I can reach out to people that I love and look up to. Busta Rhymes on Ima Read?! That’s still a shock to me, because that’s somebody who’s a legend in the hip-hop community.” As you’d expect from such a boundary-averse artist, his list of dream collaborators is refreshingly eclectic. “Grace Jones, Fiona Apple, Childish Gambino. I’ve
been in London for half a year, I’d love to work with Mike Skinner also.”
It’s starting to feel like these hook ups aren’t so out of reach. Word is spreading fast about Zebra Katz, and with a debut full-length in the works, it seems like the ever-evolving journey of Ojay Morgan is moving smoothly. “I’m finally back to doing a bit of my own production and the shows are always spectacular. I’ve been doing more shows in the UK than I have in America so I’m playing catch-up in the States now. We did this show in Moscow before everything got crazy there and we never imagined we’d need security! People knew every lyric, they were moshpitting. I’ve never seen that kind of response and audience reciprocation.” This fever won’t stay isolated for long. Ima Read shed light on a tour de force in dynamic electronic hip-hop. The huge success of that track won’t eclipse the future of the Zebra Katz experience, it’s just the spotlight. “It’s been a year and a half now and I’m still just living in the moment of it. It’s what keeps me aware and focussed as an artist.” Armed with a growing following, a fierce creative streak and a little bit of a point to prove – that name best said by a demented computer voice with an expletive in the middle might just be sticking around.
----------Catch Zebra Katz at Motion, Bristol on November 8th for In: Motion presents Trap/Idle Hands/Donuts
TR SH TALK
C RAC K P I N S D OW N ON E O F TH E P H OTOGRA P H E RS C H A RGE D W I TH S H O O TI N G TRA S H TA L K' S N O TORI O US LY D E B AUC H E D TO UR A N TI C S
Few bands know how to reduce a crowd to a state of total frenzy quite like Trash Talk. With a unquenchable thirst for chaos, the LA-based, Odd Future-affiliated punk band magnetise insanity. As you’d imagine, their relentless tour schedule has provided some fairly ‘vivid’ photo opportunities, so when the offer to share some images from their new picture book came our way, we snapped it up. Some would argue that Trash Talk are carrying the torch for a DIY manifesto established by their 80s hardcore heroes. Their last album was cooked up in the same downtown LA warehouse living space where they rehearse, record, skate, throw parties and – presumably at some point – eat and sleep in. They’ve been putting together zines and tie-dying their own merch for some time, and they’ve now teamed up with Dovecoat records to release Book 2, their second legit, hardcover
coffee table book which includes over 400 pages of images depicting moshpits, bloody injuries, skating, gratuitous weed smoking and cute puppies, as well as a 7” of unreleased tracks stashed inside. Like Odd Future, Trash Talk think of themselves as a collective, travelling with a tight knit community who share duties of driving the van, selling merch, loading up, packing down, taking photos and negotiating with the authorities. The photos in Book 2 were taken by crew members Adam Rossiter, Nick Sethi, Nick Fit, Ross Farrar, Mikal Howard (the young man who can be seen wielding a baseball bat on the following page) and members of the band. In order to gain some insight into the mentality behind Book 2, we reached out to a few of the guys who contributed to it, and after a series of mixed responses, Mikal cheerfully obliged.
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YO U R
T R AV E LS
What would your advice be for a new photographer on the road? First off, I would like to say Miley Cyrus has no dumps but she can still get it, and someone should send me to Syria to shoot photos. I’ll sacrifice myself for the cause (ART AND THE STORY), maybe I’ll give my body out there to a teen rebel squad to get anyone’s blog/ magazine the rarest photos. So you can flex on your nerdy new age friends. Holler at cha boy at firstname.lastname@example.org. One last thing before we begin, this summer I traveled Europe for three months, got attacked by three hooligans in Barcelona, thus popping my knee out of place and forcing me to get surgery once I touched back down in the States (I’m in Venezia, Italy at the moment), gained a new appreciation of dubstep music and the scene (Outlook Festival, Croatia) and had sex with multiple women. I deserve a gold medal – Lil B. Now back to the interview. Know what you want to accomplish with what you’re shooting. My advice would be to try and steer away from your typical fuck boi live show photos and let the road and your travels tell a story. Uh ... don’t be afraid to get into people’s faces – THE CLOSER THE BETTER, I always say. If you have the chance to capture all these rare occasions, why not make it weird and fun, TURN UP YOLO NIGGA. If you suck at photography all around, take a photo class (History of Photography is what I recommend, shout out to my professor Blue Fier SMC STAND UP!). Peep game at books of your favorite photographers, learn their life and study
“I SEEN SOME SERIOUS BEEF B O U T T O P O P, B U T N E V E R D I D I E X P E CT TO S E E T H I S G U Y ’ S W H O L E S H I T G E T B U S T E D O P E N .”
SITE tra sh ta lkcol l e cti ve .tum bl r.com
CCOM PLI S H
OT I N G .
AND STEER FUCK BOI
T TH E ROAD A
S T O R Y.”
that shit, composition is key. Acquire an eye, learn some angles and simple lighting techniques, figure out shit for yourself. Get out there, shoot non-stop and always remember: fuck bitches, get money, ya heard? Get a passport, a based frame of mind and get the fuck out there. Bread, water and a sleeping bag is all you need, shit will work itself out most of the time. What’s the gnarliest thing that’s happened at a Trash Talk show? Easy, in Brighton, UK last year, tensions were high. I pretty much got kicked off the tour that day, everybody was pissed, typical tour shit. Words were yelled back and forth, Brick ‘mothafucking tour manager master of all things swag’ Stowell tried to talk some sense into me but it didn’t work at that moment, so I grabbed my shit and skated away. Not more than twenty minutes go by, then I realised he was right, I’m in the middle of bum fuck England with nowhere to go, so I skated back, we went to the place, and I set up merch in a pissed off manner. When Trash Talk played, shit was going off, and second to last song Spencer (Pollard, bassist) climbed up on to a stack of speakers, was doing his thing, then out of nowhere some FUCK BOY security guard starts grabbing at his cable – mind you, this fool’s like 12 to 15 feet up in the air – Garret (Stevenson, guitarist) freaks, shoves the guy telling him to calm down or some shit, fuck boi doesn’t listen, continues to pull on the cable almost making Spen plummet to certain death. Well not really, but you get the vibe. After about 30 seconds, Spencer comes down in a frenzy, a few words were said, then blamooo! Dood got his block knocked off. I seen it from the back, some serious beef bout to pop, but never did I expect to see this guy’s whole shit get busted open. So I was
“ I N B R I G H TO N L A S T Y E A R ,
WERE HIGH. I PRETTY MUCH G
O F F T H E T O U R T H AT D AY. E WAS
like ‘oh fuck, time to go’. It was like a fire drill practiced 100 times before or a broadway musical routine, the way we loaded out of that bitch in about five minutes while the whole security squad was staring at us with a menacing eye. We took off – London-bound, I believe, – but after less than 10 minutes of driving we see the sirens coming up in the distance then we’re like “OH SHIT! Hide Spen” so we started throwing merch and any shit we could find to cover this fool, then we decided that was a dumb idea. We pull over. The cops ask us your typical questions – “license, registration” etc, then they got down to the brass tacks – “What happened back at the venue, who is responsible for this?” Spen spoke up, they asked him out of the van, bummed out looks across everyone’s faces. Brick, the true G that he is, handled the situation quite well I must say. Explained to the cops what happened with every slight detail and they understood totally. A.C.A.B. [stands for ‘All Cops Are Bastards’] till I die and all, but these Brighton cops were pretty nice, didn’t cuff Spen or nothing, just gently placed him in the FRONT of the cop car and drove him down to the cop shop and we followed. Couple hours went by, they brought the fuck boi from the venue in. All he was saying is how he wanted five minutes alone with Spen, but he didn’t really want it. Fuck boi would have never called the cops in the first place and settled it back at the venue. FUCK BOI DON’T WANT NONE OF THIS TT GANG BANG BANG. So to conclude this short story, they set Spen free after a couple hours claiming he could be “exiled from the country”. But nothing happened. I stayed on the tour. All the tour tension flew out the window. The squad was one again. Then we come to find out the son of Captain Chief at the cop shop out in Brighton is a Trash Talk fan and was at the show that night. Shit was wild to say the least!
“ I H AV E A S E R I E S O F F I V E P H OTO S O F LE E W E A R I N G FIVE H AT S ’,
W H I L E G E T T I N G F O N D L E D .”
How would you describe your relationship with the band?
G OT K I C K E D
E V E R Y B O DY
S H I T.”
I’m the fifth member of the band. Also check out my other band SMOKERS COUGH. Smokers Realm EP out on iTunes now. Our next LP Enter The Cough coming Summer 2008.
lived there. Shouts out to the whole E15 Water Lane crew, you know who you are. I digress, they just got done playing a show with Fucked Up at Hoxton Bar and Grill then we went out for a night on the town. Litres of shitty plastic bottle cider and whatever warm beer we could grab from the back room after the show fuelled that night no doubt. That evening was pretty much a blur, short story shorter we meet up with some dumbells, brought ‘em back to the crib, got ‘em to strip, told ‘em jump and I snapped away. (If you’re reading this Lee, I still have the negatives so DON’T FUCK WITH ME).
Has anyone from Trash Talk ever asked you not to share one of the photos or not to include them in the book?
Got any final words? TT GANG BANG BANG TRASH WANG ZEN MAFIA GANG REMIO DO YO THANG ADAM SCATMASTER YANK DA CHAIN. TUSK RUNNIN THANGS ... TASK FORCE WE FO REALLA PLATOON 119 DON’T CATCH THE FADE ... CHACHA 86SQUAD ... LILB AINT NO SUCKA ... WE LIKE A BANK JUST TRUST US ... PATSYSHIT ... F.E.B.N.
Funny you ask, I have a series of five photos of Lee (Spielman, vocals) wearing five different ‘wacky hats’ in the nude while getting fondled by some random London bird (also in the buff) one drunken night back at the old Stratford House in London when we
Trash Talk Collective: Book 2 is available now via dovecoterecords.com
PH O TO S G ar r e t t S t ev enson, S p e n c e r Poll ard, L e e S p i e l m a n, S am B os s on, A d am Ros s i t er, Ros s F ar r ar, Ni c h ol as Pa i nchaud, M i k al H ow a rd, B r i c k S t ow el l & Ni c k S e t hi
Bloomberg New Contemporaries
Spike Is l a nd, B r i s t ol | U nt i l Novem ber 1 0 t h
In this year’s catalogue for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries show, each of the selectors has written a piece of text. These comments refer to things such as the work presented, the selection process, the state of the art world and art production, and the benefits of attentive skin care from a young age. Then suddenly, ‘You love my pooey hand, don’t you?’ This strange comment, according to internationally acclaimed British painter Chantal Joffe, from one of her fellow selectors to another, was a direct result of the puerile, scatalogically-inclined humour that she had observed as a common feature of many of the entries this year. It is fitting then, that the first thing which hits you when you enter the main exhibition space is the lingering smell of sticky, brown dhoop incense which pervades the gallery. As you walk around, you find the oppressive musk is being emitted from a sculpture by young London-based artist, Dante Rendle Traynor, entitled Me and David make television, which is covered in the stuff. The dhoop is smeared and moulded around a tank which contains both real plants and projections, and emerging from the top is a plastic tube which allows them to breathe. You wish that you yourself might have similar access to fresh air, or maybe rather that you had access to the lush space in the centre of the shit. There is also the overwhelming desire to reach out and squish the stinking mess. It is wonderful. With a history spanning various guises back as far as 1949, Bloomberg New Contemporaries is a vast display of emerging talent selected from final year or recent graduates of UK art schools at BA, MA and PhD level. The established artists on this year’s panel were Nathanial Mellors, Ryan Gander and the aforementioned Chantal Joffe, charged with selecting the 46 finalists from the 1500 or so entries. Each year the exhibition of successful applicants is shown at a regional UK public art space, before being transported to its natural home, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. This year Spike Island in Bristol hosts the first leg of the show before it gravitates to the ICA at the end of November. The existence of this dividing line of ‘London vs. the rest of the country’ is precisely why a competition like New Contemporaries is so important, as Marie-Anne McQuay, curator at Spike Island, explains. “It means that without having to travel, students and artists from the city can see the range of work from all over the country. It may inspire them to apply, or it might inspire them just by looking at the work. In a way, artists from all across the country have come to Bristol just through their selection.”
carefully crafted and polished finish of the piece seems to make it all the more ridiculous. It is sincere without taking itself too seriously, humorous without being irreverent. The show as a whole is certainly not lacking in humour. See Hardeep Pandhal’s sweater vest with the knitted face of Tribe presenter Bruce Parry entitled Bruce Parry vest by mum, or the accompanying image of Tupac Shakur on a jumper, called – you guessed it – 2Pac jumper by mum. As Chantal Joffe writes in her catalogue essay, ‘The work I liked best made you feel something’, which – though a seemingly obvious standard of merit – is one often in danger of being overlooked as an important response to artwork. Another standout piece is Turkish artist Fatma Bucak’s film Blessed are you who come – conversation on the Turkish Armenian border (2012). The scene-stealers of this are the elderly shepherd men who humanise the stunning backdrop as Bucak performs various tasks around them. Their conversations with each other and uncertainty within their roles as performers provide a lighthearted contrast to the careful, considered movement of the artist about the landscape. Being selected for the show is a hugely prestigious accolade, a way of getting an early foot in the door of an industry to which it is notoriously difficult to gain entry. The catalogue for the show attempts to be as democratic as possible in its presentation of the works, and in this it is, on the whole, successful; the artists’ pieces are presented in black and white, in alphabetical order, with no competition over who makes the front cover. The texts from the selectors are snippets of funny observations and encouraging words, where these young artists’ creations are allowed to speak for themselves without the overpowering weight of overt criticism or the need to over-explicate the process. Ryan Gander’s accompanying text reads as a kind of motivational speech, serving as a powerful reminder that even in your moment of ‘making it’, it’s OK to feel a little lost or unsure. This show is, after all, a demonstration of promise and potential, and that’s what makes it so thrilling. ---------The Bloomberg New Contemporaries show runs at Spike Island until November 10th before moving to the ICA, London from November 23rd – January 26th 2014
The two Bristol-based artists, and Spike Island associates, who were selected for the exhibition deliver a fine cross-section of the diverse nature of work being made within the city. Menna Cominetti’s three pieces (then again) 1, 2 and 3, fall somewhere between two and three dimensional work, emphasising the blurred lines between visual consumption and an imagined tactile experience as a way of processing an object. On the other hand, in Jason Brown’s work there is a sense of the absurd. His oversized mug tree is made to look like an actual tree that has been felled, and also made out of a tree that had been felled by the artist himself. The
W O RD S Cel i a Archer
S ITE s p i k e i s l an d .or g .u k n e w c on t e m p or ar i e s .or g .u k
This poster was made exclusively for Crack by Amy Woodside amywoodside.com M
To have your design featured for our poster send entries to email@example.com www.crackmagazine.net
34 © Flora Hanitijo
AU REVOIR SIMONE
S IT E aurevoi rsi m o n e . c o m
FOUR YE A RS O N FRO M S TI L L N I GH T, S TI L L L I GH T, TH E B ROO KLYN D RE A M P OP FI GURE H E A D S A RE B AC K. A N D N OW TH E Y ’ V E GO T E N V I RO N M E N TA L B I O LO GY ON TH E I R S I D E
WO R D S S u z i e M c C r ac k e n
TUN E Crazy
Everyone tends to know three things about Au Revoir Simone: they’re a Brooklyn band, they only play keyboards, and they’re, ahem, ‘twee as fuck’. After watching the girls perform in East London, speaking with them, and listening to their new record Move in Spectrums, it’s clear these truths are varying in their truthfulness.
down tracks made the most impact on the East End crowd. The new songs flaunted drum punches and piston beats – when Erika later says she wanted “to be more fearless,” on this record, it’s not surprising. Fresh hooks, and the band’s sincere interaction with the crowd made the show endearing and impressive.
Being described as a ‘Brooklyn outfit’ brings with it a cultural baggage that was at one time appropriate, and perhaps even helpful for Heather, Erika and Annie. But over the course of four albums they’ve transcended their birthplace, proving themselves too malleable to be tied to a sole locale. The ‘Brooklyn band’ description is a lazy one, though the girls’ love for the Big Apple is also too large to be ignored.
Finally, the ‘twee’ thing. Their influences are too diverse, their brains too massive and their music too polyvalent to reduce Au Revoir Simone to such a vague and simplistic term. It’s a tag that became attached to the girls before tags were useful, back in 2005 when The Disco Song was on everyone’s Creative Zen. Things have changed, and these three women have successfully proven that a heavy focus on electronic instruments plus an ability to write an excellent pop song doesn’t always produce something saccharine.
Their video for Crazy (the most palpable pop song from the new album) maintains and twists those ties to New York by reenacting Scorse’s bitter comedy After Hours. The video is reverent and humorous, squeezing the entire storyline into under three minutes, and featuring the three girls filling all the roles. Heather’s turn as central protagonist Paul is a particularly fine one, and the novelty of seeing her shirk her onstage pop star goddess is thoroughly entertaining. “I learned that men’s suits are really comfortable”, she says, adding that “all one has to do to convincingly play a man is slyly check out women’s asses all the time”. But it wasn’t just the silly outfits that attracted the girls to the video idea. “After Hours is my favourite Scorsese film of all time, mainly because I love seeing pre-internet/cell phone New York City, which I’m very nostalgic for,” says Heather. “Before everyone just walked down the street staring at their phones like zombies, New York City used to be the kind of place where you could talk to a dozen strangers in one day, making new friends and enemies along the way. I miss that city a lot.” So the video is a muted celebration; an artistic exercise with a core that yearns for the past. Sort of like Au Revoir Simone and how they only use vintage synthesisers, right? Not quite. Whilst making this album, the synths were the robotic elephant in the room. “In a way, our commitment to keyboards had become a limitation,” says Heather. “We had already made three previous keyboard-focused albums, so the question of how to make a new-sounding album using keyboards again weighed heavily on my mind. But we decided to just keep our minds open and let the song guide the instrumentation, not the other way around.” The result is an album that is paradoxical – embracing live drums and bass has given a greater depth to songs which are actually more sparsely arranged. “I was interested in the economy of sound; using only what was absolutely essential in order to round out a song. The songs feel more pure and stripped back to me now.” The most ‘stripped back’ songs make for some of the record’s most exciting moments. The Lead is Galloping uses its live drums to canter through your brain and down your nerve endings. Even without any live drumming during their recent London gig, these pared
Where does this ability to fondle synths until they create more than the sum of their soldered parts come from? A willingness to tackle the abstract may be the answer. When asked about the new album’s title, Move in Spectrums, Annie says “I really believe the world is a grey place and there’s no black and white.” Erika explains the title is about “accepting ourselves in whatever state we may be in, because we are only human. We move in spectrums. We are neither all good or all bad, all success or all failure.” There’s an increased maturity at play which reverberates whenever the band speak of their creative process. Erika notes, “I think we are good at letting the songs guide us and letting the recording process happen how it needs to happen. Sometimes holding too tight to an idea can hurt the end result.” They certainly haven’t clung on too tightly to Au Revoir Simone during the last four years. The girls have stretched themselves with projects, musical and otherwise. Erika worked with Dev Hynes, played with Cliffie Swan and Tony Castles, and released her solo EP Erika Spring to acclaim. Annie got on board with her husband’s outfit, the satisfyingly named Pursesnatchers, and “fun rock band” Uninhabitable Mansions. Heather, however, took a slightly different route. She went back to Columbia and completed her degree in Environmental Biology. “I spent a lot of time in the laboratory extracting DNA from soils that I collected from rainforests in Malaysia.” she says. “It was an amazing experience and one that I miss very much.” What was it like coming back from one insane job to another? “It took a while for me to feel that I had something to ‘say’ in this band again, but once I did, I wanted to get back into the recording studio right away, and now I’m very happy to get the chance to share our music.” ----------Move in Spectrums is out now via Moshi Moshi
AUTUMN/WINTER 2013 MADTECH RECORDS — SAT 19TH OCTOBER — LIGHTBOX / LONDON
WALTER EGO / APPLEBOTTOM / AZ & TOR / GOLDEN BOY RANDOM MAGIC HALLOWEEN — SAT 26TH OCTOBER — FIRE & LIGHTBOX / LONDON HOSTS: FUTUREBOOGIE / CLASSIC V HORSE MEAT DISCO OPTIMO ACTS: OMAR S / MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM HORSE MEAT DISCO / HACKMAN / HONEY DIJON (LIVE) LUKE SOLOMON / JG WILKES & TWITCH / LUKAS + MORE
MAGIC & MEDICINE — THURS 14TH NOVEMBER — OVAL SPACE / LONDON
BOOKA SHADE (LIVE) - "EVE" ALBUM LAUNCH SUBSOUL — SAT 16TH NOVEMBER — PLAN B / LONDON
GORGON CITY / GUEST TBA / CAUSE & AFFECT COLOURBOX / WRHS RECS / UNIT 7 / CODEC + MORE TBA NEON NOISE PROJECT X VULTURE — FRI 22ND NOVEMBER — VILLAGE UNDERGROUND
ALAN BRAXE / DJ FALCON / GRUM / ZANDER MILNE KITSUNE CLUB NIGHT — SAT 7TH DECEMBER — FIRE / LONDON
TODD EDWARDS / KRYSTAL KLEAR / SPECIAL GUEST TBA GIGAMESH / TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB / GILDAS LOGO (LIVE) / BEATAUCUE / PYRAMID + MORE TBA FOR ADVANCE TICKETS AND FURTHER INFO VISIT:
Photography from the series WILDER MANN, Charles Fréger. charlesfreger.com
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ON THE W I T I D I N T ER E
Saturday 7th December Fire, London TODD EDWARDS KRYSTAL KLEAR GIGAMESH TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB DJ BEATAUCUE LOGO LIVE more to be announced
From 21:30 6 South Lambeth Road London SW8 1RT Tickets: residentadvisor.net theransomnote.co.uk / firelondon.net
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HALLOWEEN SPECIAL SAT 26TH OCT / FIRE & LIGHTBOX
OMAR S (FXHE)
FIRE & LIGHTBOX, SOUTH LAMBETH ROAD, LONDON SW8 1RT.
LIMITED EARLY BIRD & ADVANCE TICKETS NOW ON SALE FROM:
MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM HACKMAN LUKAS CHRISTOPHE FUTUREBOOGIE DJS
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CLASSIC MUSIC COMPANY X HORSE MEAT DISCO:
HORSE MEAT DISCO LUKE SOLOMON HONEY DIJON (LIVE) DAN BEAUMONT OPTIMO (ESPACIO):
JD TWITCH & JG WILKES
(ALL NIGHT LONG)
C R A C K at L O N D O N F A S H I O N W E E K 2 0 1 3
PH O TO S Pau l W h i t f i e l d
WO R D S A n n a Te h ab s i m
M eadham K irch H of F The floor littered with dying roses and a cascade of witching blacks, blood reds and regal golds set to a foreboding soundtrack, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff embroiled daring histrionics with an exquisitely gleeful collection. These semi-dismantled, sinister dramatics were offset with the exquisite couture this design duo are known for, albeit delivered with bite. Victorian style satin dresses, lacy bedtime smocks and Chanel-style suits flirted with bat shaped sunglasses and vampire red wigs in a cheerfully ahistorical ode to Elizabeth I, the royal who exclusively wore black, red and gold.
THOMAS TAIT The youngest ever trained designer to graduate from Central Saint Martins, Thomas Tait is still only three years into his career. Taking a more subdued and delicate approach to this season, Tait kept the focus tight with slick utilitarian design and soft, considered detailing. The acidic palette of yellow, green and coral and dainty wisps of feathers kept the mood austere, layered over models with toned down make-up and securely bound middle partings. Draping paper-thin nylon over otherwise fitting functionality, Tait breathed life and air into this demure collection.
Achingly evocative and devastatingly effortless in nude and tan, this Friday afternoon show soothed many a bleary eyed journalist. The collection is the fourth for Daks by former Donna Karan and Halston creative Sheila McKain-Waid, implementing classic and sometimes androgynous tailoring, stunning shirts of chiffon mesh and sculptural couture shapes carried by the dulcet tones of the collection. Wide legged trousers, terracotta turbans and a variety of softly structured separates flew the flag for the famous house, providing a flash of heritage here and there while a considered nod to the 60s prevailed.
A ntonio B erardi
Antonio Berardi really took himself out of his comfort zone with this collection. Usually one for super sexy body con dresses and not to be associated with a laissez faire approach, Berardi explored alternative ways of being sexy. With couture fabrics used out of context, enveloping biker jackets and loosely-hanging snakeskin jumpers, things were bigger, baggier and more boyish than ever before. The show shook up the Berardi woman with athletic and urban influences executed with precision.
GILES A running theme for the Spring 2014 shows seemed to be melancholy, and a creeping sense of the past. Giles Deacon himself admitted he’d wanted “none of that summer fun” in his Spring 2014 collection, opting otherwise for a deliberately flowerless spring show. Looking to the past, but not too far, Deacon heavily features a collection spun around a Rolling Stones-esque (Georgia May Jagger was in the show) motif of pink and purple mouth prints, crystal appliqués and 90s Scooby Doo style bat print, all styled with Adidas trainers.
lucas N ascimento London College of Fashion trained Lucas Nascimento based his collection around the motif of undressing, or being caught in a state of undress. From this idea sprung a sultry crowd of models with straps purposefully slipped off their shoulders, dresses that look like bath towels, wraparound skirts and tiered dresses, allowing suggestive glimpses of flesh. Brought together with a vibrant colour palette of bright white and orange, with hints of black to pull it together, the whole collection was steeped in stripped back, effortless sophistication.
Norse Projects James Athletic Logo Tee £45 This tee from Norse Projects makes for a strong addition to your winter wardrobe. The pastel colour palette from the Scandinavian fashion stalwart features the simple NORSE logo screen printed across the chest on an oversized, 100% cotton tee, making for an effortless yet defined look. Norse Projects living up to their mantra; “Created to improve life – Good for all seasons.” donutsthestore.co.uk
GOODS x YMC Brushed Wool Sweater
Carhartt Anchorage Parka
Puma Trinomic XT2
Founded in 1889, Carhartt continues to this day to push fashion forward with their enduringly progressive collections. Forming part of the label’s winter output, the crimson red on this classic parka should brighten up any winter day, with super soft faux fur lining and draw string pulls on the hood. And with the assurance of such a high quality brand, it’ll no doubt be a durable and long-lasting piece
Autumn/Winter ‘13 welcomes the re-evolution of the original Puma Trinomic XT1 and XT2s. The reissue of this shoe sees the combination of form and function return in a re-vamped recipe of suede and mesh, adding to the distinct character of their signature look. The evolutionary silhouette gains a blast of acidic citrus colours in the XT2 model for a sharp update on a classic style, so grab this shoe instore or online from Cooshti.
YMC Clover Club Blouse
Pendleton Whisper Wool Muffler Scarf
Inspired by John Lydon, this unisex jumper is modelled on the distinctive 1977 Seditionaries mohair sweater famously worn by the punk icon. Produced in collaboration with Brighton’s YMC, the piece presents an ode to anarchy while keeping Goodhood’s values of British design and manufacturing close to heart. A high quality grunge statement piece to be worn for years to come.
You Must Create, or YMC, fly the flag for a very British form of modernism. With a Peter Pan collar and gently pleated front, we love how this clover club blouse gives a softer feminine edge to a classic shirt. Made with 100% silk, it features an all over mini clover club print as well as a voluminous drape to the cut, and looks great dressed down or under a single coloured knit for definition.
There’s no denying some heartless bastard has turned off summer. So, in order to both embrace the approaching greyness and console our sulking selves at the same time, Crack’s haplessly throwing money at high quality tartan scarves. Wrap up in this staple by Oregon’s Pendleton, made from 100% Virgin Merino Wool for a super soft and super durable material. Pendleton has been a family-owned business for more than 140 years, one that you can rely on for fashion and quality.
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g uA r d i A n
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TH E B E R GH AI N M AI N S TAY I S AN IM PE N TR A B L E R EPR ES EN TATI V E O F TH E IN C R E A S I N GLY FA B L E D CLUB
Â© Sven Marquardt
WORDS Josh Bai ne s
DATES War e h ou s e Pr oje c t , M an c h e s t e r | O c t ob e r 1 1 t h S i m p l e T h i n g s , B r i s t ol | O c t ob e r 1 2 t h f ab r i c 1 4 t h B i r t h d ay, L on d on | O c t ob e r 1 9 t h - 2 1 s t War e h ou s e Pr oje c t , M an c h e s t e r | Nov e m b e r 3 0 t h
We all know all about Berghain by now: the brutal exterior, the infamously hard to bullshit doormen, the anything-goes dark rooms, the strict NO PHOTO rules, the commitment to transcendentally brutal techno, the stories of parties that go on in unending darkness for days and the brief respite of early-morning sunshine momentarily seeping through the blinds of the Panorama Bar. We know all this and yet we still dream of it, we still wonder if the bouncers would look upon us without distaste or disregard, if we’d be permitted to join the hallowed ranks of those who’ve plunged into the blackness of a former power station that’s now seen by many as the greatest nightclub in the world. We can know it all, epistemologically, without knowing it at all ontologically. Right? Right. On the verge of his appearance at Simple Things, and with a new album released on the label most closely associated with Berghain, Berlin’s Ostgut Ton, Crack was lucky enough to catch up with a man who knows the place intimately, a man whose marathon sets at the club have etched his name into the techno annals forever. That man is Marcel Dettmann. Figuring that, at this point into a career where he’s gone from an early residency at the club’s earliest incarnation – in a concrete slab secreted away in an industrial estate arrived at via an eastbound arterial road out of Berlin – to becoming, along with the similarly striking Ben Klock, the face of both Berghain and German techno in the 21st century, he’d be a little bored of knocking that conversational ball about, we eased in by chatting about his new record. Sad but true: satisfying techno albums are hard to come by, an unfortunate but necessary byproduct of a scene that constantly evolves, one that works best when producers pass on messages for dancers via DJs rather than attempting monolithic statements of intent. A gritty, pulverising lurch down techno’s bleaker back alleys, II is a wonderfully atmospheric record that spatters its greyscale wanderings with moments of melodic salvation only to plunge the listener back into its dank depths. Negotiating the 12 tracks is an unbridled pleasure – and Dettmann himself is keen to think about them as tracks, rather than songs. As he tells us, “When we talk about music which includes sung passages, we are talking about ‘songs’. A track is a piece of music taken from a series of musical pieces, which can also be instrumentals. Eventually it’s an extract from a larger entity. I see my album as an integral piece of art, basically a series of tracks that form an entity for me.” It’s dense, deep, dark stuff. The thing is, with its hypercharged clanks and concrete thwacks and thuds, it sounds like we imagine, or know, Berghain to be. Which leads us down the rugged path back to the power station. An obvious point perhaps, but DJs hold the power in dance music: if they aren’t playing records, no one’s buying them, no one’s listening. Certain sounds catch on through their association with certain DJs, certain clubs. Crack wondered, then, how Dettmann felt about the resurgence of a steelier techno than we’ve heard of late. A techno that’s sandblasted the arch-romanticism and knowing melancholy out of the big-room records
TUN E L i nux
that the likes of Kompakt or Innervisions were pumping out in the mid-00s in favour of a return to a skeletal, heavy, industrially-indebted sound. Did he feel that the kind of records played by himself and the other residents and guests at Berghain – or even the idea of the kinds of records they might play at Berghain – and the releases that find a home on Ostgut Ton had helped sculpt techno in the 10s? He wasn’t so sure. “There has always been a big portion of industrial and melancholic music in Berlin. This is something that has always characterised Berlin for me. I can only speak for myself, but for me it has been there from the beginning, it doesn’t matter if it was at the first EBM/industrial parties or at the first techno parties. This instinctive way of making music has always attracted me, that’s also why the Berghain fits so well with what techno really means to me and has a big influence on what I am doing.” Part of us thinks Dettmann may be adopting and slightly affecting a sense of false modesty – Ostgut Ton’s influence can be felt in labels as diverse as Blackest Ever Black to Editions Mego, on artists that span from Perc to Pete Swanson – but another part believes that he believes it, that he just happens to DJ at a club that’s just happened to change the face of a genre, to redefine the notion of what a nightclub is and what a nightclub can be. Two questions always come to mind when talking to people who make a living through making other people happy by playing records which perpetually return to the elemental, primal throb of kickdrums powering through cramped, dark rooms. Firstly, is it possible to tire of the steadiness of the beat, do you ever want to break free of 4/4’s glorious repetition? Dettmann uses this question to dip into his own past, reflecting upon how, “I always think about the time when I started to go out,” noting that it was the “physical aspect of the music, no matter if it came from something aggressive, EBM stuff maybe, or more melancholic like synth pop,” that appealed to him then, and still inspires him now. The second: surely when you play a lengthy set to a packed crowd and you can see from the sea stretched out in front of you that every milimetrical turning of an EQ knob, every cued-up snare pattern, every bassline detonation has the power to send the room higher and higher, are you not tempted to put the headphones down, cue up a Villalobos B-side and join in for a bit? His response is clear, confident and fully in charge: “If I want to do this, I just do it for a moment, and then I return to the booth to play the next track.” As conversation winds down, thoughts turn to simple things. Literally Simple Things. What can we expect from a DJ as sought after as Marcel Dettmann? The answer’s as cheeringly unpretentious as the hard-as-fuck techno we’re likely to hear: “I will bring my favourite records and we will all have a good time together!” With Dettmann behind the decks, that’s a guarantee. --------Catch Marcel Dettman on the Red Bull Music Academy presents The Firestation stage at Simple Things Festival, Bristol, October 12th. Dettmann II is out now via Ostgut Ton
www.antlersgallery.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07780 503 180
MaDa Music Presents: Wed 8th October Lock Tavern
Last Of The Ligh Brigade + Cortes Fri 18th October Rattlesnake
Mutineers + The Cadbury Sisters + Matt Belmont + Harriet Jones Sat 26th October Hoxton Underbelly
Dance A La Plage / Massmatiks + Talulah Kills Tue 29th October Ronnie Scotts, London
Katie Coleman + Special Guests (Launch)
Wed 30th October Tipsy, Dalston
Habitats + Sykes + Eva Stone Wed 31st Octoer Proud, Camden
Bambi + Support (Single Launch)
Wed 6th November Queen Of Hoxton
Ed Tullett + Support Scriber
11 – 26 October 2013
Wed 4th December Queen Of Hoxton
1 0 a m - 6 p m ( Tu e s - S a t )
Silverstory + Glass City Vice + Mercury Skies
L a u n c h : 1 1 O c t o b e r, 6 - 9 p m MaDaMusic.com #BESTKEPT
All tickets: WeGotTickets.com
A r t i s t Ta l k : 1 6 O c t o b e r, 6 . 3 0 p m
11 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS
MUSIC OUT OF PLACE
CONCERTS & EVENTS Oren Ambarchi with Joe Talia, Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney Tuesday 15 October, £12 / £10 concs
Phill Niblock & Thomas Ankersmit Friday 15 November, £12 / £10 concs
Arnolfini and Qu Junktions present a series of stereo field trips taking live music out of its comfort zone
Shangaan Electro & Heatsick Wednesday 23 October, £8
Bunker: Container, Cut Hands, Blood Music Friday 22 November, £8
Dean Blunt Friday 29 November, £10 / £8 concs
Maya Dunietz & Ghédalia Tazartès
Tracing countercurrents in sound
Saturday 30 November, free
Every second Wednesday in the month
Vicki Bennett with Philip Jeck, Jaap Blonk & Steve Noble Saturday 30 November, £8 / £6 concs
Arnolfini 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA arnolfini.org.uk @arnolfiniarts #ArnolfiniMusic
FI LM WORDS: Tim Oxley S m i th
Dir. Ron Howard
Dir. Denis Villeneuve
Dir. Woody Allen
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, David Brühl, Olivia Wilde
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard
'A white-knuckle, high-octane thrill ride on the endless circuit of love, passion and the drive to win at all costs', is how we could describe this film, but we’re not going to. Firstly, because that’s wank. Secondly, because Rush isn’t really worth it.
The world is horrible place, arguably nowhere more so than Middle America. This dark crime fable takes the old Hollywood recipe of understated performances from big Hollywood names with a testing modern scenario, yielding excellent results.
The truly great sporting rivalry between British playboy James Hunt and meticulous professional German Niki Lauder in the Formula 1 seasons of the 70s was, by all means, a fine topic for Ron Howard to work with. In truth, there wasn’t a great deal he needed to do with it for the big screen version – the real life story was filmic enough.
Behind the closed doors and drawn curtains of an American neighbourhood two young girls disappear. As their families and the community search for them, a hot shot cop, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal), is assigned to find the missing children. As time agonisingly passes by, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) the father of one of the daughters, grows increasingly frustrated with Loki’s unfruitful methods.
Woody’s relationships and perception of women in front and behind the camera takes a fresh, more bleakly real direction in Blue Jasmine. Perhaps this change can be attributed to one helluva Oscar-beckoning Blanchett performance. Or is it Woody’s late-career flourish of box office and critical intrigue encouraging him to wander down different avenues? Either way, despite Blue Jasmine’s hugely different feel, Allen still exercises his knack for exploring the worst in human nature.
But the result is a sloppy, over-egged nonsense. Sure, its octane is very high, and yes, the race scenes are thrilling, but beyond that, the relationship between the two lead characters is shamelessly over sentimental, to the point were it sucks out any attempts at directorial majesty from Howard. It’s like watching a film made for all the male population we don’t like. Beneath the bluster, all you’re left with is tits, torque and a dispassionately vague connection to the real world. Brühl tries his best in a tricky role – having to say “stop busting my balls, James” lots of times in a vaguely patronising German accent with a mouthful of fake teeth can’t help but be funny. Hemsworth turns up, which is all the script needs him to do. In summary, it’s probably worth waiting until your Dad gets this for Christmas, from you, so he can lend it to you at later date, as he’ll probably be secretly underwhelmed by it himself but won’t want to seem ungrateful.
Paul Dano, once again cast as a yokel (with no qualms from us) suspected of kidnapping the children, is arrested then released without any charge, which Keller’s having none of. And to be fair, judging by his jacket and greasy hair (and the fact that he’s Paul Dano, perhaps?) he’s definitely up to something. This is one of many dark ironies spread liberally by director Villeneuve throughout the story. The contrast between Loki’s processes of elimination and Keller’s paternal instinct set the film’s narrative form. The brilliant awareness and understanding of their respective characters by Jackman and Gyllenhaal supplies depth and class to this well-woven, and equally well unravelled modern crime story – even if Gyllenhaal’s perception of his role can at times be somewhat over thought, something he’s been guilty of before. On the whole though, the characters are real and unsentimental, while the social psyches represented by varying generations and demographics contribute to a tangibly uncomfortable environment. Prisoners’ dark notions of child abduction and sexual abuse are not easily discussed by filmakers, let alone consumed by movie goers. However, its eerily modern context and subtle but effective classic Hollywood rationale make it not easily approached, but definitely not to be avoided.
The film is set in San Francisco, the chosen city canvas for this particular assessment of spiralling neurosis vs. cruel fortune and strange circumstance. Blanchett plays Jasmine, a bankrupted, nervous wreck of a former New York socialite as a result of ex-husband Hal (played with sufficient Ivy League sex pest charm by Alec Baldwin) and his illegal investment banking operations and adultery. The story begins with Jasmine arriving in the city to visit her adopted sister Ginger, attempting to rebuild her life after it’s all gone to shit – apart, that is, from her Dolce and Gabbana cardigan and a Vuitton hand luggage, these material possessions providing her only connection to a lost, abhorrent past. At times, the familiarity of the back-tracking camera exchanges become almost too familiar. The jazzy rhythms of Woody’s older work is harder to come by here, suited as it is more for matinee viewings than indie cinemas, but his edgy one liners are given appropriate gusto by the entire cast. The development and ultimate success of the story is owed to a potent mix of Blanchett’s superb character acting and Allen’s attempt at a more subtle approach to storytelling. Where usually fantastical and hyper romantic, here Allen’s direction takes a back seat, allowing Blanchett’s mastery to take over.
© Victor Frankowski
SITE bestiva l. net
As the anointed ‘Best Major Festival’ at last year's UK Festival Awards, Bestival has a fair bit to live up to. And with huge names in electronic music – spread across stages or enigmatically dotted around the Ambient Forest – and some of this country’s most talked about live acts playing alongside US hip-hop royalty, they got it right again.
It was Bestival’s 10th birthday bash, so Friday night needed a headliner to get everyone in the mood. In the wake of The Flaming Lips, a pickme-up was needed, and in stepped Fatboy Slim (probably because him and Rob Da Bank used to hang out loads) to raise spirits with his opening of Right Here, Right Now. His second headline slot at Bestival (having topped the bill way back in 2004), he knew what he was dealing with.
Friday brought with it desperate excitement. Jessie Ware took her rightful place on main stage late afternoon, sporting a sailor outfit and ‘A-hoying’ frequently. The crowd got down and sassy to Sweet Talk and Never Gonna Move, while Ware made a firm point of saying how much the turnout meant to her. It was the starlet’s last UK show in support of smash album Devotion, and the general consensus seemed to be that she went out on a high.
This year’s fancy dress theme was HMS Bestival, and the varying degrees of effort on Saturday soon became clear: some folks simply sported a sailor hat, whilst others went the whole hog, painting themselves head to toe in green, covering up the appropriate body parts with sea shells. The evening was spent at The Port, a gigantic ship which throughout the weekend played host to many a DJ, as dancers and fire-breathers dangled from cranes above. Cyril Hahn got the girls grooving with his RnB reworks, before Julio Bashmore followed with the anthems the crowd was yearning for, sparking manic dancing despite the drizzle.
That night, the main stage played host to The Flaming Lips, complete with customary psychedelic visuals and bizarro props. Wayne Coyne and co teased out many a track from their latest studio effort The Terror, an insular and bracing record that, impressive as it is, doesn’t scream out ‘festival main stage’. There was an overarching sense of darkness about the performance, with classic Do You Realize? slowed down from its usual romantic reverie into something far more sinister; a sense furthered as black confetti seeped over the audience. Ending on A Spoonful Weighs A Ton, an avalanche of gold confetti followed, ending proceedings on a more upbeat note after a sombre experience from an act whose live embodiment may have taken on a less celebratory slant, but nonetheless remains completely thrilling.
DATE I sl e of W i g ht | S ept ember 5 t h-8t h
WO R D S H ol l y M at t h e w s
After a stirring and hypnotic set from Jon Hopkins, it was time for Snoop Dogg, or is that Snoop Lion? He seemed to stride onstage as both. Emerging to the reggae track Here Comes The King, he gradually made the transition back to his Snoop Dogg persona, dropping an array of his canonical G-Funk alongside snippets from Katy Perry’s California Gurls and Calvin Harris’s Feel So Close, which went down a storm with the younger factions of the crowd, though some of the more seasoned hip-hop heads looked understandably horrified. We then went headed to the Port to watch Hudson Mohawke drag Blood On The Leaves out as much as is sonically possible, then drop Higher Ground in perfect time with fireworks and fire. There was loads of fire at the port. So much fire.
As you’ve probably heard, disco’s been pretty big this summer, and the resurgence of Chic has played a big part in that. That man Rodgers hit us with the classics which have got all the major festivals getting down: Le Freak, I Want Your Love, and a medley of non-Chic tracks he’s had a hand in. Then came Elton John, leaping into The Bitch is Back in a flamboyant, sequined long-tailed coat. For his first ever UK festival headline spot, the 66-year-old serenaded the crowd into a frenzy with I’m Still Standing, Home Again – a new track from his forthcoming album The Diving Board met with a surprising singalong – and, in the most surreal of moments, Candle in The Wind. We were capping off our Bestival experience in a wholesome manner, that is, until we went and got battered and bruised down the front of garage-rock bros Parquet Courts’ sweaty 1am set. In its 10 years, Bestival has mastered the tricky balancing act between expansion and retaining a community feel, due largely to a devoted following which returns year-on-year. And thanks to skilful booking, a magical location and Sir Elton John, 2013 saw the institution continue its impeccable record. ----------
CROSSWORD Solutions to last issue’s crossword: ACROSS: 2. GODZILLA, 5. DELTA, 8. GRUBBY, 9. ABRACADABRA, 11. VERMOUTH, 10. POLISH 12.PANCAKE, 13. DOUCHE, 14. SCOUNDREL 15. ANDES, 17. RED TAPE, 18. LA WOMAN, 20. KRONE DOWN: 1. GOATEE, 3. IMMEDIATE, 4. EDVARD MUNCH, 6. STIRRUPS 6. TORONTO, 7. FRONT CRAWL, 9. ALBATROSS, 10. PIONEER, 12. HOOD, 18. LAKERS 20. SNARE
Across 3. If cat is feline, and dog is canine, then cow is ... (6) 5. American for bumbag (5-4) 7. Rant (6) 8. A bit difficult; renowned Bristol rapper (6) 9. Paris’s river (5) 10. Hardcore punk icons (5,4) 12. A house that’s attached to another house (4,8) 14. Shakespeare’s miserable Danish prince (6) 16. Metal cup for drinking beer (7) 17. Bureaucracy (3,4) 18. Old-fashioned trousers; bright lights (6) 20. See 3 Across; and horse is ... (6) 21. Lizard (4) Down 1. Purply-pink (7) 2. Speak under breath (6) 4. Gangly prick off Sesame Street (3,4) 5. What Damien Hirst keeps his pets in (12) 6. Moon’s gone (7) 11. A pendant you can store stuff in; throat sweet (6) 13. Bond author (3,7) 15. Daniel Snaith’s artistic pseudonym (7) 17. See 3 Across; and bird is ... (5) 19. Winter Olympic sport which involves hurtling down a snowy hill on a tea tray (4)
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Fe stival Number 6 Portmeirion, North Wales | September 13th-15th Portmeirion is a stunning and surreal Mediterranean-inspired village set in a clifftop overlooking Cardigan Bay, North Wales. More than a quirky anomaly or an inexplicable anachronism, it’s a truly engrossing manmade wonderland unlike anything you’ve seen before. The first attraction to draw us to the cavernous Number 6 tent comes from Neon Neon, who eschew their recent live theatre crossover with a stripped back set of greatest hits. But Friday’s undoubted highlight comes from Andrew Weatherall, living up to his billing as one of the most discerning selectors in the country. Saturday morning welcomes Melt Yourself Down’s joyous explosion of exuberance, the insatiable ball of life Kushal Gaya spending twice as much time on the floor as he does onstage. Daughter draw a huge crowd to the main stage, where they produce a measured and emotive performance, before Mount Kimbie meander along beautifully, but never quite erupt. Lucky the act which follows is one, long, spectacular eruption. My Bloody Valentine are phenomenal. The tent’s soaring populace sways druggily to the swathes of vicious yet soothing volume seeping from Kevin Shields’ vast stack of amps; devastating, and utterly masterful. The weekend’s culmination comes from an elated and rejuvenated Manic Street Preachers. Complete with Nicky Wire’s impassioned between-song monologues and James Dean Bradfield’s finest rock star twirling, the set peaks with an appearance from Richard Hawley for a poignant Rewind The Film, and that ultimate bleary-eyed anthem, Design For Life. It’s hard to imagine Festival Number 6 doing anything other than flourish. With that incredible village as an unrivalled beacon, it has something which will always set it apart. For the array of competitors who offer a collection of bands in a field, they just can’t compete with that. --------Words + Photo: Geraint Davies
B a b ys ha m b le s
L onni e Listo n & T he Co smic Echoes
T im He cke r, P e te S w a n so n + Ve sse l
Academy, Bristol | September 11th
Band on the Wall, Manchester | August 29th
The Exchange, Bristol | September 20th
St John Church at Hackney | September 19th
Pete Doherty is on his knees, and after an uncomfortably long pause, it becomes clear he’s going to need a hand getting back up. The band finish off Pipe Down then escort him backstage. At this point, we’re only halfway through the show.
When Jabba the Hut was feeding the strippers of Tatooine to the Rancor, have you wondered what would be blasting out of his DXSPACE 500s? Well, Lonnie Smith & The Cosmic Echoes would be that band. Electro boogie and 80s galactic funk all wrapped up in the improvised blanket of spiritual jazz; like a sonic cocktail conceived when the Silver Surfer was high on angel dust.
Those of you who’ve had the distinct pleasure of experiencing Rhode Island’s greatest noise mongers Lightning Bolt live will understand the jaw-dropping qualities of drummer/vocalist Brian Chippendale, whose one-man band Black Pus has now been a reality for eight years.
It’s pretty indicative of the curatorial sagacity running throughout Moringa’s collaborative St John’s Sessions that this evening’s line-up holds the highest appeal in a schedule also including Helm, Actress, Nils Frahm, Fennesz and William Basinksi.
The masked marauder is surrounded by his drum kit, multiple effects units and oscillators, the crowd forming a semi-circle around him; smiling, bobbing heads anticipating the assault like sonic masochists in a tripped out Japanese endurance show. Black Pus immediately becomes a mass of windmilling limbs, kicking the shit out of his kit with a terrifying, unhinged ferocity. The ecstatic noise he emanates gradually forms warped structures, a sense of rhythm from the madness. His pneumatic pummels are fleshed out by electronic dabblings; no words are garnered from the sound emerging from the mic hidden beneath his crude mask, merely yelps and growls.
Bristol’s Seb Gainsborough, aka Vessel, sits stylistically between Tri Angle’s well-mined vein of posthauntological textural ambience and Shackleton’s collages of minimalist clatter. While the set eventually reveals brief glimpses of an esoteric pop sensibility, this is a satisfyingly abstract sonic composition.
It doesn’t start off so bad, with the first couple of songs seeing Babyshambles on sturdy form. We refrain from sniggering at Doherty’s dated, melodramatic shtick because he once fronted one of the best guitar bands since the turn of the millennium, and we’re not going to let the tabloids’ successful character assassination spoil that. But after a few tunes, Doherty becomes increasingly disorientated, stumbling into the drum kit, clumsily lighting fags, downing drinks and sharing incomprehensible anecdotes about shoplifting and sleep deprivation. After returning to the stage for the post-Pipe Down encore, shit gets really, really weird. Doherty refuses to leave the stage, and invites a crew member called ‘Brucey’ or something to play the drums. He agrees. Brucey can’t play the fucking drums. Doherty runs through a medley of era defining classics, some by him, some by others. He fails to finish a single song. Eventually, the venue cut the sound and turn on the lights. We can finally leave, and on our way out, we notice a queue forming at the merchandise stall.
Needless to say, the 15-minute rendition of Expansions was the highlight of the night. Propelled by a wealth of idiosyncratic gems plucked from Smith’s 50 years in the game, the band effortlessly slipped between slowmoving soul ballads into looped psych workouts. As a spectator it became clear why Smith’s sound has been sampled by Jay Z, and all but duplicated by Brainfeeder’s Thundercat. While Smith is billed as the ring leader in this sonic circus, the razzmatazz really came down to his band, who wooed the crowd with elaborate solos and tricks, which included drum sticks being balanced on heads and reverb-heavy guitar noodling. Sure, at points this gig teetered on the overblown, but tonight was a reminder that bands don’t always have to be scrappy and loud to convey passion and attitude. Tonight the old guard did so in a way that oozed class.
Words: Davy Reed
Words: Alex Hall
Witnessing this force at first hand leaves an indelible mark, as we venture into the night with rhythmic pummels and unholy screams failing to decay within besotted minds. The underground music scene simply needs figures like this; those who take music’s boundaries to broader and more vital extremes. --------Words: Philip James Allen
Pete Swanson’s set is a truly punishing iteration of his shift into noise-indebted industrial techno. This is timeless stuff; an unrelenting 45-minute barrage of blown-out static bluster and frequency abuse, hints of euphoric melodicism buried way below the Alberich-esque grind. Tim Hecker’s concise revisiting of 2011’s late career peak Ravedeath 1972 acts as the divine flipside to Swanson’s subterranean onslaught. The stage is set in near darkness, with Hecker visible only by the light of his desk and a couple of candles. Like Swanson’s set, this is built around tempered and undulating walls of sound, much expanded both in melodious warmth via the use of shifting bass tones and sparse electronics. Undoubtedly amongst the gigs of the year.
---------Words: Thomas Howells
LIVE Jon Hopkins Gorilla, Manchester | September 24th As one of the most deserving Mercury Music Prize nominations in years – and his second in three after 2011’s Diamond Mine King Creosote collaboration – Jon Hopkins has revved back into his forerunning role with Immunity, a true masterpiece and an impressive, cinematic statement of potency. The record manages to retain the essence of being reassuringly wonky, while Hopkins’s key training and lush production see him reiterate his skills as an electronic artist like no other. Gorilla’s roof becomes a saturated sweat den as punters shuffle expectantly for tonight’s headliner, cramming into any discernible inch of floor space they can. From the instant Hopkins sets his Kaoss pad hubs alight, constructing his signature fuzz and loops of analogue hardware circulations, you can sense a warmth, a glowing energy being transitioned to a thrilled and valued audience. As Open Eye Signal radiates forth over the throbbing system, Hopkins comes across as a tremendously modest and bashful individual, open and exposed to his audience rather than being shrouded away. When technical difficulties come into play and his system cuts out for a short amount of time, every hand in the room takes the opportunity to finally show their gratitude as rapturously as they can, Hopkins responding with a timid grin. Visuals are a prominent focal point, with enlisted artist Dan Tombs projecting viscous, lava-like, saffron liquids and rapidly multiplying bubble pools to inspire the mindset and conduction of Immunity; tones are harpooned by kaleidoscopic, vivid needles of colour, bleeding through the likes of Collider. While this attempt at crossplatform art isn’t fully integrated into the overall set-up, it provides an appropriate accompaniment, and when everyone is reading from the same askew page, it really doesn’t matter. Here’s to Immunity and beyond.
© Jack Kirwin
---------Words: Leah Connolly Photo: Jack Kirwin
Manuel Gottsching + Schwarzmann
Encounters Short Film + Animation Festival
Vatican Shadow + Maria Chavez
Oval Space | September 5th
Watershed, Arnolfini, Bristol | September 17th22nd
Rovinj, Croatia | September 10th-14th
Arnolfini, Bristol | September 6th
The northern coastal town of Rovinj’s picturesque mix of plush nautical vessels and paving stones provided the base for exploration at the inaugural Unknown festival.
About 50 seconds into Maria Chavez’s set she pulls a shard of vinyl from her lap. The Peruvian-born, Brooklyn-based sound artist delicately taps the moving table, before placing the shard over the record already in play. More of these jagged servings of vinyl materialise and are snapped, and fastidiously dropped atop the turntable and its increasingly heavy load.
Techno owes a huge debt to Manuel Göttsching. His E2-E4 album was perhaps the first to combine the pointillist minimalism of Steve Reich with the progressive electronic rhythms of Kraftwerk; on its release, electronic music was instantly endowed with the kind of lofty aestheticism only a classically-leaning piece can bestow. So it was with some excitement that we approached Oval Space’s hosting of the man himself, along with two of German electronic music’s younger generation – Henrik Schwarz and Frank Wiedemann. We arrived as Schwarzmann were gently lifting the crowd out of an ambient start; a laptop-centred, hardware-laden desk groaning under the weight of Teutonic noodling. As good as they were, most had come to see Manuel, who began with a huge beat pounding its way around the Oval, laptop in front, keyboard beside and guitar behind. His guitar playing is grounded in rock scales, but augmented by complex chromatic codicils and sweep picking meaning that his right hand doesn’t have to do very much for a lot of notes to emerge at great speed. The audience looked on in awe as an exhibition of genuine musicianship took place before them. Manuel’s return to the UK was a great success – please don’t make it 13 years until the next one.
Sure, there may not be the half-eaten prawn cocktail sandwiches and kashmir jumpers tied around necks you’d find on the docks of Cannes, but now in its 19th year, Encounters festival continues to grow into one of Britain’s finest. It’s easy to see why the festival holds its name; it’s like speed dating with movies. A captivating experience with an endless variety of shape and form, sound and frequency, mind and soul. This year, a selection of Swiss films were showcased; films from the Commonwealth depicting lands far away but still completely relevant to us here, while an ode to Richard Williams and his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? brought the glamour to proceedings. For all its wondrous collectivity, there was still cash to be won of course – this is film, after all. The Animated Encounters Grand Prix Award was won by Felix Massie’s In The Air is Christopher Gray, while the Brief Encounters award went to Robin Whenary’s delicate sci-fi Orbit Ever After, starring Mackenzie Crook and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
The gorgeous woodland amphitheatre stage, with its punishing sound system, proved to be the most popular setting, particularly the Innervisions takeover and a truly memorable hour and a half from Henrik Schwarz as well as the now established B2B set from Dixon and Âme, continuing to confound expectations with its depth and rich textures. The Hotflush party ran and ran, with a final night shakedown from Joy Orbison, Jackmaster and Optimo till 10am providing a fitting end to proceedings. With a few adverse weather conditions you feared for Unknown’s capacity to deal with the extremities, but the little touches, such as the hammocked area in the woods and the beautiful lighting, remained wonderfully unscathed. One of the defining musical selling points of the festival was Unknown’s attempts to attract the indie fan who also enjoys a beat or two. Enter Django Django, who united a huge crowd, The Horrors’ set of main stage filling guitar swirl and Factory Floor who were, as usual, incredible.
Encounters provides a perfectly-formed package for any enthusiast. The selections within the festival programme blend the charming and playful with the affecting and cognisant, which is why Encounters should be written in permanent marker on anyone’s cultural calendar for 2014.
Words: Robert Bates
Words: Tim Oxley Smith
Words: Thomas Frost
Yes, there are too many festivals in Croatia, but Unknown was a truly welcome addition. Considering the players involved, we shouldn’t have expected anything less.
As instinctively your senses grapple for safety in repetition, it’s quickly stripped away. This paves the way for tonight’s noise-art agenda; electronic music through the prism of performance art. Enter Dominick Fernow, aka Vatican Shadow, whose implicit forays into the political personify his work. Striding into view to stand behind a rusty chest, he delves inside. Industrial swirls of drone engulf the room as the screen shows reams of psalms and newspaper clippings of religious intent. George Bush’s face appears, inducing swathes of noise. It grabs you at the throat, fills your windpipe. Tearing away at societal battle scars, Fernow is seething, throwing back his daunting frame in frenzy. It’s manic, maddening, and we become totally consumed by its objective to overwhelm. Conclusively, Fernow returns to the stage, hostile, to slam shut the chest. Taunting with aural aggression and triumphalist abasement, Vatican Shadow’s manifesto trembles the ceremonial dance of the ordinary, through the ritual march of the obscene. ----------
Words: Anna Tehabsim
Friday 4-6 October
DAMO SUZUKI THE COSMIC DEAD
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LEA LEA ALBUM LAUNCH
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SHACKLEWELL ARTS FAIR
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THE ASTEROID #4
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Tuesday 29 October
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SCHOOL OF NIGHT
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NIGHT BEACH HALLOWEEN PARTY
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HIPSTERS DON’T DANCE HALLOWEEN PARTY
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A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
Thursday 10 October
Friday 18 October
Feed Your Head
EAGLES FOR HANDS SHINAMO MOKI MOON ZERO
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LIFE & LIMB 2DNOIZE LUMINODISCO
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RESIDENT DJS ------------------------------------------------------Thursday 24 October
RHODES ------------------------------------------------------Friday 1 November
Dolphinarium / S.C.P.
CROWS (HALLOWEEN PARTY)
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SEPTEMBER GIRLS -------------------------------------------------------
SLOW SKIES -------------------------------------------------------
(Underneath The Three Crowns) 175 Stoke Newington High St London N16 0LH waitingroomn16.com fb: waitingroomn16 • tw: waitingroomn16
don! n o L to g in m o c e ’r e W
B Y G E R A I NT D AV I E S , J O S H B A I NE S , A NNA T E H A B S I M , C L A U D E B A RB È - B RO W N, A L E X G W I L L I A M, D U NCAN H AR R I S O N, AY E S H A L I NT O N-W H I T T L E , J A M E S T. B A L M O NT, D AV Y RE E D , G A B RI E L S Z ATAN
TIM HECKER VIRGINS Kranky
THE WEEKND KISS LAND XO/Republic
The music we affix the ‘ambient’ tag with tends to veer down one of two paths: there’s the isolation tank explorations of the New Age-y chemtrail kind; your Harold Budds, your Tangerine Dreams, your Mountains. Then there’s the darker stuff, the records that explore internal geographies as much as idealised actual paradises. Over the last decade, Tim Hecker has stomped down the latter. His masterpiece, 2010’s Ravedeath 1972, was a study of instrumental decay, a haunting and haunted rumination of sonic dissolution. On Virgins, Hecker exchanges spectrality and concealment for a shockingly clear, clean sound: rotted etchings of terror for the HD generation. The Canadian’s collaborations with Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never, collected on the brilliant Instrumental Tourist LP, write themselves in the margins here. There’s one major differentiation between the two; Lopatin’s recent material is intentionally-cloying, knowingly-sterile and insincere in the most PoMo sincere way possible, while Hecker’s record is fraught with feeling, intentionally-abstracted from the realm of the theoretical, heard best as a continuously unspooling stream. Going into individual tracks, trying to pinpoint moments of specificity seems counterintuitive to exploring Virgins. It sounds like moonlight sontanas melted in the arctic sun. It feels like bathing in VHS footage of deep forests at dawn. Whatever. It requires complete and repeated consumption. JB
So it turns out that Abel Tesfaye is the worst kind of creep. While The Weeknd’s brooding-yet-fragile-tortured-soul persona was coated in dense, then-original sounding production through most of his Trilogy series, with his fourth full length something’s gone awry. Kiss Land lewdly accounts for Tesfaye’s own hyperaccelerated journey into the sordid theme park of fame, where the rides are fast, devoid of emotion and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. The production now seems overly sleek and over-compressed. And then there are the lyrics. Eugh, the lyrics. Tesfaye tell you that he wants to “domesticate you”, that you can “meet me in the room where the kisses ain’t free/ You gotta pay with your body.” Now it’s not like the mainstream hip-hop/RnB sphere is the wisest point of reference for advice on gender relations, but it’s hard not to be especially creeped out by Tesfaye’s murky, manipulative, and unintentionally hilarious ‘sit down on the sofa baby, express yourself ’ mentality. And so, within Kiss Land, Abel Tesfaye’s notorious lechery is no longer shrouded by semi-relatable, drug addled self-indulgence and tender bedroom producer mystique. Giving his grim depravity a glossy sheen, on Kiss Land he’s become RnB’s Patrick Bateman. AT
OM UNIT THREADS Civil Music
SPLASHH COMFORT Luv Luv Luv
London-based producer and DJ Jim Coles first came to light releasing hip-hop oriented bangers as 2tall, and a combination of footwork and jungle as Phillip D Kicks. Under his consistent and distinctive Om Unit moniker he’s maintained his versatility with tracks such as Neptune and collaborations with Kromestar and Machinedrum. That history of experimentation and subsequent ability to craft whatever sound he turns his hand to pays off throughout Threads, his debut LP under the OU name. Rather than being a showcase of dabbling, it is a matured arsenal, referential without being derivative. Utilising sampling, deep swells, twinkling trebles and a medley of percussion and sound tied in a dubby ribbon, the album flows as a rich narrative. Sharp and intelligent vocal content, such as Jinadu’s soulful input to The Silence and Patients, enlightened by MC Jabu’s spoken word, adds to the character of the album. Heavier instrumental tracks like Governer’s Bay maintain a spookily euphoric, textured sound, welcoming comparisons to Falty DL and Kode 9, right through to 2562, Flying Lotus and even Photek. In a UK canon which has been defined by being indefinable, Threads is a coming-of-age for a distinguished beatmaker and sound sculptor, provoking a rethink regarding the parameters of an increasingly blurred template. CBB
Social media devours music, grinding it up with its terrifyingly authoritative fangs. Bands are having to invent themselves around Twitter trends and Tumblr tags, blinded by their fringes as they attempt to qualify for every hashtag going. Breaking through with All I Wanna Do via the incredibly innovative label Art Is Hard, Splashh began their venture in the most authentic way possible. Enclosed in a 5” pizza box, the single was catapulted into the eardrums of every relevant blogger, the band gracing the pages of Vogue mere weeks later. Nevertheless, the unexpected fame saw little faith held in this debut album, amidst suspicion Splashh’s distinct sound might get lost amongst the ego and label demands. Fortunately, they’ve managed to protrude from the posers by simply writing songs as dense and engaging as Vacation. Overlooking the exhausted title, it fluctuates between salient melodies and silky sonorities,. So Young’s frantic drums and piercing wails leans inevitably towards surf-rock comparisons, yet through grunge-soaked opener Headspins and Feels Like You’s atmospheric psychedelia, the album favourably diverges between genres whilst pursuing their head-bobbing shoegaze throughout. Comfort’s acclamation is formed from its heterogeneity, proving cynics are drowning under the mass of fur coats and foolishly neglecting a charming album. ALW
CONNAN MOCKASIN C.A.R.A.M.E.L. Phantasy Sound
GAMBLES TRUST GMBLS
It was way back in 2011 that an intrepid cosmic traveller from a strange and faraway place (also known as New Zealand) first descended on our unassuming ears like a velvet supernova. Now Connan Mockasin returns with the follow-up to Forever Dolphin Love, signalling an altogether raunchier change in direction. The intent is clear from the start: less kicking, more drifting off with Nothing Lasts Forever. The first voice heard is not Connan’s now-trademark warbling falsetto, but a pitched down Bootsy Collins-esque concierge, enticing us into the album’s steamy boudoir. It’s a tough offer to refuse. Even more so once the satin smooth guitars of I’m The Man, That Will Find You drop in, packing more fornicating funk into their slow-jamming five minutes than an evening with Isaac Hayes and a roaring fire. The album culminates towards the triumphant climax of Roll With You. Granted, it’s a song Connan’s been playing live for more than two years now, but at the end of a journey like C.A.R.A.M.E.L. those irresistibly Prince-like vocals are like a familiar post-coital embrace lulling us off to a delicious slumber. AG
Having experienced a year of heartache and personal tragedY which he openly talks about in interviews, Matthew Siskin has been using his Gambles moniker as an avenue for communicating a story that had stayed unexpressed for a long time. Opener Angel demonstrates Siskin’s love for Leonard Cohen, while tracks like New York and Penny For A Grave are anecdotal, poetic and unpolished. It’s as if the process that made the album drained Siskin to the point where he had the songs and little else left. As an album solely composed with Siskin’s voice and guitar, the absence of diversity lets it down to an extent, and maybe Trust would work best in a condensed EP format. But the overriding ethos behind the record is to communicate what needs to be communicated – however long that takes. Trust’s final offering Animal does carry a feeling of closure and conclusiveness. Perhaps we will never hear from Gambles again. Perhaps Trust will leave no permanent mark on audiences whatsoever. But no matter how the story unfolds, this is a candid and unaffected document of Siskin’s personal expression. DH
DARKSIDE PSYCHIC Other People / Matador 17/20 Once an enticing side project with an EP to its name, DARKSIDE has now become a fully-formed collaboration between po-faced beat wunderkind Nicolas Jaar and his one-time session guitarist Dave Harrington, with additional high-profile backing from Matador Records. The integration of something as traditional as a reverb-sodden guitar line may, on the surface, seem like scant experimentation from Jaar, an individual who has already become burdened with the tag of bona fide modern-day innovator. In fact, it’s the opposite. The integration of a second member into what feels much like a follow-up to 2011’s superlative touchstone Space Is Only Noise That We Can See is done subtly and expertly, meaning that without tearing up his own blueprint, Jaar has birthed something that still sounds like nothing else you’ve ever heard – not even Nicolas Jaar. Opener Golden Arrow is a flawless, 11-minute statement of intent, Harrington’s slippery, palm-muted arpeggios draped across Jaar’s shuffling, emotive beat, tumbling bottom end and molten, heavily effected vocals. A microcosm of the album, its seamless segueing from suite to suite, from understated to engulfing, indicates a genuine mastery of this mode of production. It’s easy to focus on Jaar, the prodigious talent that he is, but Harrington’s role within DARKSIDE is not one of afterthought. His delicate timbres add a looseness to proceedings, an invigorating spontaneity absent, by its nature, from pretty much all electronic music. On the excellent Heart, Harrington carries the track, providing an enticing, sonorous levity where Jaar’s vocals can’t. And best of all, it sounds interesting. The bluesy progressions themselves may be fairly conventional, but the relation of his playing to the context renders it outstanding. That said, album peak Freak, Go Home is the Jaar show; a slab of forward-motion melancholy, where creaking swathes of melody course along a tumbling, propulsive cadence, as laser shards are sporadically cast skywards, hi-hats dipping in and out at will. If this is to be considered the second Nicolas Jaar album, then it’s a more than worthy follow-up. If we’re to truly think of this as a new band, then Psychic is a debut album of startling assurance. GHD
YUCK GLOW & BEHOLD Fat Possum
HAIM DAYS ARE GONE Polydor
Yuck proved quite a point with their 2011 debut of Dinosaur Jr.-influenced indie bangers – it showed a marked improvement from their Cajun Dance Party, Myspace-influenced indie bangers. But they’ve since shed a crucial member in frontman Daniel Blumberg, and appear to have fallen back on their 90s nostalgia a little too deeply. Glow & Behold’s main appeal, and major flaw, is it sounds invariably like Ride, Slowdive, Pavement ... you name it. It sounds like every big, cool 90s band, and has no shame in doing so. At points this is admirably conceived, like in the ethereal instrumental opener Sunrise in Maple Shade, which basks in Spiritualized’s droning space-chords and melodic arpeggios. But on the flipside we have tracks like Rebirth, which begins as an almost blasphemous attempt at My Bloody Valentine and barely manages to lift itself into just-above-averageness. It’s not that any of the songs on the album are bad – they just can’t possibly live up to the artists they’re based upon. When they get it right, Yuck furrow a fine line in shoegaze nostalgia; see Out of Time, Lose My Breath and the two minutes of looped guitar that provide the outro to the album. But these peaks can only partially make up for the other lacklustre and unoriginal outings. JTB
We’d like to make this explicitly clear: we couldn’t stand HAIM long before they decided to commit indie suicide by buddying up to our beloved PM. Call it misadvice, or a lack of contextual knowledge from the three estate agent’s daughters from LA, but anyone who allows themselves to be that easily manipulated or takes so little interest in the world around them deserves everything they get. And that said, this entire act has been so meticulously managed that they became one of the most talked-about acts in the business without most people bothering to listen to a note of their stupid fucking music. We never stood a chance. And beneath the flawless manes (they’ve got really great hair, it’s miraculous), and the Top Shop faux-Boho schtick, they churn out insipidly obnoxious pop. Across Days Are Gone’s 11 tracks, vocals are invariably, unlovably forced, lyrics delivered with dead-eyed artificiality, and for all their harping on being a proper, organic band, the whole drab thing sounds like it’s never seen an actual guitar. If there’s something to ‘get’, then we don’t get it. If this is actually it, this is what HAIM is, and HAIM sound like 2013, then we might all be even more fucked than we thought. GHD
JANELLE MONÁE THE ELECTRIC LADY Bad Boy 16/20
OMAR SOULEYMAN WENU WENU Domino 16/20
While Janelle Monáe has accumulated many fair-weather listeners over the years, the Kansas born soul experimentalist’s full lengths are, in fact, pretty complex. The Electric Lady acts as the fourth and fifth installments of Monáe’s ‘Metropolis’ narrative (loosely based on Fritz Lang’s film), following the story of a rogue android using time travel to free her race from the chains of suppression and divide. The Miguel collaboration Primetime is a perfect example of how Monáe adds colour to contemporary pop, a dazed ballad that has clear influences of gospel music and a backing track informed by her most famous fan Prince, who turns up on Givin Em What They Love. Her mainstream potential is on show yet again on Electric Lady, which features vocals from Solange and a slickly delivered rap verse. The LP does have its share of filler; We Were Rock & Roll and Sally Ride and aren’t really integral to the album’s fluidity, however they do act as great pointers to Monae’s influences (Hendrix, Prince, Erykah Badu). Closer What An Experience sounds halfway between Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and How To Dress Well’s & It Was U, summarising a record that might just cement Monáe’s rep as one of today’s most credible pop stars. DH
Omar Souleyman is undeniably the Middle East’s biggest pop star. Since his electrification of Syrian music in 1994, Souleyman has broadcast his amalgamation of traditional Syrian Dabke, Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles at innumerable weddings throughout the world. Accumulating over 750,000 tapes of his work, it made sense for him to record a studio album. Enlisting Kieran Hebden to adapt his chaotic sound to Western ears, you are able to directly pinpoint Hebden’s exaggerated sonic reference points. In comparison to his more organic live recordings, Wenu Wenu strikes through strictly defined layers, buffed up are lifted to carry disorientating acidic melodies, making for feverish semi-sincere dancefloor killers. From universal notions of affection and longing – the title track tells of a lost love who “kills with her beautiful eyes” – to more weighty, less applicable cultural tenets (“I don’t want to get married to my cousin, he’s like my brother”), the English translation of Wenu Wenu identifies overarching themes of romance, religion and sacrifice. Tender love songs endorsed through wildly colourful techno with dizzying production, Souleyman’s debut studio album is both an emotional roller coaster and a powerfully evocative slice of heritage that is long overdue. AT
BILL CALLAHAN DREAM RIVER DRAG CITY 18/20 He’s on a roll: after the sumptuous double whammy of Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle and Apocalypse, the artist formerly known as Smog returns with another concise set of plaintive ruminations on man’s place in the natural world. Callahan’s explorations of close-up specificities – boat decoration on Summer Painter, Small Plane’s quietly proud paean to driving a loved one home, watching birds in flight on Eagle Landing – are given context through their association with the unknowablity of nature; the narrator of these songs is a man attuned to the world we live in but can never fully comprehend. Dream River abounds with the sensation of an artist feeling his way around his own material, finding inherent pleasure in matching sings with referents, riding for a feeling. He plays with language, teases resonances out of repetition (“‘Cause life ain’t confidential, no, no, no it’s not/It isn’t and it ain’t confidential, no, no, no” runs Ride My Arrow), impregnates phrases with pauses of portent (opening track The Sing finds Callahan confessing that “the only words I said today are “beer”... and…“thank you””) and makes statements so utterly declarative that they become a form of Taoist tenet (see his claim on Small Plane that, “I never liked to land/getting up seemed impossibly grand” and the way the record ends with the narrator’s realisation on Winter Road that “I have learned when things are beautiful/To just keep on, just keep on/Oh, when things are beautiful/Just keep on”). It sounds incredible as well, the hushed atmosphere embellished by Callahan’s gorgeously aged barroom croon cresting over lightly fingered Fender Rhodes electric pianos, fluttering flutes, occasional psychtinged restrained freakouts, jazzy guitar flourishes. It’s a record to cherish, to play late at night and early in the morning; a record to live with and within. JB
MGMT MGMT Columbia
LIVITY SOUND LIVITY SOUND Livity Sound
Around the time when you couldn’t endure a pre-show soundcheck without Kids being blared through the PA, rumours began floating around that Billy Murray was hanging out with MGMT at house parties. This was frustrating. Why? Because MGMT aren’t a real band, they’re a total fluke. There’s no man on this earth whose company is as desirable as Bill Murray’s, and this friendship felt as undeserved as their stratospheric success. For their ‘uncompromising’ second album Congratulations, the duo (we guess that’s what they are, they’re still only letting the two good looking dudes in the press shots, that’s for sure) did the same trick – hastily assemble a few tunes and send them to a generously paid producer to smother ‘em with FX and transform it all into ideologically barren, decaffeinated psychedelia. And they still never actually learned to play the songs live. Looks like MGMT still haven’t pulled their shit together. To promote this record, they appeared on Letterman, failing to mask the absence of a tune by wearing capes and hitting a giant cowbell. So what’s with the five marks? This record deserves them because a) there’s a few tunes of Flaming Lips b-side quality and b) it kind of gives us the urge to listen to Small Faces’ Odgens Nut Gone Flake, which is nearly always a good idea. DR
There are some labels you can’t help but back, often owing to admiration for their ideals as much as their craft. Livity Sound is one of them, bearing a sonic tag as definable as the handstamped Aztec glyphs that adorn every record. It’s a tricky sound to describe: finely-threaded grooves and dull thuds form the bedrock, but where each member takes it from there can vary wildly. The Bristolian trio keep the focus largely percussive, drawing upon everything from grime’s whipcrack-heavy menace and jungle’s delayed snare rushes to the metronomic precision of 4/4 and the iciness of techno-flecked dubstep, a scene Pev(-erelist) ruled circa 2008/9. Livity Sound’s output has been bereft of bangers – save for perhaps Kowton’s strung-up standout More Games – so while many of these slot perfectly into mixes, serving as excellent bridges irrespective of what angle you come at them, they lose their shine slightly when exposed to the light of day. As is often the case with comprehensive label compilations, the sheer volume of material can begin to wash over you, but the stridently heterogenous approach means it never drags. All told, it’s a solid release, and you can’t ask for a better entry point to one of the most compellingly complex club labels coming out of the UK this decade. GS
DRAKE NOTHING WAS THE SAME Young Money / Cash Money Entertainment
JOHN TALABOT DJ KiCKS !K7
There are two conflicting notions at war on Nothing Was The Same. The first is Drake’s success and wealth. Tracks like Tuscan Leather and Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music are near-humorless excursions of braggery. Then there’s the other side of Drake’s persona: the heartache-prone softie with schmaltzy breakup lyricism, the guy who looked straight down the lens on Fallon and addressed his family before performing. Some real highlights of this record come when Drake just raps; his flow is distinctive and his ability to write arresting lyrics is intact, even if there’s plenty of goofy lines on show. One real victory here is Noah “40” Shebib’s production. His sound has grown up with Drake, and if it wasn’t for the duo’s mutual loyalty their formula may not have blossomed into such a distinctive sound. Taking the piss out of Drake is still a fun and very easy thing to do, and this album won’t be the record that silences the haters. But you couldn’t accuse his persona of being one dimensional. On Furthest Thing, he claims to be “Somewhere between psychotic and iconic/Somewhere between ‘I want it’ and ‘I got it’”. It’s among these grey areas where Drake has his moments of genius. DH
There’s a sense of anachronism attached to the mix CD in 2013: at a time when we can endlessly wade through freely available mixes and podcasts, why bother going out and paying for one? Without wishing to come across as a pompous pseudo-Paul Morely, the physicality of the CD intends to establish a sense of timelessness that an encoded online file can never aspire to. Think of how mixes like Michael Mayer’s Immer, or Cosmic Galactic Prism by Prins Thomas act as artefacts of a moment in time, how they crystallise a genre, a sound, an audio-ideology. John Talabot’s done that. Pinging between the sadder, softer ends of house (Max Mohr’s seminal melancholic Old Song, his own teary/bleary 6am classic Without You), gorgeously thick chord workouts and seasick percussive skittering, there’s a real sense of cohesion, a seamless unseemingly constructed construction. Talabot is a master of emotional manipulation – he knows when to hang onto sad melodies before letting them drift into half-remembered bliss, when to sneak in the poingant vocal snippets, when to nudge the tempo up and when to cool things off. Like Mayer and Prins Thomas did on their aforementioned mixes, Talabot has captured the essence of his own epoch. JB
Problems? C p
Drinking the Kool-Aid with ...
Denzil Schniffermann No sooner had Crack advertised for a
Dear Mr. Schniffermann,
new agony person than we received a very
I like the mandem and the mandem like me. I also like the gyaldem, but they don’t me quite as much as the mandem do. Know why? Because I provide the mandem with all they need. House music, snapback hats and tits. House music, cause that’s cool and no one listens to dubstep anymore, snapback hats cos that’s what everyone wears innit, and tits cos none of us are gay. I put the whole ting together on this YouTube channel called Harrow Untidy. I got 20,000 Facebook fans in a week. Problem is Denz, I think it all might be a bit shallow and shit. Is it?
I’ve had affectionate feelings towards a former coworker for some time, and after finally mustering up the courage to ask her out, she’s agreed to come round my house for dinner. The problem is, up until this point I’ve pretty much lived on a diet of baked potatoes and Golden Virginia. Could you suggest a recipe to win her heart?
My friends and I would like you to settle a little wager for us. Is it boxers or briefs? ;),
Harry Whittington-Smythe, 24, Cambridge
Sam my friend, you’re asking the right man. My record with candlelit dinners is so impressive I’ve moved my futon into the kitchen. The key – spare no expense. Starters, keep it simple, classic, you don’t want to overshadow the main. Prawn cocktail is a winner; a delicate Marie Rose sauce coating the very finest langoustine. Sublime. Next up – and this might be controversial – but I’d opt for a fish pie. You might have some leftover prawns from the starter, so team them with a lightly smoked haddock, all smothered in rich and creamy Smash. Present it with a side portion of petit pois, frozen’s fine, and a chilled white. If you’re after a little bite, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a safe bet; for something sweeter, you can’t go wrong with Blue Nun. Dessert is a formality. Get a Viennetta or something, it’ll only end up on the floor.
significant e-mail. What we found within were a collection of words which were confrontational, straight-talking and downright inspiring, capped off with the most impressive e-mail footer you’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was massive.
One phone call later, and Denzil had put our finances in order, had the workforce thought-showering like lunatics, and we were in possession of one motherfucker of a two-year development plan. We knew we’d found our man. Denzil Schniffermann: business guru, motivational speaker, life-coach,
Denzil says: I was all for the shamelessly misogynistic promotion of the female form coupled with really ordinary basslaced UK house music as a soundtrack when I was younger. And some of my best mates used to be flatcap wearing private school kids that had nothing to rebel against except their own serotonin levels – but that was when I was 17. My days of getting messy with my pals at Eton are long behind me. That said, you’re all too high to get your end anyway, so don’t worry too much about the ladies.
Yours eagerly, Barbara, 39 (again!), Weymouth Denzil says:
Sam, 25, London Denzil says:
Thanks for the interest ladies. In answer to your question, it’s briefs, obviously. What do you think I am, some sort of hippy?
sexual athlete, and above all ... friend.
// any problems? Contact Denzil@ crackmagazine.net
Politics? c m
Illustration: Lee Nutland www.leenutland.com
Two years ago the News of the World closed its doors. The behaviour of the newspaper’s phone hacking, bin sifting, morally defunct reporters was so disgusting even its scandal-hungry readers couldn’t handle it and the 150-year-old title was forced to shut down. It turned out journalists really were worse than estate agents. They might even have been more odious than the politicians whose children they targeted and mistresses they burgled. So what happened to the fallout from the greatest inquiry into the fourth estate since the last six we ignored? Is business really back to normal? When the NoTW scandal broke, David Cameron (played by the moral high ground taking, plumsucking cousin of the Pillsbury Doughboy) launched an inquiry that extended the vitriol to the whole of Fleet Street, highlighting “…serious and uncorrected failures within parts of the national press that may have stretched from the criminal to the indefensibly unethical”. And that’s before you take in the internet, where we’re working in an “ethical vacuum”, apparently. It was serious stuff – one of the country’s top judges
calling the behaviour of the media “indefensibly unethical” – and the prime minister was already committed to following his lead, unless the recommendations turned out to be “bonkers”, of course ... The press knew it was time for change too, so why is no one writing about the biggest thing to happen to press regulation since the 17th century? The problem is that the argument about media regulation now suffers from the intellectual idiosyncrasies of an ivory tower debate and has all the pull of the Toni Braxton Cultural Significance Committee (TBCSC). The idea on the table at the moment is to regulate the media using a Royal Charter, a medieval device employed to recognise things like cities and universities, which starts with the words: “TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING!” Greeting, indeed. The perplexing logic behind this decision is supported by the three main parties and most of the media, but is not, it would seem, in the spirit of Leveson’s recommendations. Instead of writing a law to create a body that can regulate the press or that can recognise an industry-run regulatory
authority, the government now plans to use a Royal Charter to recognise a body that will recognise the body that regulates the press (although we’re going to have to tack a few statutory elements on to actual legislation to make sure the scheme is 100% legit). Somehow the dreaded press-regulation-throughlegislation Rubicon remains uncrossed, although the metaphor is more sullied than Paul McMullen fresh from ten weeks pissing and shitting in a surveillance van parked on Steve Coogan’s lawn. The debate is likely to continue for at least another year because the Privy Council (think the Small Council in season three of Game of Thrones, but with Nick Clegg in the role of the King’s hand) has to consider competing charters from the press and the government. Woefully predictably we’re left with a situation where the government is on one side and the press are on the other. And whatever camp is successful, the internet, those operating in the so-called “moral vacuum” – aka the vast majority of the media as of a few years’ time – is being largely ignored.
changed by an inquiry process, media stakeholders and government that promised so much. In the end, the most important impacts of the Leveson Inquiry are likely to be two-fold: historians will use it as an easy point to highlight print press’s declining power over politicians; and the sheer fear generated around the inquiry and related convictions has quashed editors’ willingness to use the dying tactics from red-top newspapers’ heyday.
Send rants to email@example.com Yes, we’re likely to have a much better designed complaints procedure, but I can’t help but feel short
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