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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Nosheen Iqbal


Giorgio Moroder: ‘I don’t even like dancing’

Delivered... Nosheen Iqbal | Scene | Sat 9 Feb 2019 6:00 pm
At 78, on the eve of his first ever live tour, inspired by his hits with Donna Summer, the dance music super-producer talks about his 50-year career, the glory of digital recording – and Ed Sheeran

Giorgio Moroder wants to set the record straight. Sat in the living room of his family home in the Italian Alps, which pleasingly features a white grand piano, wall-to-wall avocado shag carpet and dozens of framed gold discs, the super-producer and owner of music history’s most glorious moustache wants to unpick some cliches. First of all, he says, he never really liked or went to clubs. Nor was he ever much of a dancer. And despite his profound impact on, well, both clubs and dancing, he would prefer it if we stopped referring to him as the grandfather of dance music.

“No, and I do not like being called the godfather of disco and electronic music either,” he says, wryly. “It’s better than being called the grandfather, but I still don’t like it.”

I play enough to compose, but with a computer, if you make a mistake you just redo it

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The best albums of 2017, No 6: LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

Delivered... Nosheen Iqbal | Scene | Fri 15 Dec 2017 7:00 am

Plot twist! James Murphy and co returned with an exquisite ode to love, musical heroes and middle-age

It was the comeback that was never supposed to be, for a band that were never allowed to disappoint, after they flamboyantly broke up with farewell shows at Madison Square Garden in 2011. The stakes were high: fans had been given an unimpeachable legacy and a perfect ending. Why, went the logic, would James Murphy dare sully the music we loved and adored in the noughties by – plot twist! – making more of it?

Well, because there was more to say. American Dream, for all its declarative intent, didn’t so much chronicle the state of the nation as it does Murphy’s place in it now; the middle-aged cool guy in a middle-aged cool band, lamenting relationships and heroes, love and ageing. It is exquisite. A moody, pulsating epic that wears its references – Berlin-era Bowie, 80s Talking Heads, the entire first decade of DFA Records’ output – without being wearying.

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The best albums of 2017, No 6: LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

Delivered... Nosheen Iqbal | Scene | Fri 15 Dec 2017 7:00 am

Plot twist! James Murphy and co returned with an exquisite ode to love, musical heroes and middle-age

It was the comeback that was never supposed to be, for a band that were never allowed to disappoint, after they flamboyantly broke up with farewell shows at Madison Square Garden in 2011. The stakes were high: fans had been given an unimpeachable legacy and a perfect ending. Why, went the logic, would James Murphy dare sully the music we loved and adored in the noughties by – plot twist! – making more of it?

Well, because there was more to say. American Dream, for all its declarative intent, didn’t so much chronicle the state of the nation as it does Murphy’s place in it now; the middle-aged cool guy in a middle-aged cool band, lamenting relationships and heroes, love and ageing. It is exquisite. A moody, pulsating epic that wears its references – Berlin-era Bowie, 80s Talking Heads, the entire first decade of DFA Records’ output – without being wearying.

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Best albums of 2012, No 2: Grimes – Visions

Delivered... Nosheen Iqbal | Scene | Thu 13 Dec 2012 11:02 am

Claire Boucher is so fixated on her music representing her completely that she starved herself to bring out Visions

Read any of the interviews Claire Boucher gave in the runup to the release of Visions and you'd be tempted to dismiss the construct of Grimes as pseudo hipster nonsense. Here is a former ballerina goth who deliberately tried to induce insanity by recording Visions locked away in the dark of her bedroom, in an apartment block populated by musicians, while fasting, chain-smoking, high and jittering on amphetamines, with no human contact for three weeks. The end result should have been sequestered by 4AD on the grounds of banal self-indulgence. Instead (sorry, cynics) we got this: a masterpiece in gonzo pop that is weird, original and derivative at the same time and, by a distance, the album I returned to most this year.

Much has already been written about the eclectic taste the internet has afforded generations who never experienced the teenage ritual of saving up for, buying and then playing a single album to death. Grimes is the apotheosis of this idea. She once claimed to be "post-internet"; a music fiend who grew up with Napster, able to pick'n'mix between Mariah Carey, Enya, Marilyn Manson and Outkast without the tribal hang-ups typical of youth subcultures dead and gone. And it makes sense. Listen closely to Visions and you can peel back the genres: sure, there's the space station synth. But you can also hear an undercurrent of industrial white noise, pop hooks and hammer-and-tongs techno, streaming through the filter of commercial R&B. Sometimes within the same song.

John Maus said last year: "I think synthesisers and waveforms allow for a sonic complexity that goes beyond the palette we're used to with guitars." With Grimes, they even allow for more soul. Which is curious, because we're conditioned to consider electronic music robotically detached from "real" emotion. Boucher specialises in contradictions, though: her calling card is building danceable euphoria laced with melancholy; she sings about who the hell knows what (and for once, you're never really bothered about what the lyrics mean) but does it with crystal-cut precision.

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Circumambient, arguably her best three and a half minutes in an already prolific career, is a prime example – it's about the breakdown of a relationship, when Boucher chose her career over a boyfriend. It's bewitching, but also borderline unhinged. A soundtrack to lovesick manic insomnia that resonates as hard in a grotty, warehouse party as it does, defeated by sleeplessness, in your own bed.

Visually speaking, Grimes holds another set of trump cards. Grimes was 22 when she made this album and set about engineering her own image: she places that kawaii-like cutesy vocal artifice alongside a hard-edged androgyny in an era where women in pop are, depressingly, expected to barter with their bodies as much as their talent.

Plus, it's not as if Boucher couldn't have taken the tits'n'arse path to pop stardom; she is beautiful – all doe-eyed, skinny-limbed, model-worthy grace – but she takes all that and, brilliantly, makes it irrelevant. Grimes cares about what she unromantically calls "branding": she directs her own videos, styles herself and considers the visual imagery to be as important as the music. Whatever the arguments about her longevity and substance (zero and little insist the naysayers), it's her prodigious talent and scope that mark her out as one of 2012's best. It's one thing to cause a hiccup in the pop matrix, quite another to have it reverb across the broader cultural landscape like Visions does.


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