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The lyrics for Floodland, cryptic labyrinths though they may be, are reports from the end of the world, allusions to a second extinction, Cold War and its natural product, the 20th Century suicide pact. This is a record that grapples with history. This is a record that's read a lot of books. Meanwhile, the music manages a grandeur that veils classical bombast with sinuous Eastern rills, a drum machine stitching together or rifling apart with stately inevitability.
The density is awesome, everything concentrated in the bass range, shuddering synths and whispers. The backing track leaves huge silences that somehow take the texture of darkness, beats disappear like tracer shells, and entire harmonic lines sink beneath the washes of atmospherics like broken fences. This was music that sounded like the slow cool of the apocalypse, all other options exhausted. And then there were the three hit singles.
I'll zero in on This Corrosion' - 1 1 minutes of staggering pretension that roped in rock operatic producer Jim Steinman to bring together Motown harmonies, Wagnerian choirs, metal guitar solos and even jangling indie strings as if, for one last transmission, every radio station jammed in a heavenly cacophony.
It got to Number Seven. Most Goths, myself included, were walking melodramas, turning their tantrums to requiems, sickly postures playing dead, passive-aggressive resistance to a world that wouldn't listen. But don't belittle symbolism. Never was there a more eloquent response to the leaders of a world that had committed itself to the suicidal logic of Mutual Assured Destruction than when their children dressed in mourning for their future.
This isn't a protest record, it's a montage of scenes to fill the space between pushing the button and final impact. Trends end. Tastes change. I'm not a Goth anymore. We're still all going to die. That was the most important show for me - it was a revolution of the mind.
It was like everything else before was erased, like a year-zero effect. The Clash were really brilliant because they were playing the stuff from their first album, the White Riot album. It was amazing: she was walking into the audience asking people for a comb so she could backcomb her hair. Basically, before that when you saw a band playing they acted like divinities onstage and The Slits completely broke that down. They trashed the whole rock ethic. There were a lot more women involved in punk, and they still are very exciting.
I don't think they ever will be, and I think that's why they've retained their potency. And why people still enthuse about them 30 years later: it hasn't been digested. It hasn't been puked up and regurgitated, because it wasn't properly consumed in the first place. Two people are separated and are walking towards each other. They are far apart and they walk and walk and finally they meet in the middle of the desert. Someone is riding on their motorcycle towards an unknown destination.
The street lights reflect off the pavement; the buildings rise up high on either side. It is midday and it is very bright. We see them from above, and the way the sun hits them. We only see water and the way it moves and the shapes it makes within the movements. They're great. They play a really good live show too. Also, Public Nuisance, who are an old Californian, Sacramento psychedelic band that never got to put out records.
They've just re-issued their records, or finally put out their records or something like that recently or something - 1 don't know the exact liner notes but someone from a record store recommended them to me. They're pretty awesome. I like all kinds of stuff, I have a recording studio so I get into all kinds of music.
Whether it's the ghost bells of Dunwich ringing beneath the sea that claimed the town, or the empty houses of Imber falling into decay on Salisbury Plain after the villagers gave it over to the British army for street-fighting practice during World War Two and were never allowed back , civilisation is a tenuous, temporary illusion, and we enjoy- with a shiver- imagining the mist, the weeds and the spirits encroaching upon it. Like fellow travellers Larkfall Records, their take on Earth Mysteries and folklore is idiosyncratic and often bleak: United Bible Studies' new album, The Shore That Fears The Sea, mixes flutes with feedback and traditional songs with droning incantations, to haunting, dew-drenched effect.
Deserted Village began as a home for the free-improv of Murmansk, whose self-titled CD-r was the first Village release. As the group's other projects - in particular United Bible Studies -flourished, it made sense to gather them together, and to trade with other labels and musicians. Nowthere are more labels in Ireland we feel an affinity with. Handmade covers and live recordings, such as United Bible Studies' dronescape Airs Of Sun And Stone, recorded in a Limerick church, strive to capture both the music's spontaneity and a strong sense of place - something that I associate with folk music.
I love music to be presented in a fun and unmediatedway. Experiences which have resonated down the centuries," continues Colohan, who's also a member of the more traditional Magickal Folk Of The Faraway Tree and solo project Agitated Radio Pilot. Maybe it's the sense of things that are gone: a lost, pre-industrial world. I feel it strongly in the old songs, when they had a real connection to the land.
They lived, worked and died on it. Ireland is not an industrialised country and we are never far from rivers, farmland, lakes. So what are the parallels between folk music and the more noise-based, experimental music you make? Sometimes I think of the drone as the bedrock underlying all sorts of music.
When playing with UBS we can dive beneath a one-chord modal thing and surface in noise territory, and this feels like a natural transition. It can have up to 1 members: electric guitars, drums, percussion and horn section, and is usually totally improvised, noisy and rowdy. Shit, it crept up on me again.
It doesn't come on. It attacks. It caught me out today and I was in my big coat as well. By the time I got home, just in time to slap my shades on and send the sun scurrying behind a cloud they're magic weather-affecting shades, got them the same place I get my magic bus-producing cigarettes , I looked like I'd just straggled over the Sahara, having basted my face in a bucket of chipfat.
Fuckn'ell, you don't look good in summer. Sweating like a pig digging ditches. Community service. Minor sexual offence. Everyone it seems is able to parade their unclad malnourishment without let or hindrance - since when has it been acceptable for a man to be seen shirtless before tiffin of an afternoon?
Birch the thugs, or at least give them tassles. And in the charts you can already sense that summer-long feeling of general revulsion taking hold: all those Joy Div tribute bands with their neatly ironed school shirts and delay pedals; all those honest Johns and heartfelt Jills; a whole generation of skinny fan boys throwing themselves into the task'n'graft with such paltry results.
Ugly tarts like Orson and Sugababes so off-the-boil post 'Push The Button' it ain't true jamming their sweaty-cracked leather-shod arses in the air and rotating their salmon-paste down your neck with grotesquely confident crotch-twirls. So much vision-deficiency, such poorly pre-empted fantasy, such half-assed distraction - and nary a whiff of intolerance from the happy-to-be-here press, just a hi-def colour-supplement glow to pop; all of us finding our own sure musical space to mould, collectors and curators 22 plan b of the canon slipping and sliding between different brands of the great god 'Quality'.
Mandatory enthusiasm, happy with our place in the schemata of this business called show, sure that even our most obscure desires can be confidently sated and get 1 word write-ups somewhere. The final death of militancy, misery, fury and bitterness in pop experience. I miss that stuff. In an infinite musical universe, you can't kick against a damn thing, cos every swing of the boot just pushes you out into your own free-swim. Come on in. The water's paralysing. And in this hot-town summer in the city, in the absence of another great Charlotte Church single and with that 'Too Hot Remix' already disappearing from view, I seek the cold.
Music that hits you like liquid nitrogen, makes you oblivious to the crowd, super-fragile to the touch, ever about to topple and scatter into infinite shards of quicksilver. Best to pull that chill from the furthest reaches of the universe, and be warmed only by the riots down the road.
S'like the music Prince would play as Paisley Park flares, Waco-style, around him. MF Doom contributes a driven and dazed vocal on the original, and then re-rubs it all up with extra dub and hair metal on the flip remix - somewhere in between Akufen and the best bits of Ghostface's Fishscale. It's a purely sonic derailment like Foreign Beggars' masterly 'Slow Boiled Ilk' Dented , a black Arctic wall of noise to hide within pitched against a nation that's gonna be waving flags and wearing shorts until autumn, just far enough away from here to help you forget who and what we're all becoming.
This is sound that upsets you, unsettles your equilibrium so much through sheer alien terror that it opens up vistas in your vitals, renders your innards interstellar. And if there must be heat this summer, let it be so hot you start seeing things. Let it laser down with an ant-frazzling, pinpoint accuracy that damn well bullies you into delirium. At all points in that line we're talking about bass and rhythm, we're frequently pointing towards Africa, and we're always engrossed in mystery, magic and the suggestive ways the most physical music can unlock parts of the brain untouched by the more direct communication of coherent pop.
A low-slung groove of Fun in the sun? Fuck off. I ain't coming out until the leaves start falling Seventies funk gets assaulted by all kinds of blaxploitation bizarreness and jarring moments of Sun Ra space drama. You can almost feel PP's steps going from pavement to pulsar every step of the way, until you yourself are hot- stepping on the radiation all the way out, feeling the half-life decay in your marrow as the Geiger counter gives up your ghost.
On the flip, 'Digital Engineering' is more agitated, leaps forward a decade and sounds like the soundtrack to a never-commissioned Eighties mini-series where Manimal becomes The A-Team's bukkake bitch. The snares and Mike Love melodies are turbo-charged to the max, and the past is righteously denigrated, abused and torched on the wasteland it left behind to light our way to a brand new bleak day.
There's huge complexity and discovery in the emotional breadth of all the above, but what they share is an appalled desire to escape through the looking glass in What they all seek is spiritual transcendence or demonic damnation from all the safety we're ensconced in. What they all angle themselves towards is nothing short of a redefinition of what it is to be human here today.
And looking around at all this contentment, all those badges, all the unwarranted and unwanted displays of underwear what'll be more horridly apparent this year, I wonder? Indie boys' folded-over boxer-waists, or good ol' thongs too far up the crack?
Push away that arm so much summer pop wants to casually slip round your waist and over your shoulders and into your chest to steal your heart. It's too hot for that kind of ease and creeping intimacy. Keep your heart heavy, pirouette past planets and dance to the death. Stay in, pour yourself a big iced gin and juice, draw the curtains and catch up with what deliberately botched auto-surgery and cryogenic suspension pop can give you.
Fun in the sun? I ain't coming out until the leaves start falling and my cleavage stops shining. Doiseu Mimdoisema - Epiletico Diego Medina spends most of his time recording in his room making bizarre lo-fi beats under his not very tuned voice.
I love it. He's quite a genius and is also one of the best Brazilian illustrators. Modulo Animalia In the middle of Tropicalia and bossa nova, the country had a handful of psychedelic groups strongly influenced by progressive, rock. Modulo 1 is one of them, with heavy guitars that sound like the first Black Sabbath and Meddle-era Pink Floyd. Jumbo Elektro - Run, Run, Run! A bit of glam rock, T-Rex, electronica and Rolling Stones - and their visual is great. Secos E Molhados - Fala This is one of my favourite groups from the Seventies and this is their most beautiful song.
Their performance is very theatrical, lyrical and poetic. Ney Matogrosso has the most beautiful voice, and was never afraid to talk about dictatorships in his lyrics. This group has been sampled by many hip hop artists, and I've heard that Kiss got the idea of painting their faces from them. Volver- Nao Ria De Mim This sounds a lot like The Beatles' first records: simple riffs and three-minute songs with great choruses to sing along to. I never imagined I would find a Stooges cover on one of her records.
Coralie Clemant- Indecise Coralie borrows textures and guitar sounds of American indie rock to recreate French pop music. Benjamin Biolay, the composer and her brother, produced this record. I love the mix of the vintage keyboards, charming voice and noisy guitars. He loves Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Tim Maia and Miles Davis; his records are produced at home with strange, homemade instruments, creating high-lo-sci-fi.
Live, he has three ETs playing with him: it's beautiful. La Pupufia - La Pupufia 'Guitarrada' is a style of music and a rhythm from the north of Brazil, influenced by Latin and Caribbean music with many guitars. This is the best salsa, guitarrada and surf music to dance to.
And they wear the best flowered t-shirts. Of Greece - you can add The Unit Ama's eponymous debut. The north-eastern trio - drummer Christian Alderson, bass player Jason Etherington and vocalist and guitarist Steven Malley- make a beautifully unholy racket, dense with weight but shimmering with light, throwing out jagged, atonal riffs and gnomic musings on dead animals and the perils of acquiescence to the hand of the government.
They're a slightly shady bunch - peruse their website, where they seem at least as interested in recommending restaurants and caffs, or inviting passings surfer to create a "variation Most bands completely lay themselves polysics Words: Felicity Hughes Photography Becky Cross Hiro, lead singer of Polysics, grits his teeth in masochistic ecstasy as his body, shot through with tazer blasts of synth pop and frenzied stabs of distorted punk rock, is flung about the stage.
Fire, do you feel fire? Let's burn this fucking place down! Rewind a few days and Hiroyuki Hayashi is sitting in front of me. Noting his clear skin, bright eyes and perfect teeth, I speculate that if he hadn't started a band, then he could have been just as successful with a career advertising something wholesome, like milk.
Fumi, the band's bass player- with chipped black nail polish, lopsided grin and frizzed hair -fits the rock image far more. Despite these differences, throughout the interview the two of them often speak in stereo, as if wired into the same network. They tell me that during their recent American tour Fumi received a copy of a film script from a devoted fan in which she was one of the main characters.
I ask what it was like. I'm surprised to find them so relaxed and friendly: their onstage uniforms of orange jump suits and wraparound reflective shades make them a fairly menacing quartet. It was a shocking experience. My concept of rock music got turned the void They draw you in, break everything down, and then explode' open, and want people to know everything there is to know about them, but they're not really interested in that.
Think the tight, clipped aesthetic of Dischord post- hardcore filtered through a paranoid, uniquely British worldview, the scarred post- industrial landscapes of the once-productive Tyne and Tees painted in sound, the beauty of rust and decay played loud. They draw you in, break everything down, and then explode.
They're serious about their music, definitely, but there's a sense of humour in there too, in their stage mannerisms. When they're playing live you might see Jason and Steve jumping about or wrestling on stage, and at first you might think, 'What the hell? Or at least, it is to me. Shocking, like a lightning bolt coming from above and He explains that Polysics have taken Devo's electro-punk sound and developed it into their own style. When we made our last album we wanted to continue to make new forms of music, a new punk experience.
The new album, Now Is The Time! Hiro is keen to demonstrate: "Like an instrument- 1 feel sound and rhythm and energy," at which point he opens his mouth to emit a high- pitched squeal, finishing with a couple of clicking noises at the back of his throat.
Just passion. We want to make more records," Fumi says defiantly. Finally - with a strange, metallic glint in their eyes - the pair finish off in perfect sync: "We want to make a record with Devo! Can I just wear a parka? What happened? He had presents for good boys and girls; some even sat on his knee. The venue may change, but the Dolly dogma stays the same.
I am gutted. No lighters aloft then? I think I might have been 1 5 at the time, and the main band that I went to go see was Blast. The headliner, I believe, was The Exploited. The skinhead population was really big there and they rallied together sometimes and went for people like a massive freight train that had no breaks. In fact, that first night, I remember we all met at one friend's house and as I walked into his house he just bolted upstairs and into his room.
Almost instantly he came back down with a pair of Doc Marten's and throws them at me and says, "You might want to borrow these tonight. It was the scariest night of my life, and the whole time I was split in two. One half was, "Get me the fuck out of here! I couldn't believe thatthe bands were REAL, and right in front of my face when I raised a bit of courage to push towards the front, although always at the sides.
After a couple of failed attempts due to a crowded floor, the freight train gathered mass steam during a change- over of bands and the floor was cleared of all moshers and slammers, except for my friend who lent me the boots. Like true bats out of hell, the skins charged for the long-hair. There was like maybe 20 of them ranging from twig size to double XL all together one massive herd He got bowled over and trampled so hard that I was surprised he didn't explode open like a watermelon dropped from the 1 3th floor.
I couldn't keep from laughing my self shitless as I watched the tsunami take my friend. I also saw Eddie's first band, Worked World, play there before I even knew him. Ah, Fender's. Since she burnt down to a crisp, in a blaze of punk rock glory ever emblazoned upon my mind. I was nine years old and I remember seeing an ad for it in the paper, the week it came out, which was in 1 When I got it home I stared at the back cover and remember thinking about all those lucky fuckers in the crowd photo, waiting around for the show to start.
And here's me, stranded on a fucking island with no chance in hell to ever see something like that. Both of my parents are classical singers. My parents met through singing, and my granddad played organs and violins all the time. My first memory- apart from my dad coming home from work and singing all night and us not being able to fall asleep -was my mum teaching me some Austrian folk song when I was about four.
I ended up as part of choir, a church choir, and singing gospel and stuff. About a year ago, when interviewing Sierra and her sister Bianca Casady for a piece I was writing on their band CocoRosie, they told me a childhood story about going out driving in the desert, getting lost and running out of gas.
Stranded there, without supplies, they waited it out while their father went to get help. Last year, Sierra revisited the desert for a second time accompanied by her friend Matteah Bairn. My mind loosened and allowed feelings to rehearse inwardly. The desert is love and we, though bound, betray it with flight, finding glory through death. While Sierra suggests that the music she makes with CocoRosie is all about looking for a glimmer of light in the darkness, she defines the foreboding operettas on Desert Doughnuts as doing the opposite -taking the light into the dark, like snuffing a candle in an electrical blackout On the album, Metallic Falcons sound like deceased choir singers holed up in a tattered cathedral utilising a detuned organ and the tragic intensity of their voices.
Their haunting, dreamy falsettos rise and fall in waves of sadness, while propulsive scratchy guitar drives them onwards, like cries from beyond the grave trying to make an indent on the living. Desert Doughnuts features special appearances from the most obvious sources, with Antony Antony And The Johnsons providing vocals on the ghostly 'Nighttime and Morning', and brief cameos from Jana Hunter and Devendra Banhart.
Casady's mother also joins her - an experience that proved inspirational. We took some amps out into the sand, plugged them into my mom's truck and let the wind teach us about forgetting. But we are always listening. I can't describe what for, but it has to be crazy raw.
We all met at church and found each other through harmony. CD Almost, though: there appear to be hundreds of Leopard Leg members around 1 0, at the last 'Free jams in the forest are all go' count , and they hide in a meadow of jack leads, mics, drums, and more drums, and they whisper too.
They dress in motley costumes from a desert- island dressing-up box. But- after a beautifully tense build-up of groans and sighs, scraped violins and microtonal sea shanty- they erupt into a massive fucking racket, a Heath Robinson-ish construction of percussive sound.
They're no longer ghostly or hallucinatory; they're like some elite fighting faction: determined and quixotic. So where else would they make music, given the choice? Rowan would like to play in Newgrange, Ireland, "on the dawn of the winter solstice. It was constructed in BC, and for only 1 7 minutes a year it's flooded by sunlight," she explains. Aymie and Emma go for the Egyptians.
If the scales tilt, the Ammut will crawl up to the scales and gobble your heart. They're pretty heavy, too, with giant riffs and chilling choral vocals straight out of Suspiria. Is the release harbinger of a slew of heavy music that's female-friendly and female-led; a document from a world too wyrd, fun and scary for the macho noise-posturers of the current sub-underground?
I certainly hope so. Luckily, however, "free jams in the forest are all go! Near-religious contemplation Drunken monk-style. Get the hand drums rolling and get the hell away from the hippies. You can float on this song for a long time. Texture and texture. Jakob Olausson - Welcome Traveler This is a great song for cruising around in the woods. Jakob is the new thing, one of the only people making folk-inspired music right now that I not only can get into, but am totally jealous of.
I'm over it now, so I can just kick back and listen and be amazed. Thick and multi-tracked vocals layered on dissonant reverb-laced melodies. Bola Sete - Guitar Lamento He doesn't need a lot of fancy tunings and he doesn't need steel strings. I could listen to any of his songs anywhere, but there is something light and heavy about his touch that makes me want to listen to it in a windstorm. The location doesn't matter. Fennesz - Circassian Fennesz also makes perfect sunrise music - if you were living on Venus, and the sun rose and burned all your flesh to blackened dust within seconds.
A good trick is to put on Carl Sagan's Cosmos series and play a Fennesz record as the soundtrack. The images of huge suns and galaxies fit perfectly with the macro-fractal shards of electric beauty. Islaja pictured above - Rohkaisulaulu This is about as forest music as you can get without pulling out your sided dice to figure out what key you should play your lute in.
What I mean is that it is dark stuff, without falling into any of the medieval cliches that make me want to puke. I don't really know what she is singing about, but I doubt it's about dragons and shit. It's just scary. It's also very soothing. The music seems to be built horizontally rather than vertically, which is probably why some people find it too abstract. Too bad for you, losers. Sleep - Dragonaut This is one song that I actually do listen to while outdoors - mostly while walking to the record store here in Oakland, California.
Sleep perfected the rhythm. Yes, that rhythm. The one that everyone does now. The march. The, 'I've got my headphones on and am walking hard and fast so don't ask me for money and don't look at me' kind of march. Totally sick guitar solo, too. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska No song captures the essence of being in the great, vast expanse of the middle of America like this one does. The slow boredom that turns to banality, the lyrics depicting travel and laying waste to innocence.
So beautiful and absolutely frightening and still: so natural. I know that the kids in my school used bully me just for having long hair and listening to records by people like Lawnmower Death - and they were probably right to.
My parents never told me the truth, so I spent my youth wondering why I was so different from the other kids. None of my other friends were able to light up at night or perform processor-intensive numerical calculations, so I felt pretty isolated. Then there was also my sexual attraction to machines and other inanimate objects.
I felt like I needed to keep that a secret from others and it wasn't until I heard the music of Kraftwerk that I realised that there might be more going on with me than I had been told. I know that that shit started up back in the 19th Century but there are some angry-looking dudes out there. I mean, my sister, she can't write an email, you think she starts going on about how she's a failure and admits defeat? Hell no! The computer gets a beating. That's got to be an issue for you as a robotic entity, right?
This Aint Vegas. It's straight- talking, but it could mean one of a thousand things. They're hard to pin down. On the surface, it's all manifestos and slogans. The Sunderland band's record covers secrete such confidence they make you look for a dotted line, eagerly licking the nib of your ballpoint pen. Their website looks like somebody has forcibly hand-stamped a small corner of the internet. Then you delve deeper and find more questions than answers.
I know that sounds a little vague, but the meanings behind the songs we write are so far apart, there is no other way of putting it. Good luck to anybody who does want to try it out. We have a lot of friends who have gone that way, and that is fine. As time progressed, we absorbed what was going on around us and took great influence from many different sources.
It's important to us to make our own decisions in whatever we do. As a group we feel more comfortable like that. It leaves you free. Listening to This Aint Vegas is like listening to a choir that has been stripped down to one member and placed through a punk rock compressor. Watching them live, you can't help but glance around, look on as the awe on the faces around you turns into jocular grins.
They're intense and alluring, without being lofty. The guitars are equal parts mangled and precise, the vocals seek advice from invisible devils and harlots, and the drums are every bit as primal as they are studied. They're a hard-working band who let the music do the driving while the ambition rides side-saddle. This mightn't be Vegas, but they're worth the gamble.
I'm guessing Mike Gallagher Recordings It's a quote from the beginning of Kurt Vonnegut's book, Slaughterhouse Five. Songs started to take shape and before I knew it I had written and recorded what was to become Nova Lux. Although that's not to suggest there isn't an uneasiness at play. MGR may act as a means for Mike Gallagherto express that which he can't within his band, but at the same time it remains an extension of what was made possible in the first place. Mike agrees. I have an advantage over most other forms of technology in that I am very sexy.
I find that even people who are anti- technology are not anti-sexy. So I am pretty safe. What was your function prior to that time? I enjoy making music, but the talent part. Well, one can always dream! Before making music I was programmed for making visual art.
I used to do very elaborate pen and ink drawings and stay inside and mope. At a certain point I realised that this excessive moping and isolation was due to a bug in my programming, so after several years of calculations and system reboots, I became a different sort of robot.
Do you try to spread your love around with your musical sounds? I am a robosexual. I found that, once I accepted myself as such and embraced the quirks of my romantic construction, there was plenty of love to go around. At the very core of my operating system is a desire to love and be loved. So, yeah, lam a bit of a robohippie in that regard. I've got lots of it.
You want some? But the fact of the matter is that I have been playing with Isis for close to eight years, and those guys continue to influence and inspire me. So I thinkthat MGR also shares many similarities. Think less Donnie Darko on the cusp of time, more being locked inside and out of it; a place where death is in the moment.
Nova Lux is an astonishing record, viewing the best of avant-garde drone workouts through a dark post rock sensibility, at times recalling Angelo Badalamenti's compositions for David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
I wonder if movie soundtracks are indeed an inspiration. I guess those sounds crept into my subconscious. Part of the reason for that may be due to my days being a bit crazy at that time, and me needing something to just zone out to. The customs man drills me about my love for shopping, staying with men and, uh, San Francisco.
I quickly realise where he is going when the fag-basher veins start popping out. Welcome to the UK! The show tonight is with Afrirampo, who are the sweetest. The show is sold out, with an enormous line around the block. I sell my last 40 mixtapes and get rid of 62 of my shirts. A good start! The next morning, I wake up and walk through Mat's house to piss. As I walk past the living room, I see a huge French man laughing -this is Mat's roommate.
I realise that I am wearing boxer shorts with huge lipstick marks and x's and o's all over them. I also have a bloody mouth from an unnamed incident that happened hours earlier. Tonight I am scheduled to play with Ana Da Silva. This is a huge trip because The Raincoats have had such a profound effect on me since I discovered them in my early teens. I recently bought her solo record, The Lighthouse, and was blown away.
Unfortunately Ana is ill in hospital. Tonight is her first cancelled show ever! I hope she gets better. They are super-great. I party post-show with the Upset The Rhythm kids. We make a drum circle outside, eat falafel and watch a "best of YouTube". Also an Australian children's show from the early Nineties that has a green child who suffocates himself if anyone but this other child holds him. Tanith, whose home we're at, actually stars in this episode!
It's a huge double-decker thing crammed to the max. We are on top and I attempt to sleep but the bus almost blows over many times. Scared as shit, but we arrive in B-town OK. The Corey O's, Valerie and Naomi play. It's an awkward show but good considering I bought two peanut butter milkshakes thinking that someone else would drink them with me, which didn't happen, so both went into my stomach making me a full vomitsville.
Leeds I'm playing at this old meeting hall. It reminds me of seeing my first shows at veterans' halls in the south. Jonny, who set it up, decorates with balloons, shows Revenge Of The Nerds, holds a raffle and tops it off with a pie-eating contest. London Tonight is the last show in England and I am pretty beat and tired. But Kim and Thurston just arrived in town and took a surprise cab with their sweet manager to come see the show.
I always trip out when I see friends in unexpected places. It makes me really psyched! The set climaxes literally when two young boys have sex on the side of the stage. Egypt I look out the plane windows and, through the dust and smog, I can see the pyramids. They totally dwarf the city. It's unreal. Themba and Nora are friends of mine who moved here from the north-west of America.
We take a cab to their home, which takes almost an hour. The view is endlessly insane and there are policemen on every corner holding Uzis. Here the cabs rule the traffic and roll through whatever lane they please. There are no traffic lights, speed limits, 32 plan b the void The Early Years new single 'So Far Gone' released 26th June Ji It's so punk, but no one here cares or even knows what punk is! And absolutely no rules. Like almost everything in Egypt, the taxis are from the Seventies.
They are falling apart, rusting and most of them only have a few doors that open. I have my own guestroom with a large, dusty bed. The porch overlooks the Nile! We dine at the market on 1 0-cent falafel, fool, and freshly squeezed orange juice, before heading to the Nile and renting a sailboat to watch the sunset. All of a sudden there is this moaning Arabic chanting coming in stereo over the water - it is the last round of today's prayers broadcast from barely working speakers from every mosque in the city!
We go to a dirty, worn-down cafe to discuss the logistics of tomorrow's show with Sherrif, at whose house I'll be playing. A drunk guy at the next table picks a fight with the largest man in the room. Large man invites him outside where drunk man's face becomes smashed.
Post-smash he runs in bleeding all over the floors and tables. The larger guy's friend runs in, yells a sentence, then headbutts the drunk man's already crushed face. His whole face has been turned into a cracked-skull egg mush! The next morning we rent camels to ride to the pyramids. The pyramids are closed so we pay off these kids who stand at the fence which surrounds the pyramids for miles , letting people in for a few pounds.
The ride through the Sahara is intense. The horizon is all city to the right and endless desert in every other direction. Below every sand dune is another obstacle, resembling the old video games like King's Quest or Zelda. Sometimes it would be the military whom we pay off way more than once or a man who has made a fence out of rusted car doors and barbed wire as the only trail down a cliff. We park our camels behind a dune and run to the pyramids.
Nora speaks to security for 1 5 minutes in Arabic and, miraculously, we don't have to pay a fee. So awesome. Regardless of our meeting the night before I said I needed a PA and a mixer to do the show , tonight we only have a stereo speaker. Themba and I go store to store for an hour without finding the right adaptors or mixers. But Sherrif says his friend is bringing a four-track, and so I end up using his homie's 1 Fostex four-track running through a home stereo he inherited from his father!
It's so punk, but no one here cares or even knows what punk is! She invites us over for major hangage and drinks so we catch two cabs to a street corner and walk through several crazy security checkpoints with her wearing a 'Blow This Place Up' shirt until I finally see a sign reading "Welcome to the home of the US ambassador".
We end up in one of the most secured areas of the world connected to the US Embassy, btw , sharing stories beneath the stars by the heated pool until sunrise. The next morning we go back to the market for one last lunch blowout. I try a dish which is spaghetti, noodles, rice, chickpeas and a tomato curry sauce all thrown into a cup! It reminds me of something I would have made as a kid!
I haven't showered since getting into town and I reek of camel, sunscreen, sweat and sand. It's been one of the best trips of my life. I hate pop music. Controversial, eh? It shouldn't be. But, before the assassination, a definition: "Pop music is often defined as music produced commercially, for profit, or 'as a matter of enterprise not art'," notes Wikipedia.
It's that line "designed to appeal to everyone" that gets me. In an age run by marketing men, pop music -which has, to be fair, always been sold for mass appeal - has morphed into culture we're all permitted to buy into. Pop says: come one, come all. Bring your cynicism and your irony, so as long as you keep buying.
It's McMusic; sickly, disposable, idiot fodder. Music as communism, but in the hands of capitalists. Cultural uniformity. Fuck that! I want my music elite. I don't want to find myself discussing Kaiser Chiefs with my headmaster uncle last gig: Westlife on Christmas Day again. I want snobbery and discourse and, unless you're Green Day, chances are I'll hate you once you pass the 1 million sales mark.
Sure, I like pop songs. The way I see it, there are two types of pop fans. Those who like a song buy it, love it without analysis or irony, live by it and dispose of it; the average high- street shopper who gets his or her cultural stimuli from Asda, basically. Then are those who merely pretend to like it — those who witter on about pop's beautiful vacuity I want to punch Cat Deeley in the face and veneer, and how jolly wonderful it all is.
I'm looking at you, Paul Morley. But since when did hating pop music become anathema? My entire adolescence was a reaction to all things popular. Music was never about continuing to live in a Saturday-morning fantasy land - 1 mean, I want to punch Cat Deeley in the face - but rather a guest pass to the adult party: sex, alcohol, sleeping in ditches. Of course, pop music provides pivotal moments of brilliance. Songs that soundtrack your life.
Define your era. And the obsession of true pop devotees is undeniable, but then the same can be said for any musical genre. There are two words that sum up everything I hate about pop: Pete Waterman. This man ensured that my generation's formative years were soundtracked by a sickening, synthetic, airless carousel of music devoid of meaning or value.
One other point: pop music has killed critical faculties in the 2 1 st century. You can no longer merely say: 'I love pop music - it's brilliant,' as it won't fly. I want to be blown away, confused and face-fucked by a song, not just briefly titillated. And puh-lease don't say you love Sugababes and Girls Aloud because they're sultry and real and have great production and because that's what you're meant to say. Say it because you mean it. I like some Sugababes stuff, yes.
I also think Madonna has released nothing but conceptual offal with all the life irrigated out of it for 1 5 years straight. Ditto Jacko at least Prince had his creative crisis in private. And my opinions on Robbie Williams have remained watertight since 1 Sue me. Pop is merely an extension of the current culture of perpetual adolescence, cheap thrills, mindless gossip and whooping. And I hate whooping more than I hate Williams. They are Girls Aloud.
Their songs boast the smartest lines, the most fucked-up sounds, the most instantly gratifying hooks. They make anthems for Binge Drink Britain, choruses which sound most alive when bellowed raucously by a gaggle of alcopop-saturated girls; they do a nice line in tear-sodden balladry, too. They're also the best acid test for snobbery. The UK music press failed it, sneering that Girls Aloud's origins were in " hotspots of teenage pregnancy and petty crime around the country" true, and they never hid it; maybe there was something in that Sound Of The Underground 'title after all , proving that while working-class white boys will always get lionised as 'gritty' and 'authentic', no matter how bad their music Oasis, Arctic Monkeys , working-class women must feign classiness and sophistication in order not to be dismissed as trash.
They've produced three albums in as many years, all of which are high-concept works, and essentially perfect. At this point, their producers and writers, Xenomania, deserve a parenthetical mention. But although the Girls Aloud project is guided by them, the relationship is a symbiotic one. Sound Of The Underground takes its cues from diverse sources including Puretone, Betty Boo and The Knack, and paints Girls Aloud as teenage small-town rebels: the girl gang hanging out on street corners and in provincial meat markets, bored out of their skulls by everything.
The music is bubblegum of the purest, pinkest flavour, but the recurring themes are dissatisfaction and frustration. There's no self-pity though: rather, there's steel-eyed ambition and determination to make it the fuck out of thisshithole.
Which they did, by winning a reality TV programme. What Will The Neighbours Say? The small-town mindset is gone; the cheap beats have metamorphosed into a smorgasbord of sleek, forward-thinking, hyper-polished production. It sounds like a bunch of kids let loose in a sweet shop, eyes widened as they try to take in all the hitherto unavailable delights on offer at once.
There are heartbreaks and hangovers, non-stop bons mots "He started out a squeeze, but pretty soon he was a tourniquet" , and pounding techno that sounds like Vitalic on pink wine 'The Show'. Chemistry moves on to the serious shit, and it's funnier than ever. The album is full of finely judged barbs, from which they don't exempt themselves.
The endlessly quotable lyrics amp up the cartoonish ludicrousness to tabloid levels: check the impossibly addictive mid-album double-header of 'Watch Me Go' which culminates in a Daphne And Celeste-esque chant of "I know what you're thin kin'! You been thin kin' 'bout my butt! Meanwhile, they manage to both trump The White Stripes' entire career with the faux-blues intro to 'Biology' and dip their perfectly manicured toes into the waters of ketamine-house with the blankly blissful 'It's Magic'.
Who knows what comes next? Who cares? Right now, Girls Aloud make music for the head, the heart and the hips, and they are brilliant in every single way. And there's no doubt that moodiness is one of his music's most important threads. But Alex Smoke - real name Alex Menzies - is actually an extremely affable and accommodating Glaswegian, the kind of character people will describe as "a really, really nice bloke" and mean it.
His music, too, is extraordinarily accommodating. Smoke takes basic house templates and swathes them in gorgeous, trembling melody and obsessively multi-layered arrangements. It's a formalist, rather than formulaic, approach; and even when Smoke aims for a harsher effect, it's one always characterised by precision, internal logic, and a total lack of unnecessary elements.
More often, though, it's beautifully and exquisitely pristine: both Smoke's debut, 's Incommunicado, and new album Paradolia are replete with music that is both delicately crafted and astoundingly effective on the dancefloor. The former is a collection of refined takes on electro- house, dubstep and the currently vogueish minimal house, composed over a four-year period; the latter is a more coherent album qua album, full of sleekly and elegantly constructed techno.
Centrepiece 'Prima Materia' is particularly astounding: it starts off portentous and dignified, with orchestral phrases sweeping imperiously forward, before Smoke drops a completely standard house beat and the song metamorphoses into a big gay anthem, all triumphant horn fanfares and ecstatic string climaxes. Elsewhere, 'Formax' sees the animals from Andre Kraml's 'Safari' rounded up with electric cattle prods, while 'Never Want To See You Again' features the best descending minimal riff of so far.
One thing that fascinates me about minimal house is the way it perfectly and simultaneously expresses very opposing, extreme emotions: obviously, there's the anthemic dancefloor element, but at the same time, and without impinging upon the happiness, it's often wistful and melancholic.
Relentlessly happy music like trance seems unnatural to me - it has to have an element of melancholy to make any sense. Trance is almost like. California emotion, painted with such a heavy brush. The minimal sound has been ridiculously fashionable for a while now, but more and more I hear stuff and think, " Hang on, I have heard music like this before, and it was not music anyone called cool. Do I conclude I detest it?
Or did I never really detest it in the first place? I mean, the trance thing, I guess I've done it myself - 'Chica Wappa' on the first album was pushing towards it, and I can't bring myself to play it out, because it seems so. He reiterates his dislike of his classical upbringing, but says his current listening is "more classical than ever, now that I don't have to". I think the reason I like Mozart so much is because his music is so ordered and balanced.
It takes a lot of time and effort for me to try and roughen things up, if that's the texture I want to go for. These days he has rediscovered a love for orchestra. And with electronic music, you can create even more noises. Though Smoke is adamant that tracks and film music should be kept separate, the visual qualities of his albums are what remains with you: '6am', the opening track of Incommunicado, evokes startlingly sharp scenes: circling strings panning gradually in deserted city streets, last night's detritus borne along on the breeze and a couple of early-morning stragglers heading home, then zooming further and further in, until the scene of the last rave still going is brought into focus, and then in the final stretch bursting through the doors to join them.
The scene was sparkling, and there were candles. There is definitely a magical aspect to it, like casting a spell. It's my escapism, it's my way of delving into another world. It's like a twisted rainbow. A beautiful thing.
I was so in love with them that I squeezed them so tightly they kept on dying on me! It was like my version of Father Christmas. It takes a certain amount of naivety to suspend disbelief. Now I get that same naive feeling by going to the cinema or when I'm visualising the story for a song - you know that it's not really true, but you believe in it anyway. When he left the glass shattered.
I grew up, overnight, and then I started to play and write songs. I would go downstairs at night-time to the piano and play with a soft pedal on. I never realised why I started playing at that point but maybe that was why. It was really secret, my special time to fantasise about things and let out my emotions. The piano sounds far, far away, interspersed with spoken word in a swirling soundscape, as though from an open-air cinema.
She agrees how special it is to be using a rediscovered tape from her childhood on an actual recording. How does the secrecy of those first music- making experiences compare to sharing your music now? It's wild swans calling and emerald slippers pattering, mystery and mysticism and bad weather. It's storytelling, fantasy and the desire for discovery, creation and procreation.
It must be the dramatic Kate Bush-esque production; the mighty harpsichord highs and the dirty desert guitar lows, the ovary- rattling sub-bass and the delicate harp in between. Or her voice, like rain on your heart. And the crescendos - what crescendos! Natasha Khan, the Bat herself, talks about her music like one possessed. She grapples to pin it down, cross-referencing films, illustrators and dream-scenes: Karate Kid, Edmund Gorey, boys with animal heads. How I had rushed through the city's streets to get there, and that as soon as I stepped inside it was as if someone had pressed hold on the beat of the city.
Natasha's hair was long, slick and black like Cleopatra's. They were dressing up through the music, wearing feathers on their " I think there still is secrecy, because when you're writing, you are in secret. Songwriting takes me back to those childlike feelings of not knowing and wonder and playfulness.
And to that trance-like feeling of writing something and it working through you so you're almost unconscious, and then at the end what comes out of it is like a present, and you're like - well, thank-you! I don't really know where that came from, but it's good!
Plan B meets the figureheads of the dubstep revolution Nando's, Croydon, April Over chicken with Digital Mystikz How do you know when to release a track? Mala: "I dunno, it's just like. Most of the tracks he plays, no one else has got them. Obviously, once you start giving them out to other DJs, it becomes more known, and you see what response you get from other DJs.
Coki: "Yeah. It's good that Digital Mystikz is two people, because we learn things off each other. Indiecent Exposure is a playlist to share our favorite new indie releases the moment they become available. Follow this playlist to stay updated on the latest indie. They both feature the best of the latest indie releases. Team — Let the Seasons Work The Man Claud Matt Berninger Manchester Orchestra Liz Harris 2. Ezra Furman Clare Twiddy Gnome — The Wild Child Jones — Bad Moves 5. Gnome — Gold Edges Band of Horses Motivator Original art by: E.
Takuro — Text and editing by: S. Original art by: James Munn — Text and editing by: S. Indie Crack Cover by: S.
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|My favourite girl king creosote torrent||Kick: That's what I figure, but he doesn't seem to have - ahem - inserted anything of himself into the song. Chris: Hibernating. Etienne: "It started with a big love for bass music, 'World music is the new pop music' eurodance and Dirty South hip hop. The reviewer see above wanted you to be a book -in fact, you're living art. Catfish Haven: Crazy For Leaving Chicago's Catfish Haven prove there's still room in this cynical world for the art of simply playing music for pleasure. Is the release harbinger of a slew of heavy music that's female-friendly and female-led; a document from a world too wyrd, fun and scary for the macho noise-posturers of the current sub-underground? That's how I judge boys: 'He might be cool, but check his shoes!|
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