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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2012 » December » 15


Louise Brailey recommends Bryan Ferry’s The Jazz Age

Delivered... Louise Brailey | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 12:19 pm

It’s with some degree of apprehension that one approaches The Jazz Age, even as a long-time fan of their work I found myself side-eyeing the concept: EB ally Bryan Ferry decides to a radical reinterpretation of his back catalogue, both solo and Roxy Music, transforming them into 1920’s-style big band jazz numbers with great fidelity to the recording methods of the day. Sure, Roxy Music were always in thrall to their past, their records—particularly up to Siren—were full of citations to genres past…yet somehow they remained weighted towards the future. To suddenly take on such an antique genre, so disconnected from contemporary era—yet so evocative and so venerated—as to seem costume-like, seems almost like a retreat into conservatism.

Don’t be fooled. Bryan Ferry was dabbling with coke-fuelled soundtrack of the interwar years as far back as Roxy Music, in 1973, when “Bitters Sweet” was used as a penultimate track, poking out at a jaunty, tootling angle from an recordy already rendered crooked, uneven from the undiluted rush of ideas. In Michael Bracewell’s band biography-cum-dissertation much is made of the young Ferry’s early interest in jazz further compounding the notion that The Jazz Age is actually quite a fitting, left field attempt at a victory lap celebrating Ferry’s 40th year of making music. Because if there was a band who definitely didn’t need another greatest hits, it’s Roxy Music.

What of the music? The decision to record in mono and to recapture the warmth bestowed by primitive recording techniques, far from feeling like play acting, actually feels curiously refreshing to ears on leave from the Loudness Wars. Roxy Music’s musical structures, always so complex and weird, are dismantled and rebuilt into compositions that go beyond vintage folly or mere replica. What’s more, the Old World glamor so often a referenced by Ferry is rendered explicit through these versions: “Do the Strand” is, perhaps fittingly, reformatted into a seasick charleston; “Love is the Drug” sails by with all the sophistication and smarm of one of Waugh’s Bright Young Things; “Virginia Plane” is unrecognizable, massaged into a quasi-comedic vaudeville turn.

The ghosts of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and myriad smoked out juke joints cast long shadows over this set, and the decision of making it an entirely instrumental album is a brave one given how closely associated Ferry’s insinuating vibrato is to the music here. Much should be made of the the seasoned jazz players, sourced individually by Ferry, who do a masterful job of filling the lack with color and character, particularly trumpeter Enrico Tomasso. A strangely apt and enjoyable retread then, that not only pays tribute to these excellent songs but actually adds something new to the Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry back catalogue. Remake / Remodel indeed. ~

 

 

 

 

 

Mix of the day: Franklin De Costa

Delivered... RA - The Feed | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 9:00 am
Burlington Project mark their 50th podcast with a smooth sailing mix from long-serving German DJ and producer Franklin De Costa.

News : LOOK: The Second “Weekly” Beers of the World Tasting

Delivered... [email protected] | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 1:07 am
LOOK: The Second “Weekly” Beers of the World Tasting

"Last week" the FILTER staff partook in a very German and Spain heavy Beers of the World. This week we brought Beers of the World back in the best type of holiday fashion with delicious treats and foreign friends. Instead of describing each beer by what they are supposed to taste like, this time we are going to give you our beer tasting "expertise" through soundbites from throughout the happy hour. Let's get started!

Einstök Icelandic White Ale (Iceland): "This is awful." -- Alan Miller

St. Amand French Country Ale (France): "You know what this tastes like? Exactly like Soy Sauce." -- Bailey Pennick

Abbey Affligem Tripel (Belgium): Voted the best of the tasting by the entire FILTER staff

Schneider Weisse Aventinus Wheat-Doppelbock Ale (Germany): "This is so sweet and syrupy" -- Melissa Simonian

Staropramen (Prague): "I get a distinct reminder and taste of bologna" -- Angelica Corona

Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen Aus Bayern (Germany): "This is an inoffensive beer. It's really polite." -- Breanna Murphy

Nikšićko pivo (Montenegro): "This is kind of like a European Budweiser." -- Will Overby

Golden Pheasant Lager (Slovakia): "They all start to taste good after the first few." -- Angelica Corona
 

What should we try next? Let us know! Until next time… Proust! Cheers! Salud!

“I tend to dwell on things a lot” – An interview with Sigha

Delivered... Louise Brailey | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 12:01 am

A couple of weeks ago Berlin resident James Shaw, better known by his alias Sigha, dropped by the EB office. His latest album Ghosts, released through Scuba’s Hotflush imprint, caught our attention with its pulsating, granite-cold rumination on techno purism with tracks like “Puritan” “Dressing for Pleasure and “Scene Couple” capturing a particularly British sternness: this is music made for massive spaces, for bodies slick in chemical sweat, for six feet-thick concrete walls and Monday mornings that could be Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. There has been, of course, a recent appetite in techno of a more pummeling stripe, with continued the influence of Regis’ bruised limbed industialism (and, of course, the return of British Murder Boys) and Blawan’s subterranean schlock gaining traction—Ghosts, despite its citations of techno past, feels, in its mood, distinctly contemporary. We wanted to find out more, so when we invited James to come by to do an interview we decided to add a twist: he suggested he would bring some pictures of his favorite pieces of art (and in this case, one video) with him. There was no brief or limitation on what these would be of, other than they would have some resonance for him. The hope was that by appealing to a more personal narrative we might trigger discussion on subjects that you never expected to broach and in turn gain greater insight than a usual Q&A session might usually allow. We hope you agree that it was a successful experiment.

 

You’re from south London originally. Right now there seems to have been this swing towards south, in terms of a party scene.

99% of my friends when I left were living in North London and were all, “Yeah, I don’t wanna go south of the river” and now everyone’s relocating to Peckham. It’s the new East London.

What brought you to Berlin?

The thing that first brought me here was definitely music; I was coming out to her play and to hear techno and such, but the more time I spent here I started to realize how cheap it is compared to London. There you’re struggling if you’re an artist, but here it’s possible to really live. So I started to fall in love with the city. Since I’ve moved here, I’ve also thought of living in different cities as well for short periods of time—taking the opportunity to soak up different atmospheres that you might not normally see when you just come to a place, play a show and leave. Berlin is the first city I’ve lived in abroad, and it’s opened my eyes to that massively.

Last night someone asked me how Berlin was, and what was I listening to, and I had no answer. Is there a Berlin sound anymore? 

Everyone’s going to have a different idea of what a certain place sounds like. Maybe my idea of it is ignorant; I’ve only been here a year, but it seems to me that if you’re looking at the broader electronic landscape in Berlin, techno and house still have a massive stranglehold on the city. I can only compare it to London, where people are so obsessed (consciously or unconsciously) with newness, freshness. That has positives and negatives, of course. It means that some scenes never get a change to grow or develop in a way that would allow them to reach their potential. Suddenly, all the followers disappear because the sound or scene isn’t hip anymore, and it collapses. On the other hand, it’s so inspiring creatively. You get something like dubstep, which has completely changed the musical landscape.

You started out making dubstep, but you’ve moved into the realms of almost purist techno with your new album Ghosts. How do you feel about dubstep, about what happened to it?

For me, the early wave of dubstep, the sounds that were just emerging out of the collapsing garage scene, the sort of half-step thing…the sparseness of that sound really drew me. In a way that’s also what attracted me to techno. Producers were doing so much with so few elements. Every week I’d be down at Plastic People, and for me that time was so exciting. It was this amalgamation of sounds I loved: huge amounts of bass, sparseness, hypnotic— it was like a drug, you’d get drawn into this deep sound in a black room, losing yourself to it. But quite quickly, and I suppose this was when the genre was still developing and people were finding their feet, it grew in popularity and started to follow certain rules and patterns. Unfortunately this kind of energy that had drawn me to it started to disappear.

Maybe this is just me, but I feel like people started to lose interest in that half-step sound when the smoking ban hit. I’ve always wondered how much of an impact not being able to smoke weed in clubs anymore had on people not wanting to listen to slow, spacious music. Suddenly, the energy changed, the whole wobble thing picked up and the mid-range vibe came in a lot more.

And what about your own development?

It was a natural progression, really. Even around the first time Scuba hit me up, and I sent him the first load of tracks that resulted in the first EP,  I was more interested in playing and writing techno than I was dubstep. The first couple of Hotflush records were exactly what you’re describing, and attempt to bridge the gap between the dubstep and techno records I was playing. Shackleton is perfect for that as well. It’s not always an easy thing to find, though. Even then, though, I was already under this transformation. At times it’s been frustrating, because for a long time I’ve played what I would call purist techno, but people I guess have had this perception of me as something different. Even after the first few Hotflush releases, there were a couple of EPs like Rawww, which was dubby kind of house, and then Shake. Those two EPs I actually made after a trip to Berlin to see Cassie play in Panorama Bar and losing my shit at ten in the morning.

How did you first get into electronic music? 

My first electronic epiphany was wandering into a warehouse squat party and just hearing techno blasting in this massive room. I was sixteen at the time and had never heard club music in a club environment. I’d played in bands and was studying guitar, and that was what I was into then: more traditional music, however abstract you want to consider it. I’d listened to some Warp records and such, but I had a bit of a low opinion on club music to be honest. I remember hearing the cool crew on the bus playing their garage mixtapes and thinking, “I just wanna hear some Nirvana.”

But when I stumbled into this party, and I had just come to pick a friend up…it just blew my mind. I’d never heard that music in the right environment. It totally changed the way I thought about electronic music. I started hanging out with more producers than guitarists, and I was picking up bits and bobs from different people. My knowledge of electronic music was next to nothing, and suddenly this whole vast sea of unknown sounds was opened up to me. When I started making sounds, it was honestly the result of taking too many drugs and the result of that was some very strange music.

In what way?

I wanted to make music not for parties, but for after-parties—things that would mess with people’s heads, basically. That was my logic.

Onto the pictures. The first picture you’ve chosen is a very familiar one.

 

Sir John Everett Millais, Ophelia

This, obviously, is Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais which is one of my favorite pictures ever. Maybe it’s a bit weird because it’s not the sort of image you’d ascribe to techno, but I just think it’s so lovely. I’m a massive fan of pre-Raphaelite art, and this is the painting that started that. The story of her singing while she’s drowning, and her expression while it happens has such a melancholic beauty to it.

Do you have a tendency toward melancholic impulses in your work?

Massively. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or what it says about my psyche, but I tend to dwell on things a lot. I’m a solitary person and I spend a lot of time thinking heavily on things. I guess my way of getting it out is in music and writing. There’s something i just find incredibly attractive and appealing about this beautiful sadness.

This is a picture of a sculpture by Cornelia Parker called Mass (Colder Darker Matter)and it was nominated for the Turner Prize. I remember going to see the Turner Awards with my mom in 1997, and she was always really into art and galleries—that’s where I get my obsession. This piece has resonated and stuck with me. A church in Texas was struck by lightning, and Parker collected the charred wood and suspended the pieces in a way that looked like an exploding cube. It took up this whole room in the Tate, and the negative space between the charred wood… the impact was incredible.

Next, this a still from Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising. Anyone following me on Twitter will recognize it as my default pic. I’m just a big fan, basically, and I think this photo is such an incredible capture of male strength and beauty. So I hijacked it for my Twitter profile.

I’ve always been intrigued by that version of masculinity fetishized in leather boy culture.

I think when you’re not involved with a way of life that’s sufficiently different from your own, it makes the fascination toward it even stronger.

This is perhaps the most striking, unsettling image.

This is by David Noonan, a multimedia artist who works with prints and embroidery. I stumbled across him last year at the Great British Art Show last year. There were a couple huge, grayscale and sepia embroideries hanging there and they were incredible. I think he sources images from all over, film, photography, anywhere he can find and just makes this surreal pieces. I find them very evocative.

The final picture I’ve chosen is Kohei Yoshiyuki’s Untitled, Plate 18  byJapanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki, who in 1980 released this book called Dokyumento: Kōen (Document: Park). There was this park in central Tokyo that people would go to at night and just hook up, and he documented this scene. And it wouldn’t be just couples; there’d be three or four people sometimes, or people actively standing there and getting off on watching others, and basically he just immersed himself in this culture. It’s similar in that respect to the Tichý photo. I’m fascinated how people can just let go, not worry about the judgments of others. I’m also interested in the work of Miroslav Tichý, who was a Czech photographer and a real voyeur—if he was taking the portraits he did today, I reckon he’d be locked up. He basically went around with a homemade camera and took pictures of women when they didn’t know he was looking. He’s now become an incredibly influential photographer. I love the voyeuristic attitude of the pictures but also the composition, the untouched rawness of the shots due to the nature of them and the rough equipment he was using as well as intentional processing mistakes meant to dirty it up further. He once said, “If you want to be famous, you must do something worse than anybody in the entire world.” And it worked for him.

Your last choice is a video.

 

 

This is a collaboration between Gareth Pugh and Nick Knight. It was also used for the imagery for a feature that Dazed & Confused did on Pugh—who I absolutely love. In a kind of similar way to art, fashion is influential to me. Not all of it, but someone like Pugh… The clothes he makes and the ways in which he showcases them are amazing. He has this vision of a universe, and he creates it. ~

 

H.P. Baxxter meets Modeselektor Part 1 – “It’s the haircut, I guess.”

Delivered... Gernot Bronsert | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 12:01 am

Over the past five years, Scooter and their unmistakable lead singer H.P. Baxxter have experienced something of a renaissance amongst purveyors of continental high culture. Why? Who the fuck knows. Some say it’s their special blend of lowbrow Dada boomboom; others claim it’s Nobel-level PR. Modeselektor’s Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary don’t have the answer, but they do share Baxxter’s love of the Roland Space Echo, as they recently discovered in conversation with the peroxide frontman in Hamburg.

 

Gernot Bronsert: We could have met a couple of years ago. We were playing in Vienna at the Flex, and we spotted you from the stage. You and your entourage were at the bar.

H.P. Baxxter: I remember. We were in town because we were invited to take part in a talk show. Somebody suggested we attend your show afterwards.

Sebastian Szary: We noticed that you left during the last song we played. I remember thinking: This is how you do it when you’re a celebrity. You leave before everybody else.

HP: We were thinking about saying hello backstage, but it doesn’t really make sense when you’re unannounced. So we just enjoyed the concert as regular members of the crowd, and then we called it a day. But it’s interesting that you noticed us.

GB: It was actually impossible not to notice you: you and your entourage basically took all the seats at the bar. And you, H.P., are especially impossible to overlook. It’s the haircut, I guess.

SS: You’ve got a silhouette. Everybody knows your look— for almost two decades you haven’t changed anything.

HP: Old habits die hard. Whenever I like something I stick to it. I dye my hair once every two weeks, and I shave twice a day.

GB: Have you ever been offered an endorsement deal for a shampoo?

HP: No, but I was offered a couple of other things since I will be quite present in German TV due to my commitment for the new season of the casting show X Factor. I’m part of the jury that decides who will become a candidate for the finale.

SS: Who’s the winner? Come on, I promise I won’t tell anybody.

HP: As I said, we’ve only produced the shows that lead to the finale. Nobody knows what will happen during the live shows that follow . . .

GB: Let me guess: Scooter are releasing their sixteenth album?

HP: Yes we will release our next album in October. But is it already our sixteenth album?

GB: Don’t you know how many records you’ve made?

HP: I know the number of our top ten singles: twenty-four.

SS: What’s the thrill of doing a sixteenth album?

HP: It’s been three years now since we had our last top ten hit. I feel it’s an obligation to write new hits because I don’t want Scooter to become a nostalgic act with an old audience only always asking for the classic hits. A hit single certainly attracts a younger crowd and that’s very important if you ask me. That’s reason enough to try.

GB: How can you know that the next single will become a top ten hit?

HP: Well, I hope it will. We wrote it the way we did thinking it could become one. It’s a very energetic track for sure.

SS: Coming back to the Flex club in Vienna: After we spotted you from the stage, we briefly discussed whether we should play “Hyper Hyper”, but we decided not to in the end. We didn’t dare.

GB: We just weren’t sure about it.

HP:I totally understand. It can be embarrassing when you enter a club and suddenly the DJ completely destroys the mood of his set by playing two Scooter tracks—just because he spotted you and wants to welcome you. Anyhow, I remember that after your show had ended, I told my assistant that he should get me all of Modeselektor’s recordings. Honestly, it doesn’t happen that often that I really like a live set. It sounded totally different than your studio work, by the way.

GB: That’s because we’re playing everything live. We have separate tracks for every instrument. We don’t use entire playbacks. That’s also the reason why every show we do is different from the one before. I suppose that you have to check out audience recordings on YouTube if you want to see that part of Modeselektor.

 

Continued in Part 2 “Every audience loves pyro” tomorrow.

-

H.P. Baxxter meets Modeselektor Part 1 – “It’s the haircut, I guess.”

Delivered... Gernot Bronsert | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 12:01 am

Over the past five years, Scooter and their unmistakable lead singer H.P. Baxxter have experienced something of a renaissance amongst purveyors of continental high culture. Why? Who the fuck knows. Some say it’s their special blend of lowbrow Dada boomboom; others claim it’s Nobel-level PR. Modeselektor’s Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary don’t have the answer, but they do share Baxxter’s love of the Roland Space Echo, as they recently discovered in conversation with the peroxide frontman in Hamburg.

 

Gernot Bronsert: We could have met a couple of years ago. We were playing in Vienna at the Flex, and we spotted you from the stage. You and your entourage were at the bar.

H.P. Baxxter: I remember. We were in town because we were invited to take part in a talk show. Somebody suggested we attend your show afterwards.

Sebastian Szary: We noticed that you left during the last song we played. I remember thinking: This is how you do it when you’re a celebrity. You leave before everybody else.

HP: We were thinking about saying hello backstage, but it doesn’t really make sense when you’re unannounced. So we just enjoyed the concert as regular members of the crowd, and then we called it a day. But it’s interesting that you noticed us.

GB: It was actually impossible not to notice you: you and your entourage basically took all the seats at the bar. And you, H.P., are especially impossible to overlook. It’s the haircut, I guess.

SS: You’ve got a silhouette. Everybody knows your look— for almost two decades you haven’t changed anything.

HP: Old habits die hard. Whenever I like something I stick to it. I dye my hair once every two weeks, and I shave twice a day.

GB: Have you ever been offered an endorsement deal for a shampoo?

HP: No, but I was offered a couple of other things since I will be quite present in German TV due to my commitment for the new season of the casting show X Factor. I’m part of the jury that decides who will become a candidate for the finale.

SS: Who’s the winner? Come on, I promise I won’t tell anybody.

HP: As I said, we’ve only produced the shows that lead to the finale. Nobody knows what will happen during the live shows that follow . . .

GB: Let me guess: Scooter are releasing their sixteenth album?

HP: Yes we will release our next album in October. But is it already our sixteenth album?

GB: Don’t you know how many records you’ve made?

HP: I know the number of our top ten singles: twenty-four.

SS: What’s the thrill of doing a sixteenth album?

HP: It’s been three years now since we had our last top ten hit. I feel it’s an obligation to write new hits because I don’t want Scooter to become a nostalgic act with an old audience only always asking for the classic hits. A hit single certainly attracts a younger crowd and that’s very important if you ask me. That’s reason enough to try.

GB: How can you know that the next single will become a top ten hit?

HP: Well, I hope it will. We wrote it the way we did thinking it could become one. It’s a very energetic track for sure.

SS: Coming back to the Flex club in Vienna: After we spotted you from the stage, we briefly discussed whether we should play “Hyper Hyper”, but we decided not to in the end. We didn’t dare.

GB: We just weren’t sure about it.

HP:I totally understand. It can be embarrassing when you enter a club and suddenly the DJ completely destroys the mood of his set by playing two Scooter tracks—just because he spotted you and wants to welcome you. Anyhow, I remember that after your show had ended, I told my assistant that he should get me all of Modeselektor’s recordings. Honestly, it doesn’t happen that often that I really like a live set. It sounded totally different than your studio work, by the way.

GB: That’s because we’re playing everything live. We have separate tracks for every instrument. We don’t use entire playbacks. That’s also the reason why every show we do is different from the one before. I suppose that you have to check out audience recordings on YouTube if you want to see that part of Modeselektor.

 

Continued in Part 2 “Every audience loves pyro” tomorrow.

-

H.P. Baxxter meets Modeselektor Part 1 – “It’s the haircut, I guess.”

Delivered... Gernot Bronsert | Scene | Sat 15 Dec 2012 12:01 am

Over the past five years, Scooter and their unmistakable lead singer H.P. Baxxter have experienced something of a renaissance amongst purveyors of continental high culture. Why? Who the fuck knows. Some say it’s their special blend of lowbrow Dada boomboom; others claim it’s Nobel-level PR. Modeselektor’s Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary don’t have the answer, but they do share Baxxter’s love of the Roland Space Echo, as they recently discovered in conversation with the peroxide frontman in Hamburg.

 

Gernot Bronsert: We could have met a couple of years ago. We were playing in Vienna at the Flex, and we spotted you from the stage. You and your entourage were at the bar.

H.P. Baxxter: I remember. We were in town because we were invited to take part in a talk show. Somebody suggested we attend your show afterwards.

Sebastian Szary: We noticed that you left during the last song we played. I remember thinking: This is how you do it when you’re a celebrity. You leave before everybody else.

HP: We were thinking about saying hello backstage, but it doesn’t really make sense when you’re unannounced. So we just enjoyed the concert as regular members of the crowd, and then we called it a day. But it’s interesting that you noticed us.

GB: It was actually impossible not to notice you: you and your entourage basically took all the seats at the bar. And you, H.P., are especially impossible to overlook. It’s the haircut, I guess.

SS: You’ve got a silhouette. Everybody knows your look— for almost two decades you haven’t changed anything.

HP: Old habits die hard. Whenever I like something I stick to it. I dye my hair once every two weeks, and I shave twice a day.

GB: Have you ever been offered an endorsement deal for a shampoo?

HP: No, but I was offered a couple of other things since I will be quite present in German TV due to my commitment for the new season of the casting show X Factor. I’m part of the jury that decides who will become a candidate for the finale.

SS: Who’s the winner? Come on, I promise I won’t tell anybody.

HP: As I said, we’ve only produced the shows that lead to the finale. Nobody knows what will happen during the live shows that follow . . .

GB: Let me guess: Scooter are releasing their sixteenth album?

HP: Yes we will release our next album in October. But is it already our sixteenth album?

GB: Don’t you know how many records you’ve made?

HP: I know the number of our top ten singles: twenty-four.

SS: What’s the thrill of doing a sixteenth album?

HP: It’s been three years now since we had our last top ten hit. I feel it’s an obligation to write new hits because I don’t want Scooter to become a nostalgic act with an old audience only always asking for the classic hits. A hit single certainly attracts a younger crowd and that’s very important if you ask me. That’s reason enough to try.

GB: How can you know that the next single will become a top ten hit?

HP: Well, I hope it will. We wrote it the way we did thinking it could become one. It’s a very energetic track for sure.

SS: Coming back to the Flex club in Vienna: After we spotted you from the stage, we briefly discussed whether we should play “Hyper Hyper”, but we decided not to in the end. We didn’t dare.

GB: We just weren’t sure about it.

HP:I totally understand. It can be embarrassing when you enter a club and suddenly the DJ completely destroys the mood of his set by playing two Scooter tracks—just because he spotted you and wants to welcome you. Anyhow, I remember that after your show had ended, I told my assistant that he should get me all of Modeselektor’s recordings. Honestly, it doesn’t happen that often that I really like a live set. It sounded totally different than your studio work, by the way.

GB: That’s because we’re playing everything live. We have separate tracks for every instrument. We don’t use entire playbacks. That’s also the reason why every show we do is different from the one before. I suppose that you have to check out audience recordings on YouTube if you want to see that part of Modeselektor.

 

Continued in Part 2 “Every audience loves pyro” tomorrow.

-

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