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

The month’s best mixes: Lil Mofo, Loka Salviatek and Kenya’s brilliant Slikback

Delivered... Tayyab Amin | Scene | Tue 13 Nov 2018 1:33 pm

A concert for fireworks from Vasco Alves and co, Mama Snake and Solid Blake live at the Dekmantel festival and the latest Errorsmith mix

High-octane junglist stress relievers, anti-colonial war drums and exhilarating new club sounds from central and east Africa all feature among November’s best mixes – plus curios including a composition written for a signal-flare performance.

Related: The month's best mixes: Sarah Davachi, Octo Octa and hippy workouts

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50 great tracks for November from Sheck Wes, Ider, Architects and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Mon 5 Nov 2018 1:19 pm

Deerhunter return, Bruce delivers the techno track of the year and Pistol Annies brilliantly sketch a loveless marriage – read about 10 of our favourite songs of the month, and subscribe to the 50-track playlist

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Molly Nilsson: the synthpop star embracing hope and loneliness

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 5 Nov 2018 12:16 pm

With her utopian outlook and determination to find magic in the everyday, the fiercely independent Swede swims against the tide

When synthpop singer Molly Nilsson plays live, she takes a CD of her instrumentals, hits play, then sings along with them in a glorious kind of self-karaoke. There’s no band, no instruments, just a woman singing about love, ennui and Milton Friedman. “If people are provoked by seeing a person on stage singing, that’s good,” she audibly shrugs down the line from her home in Berlin. “I think it’s punk. It’s not about skill, it’s the fact that you are human, on a stage where everything is focused on you and your expression. And that has all the value in the world.”

Her stark, mesmerising stage show is a neat visual representation of Nilsson Industries: she is a completely one-woman outfit, producing and performing all her music solo, booking her own tours, and releasing her own albums (this last task admittedly in tandem with indie Glasgow label Night School Records). Her debut came in 2008, and a decade later – following her masterpiece Imaginations, one of the best records of last year – she’s just released her eighth, the similarly excellent Twenty Twenty. Is 10 years a long time to spend by oneself? “I know that a lot of people are afraid of loneliness, and I don’t understand, because it’s nothing,” she says. “When you genuinely feel lonely, you can look at the situation and say: What if I just turn this around, and this is nice? And what if I’m just there for myself instead?”

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20 best Australian tracks for November, featuring Middle Kids, Parcels, Hatchie and others

Delivered... by Nathan Jolly; playlist by Guardian Australia | Scene | Fri 2 Nov 2018 10:23 pm

In our new monthly spot, we feature 20 new and unmissable songs. Read about 10 of our favourites below – and subscribe to our Spotify playlists

Related: Cash Savage casts an all-man choir: ‘I hoped it would drive home the words’

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Glenn Copeland: the trans musical visionary finding an audience at 74

Delivered... Maya-Roisin Slater | Scene | Fri 2 Nov 2018 2:30 pm

He worked for years on kids’ TV shows like Sesame Street while making ambient masterpieces in obscurity. Now Copeland is finally getting his dues – and finding comfort in his identity

“I was told when I was young that I would not be successful until I was very old,” Glenn Copeland says over Skype from his home studio in New Brunswick, Canada. Now 74, he released seven albums over the course of his career, mostly unknown at the time of release. But as was apparently predicted by the seers and prophets Copeland sought out as a young man, the audience he was searching for has finally found him.

To work ceaselessly without seeing your creativity appreciated, is a feeling that has driven many artists to the brink of madness. Copeland sees his time out of the limelight differently. “I was busy creating, that was the fundamental thing for me. Now the universe is saying: ‘This music we’ve been sending you, now is the time for it to be heard.’” His speech is measured and perfectly enunciated, every sentence delivered with a beaming smile.

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The Prodigy: No Tourists review – music for the jaded generation

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 2 Nov 2018 10:00 am

Take Me to the Hospital/BMG

Few bands captured the early-1990s zeitgeist as effectively as the Prodigy. Outdoor raves – notably the huge Castlemorton Common festival in 1992 – were seen as a such a threat to public order that John Major’s Conservative government brought in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act in 1994, to outlaw gatherings of people dancing to “repetitive beats”. Although this could technically mean anything from Orbital to Morris dancers, Prodigy tracks such as Their Law soundtracked the music community’s fightback. As dance music shifted indoors and into the mainstream, 1994’s double platinum Music for the Jilted Generation defined an era.

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Julia Holter: Aviary review – sonic beauty and brains in a 90-minute epic

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 26 Oct 2018 9:00 am


To say that Julia Holter’s fifth album is dense and difficult is an understatement – in an ideal world, Aviary would come with its own dedicated edition of York Notes. Laden with literary references, Latin text and lyrics that strain under the weight of impressionistic meaning, it’s a record that is difficult to parse but easy to admire. On her previous album, 2015’s Have You In My Wilderness, Holter proved she could squish her avant-garde sensibilities into soaring pop songs. This time, the Los Angeles-based musician has loosened the reins, creating a collection of tracks that are rich, expansive and only occasionally maddeningly obtuse.

Holter has said that it was her intention to use Aviary to meditate on the current chaos of the world, something that’s clear from the off – opener Turn the Light On resembles The Scream in musical form. Over the crash and screech of a malfunctioning orchestra, Holter wails flatly, her voice alternating between a foghorn bellow and a sheep-like vibrato. There is a track called Everyday Is an Emergency, which begins with amusingly dissonant bagpipes that morph into the sound of an alarm, and numerous allusions to war – both ancient and contemporary. Despite its concern with modern malaise, Aviary sonically harks back to the medieval via chants, references to Occitan troubadour songs and brass fanfares – but it’s also in possession of a more romantic kind of nostalgia, thanks to a heavenly string section that cushions the more abrasive sounds.

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Do androids dream of electric beats? How AI is changing music for good

Delivered... Tirhakah Love | Scene | Mon 22 Oct 2018 2:00 pm

Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence make music composition easier than ever – because a machine is doing half the work. Could computers soon go it alone?

The first testing sessions for SampleRNN – an artificially intelligent software developed by computer scientist duo CJ Carr and Zach Zukowski, AKA Dadabots – sounded more like a screamo gig than a machine-learning experiment. Carr and Zukowski hoped their program could generate full-length black metal and math rock albums by feeding it small chunks of sound. The first trial consisted of encoding and entering in a few Nirvana a cappellas. “When it produced its first output,” Carr tells me over email, “I was expecting to hear silence or noise because of an error we made, or else some semblance of singing. But no. The first thing it did was scream about Jesus. We looked at each other like, ‘What the fuck?’” But while the platform could convert Cobain’s grizzled pining into bizarre testimonies to the goodness of the Lord, it couldn’t keep a steady rhythm, much less create a coherent song.

Artificial intelligence is already used in music by streaming services such as Spotify, which scan what we listen to so they can better recommend what we might enjoy next. But AI is increasingly being asked to compose music itself – and this is the problem confronting many more computer scientists besides Dadabots.

If you have a barrier to entry, you hack your way into figuring it out

Related: Are Spotify's 'fake artists' any good?

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Techno workaholic Marie Davidson: ‘I’m a total maniac who is very hard on myself’

Delivered... Whitney Wei | Scene | Wed 17 Oct 2018 12:30 pm

The French-Canadian producer’s new album turns her disenchantment with clubbing into hard-won creative autonomy – with wit and a kick drum

In Marie Davidson’s nightmares, she’s always darting between spaces. The French-Canadian performer spent the better part of last year touring and the staircases, parking lots, corridors and succession of people filtering through her subconscious are telling. “I find myself in a place, not wanting to be there, knowing that I have to be in another,” she says of her dreams. She is a rueful, self-described workaholic, travelling from one club, transport interchange or professional milestone to another. Pursuit, in its various forms, runs through Davidson’s life.

Long before her transformation into a self-trained electronic musician, known for droll spoken vocals and tough hardware, she was playing guitar, violin, and keyboards in Montreal’s experimental DIY scene. She frequented parties as a wide-eyed teenager with an affinity for 90s hip-hop and R&B. By her 20s, her relationship with club culture – now with a taste for techno and Italo disco – matured into the dynamic she critiqued on her 2016 album Adieux au Dancefloor and continues to rebuff on her new album Working Class Woman, where industrial batterie and bleak introspection is lightened by wit and a forthright kick drum.

Related: Marie Davidson: Working Class Woman review – tormented techno subverted by humour

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Warung: the Brazilian paradise that had to fight for the right to party

Delivered... Kevin EG Perry | Scene | Tue 16 Oct 2018 12:16 pm

For its first 10 years, this remote mecca for house music battled nature and its neighbours to keep its doors open. Now it is bringing its distinct sound to Europe

More from the series: Клуб – the St Petersburg rail factory that became a visionary nightclub

No matter who is behind the decks come 7am, Warung Beach Club always has the same headline act. The main room of the 2,500-capacity temple to dance music on the Brazilian coast faces east towards the south Atlantic, which means God herself does the lighting. “When the sun comes up, it’s magical,” says club founder Gustavo Conti, standing on a terrace overlooking the beach. “That’s because nature is magical, and we’re here in it.”

The club, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, emerges from the Atlantic forest where the land meets the sea, enclosed by vegetation on all sides and built from wood, like a particularly ambitious treehouse. Next month, Warung celebrates its 16th anniversary. DJ Lee Burridge has been coming to play here for almost that long. “It’s one of those endlessly wonderful places that you never want to leave,” he says. “Where it is and what it’s built from give the sound a really warm resonance. Inside you can be hit over the head with a shovel musically, and outside you can be cuddled musically. There’s also a lot of beautiful, beautiful people dancing their asses off.”

For the first 10 years, we never knew each month whether we’d be able to open the next month

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Jean-Michel Jarre: how we made Oxygène

Delivered... Interviews by Dave Simpson | Scene | Tue 16 Oct 2018 6:00 am

‘Hi-fi shops played it as an example of state-of-the-art music. I didn’t tell them I made it with Sellotape in my kitchen’

I played in rock bands as a teenager and would use a tape machine my grandfather gave me to get processed sounds out of my guitar. During the French student uprisings of 1968, this felt like a way of being rebellious. I loved it when people said: “What is this crap?” But by the mid-70s, I wanted to bridge the gap between experimental music and pop.

The Planet Jarre: 50 Years of Music box set is out now on Sony. Jean-Michel Jarre’s new album, Equinoxe Infinity, is released on 16 November.

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No Bounds festival – DJs in thrall to sound of subversion

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Mon 15 Oct 2018 12:55 pm

Various venues, Sheffield
From ear-bleed techno to wall-wobbling beats, No Bounds’ roster moved electronic music way beyond the dancefloor

Now in its second year, No Bounds has established itself as a powerful new entry in the UK’s electronic music calendar. Set in Sheffield, a city long synonymous with pioneering electronic sounds, No Bounds has created an outlet to carry that tradition forwards. Spread over three days, local promoters Algorave and Off Me Nut take over the opening night to offer up wonky basslines, stomping techno and rapid-fire drum’n’bass. However, it’s the crammed Saturday when the festival truly comes alive. During the day there are DJ workshops, build-your-own-synth sessions, algorithmic drum circles, and South Yorkshire’s own radical artist Mark Fell curates a stage.

The leading troll of experimental electronic music Twitter, Wanda Group, plays an enveloping mid-afternoon set filled with drones, cracks, bleeps, moans and drips. It pulsates like intensified environmental noise and harsh ambiance, resembling the creaking sounds of an abandoned rave house. Similarly disturbing is Theo Burt’s set of distorted pop music videos accompanied by noises that sound like dropping bombs. The room judders with such ferocity that confetti ribbons lodged in the ceiling from long-ago weddings rain down amid the gut-quivering terror.

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Matthew Dear: Bunny review – eclectic post-punk via heavy electronics

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 12 Oct 2018 10:30 am

(Ghostly International)

Matthew Dear doesn’t call himself King Chameleon lightly. The Texan-born producer, DJ, sometime University of Michigan lecturer and leftfield electronic artist has spent almost 20 years operating under a range of pseudonyms – Audion, Jabberjaw and False – and rifling through genres like a sock drawer. The fifth album under his own name is no different, but mostly he channels an eclectic range of loosely post-punk-era styles into heavy electronics. Cranium-shattering dub, Nitzer Ebb’s electronic body music, Wire’s angular tunefulness and the Pop Group’s depth-charges of dub and punk are hurled into the mix. The driving Electricity has a hint of the bassline from Elvis Costello’s Pump It Up, while superb opener Bunny’s Dream recalls prime Durutti Column’s fragile beauty, the haunting riff and fizzing drum patterns conjuring up a mesmeric atmosphere that is obliterated by the sub-bass.

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The month’s best mixes: Sarah Davachi, Octo Octa and hippy workouts

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Wed 10 Oct 2018 12:30 pm

Love-drunk disco from Josey Rebelle, sassy funk from Amsterdam, prog rock, lonely pop and even Mariah Carey feature among techno beats and polyrhythms...

September’s selection of the world’s best mixes features artists in dialogue with their younger selves, low-slung dub chuggers, an emerging new Chicago name and gleeful Dutch soul-house.

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Giorgio Moroder announces first ever live tour at 78

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Wed 10 Oct 2018 9:46 am

The synthpop pioneer behind I Feel Love will play four UK dates in April

After a long career in which he revolutionised the world of pop, Italian producer Giorgio Moroder is, at 78, embarking on his first live tour.

He will play across Europe, including four dates in the UK in Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Manchester from 1-5 April 2019, performing on piano, vocoder and synths alongside a live band and vocalists. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, 12 October at 9am on the website Live Nation.

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