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

Jessie Ware: ‘I didn’t get maternity leave! I’m self-employed – being a musician is my business’

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Fri 20 Oct 2017 6:00 am

The London singer has had her first child – and with it a whole host of insecurities. She discusses anxiety, writing with Ed Sheeran and why she got hypnotherapy after a bad Guardian review

“Are you sure I don’t sound mad and unhinged?” Jessie Ware asks, again. We have spent two hours discussing hypnotherapy, impostor syndrome and her fears about failing as a mother as she tours her third album, Glasshouse, with her one-year-old in tow. No, I tell her. She sounds like a new mum who apologises too much because people like to make new mums feel they’re failing. Babies cry, that’s what they do – her daughter was meant to be asleep in their Berlin Airbnb all afternoon, but did a giant poo and woke up as we were about to start talking. “We’re buggered!” Ware laughs, before husband Sam Burrows takes the tot to the park.

Tonight, Ware will play a small club in Kreuzberg, debuting an ambitious, poppy revamp of her sophisticated soul sound. She wants to wear a sleeveless top but it’s being filmed for German TV: “Bingo wings, fuck that.” She’s nervous. Last night in Paris she had a massive cry, finally unleashing the pressure of spending nearly two years managing a career and new parenthood. “I felt like maybe this whole attempt at trying to be a superwoman was coming crashing down at the last hurdle,” she says.

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Lindstrøm: It’s Alright Between Us As It Is review – back on track with bubbling beats, jazz piano and goth feathers

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 19 Oct 2017 10:15 pm

(Smalltown Supersound)

Oslo producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, already known for being pretty cosmic, went further out than ever before with his last album, a collaboration with Todd Rundgren that turned them both to spaghetti in a psychedelic black hole. He’s now back out the other side, making his traditional “space disco”, but with some beautiful acid-flashback flourishes. Spire and Tensions evoke cocktail hour at an Ibizan villa, before But Isn’t It and Shinin nicely showcase house and Italo songcraft. All pleasant enough, but Lindstrøm then levels up in the final third, with Drift, a hail of petals that recalls Orbital’s Belfast, and the jazz piano that poignantly destabilises closing tracks Bungl (Like a Ghost) and Under Trees. The former is also invigorated by stark poetry and black-feathery cooing from Jenny Hval, a gothic phantom haunting the club with a gravestone on her back.

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Jessie Ware: Glasshouse review – smooth soul, ramped up when the diva lets loose

Delivered... Hannah J Davies | Scene | Thu 19 Oct 2017 10:00 pm


Emerging at the tail end of the dubstep movement, south London’s Jessie Ware has long been the musical equivalent of a minimalist Scandi clothes store, all restrained vocals thoughtfully draped over barely there electronica. On Glasshouse, she manages to harness her rarely seen diva mode in among the pared-back hallmarks, but the result is a mixed one. Opener – and lead single – Midnight sees her push her vocals in all directions for striking falsetto-propelled soul, while Selfish Love capitalises on the current Latin pop trend in pleasingly classy fashion with no clunky attempts at Spanish. Elsewhere, Sam – co-written with Ed Sheeran – is a four-chord story of finding The One and having her now one-year-old daughter, lifted by Ware’s raw family confessional. Unfortunately, though, there’s plenty of “pleasant-but-insipid” here, such as Slow Me Down and Stay Awake, Wait for Me – both drowned in radio-friendly sultriness – and Your Domino, which feels like a paunchy, overproduced take on 2012 single If You’re Never Gonna Move. Ware is arguably at her best here when she drops the hyper-stylised veneer and gives the pop star lark her best shot, rather than openly hedging those bets.

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Flying Lotus apologises after defending the Gaslamp Killer over rape allegations

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 17 Oct 2017 10:28 am

The Grammy-nominated producer, who told an audience ‘the internet is a liar’, admitted his comments were insensitive

Grammy-nominated electronic music producer Flying Lotus has apologised after he made comments supporting fellow producer the Gaslamp Killer, who has been accused of rape.

The Gaslamp Killer has been accused of drugging and raping a woman and her friend in 2013 – one posted an account of the alleged attack on Twitter. He has since issued a statement denying the allegations, saying: “I would never hurt or endanger a woman. I would never drug a woman, and I would never put anyone in a situation where they were not in control, or take anything that they weren’t offering.”

Related: #MeToo named the victims. Now, let's list the perpetrators | Jessica Valenti

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No Bounds festival review – pristine rhythms, punky noise and visceral electronic thrills

Delivered... Chal Ravens | Scene | Mon 16 Oct 2017 1:45 pm

Various venues, Sheffield
Terre Thaemlitz’s polemic kicked off an extraordinary festival celebrating everything electronic, from Jeff Mills’ minimalism to Giant Swan’s improv rave

Rare is the music festival that kicks off with an audiovisual polemic against reproduction pieced together from blurry clips of Japanese pornography – but then not every music festival is bold enough to book Terre Thaemlitz as its opening act. The Kawasaki-based DJ is always good for an unorthodox viewpoint, and by the end of this thrillingly provocative presentation a room full of twentysomething ravers find themselves unexpectedly committed to the destruction of the nuclear family.

Thaemlitz’s disturbing, thought-provoking show adds a brief political frisson to a festival that’s otherwise all about the sheer thrill of electronic sound. Sheffield’s legacy as a crucible of electronic innovation seems to hold little sway over this first edition of No Bounds, which draws its lineup from around the world – though local computer-music elder Mark Fell is given a hero’s welcome, a testament to this crowd’s appetite for challenging rhythms.

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No alternative: how brands bought out underground music

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Mon 16 Oct 2017 1:06 pm

Timberland hosts rap gigs. Princess Nokia makes films for Maybelline. And Red Bull is the new school of rock. Have brand partnerships destroyed counterculture? Or are they all that’s keeping it alive?

Timberland hosts rap gigs. Princess Nokia makes films for Maybelline. And Red Bull is the new school of rock. Have brand partnerships destroyed counterculture? Or are they all that’s keeping it alive?

Kiran Gandhi (@madamegandhi stage name: Madame Gandhi) is an activist and electronic music artist. The former drummer for M.I.A. and the iconic free-bleeding runner at the 2015 London Marathon, she now writes music that celebrates the female voice. The womens #SUPERSTAR Slip-On is available now.

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Organ Reframed review – kitsch, rapture and white-knuckle intensity

Delivered... Sam Richards | Scene | Sun 15 Oct 2017 12:26 pm

Union Chapel, London
Indie rockers joined doyens of the electronic avant garde for a festival of new music exploring the otherworldly sounds of the pipe organ

In the last few years it has become fashionable for electronic musicians to renounce their computers in favour of the pre-digital delights of 60s- and 70s-style modular synths. Evidently, the next logical step is the reappraisal of the pipe organ – for what is a pipe organ but the original synthesiser, its array of keyboards, knobs and levers designed to produce an awe-inspiring barrage of otherworldly sound? This is the thinking behind Organ Reframed, a festival of new works for pipe organ by doyens of the electronic avant garde (plus the odd intrepid indie rock band), now in its second year at Union Chapel, London.

Along with the flamboyant recitals of Cameron Carpenter and its appearance on acclaimed experimental releases by, among others, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Tim Hecker, it seems that the organ might be having a bit of a moment.

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Grime trailblazer Major Ace dies

Delivered... Guardian music | Scene | Mon 9 Oct 2017 12:03 pm

Rapper and founding member of the influential UK garage group Pay As U Go Cartel had suffered from a brain tumour for three years

Grime pioneer Major Ace has died, his family reports. The rapper, whose real name was Luke Monero, had been suffering from a brain tumour for almost three years.

Major Ace was part of the UK garage crew Pay As U Go Cartel, which was instrumental in shaping the grime sound. His brother Cass confirmed Monero’s death via Instagram on 9 October.


Thank you for the memories bro sleep deep. #RIPMAJORACE

Related: A history of grime, by the people who created it

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Moses Sumney: ‘I have an obsession with loneliness, singledom, isolation’

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson | Scene | Sun 8 Oct 2017 10:00 am
It’s impossible not to love the genre-spurning singer with a heavenly falsetto – despite his ‘obnoxious obsession’

Of the many striking aspects of Moses Sumney – his skyscraping height, his hallucinatory, Nina Simone-like dreamscapes, his Rolodex of starry musician friends – most intriguing of all is his voice. A feathery falsetto, often layered to celestial effect, it flutters daintily over lambent guitar and sweeping strings. It’s surely the reason that Sufjan Stevens and James Blake asked him to join them on tour. Or why Beck chose Sumney to appear on his covers compilation, Song Reader; ditto Solange Knowles, for last year’s epic A Seat at the Table. As he explains one evening in a restaurant in Echo Park, Los Angeles, sometimes singing to him “feels like dancing”.

There is plenty of vocal pirouetting on his debut, Aromanticism, an album that shades in the grey between folk, soul and something else – something otherworldly – entirely. So it’s surprising to hear that his soft style stems from being so shy in his school days that he would “sing under my breath a lot”. At 10, his pastor parents moved from California, where he was born, to Accra in Ghana, where his fellow students would mock his American accent. It kickstarted what he calls “an almost obnoxious obsession with loneliness, singledom, isolation…”, which has permeated his music ever since.

Related: Moses Sumney: Aromanticism review – a single-minded star

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High Contrast: Night Gallery review – muscular rhythms, winning melodies

Delivered... Damien Morris | Scene | Sun 8 Oct 2017 8:00 am
(3 Beat/Universal)

Lincoln Barrett pushes himself further out of his drum’n’bass comfort zone on this sixth High Contrast album, with varying results. Disconcerting glam call-to-arms Shotgun Mouthwash (which puts forward the uncontroversial proposition that the former is “a good substitute” for the latter) doesn’t quite succeed, but on the marvellous, audacious Tobacco Road he effectively invents drum’n’blues. Barrett’s latest shot for the charts, The Beat Don’t Feel the Same, is tepid Chic-ish house, yet the previous single, Questions, is a glorious success. The best songs are smart, bassy takes on EDM, blending muscular rhythms and winning melodies reminiscent of Barrett’s anthemic Adele remixes.

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid review – a charming electronic exploration of life

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 8 Oct 2017 6:59 am
(Western Vinyl)

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s last album, 2016’s EARS, was a suite essentially about wonderment. The one before, Euclid (2015), took its inspiration from geometry. Dry summaries like those don’t really do justice to the swirls and whorls of the LA-based musician’s electro-acoustic work. Here, Smith tracks the life of a person from twinkle in the eye to autonomous being contemplating life’s end; the journey’s emotional arc is conceived as four sides of a double album. To say that the title track sounds like she has trapped some analogue synths and a choir in a washing machine means no disrespect. This album is crammed with tweeting electronics, hydraulic rhythms, sleights of hand and Smith’s own backseat vocals; she hints at non-western forms and systems music, but never so you are not charmed.

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid review – analogue psychedelia with some growing up to do

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 5 Oct 2017 10:30 pm

(Western Vinyl)

With modular synths growing densely around her multitracked voice, this album from Pacific-coastal artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith becomes as lush, heady – and occasionally trying – as a rainforest. It’s an ambitious record in four parts, with each quarter representing a different emotional phase of a human lifespan.

Her melodies share the courtly poise of English folksong and the psychedelic naivety of Animal Collective – they accurately evoke the blitheness of youth in the album’s first half, but also, less fortunately, its directionlessness. The textural pleasures of tracks such as I Am Learning and A Kid – full of wonky tiki kitsch – are muted by the vocal lines which, given starker backing, would be embarrassingly underwritten. Things improve in the later, more reflective tracks, as the rhythms and melodies simplify and stretch out, particularly on the beautiful closing track To Feel Your Best, underpinned by a faint, watery dancehall beat.

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Kelela: Take Me Apart review – future-facing glitchy R&B with traction

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Thu 5 Oct 2017 10:00 pm


When Washington-born singer Kelela released her first mixtape, Cut 4 Me, in 2013, her fusion of sumptuous R&B vocals and harsh, avant garde electronica made a splash. But in the four years since, alternative R&B has gone from bleeding edge to genre du jour: in a class now crowded with thoroughly modern divas, has anyone has been saving Kelela a seat? As her debut album opens, the idea that the singer may have been left behind by the sound she helped establish doesn’t seem outlandish: Frontline is funky but plodding and retro in its staccato style. Thankfully, Take Me Apart soon proffers tracks that are both pop-minded and gratifyingly future-facing. Producer Arca may be her not-so-secret weapon in the latter regard, creating sublime but techy sonic hellscapes among the ambient synths and skittering beats.

Meanwhile, Kelela’s vocal stops Take Me Apart ending up as a fragmented series of sounds: consistently exquisite as it dances between lovesick confusion and shrewd sensuality.

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Readers recommend playlist: your songs about spinning

Delivered... Sarah Chappell | Scene | Thu 5 Oct 2017 12:11 pm

A reader takes a dizzying look through your suggestions, with Kylie Minogue, Dead Or Alive, Kate Tempest and Arctic Monkeys all making the list

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from hundreds of suggestions on last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

Admit it. You’ve had that slightly sicky feeling when a special person comes close. You know the one – the nausea, the worry your legs might buckle, the head-rush, the dizziness. That. Our opening two pure pop tracks – Dead Or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and Vic Reeves and the Wonder Stuff with Dizzy – capture all this and get us under way in a whirlwind of love and confusion.

I go round in circles
Not graceful, not like dancers
Not neatly, not like compass and pencil
More like a dog on a lead, going mental

Throwing Muses - Dizzy

The vaspod has Dizzies by Vic Reeves, Siouxsie & The Banshees, and TM. This is the best. Kristin Hersh's conscious attempt to write a hit single. And had there been any justice in this world she would have done. Gorgeous and bitter melancholy about the last Native American in Oklahoma. (I've just been there, there are actually loads.)

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The month’s best music: Post Malone, Björk, Lorenzo Senni and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Mon 2 Oct 2017 12:29 pm

From Charlotte Gainsbourg’s delicate minimalism to kick-ass indie-punk by Dream Wife – plus Somali disco and elegant techno – here are 50 of the month’s best tracks

Last month we launched the first of an ongoing series at the Guardian where we round up 50 of the month’s best tracks, across all genres – and tell you a bit more about 10 of the most exciting ones below. You can subscribe to the playlists via various streaming services in this widget, and let us know what you think in the comments. Google Play Music users can access the playlist here.

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