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


The month’s best albums

Delivered... Electronic music | The Guardian | Scene | Mon 12 Apr 2021 11:30 am

Discover all our four- and five-star album reviews from the last month, from pop to folk and classical

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Bassnectar: EDM DJ denies allegations of sexual abuse and human trafficking

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 7 Apr 2021 10:48 am

A lawsuit accuses the US producer of grooming two underage women and manufacturing and possessing child pornography

Two women have accused the EDM DJ Bassnectar of sexual abuse, human trafficking, grooming, and the manufacture and possession of child pornography in a new lawsuit.

On 5 April, Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling filed a claim against the US producer, born Lorin Ashton, as well as his label, management, touring and charitable giving organisations.

Related: Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected extras

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Iglooghost: Lei Line Eon review – enchanting electronic world-building

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Tue 6 Apr 2021 10:35 am

The young Dorset producer expands on the sonic assault of his debut with beauty, space and actual songs

Strange energies run through rural Dorset. Picking up on their irregular frequencies is 24-year-old producer Iglooghost, AKA Seamus Malliagh, a prolific laptop jockey whose latest output sounds a little like Boards of Canada remixed by PC Music. Ancient and hypermodern rub up against each other in his latest work, which also extends to detailed visuals; Iglooghost isn’t so much a musician as an overarching world-creator. His first album, 2017’s Neō Wax Bloom, supplied a sustained digital barrage; its ear-bleeding delights came with extensive lore whose complexity felt akin to that found in anime or gaming.

On Lei Line Eon, his second album, those shock-and-awe tendencies give way to more spaciousness and beauty – Big Protector is probably this album’s most eloquent and inviting portal. Elsewhere, keening violins lend a bittersweet timelessness to tracks that also draw heavily on trap and bass music. Iglooghost’s formerly punishing BPMs give way to atmospheres and tracks – such as Light Gutter, featuring a female vocalist called Lola – that might be mistaken for actual songs. This time around, the lore is, if anything, even more developed. There’s an entire website dedicated to the Glyph Institute, which seeks to document and “test-summon” the energy-beings – “hovering, drone-like organisms called Celles” – to which this music is tied.

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Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi: ‘Can you spot which of us is the rock star?’

Delivered... Miranda Sawyer | Scene | Sun 4 Apr 2021 9:30 am

As bandmate of musician Torabi, ex-snooker champ Davis is these days more about modular synths than big breaks. Now the odd couple of psychedelia have written a memoir

Steve Davis is waving a modular synthesiser at me. He’s 10 minutes early for our scheduled chat, and his music-and-book-writing compadre, Kavus Torabi, hasn’t logged on to Zoom yet, so Davis is showing me his favourite toy: a synthesiser without a keyboard. There are a lot of knobs and switches, and holes where you slot in sound modules.

“It’s not lost on me that this is a bit of a blokey hobby,” he says cheerfully. “I was checking out online demos about how to use these synths and I ended up watching soldering. A bloke soldering modules. But there was nothing else to do, so I watched it for quite a bit.”

You’re really on the seat of your pants. I have absolutely no knowledge of playing a rehearsed piece of music

When I’m with Steve, I feel like I’m a decent guy. I like myself when I’m with Steve

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Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, LSO: Promises review – extraordinary

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 28 Mar 2021 9:00 am

(Luaka Bop)

Five years in the making, this breathtaking album transcends the genres each of its three collaborators bring to the table

Not strictly classical, jazz or ambient electronica, this one-track, nine-movement album embodies the highest, most etiolated aspects of all three disciplines. British artist Sam “Floating Points” Shepherd is the anchor here, an electronic free thinker with a neuroscience doctorate. He supplies recurring leitmotifs and Promises’s sense of gossamer, largely peaceable inquiry. Jazz legend Pharoah Sanders should need no introduction; in his first recordings for more than 10 years, the saxophonist mostly holds off the free skronk of some of his most famous recordings in favour of his other mode: deeply felt spiritual jazz interventions. (Sanders’s wordless vocals also add to the promise of Promises.) Halfway through, the forward-thinking London Symphony Orchestra strings turn up and the dappled otherworldliness enters a more cinematic and canonical phase, but hardly to the detriment of the piece overall, instead adding depth and weight. There is room here too for a highly sophisticated iteration of cosmic psychedelia, for drones and tiny rustles, for electronic birdsong and the audible thud of fingers on keys as the mood swings from succour to awe and back again many times. Recorded over the course of five years, this extraordinary collaboration deserves excellent speakers and a soft couch to catch the swooning listener.

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Neuroscience, the cosmos and trees: going deep with composer Hannah Peel

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sat 20 Mar 2021 4:00 pm

From praise from Paul McCartney to writing music for Game of Thrones, the musician has had an extraordinary career so far. She discusses her next step - an album embracing the natural world through electronica

Paul McCartney knew Hannah Peel’s talent before the world did. He hands out pin-badges at every degree ceremony at Liverpool’s Institute for Performing Arts, which he co-founded, and where Peel studied music. In 2007, her graduation year, she’d been chosen to compose something to accompany each student walking on stage.

Peel had been advised to do a fanfare of trumpets, but refused; she wrote a minimalist miniature for vibraphone and marimba instead. “My principal hated it,” she says, laughing down the Zoom line. “But when I crossed the stage and shook Paul McCartney’s hand, he whispered in my ear, ‘I really like your music. Well done!’”

I grew up with a sense of transition, awareness that things are never stable. All that history that stays with you

Related: Obay Alsharani: the Syrian refugee keeping his mind free with ambient music

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Dance duo Justice begin legal action against Justin Bieber over crucifix design

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 18 Mar 2021 5:04 pm

Cease-and-desist letter sent to pop star, whose new album cover is accused of imitating Justice’s logo

Grammy-winning French electronic music duo Justice have accused Justin Bieber of illegally infringing on a trademark with the cover design of his new album, Justice, released on Friday.

The duo’s logo is their name with the letter T designed as a crucifix, a design trope that Bieber uses for his album cover. Bieber’s new merchandise also features a contested crucifix design.

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Musician Michael Milosh, AKA Rhye, accused of sexual abuse and grooming

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 18 Mar 2021 11:55 am

Canadian artist denies allegations by ex-wife, actor Alexa Nikolas, calling them ‘outrageously false’

Musician Michael Milosh, AKA Rhye, has been accused by his ex-wife of grooming and sexually abusing her.

Milosh has denied the allegations, calling them “absurd and outrageous false claims”.

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Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Milo Nesbitt on Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers

Delivered... Milo Nesbitt | Scene | Sun 14 Mar 2021 9:00 am

The Burgess Prize nominee reviews a homage to the sex and staying power of electronic music at London’s Design Museum
Read the rest of this year’s shortlisted entries in the Observer/Anthony Burgess prize

Milo Nesbitt, 22, is currently studying for a master’s in English at Oxford University

At one point in Electronic, which opened in July 2020, you come to an array of variously sized plastic circles, packed tightly together and lit at an angle so as to project their shadow on to the wall behind and above them. There’s a moment when you wonder what these shapes are: some kind of abstract art, a mountain-range silhouette, a heartbeat. Then you realise, of course, that it’s a spectrogram for the song you’ve just listened to through your headphones – and that these black plastic circles are supposed to look like records. It’s a lovely reflection of electronic music’s ways of generating meaning without necessarily relying on lyrics. These signs could mean anything; they could mean everything.

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Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Milo Nesbitt on Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers

Delivered... Milo Nesbitt | Scene | Sun 14 Mar 2021 9:00 am

The Burgess Prize nominee reviews a homage to the sex and staying power of electronic music at London’s Design Museum
Read the rest of this year’s shortlisted entries in the Observer/Anthony Burgess prize

Milo Nesbitt, 22, is currently studying for a master’s in English at Oxford University

At one point in Electronic, which opened in July 2020, you come to an array of variously sized plastic circles, packed tightly together and lit at an angle so as to project their shadow on to the wall behind and above them. There’s a moment when you wonder what these shapes are: some kind of abstract art, a mountain-range silhouette, a heartbeat. Then you realise, of course, that it’s a spectrogram for the song you’ve just listened to through your headphones – and that these black plastic circles are supposed to look like records. It’s a lovely reflection of electronic music’s ways of generating meaning without necessarily relying on lyrics. These signs could mean anything; they could mean everything.

Continue reading...

Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Milo Nesbitt on Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers

Delivered... Milo Nesbitt | Scene | Sun 14 Mar 2021 9:00 am

The Burgess Prize nominee reviews a homage to the sex and staying power of electronic music at London’s Design Museum
Read the rest of this year’s shortlisted entries in the Observer/Anthony Burgess prize

Milo Nesbitt, 22, is currently studying for a master’s in English at Oxford University

At one point in Electronic, which opened in July 2020, you come to an array of variously sized plastic circles, packed tightly together and lit at an angle so as to project their shadow on to the wall behind and above them. There’s a moment when you wonder what these shapes are: some kind of abstract art, a mountain-range silhouette, a heartbeat. Then you realise, of course, that it’s a spectrogram for the song you’ve just listened to through your headphones – and that these black plastic circles are supposed to look like records. It’s a lovely reflection of electronic music’s ways of generating meaning without necessarily relying on lyrics. These signs could mean anything; they could mean everything.

Continue reading...

Gazelle Twin & NYX: Deep England review | John Lewis’s contemporary album of the month

Delivered... John Lewis | Scene | Fri 12 Mar 2021 10:00 am

(NYX Collective Records)
A dramatic reworking of Gazelle Twin’s techno-folk Pastoral album with the NYX choir adds layers of hair-raising chills


Gazelle Twin is the alter ego of Elizabeth Bernholz, a composer, producer and singer who creates unsettling, terrifying and occasional hilarious electronic music. Her stage costume resembles a Morris-dancing Leigh Bowery in Adidas trainers impersonating one of the droogs from Clockwork Orange. This retro-futurist court jester garb suited her remarkable 2018 album Pastoral, a febrile journey into the heart of middle England that mixed thuggish techno, menacing folk chants and lyrics that satirised old Albion and delved into its dark, paganistic roots.

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Gurrumul, Omar Souleyman, 9Bach and DakhaBrakha: the best global artists the Grammys forgot

Delivered... Ian Brennan | Scene | Thu 11 Mar 2021 5:30 pm

From the Godfathers of Arabic rap to the father of Ethio-jazz, Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan guides a tour through global music’s greatest

This week I wrote about the glaring lack of international inclusivity in the Grammys’ newly redubbed global music (formerly world music) category.

In the category’s 38-year history, almost 80% of African nations have never had an artist nominated; no Middle Eastern or eastern European musician has ever won; every winner in the past eight years has been a repeat winner; and nearly two-thirds of the nominations have come from just six countries (the US, the UK, Brazil, Mali, South Africa, India). The situation shows little signs of improving.

Related: The Grammys have a major problem with diversity. Lip service isn’t going to solve it | Ian Brennan

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‘I’m isolated’: Joel Corry on bodybuilding, reality TV and his sacrifices to reach No 1

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 11 Mar 2021 3:00 pm

After years of slogging through DJ sets and obsessional exercise, the London producer had one of 2020’s biggest and best pop hits. But his brutal work ethic is ‘a gift and a curse’

Amid the draining gloom of pandemic life, Joel Corry has been a soothing constant: if you have turned on the radio at any time in the past year, there is a huge chance that one of the British pop-house producer’s three big singles will have been playing. Sorry, Lonely and Head & Heart (the latter a six-week chart topper) have collectively earned more than a billion streams and made Corry into one of the UK’s biggest new pop stars, a Calvin Harris type who has guest vocalists out front while he prods equipment and points gunfingers skyward. Sorry got a boost from being used on Love Island in 2018, and his music is rather like the Love Island of pop: buoyant, cheesy, suffused with romantic drama and sparkling sunlight. But when talking to him in his hotel room, clouds gather.

Corry could actually be a Love Island contestant: he has the good looks and earnest kindly nature of a 90s boyband heartthrob, as well as the abdominals, which look not so much chiselled as 3D-printed following a successful earlier career as a bodybuilder. In fact, he has reality TV pedigree as a rare southern interloper amid the cast of MTV’s lairy Geordie Shore; he was the boyfriend of the show’s charismatic bad-influencer Sophie Kasaei, with whom he had a six-year relationship until 2017.

I had to be on my own. And I still feel like that now. It’s almost selfish, but I can’t have any distractions, man

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How Depeche Mode (almost) became my own personal Jesus

Delivered... Dorian Lynskey | Scene | Wed 10 Mar 2021 2:00 pm

I thought I was a true fan of the synth-rock giants, but a convention showed me that I preferred music as a solo experience

The first time I really thought about fandom was the evening of 8 July 1990. The occasion was a convention of Depeche Mode fans at Camden Palace in London. I had only been one of them myself for 10 months, since hearing Personal Jesus on Radio 1’s Singled Out made my jaw drop, but I had been making up for lost time. I wasn’t just busy buying up every album, 7-inch and 12-inch that I could lay my hands on, I was also transcribing Martin Gore’s lyrics into an exercise book, painting sleeve art and learning to play the simpler tracks on a Casio keyboard. I don’t recall writing poems about them but let’s not rule it out. I wanted to be a True Fan and do what I thought True fans did, which was to join a fanclub and attend a gathering of the faithful.

Around that time, I filled out a personality test that concluded I was equal parts introvert and extrovert, so Depeche Mode were my ideal band. They sang about many of my pressing concerns – sex, death, guilt, spiritual confusion, gauche leftwing politics – and I could dance to them. I liked their story, too. After songwriter Vince Clarke quit in 1981, Gore had to reinvent the band on the hoof, trying out communist chic and industrial angst before finding that horny, morbid sweet spot on the Black Celebration album. At the same time, advances in synthesiser and sampler technology enabled their music to grow grander and sleeker. By the time I got into them, they were electronic music’s first arena band but still hadn’t lost their essential Basildon blokeyness. You could never be David Bowie but you could, with a bit of luck, imagine being genial synth-prodder Andy “Fletch” Fletcher.

Related: From the Band to Beyoncé: concert films to fill the live music black hole

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