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


Arthur Russell: Iowa Dream review – lopsided, funky and staggeringly beautiful

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 15 Nov 2019 11:30 am

(Audika)
This collection of unreleased tracks from the electronic pioneer is a treasure trove of Russell’s guileless, always melodic songs

When he died in 1992 of Aids-related illnesses at the age of 40, Arthur Russell left behind one of the most staggeringly beautiful bodies of songwriting ever – and it is still emerging. This compilation of unreleased tracks from his archive mostly date from the mid-1970s, recalling the country-tinged songwriting collected on 2008’s Love Is Overtaking Me, with a scattering of the lopsided, slightly wacky funk and new wave he scaled up to in the 80s.

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Shanti Celeste: Tangerine review – club music with subtlety and depth

Delivered... Aimee Cliff | Scene | Fri 15 Nov 2019 11:00 am

(Peach Discs)
The Bristolian DJ and producer’s nuanced debut is an enveloping listen, folding softer textures into its 2am beats

The transition from DJ to album artist is a tricky one. While one art is about reading the room, the other is a more isolated and intimate experience. For Bristolian Shanti Celeste, on her debut full-length Tangerine, it’s an opportunity to show subtlety and depths that she doesn’t often have space to explore on the dancefloor.

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No fighting or ego biting! Homoelectric, Manchester’s queer clubbing utopia

Delivered... Gabriel Szatan | Scene | Thu 14 Nov 2019 11:19 am

Founded in 1997, Homoelectric railed against the tacky scene in Manchester’s Gay Village with acid, techno and Italo disco. It has now scaled up to a 10,000-person festival, complete with unicorn drag queens

‘For homos, heteros, lesbos and don’t knows.” Since 1997, these words have guided Manchester’s Homoelectric. Started as a retort to the entrenched etiquette and increasingly tacky music of the bars clustered around Canal Street in the city’s Gay Village, Homoelectric grew to become one of the UK’s best-loved institutions. Prioritising a musical policy of house, techno, space disco, Italo, acid and outsider pop that was uncommonly eclectic for the time, it has survived waves of changes to Manchester’s physical landscape, as well as shifts in the wider social ones. Upscaling an independent and nomadic gay night to a 10,000-capacity festival, though? A high-stakes manoeuvre.

It had been in Homoelectric co-founder Luke Unabomber’s mind for years, but repeated attempts to establish it as a summer knees-up on the outskirts of Manchester kept falling through. Suddenly, a dream spot was available. The cavernous space of The Depot, just a few hundred yards from Homoelectric’s first venue, Follies, and within earshot of Piccadilly station, had broken free from red tape. In 2018, Warehouse Project, the big beast of Manchester clubbing, acquired the rights to host shows there. They were keen to assist in making Homobloc a reality, but aware enough to let it be established on Homoelectric’s terms, so as best to encourage discerning Mancunian clubbers who prize independence and authenticity. From the announcement on 10 July, the hype was deafening.

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Moor Mother: Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes review – raging protest poetry

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 8 Nov 2019 11:30 am

(Don Giovanni Records)
The activist and musician overlays stunning sound collages with furious verses laying bare the lie of post-racial America

Philadelphian poet, activist and musician Moor Mother has gone from the corners of her city’s underground scene to presenting work at high-cultural institutions such as London’s ICA and Barbican, and collaborating with others to make industrial dub as Zonal and wavy club music as 700 Bliss: an intense but sustained flurry of activity that is testament to how keen and lucid her feeling is.

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Domestic disco! How messages from a marriage became a unique double LP

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Fri 8 Nov 2019 9:00 am

Fed up with texting her husband when he was working abroad, Laima Leyton turned home life into a rapturous electronic pop album – with a twist

When you are a musician and the primary parent at home – with five children between you and your partner – how do you make space to be creative? Especially when you have recently arrived in Britain from Brazil, and your husband, with whom you regularly make music, is often away for his work.

Out of the culture shock and loneliness, Laima Leyton has made an album full of sharp, precise electronic pop: the inventive and thoughtful Home. Pulsing in between the sounds of Jenny Hval, Ladytron and Laurie Anderson, it is about the questions thrown at you by long-term relationships, parenthood and where you belong. “I got to the stage where I wasn’t fussed about being a big techno DJ any more, pleasing the kids,” Leyton says. “I thought: ‘Why can’t I share the other things I think about? Why can’t I turn that into music?’”

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Beverly Glenn-Copeland review – a trance state of love, nature and spirituality

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Thu 7 Nov 2019 5:56 pm

St George’s, Bristol
Now 75, the ambient composer is on his first world tour, playing spectral music that carries the audience to a higher plane

‘This is from a recent album,” begins Beverly Glenn-Copeland, his hands in the air like a preacher, his gorgeous smile wide. “It’s from, er, 2003. Time goes fast when you’re old.” At 75, the Canadian musician’s spiritual blend of minimalism, new-age electronica, folk and lieder-style singing is having a moment, spurred on by a reissue of his 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies in 2017, and this year’s rerelease of 2004’s cosmic Primal Prayer, alongside a film, and his first ever world tour.

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

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50 great tracks for November from Dua Lipa, Destroyer, Selena Gomez and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Mon 4 Nov 2019 11:00 am

From Victoria Monét’s sublime R&B to Lanark Artefax’s squirming electronics, check out 50 new tracks and read about our 10 favourites

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Underworld: Drift Series One: Sampler Edition review – a year’s worth of inspiration

Delivered... Phil Mongredien | Scene | Sun 3 Nov 2019 6:30 am
(Caroline)

In the last century, when buying music used to necessitate a physical product, John Peel favourites the Wedding Present once pulled off the seemingly incredible feat of releasing a single a month for a year. The advent of streaming and downloading has rather raised the ante: Underworld have been releasing a song a week for the past year, and these are now collated in a seven-CD box set, with this standalone disc acting as an overview of the project.

The endeavour has clearly proved liberating, and prompted a renewed sense of creativity: after all, if one week’s effort fails to hit the mark, there’s not long to wait for it to be rectified by the next instalment. While considerations of space dictate that the sampler doesn’t include some of the most expansive cuts(the wonderfully sprawling Appleshine Continuum, a 34-minute collaboration with experimental jazz trio the Necks, is particularly ambitious), there is still plenty of boundary-pushing going on, from the propulsive Border Country to the atmospheric ambience of Brilliant Yes That Would Be. The standout is the dazzling STAR (Rebel Tech), in which Karl Hyde reimagines Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s children’s classic Each Peach Pear Plum via a rapid-fire stream of consciousness that replaces Mother Goose, Bo Peep et al with political heroes and popular cultural mainstays including David Beckham, the Dalai Lama and Dr Dre.

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Jeff Lynne’s ELO: From Out of Nowhere review – it’s a pleasure to have him back

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Fri 1 Nov 2019 10:30 am

(Sony/RCA)
Lynne has come out of semi-retirement with an album of creamy harmonies and good-natured pop, firmly in the lineage of classic ELO

There’s something rather heartwarming about the return of Jeff Lynne’s ELO. While being a semi-retired rock star, forced out of the fray by the passing tides of fashion, is no one’s idea of a hard life, it’s also not what anyone with a yearning to make music for an audience wants for themselves. It all turned round for Lynne in 2014, when Radio 2’s head of music, Jeff Smith, persuaded him to headline the station’s Hyde Park concert. Five years on, the new-look ELO have had a platinum album, played Wembley Stadium and filled multiple arenas.

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Thunderdome: the Dutch rave with the world’s fastest, hardest music

Delivered... Holly Dicker | Scene | Wed 30 Oct 2019 3:30 pm

Thunderdome launched with a giant octopus on an ice rink – and created the Netherlands’ biggest youth culture movement. Three decades on, it’s stronger and tougher than ever

Last weekend, Thunderdome made history: 50,000 ravers massed at a convention centre in Utrecht for the biggest indoor hardcore dance event ever staged, breaking its own record set two years ago when it pulled off the mother of all comebacks, and reclaimed its crown as the world’s greatest living hardcore rave.

The site is mapped out like a theme park, with six areas of music ranging from the slower early rave sound of the “Thundergods” to the 200+ beats per minute blasting from the Tunnel of Terror. Tonight we’re paying homage to the most significant youth culture movement in the Netherlands, gabber, which is why there’s also a gabber museum, displaying limited-edition Nikes and multicoloured Australian-brand jackets – the gabber uniform – plus a tattoo station inking diehards with Thunderdome’s iconic Wizard logo, and a gabber barber serving up undercuts.

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Tricky review – a bizarre but brilliant enigma

Delivered... Ian Gittins | Scene | Sun 27 Oct 2019 1:07 pm

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
After a year of tragedy, the spotlight-shy producer stays in the shadows during this erratic yet utterly mesmerising set

Tricky has always been allergic to celebrity. When his 1995 debut album, Maxinquaye, went No 3 and made him a media darling, his horrified reaction was to dismiss the “coffee-table” record and the trip-hop movement it birthed, and to move his music firmly left field to evade unwanted critical hyperbole.

Related: Tricky: ‘I’ve lost people before and bounced back. This is different’

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Sudan Archives: Athena review – Afro futurism goes mainstream

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 27 Oct 2019 5:30 am
(Stones Throw)

Although her name suggests a gem unearthed by the crate-digger label Awesome Tapes from Africa, Sudan Archives is an artist of now. Based in Los Angeles, the 24-year-old producer combines genre-defying sound with non-standard violin-playing and an Afro-futurist sensibility. Two previous EPs chart her journey from bedroom experiments with a loop station to fully realised, roots-inflected R&B tunes. So while Sudan Archives bears comparison to other queenly outliers like Solange or FKA Twigs, her sound has remained resolutely individual, informed by the electronic experiments of Cameroonian Francis Bebey.

On this debut album, Sudan’s sphere expands further. From the opening pizzicato plunk of Did You Know to the sultry distortions of Pelicans in the Summer, the variety of modes on offer has pixelated. Tracks like Confessions find western classical strings scything across a song about personal exile, while party grooves like Glorious boast a swirling north African motif on the fiddle. The album title takes its inspiration from Black Athena, a controversial scholastic work on the Egyptian influence on ancient Greece, though the songs often lean more towards the arty end of the mainstream, losing touch slightly with the startling radicalism of Sudan Archives’ early sound.

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The month’s best mixes: digital sludge, techno slammers and Kylie

Delivered... Tayyab Amin | Scene | Wed 23 Oct 2019 3:21 pm

In our dispatches from the edges of dance culture, Florentino, Oli XL and Boomerang condense tracks into hyper-dense raves while Mx Silkman spreads out into dub

Oli XL — Lily Mix (on NTS)

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‘We’re an open wound’: São Paulo’s underground music scene

Delivered... Philip Bloomfield | Scene | Wed 23 Oct 2019 9:00 am

Brazil has long had countercultural music, but Jair Bolsonaro’s repressive presidency has made this community more determined than ever

‘When he got stabbed I just thought, we’re fucked. If he is alive, there is nothing we can do.” Brazilian journalist Amauri Gonzo is recalling the moment that he knew Jair Bolsonaro would be elected his country’s president. The stabbing of the far-right candidate seemed to confirm the picture of Brazil that Bolsonaro had been painting to voters: lawless, unsafe, and in need of a leader unafraid to meet violence with violence. Just two months later, in protest at five years dogged by economic crisis, corruption scandals and political turmoil, Brazil chose the openly racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-environmentalist former paratrooper as its leader. The underground musical community, which had come out in force against the extreme right candidate, was stunned. “It all went quiet,” says Gonzo, “like, ‘Oh, what do we do now?’”

Brazilian music might bring to mind the warm breeze of bossa nova, or a sound humid with the sweat of carnival, but a group of loosely connected São Paulo artists are making much harsher music to reflect, and resist, the Bolsonaro era, underlining values of community and artistic freedom.

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Sŵn festival review – weirdness and wonder in Cardiff’s alt-pop paradise

Delivered... Huw Baines | Scene | Tue 22 Oct 2019 9:30 am

Various venues, Cardiff
Based everywhere from an Irish chain pub to an antiques centre, this slickly organised festival shows how varied and vibrant today’s indie scene is

Prowling the stage at Clwb Ifor Bach, the Murder Capital’s James McGovern sums up the mood at Cardiff’s Sŵn festival: “There’s only one thing we want: more.” The crowd responds, stoking the Dublin post-punks’ fires as they charge from coiled menace towards frenzied collapse.

Smouldering among the dying embers of the weekend their set is the ideal capper to the event, which sprawls across a number of venues in the Welsh capital. Foregrounding new music and a sense of adventure, the bill must satisfy both planners and gamblers, and does so adeptly. Twelve years on from its first staging, Sŵn is a slick machine defined by rapid turnarounds and minimal clashes.

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