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


Oneohtrix Point Never: the warped genius behind Uncut Gems’s spine-chilling score

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Tue 27 Oct 2020 10:00 am

His soundtrack shredded audiences’ nerves. Now producer Daniel Lopatin is using radio to bring Trump’s America together

It has been a peculiar 2020 for many of us, but Daniel Lopatin’s has been odder than most. In January, the warped electronica that he makes under his pseudonym Oneohtrix Point Never soundtracked a hit Netflix movie, the nerve-shredding Adam Sandler thriller Uncut Gems. On 8 March, he tasted the primetime life, playing a song he had written with the Weeknd on Saturday Night Live. Daniel Craig introduced them, a few weeks before the new Bond film was due to be released. “I was shitting bricks if I can be totally candid,” the slightly less famous Daniel says.

Fifteen days later, Covid-19 locked down New York. Stuck in his flat, his studio out of bounds, Lopatin had to make music in his bedroom like he did when his recording career began. Granted, life had changed since his 2007 debut, Betrayed in the Octagon: he’d spearheaded a genre, vaporwave, by narcotically slowing down excerpts of well-known songs, and collaborated with David Byrne, FKA twigs and Iggy Pop. He still had a poky bedroom, though. “If I’d pushed my chair back making music, it would hit the bed and I’d end up hurting my ankle,” he laughs, sitting in the same room on an autumn afternoon.

Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

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‘The way I am is an outrage’: the Indigenous Brazilian musicians taking back a burning country

Delivered... Beatriz Miranda | Scene | Mon 26 Oct 2020 11:50 am

A vibrant underground of rap, metal, folk and more is thriving among Brazil’s embattled tribes, who are standing up to Bolsonaro’s environment policies

As Brazil’s world-acclaimed biodiversity turns to ashes, President Jair Bolsonaro has praised the country as an environmental role model. “It is not only in environmental preservation that the country stands out,” the far-right leader affirmed in a UN speech on 22 September. “In the humanitarian and human rights fields, Brazil has also been an international reference.”

At the same time, the New York Times has reported that a team of Brazilian lawyers are drafting a complaint to the International Criminal Court in the Hague with a view to bringing Bolsonaro to trial for crimes against humanity, for removing environmental protections for indigenous peoples. Bolsonaro has not responded, but has said: “Where there is indigenous land, there is wealth underneath it,” and in February proposed a bill to legalise mining in Indigenous lands.

I am afraid of whitening myself. I have to be careful to keep my roots and accomplish my mission: infiltrate power structures that say Indigenous peoples no longer exist

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Gorillaz: Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez review – playful and potent collaboration

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 25 Oct 2020 10:00 am

(Parlophone)
Damon Albarn is the melodic anchor to this pioneering album that balances concept with fun

The Now Now (2018) was one of those Gorillaz albums that dispensed with the hip hop-led collaborations that have often defined this band of ink and flesh. Guests are in full effect, though, on its follow-up: what’s billed as Season One of the band’s Song Machine concept, compiling the tracks Gorillaz have released monthly via their YouTube channel since January, plus extra helpings.

Everything that has ever been engaging about Gorillaz is present in spades here. Playfulness and conceptual ambition are all anchored by Damon Albarn’s melodic melancholy and his side-eye at the suboptimal state of things. His Bowie fixation waxes hard on unreleased tracks – such as The Lost Chord – as well those already in the public domain (Aries).

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Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling review – out of this world

Delivered... Neil Spencer | Scene | Sat 24 Oct 2020 4:00 pm

(Strut)
The Arkestra’s first album in 20 years is an intoxicating, cosmic tribute to Sun Ra

For much of his long, prolific career, the late Sun Ra (born plain Herman Blount) found his music marginalised. Though rooted in jazz tradition, its atonal tunings and proto-electronica, along with its space-age themes and gaudy costumes, were too way out for an era of studied, mohair-suited cool. Since his death in 1993, however, Ra has become hailed as a pioneer of Afrofuturism, whose influence runs from Funkadelic to Black Panther. Meanwhile Ra’s band, the Arkestra, have toured tirelessly, presided over by alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, now 96.

This first album in 20 years proves an inspired tribute to the master, revisiting celebrated pieces like Satellites Are Spinning, with its promise A better day is breaking/ The planet Earth’s awakening”, beautifully sung by violinist Tara Middleton. The vocalised, upbeat mood (Ra was essentially utopian) maintains through the bebop riff of Rocket Number Nine, and Allen’s title track, whose finger-snapping big band arrangement evokes a nightclub on Mars, while the swaying Egyptian melody of Angels and Demons at Play and the foreboding Sea of Darkness come from deeper space. It’s a heady brew, challenging but intoxicating. Ra always said his music was from the future… and now it has arrived.

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Ela Minus: Acts of Rebellion review – techno-pop for dancing, thinking and resisting

Delivered... Aimee Cliff | Scene | Fri 23 Oct 2020 9:00 am

(Domino)
Making her debut album alone on analogue machines, Minus has come up with an inspiring manifesto for 2020

As acts of rebellion go, Ela Minus’s is an intimate yet powerful one. On her debut album, the Colombia-born, Brooklyn-based artist makes personal-is-political statements amid alternately soothing and rousing electronic soundscapes, all of which she crafted alone in her apartment using analogue equipment.

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Mirwais on producing Madonna: ‘I’m not comparing her to a bull but –’

Delivered... Michael Cragg | Scene | Tue 20 Oct 2020 3:35 pm

The electrofunk star is releasing an apocalyptic anthem fuelled by Trump, Covid and Kubrick’s 2001. He talks about his Afghan origins, overcoming drugs – and his role in Madonna’s yoga rap

Mirwais Ahmadzaï is trying to sum up his frequent collaborator Madonna. “You know bullfighting?” he begins ominously. “It works because the bull is so powerful that you have to weaken it.” Right. “Look, I’m not comparing Madonna to a bull,” he quickly adds, “but she was so powerful at that time.”

The Parisian, who turns 60 on Friday, peppers our 90-minute phone call with similar flights of fancy, ponderously linking Brexit to Baudrillard and dropping situationist truth bombs. And he has witnessed that power up close. A cult musician in France since the late 70s, and cited as an influence by the likes of Air and Daft Punk, Ahmadzaï was plucked from the sidelines by Madonna in 1999. He helped coax out her most experimental era, bolting his brand of heavily filtered, minimalist electrofunk on to the superstar’s 11m-selling album Music. His sonic fingerprints were all over two singles that immediately slotted into the already heaving Madge canon: the delicious electro-bounce of the title track and thigh-slapping country curio Don’t Tell Me.

Like the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey that appear at a change in society, it's the right time for my album

I like to be provocative … I was an artist before Madonna. This is one of the secrets of our relationship

Related: Your vinyl choice: Record Store Day 2020 – in pictures

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‘We are meant to gather’: organisers of global dance festival refuse to cancel – or give refunds

Delivered... Matilda Boseley | Scene | Sat 17 Oct 2020 8:00 pm

Ticket holders are angry that organisers insist the Global Eclipse festival will go ahead in Argentina, despite the government there banning international tourists

Thousands of people from around the world partying for 10 days in the middle of the Argentinian wilderness sounds like an ambitious endeavour even before Covid-19. But a global pandemic has done little to sway organisers of the Global Eclipse –Patagonia Gathering, who are determined to charge ahead and refusing to refund ticket holders.

Despite Argentina nearing 1 million Covid-19 cases and authorities currently refusing to let international tourists into the country, the electronic dance music (EDM) trance festival is still scheduled for December 2020.

Related: Symbiosis: last vestige of authentic festival culture or hippie theme park?

I think that it really brings to light the question of their integrity

I know that they didn’t set out to screw anyone over

Related: Burning Man beach crowds criticized as 'reckless' by San Francisco mayor

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Autechre: Sign review

Delivered... Tayyab Amin | Scene | Fri 16 Oct 2020 9:00 am

(Warp)
A surprisingly melodic proper album is welcome from the electronic pioneers, but its dystopian soundworld is now in a crowded market

As the devastating and the downright uncanny both become normalised, few things still have the power to surprise in 2020. That said, few would have expected Autechre to conjure up an album-length album, actually conceptualised and sequenced true to the format. The Rochdale-originated duo’s recent output consists of weighty folder dumps, marathon radio residencies and other swathes of experimental electronics, club deviations and wee-hours abstractions. These exciting, befuddling drops are often left raw and unsorted for fans to construct their own canons from the pair’s extensive discography. Now relocated and working remotely from one another long before lockdown, Autechre have been mining away at a sound influenced more temporally than geographically: electro, bleep techno, funk and old-school hip-hop styles of the 80s and 90s continue to shape the direction of the Warp Records mainstays.

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One to watch: Cookiee Kawaii

Delivered... Kadish Morris | Scene | Sat 10 Oct 2020 2:00 pm

Blending Jersey club music, Chicago footwork and silky slow jams, the TikTok star is much more than one viral hit

Before it became an unexpected target of the Trump administration, TikTok was best known for catapulting songs like Cookiee Kawaii’s song Vibe (If I Back It Up) into virality, with more than 100m streams. The New Jersey singer’s tune feels tailor-made for the app: it stands at only 84 seconds, features whip-cracking sound effects, and the looped vocal snippets lend themselves to lip-syncing. But Cookiee’s songs are more than catchy internet ringtones; they are giving life to Jersey’s club scene – perhaps that’s why the rapper Tyga reached out to her to collaborate on a remix of the song.

Cookiee’s parents were both DJs, and she grew up listening to house music. She also performed in choirs while attending Catholic school. She has been recording music for more than 10 years and her latest EP Club Soda Vol 2, boasting raunchy lyrics, choppy vocals and speedy tempos, is inspired by the Baltimore club genre. It also has the energy of Chicago’s footwork (with its snares, drum kicks, and samples) and the silkiness of R&B slow jams.

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London members’ club invites musician Gaika to explore slavery links

Delivered... Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent | Scene | Thu 8 Oct 2020 12:17 pm

Artist is descendant of family enslaved by former owner of House of St Barnabas

The descendant of a family enslaved by a British plantation owner in Jamaica has been invited to take part in an art project at a private members’ club in London that is delving into its own history and connection to slavery.

The House of St Barnabas, which was rebuilt by Richard Beckford, a Bristol MP who enslaved hundreds of people and owned more than 3,650 hectares (9,000 acres) of land in Jamaica, has invited the musician and artist Gaika to create a work that helps “address the house’s links to slavery”.

To buy the Guardian’s Black history wallcharts, visit the Guardian bookshop.

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London members’ club invites musician Gaika to explore slavery links

Delivered... Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent | Scene | Thu 8 Oct 2020 12:17 pm

Artist is descendant of family enslaved by former owner of House of St Barnabas

The descendant of a family enslaved by a British plantation owner in Jamaica has been invited to take part in an art project at a private members’ club in London that is delving into its own history and connection to slavery.

The House of St Barnabas, which was rebuilt by Richard Beckford, a Bristol MP who enslaved hundreds of people and owned more than 3,650 hectares (9,000 acres) of land in Jamaica, has invited the musician and artist Gaika to create a work that helps “address the house’s links to slavery”.

To buy the Guardian’s Black history wallcharts, visit the Guardian bookshop.

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Mallrat, Powderfinger, Flowerkid and Cry Club: Australia’s best new music for October

Delivered... Nathan Jollyand Guardian Australia | Scene | Tue 6 Oct 2020 5:30 pm

Each month we add 20 new songs to our Spotify playlist. Read about 10 of our favourites here – and subscribe on Spotify, which updates with the full list at the start of each month

Related: ‘Everything I do is about feelings’: Mallrat on making music for forgotten teens

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Jónsi: Shiver review – ethereal steel for strange times

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 4 Oct 2020 1:00 pm

(Krunk)
Co-producer AG Cook strips back Jónsi’s first album in a decade to a clever mix of crunchy electronica and floating vocals

Twenty-six years into an experimental career where he’s still generally thought of as the indie boy Enya, Jónsi Birgisson has recruited a 30-year-old co-producer to help change his game. Step forward AG Cook: Charlie XCX’s creative director and a master of glitchy, peculiarly skewed modern pop. On Jónsi’s first solo album for 10 years, Cook encouraged him to strip each song to its bare bones and add stranger, steelier muscles.

The results veer between the kind of palatably edgy, ethereal fare for which Chris Martin would give his eye teeth, and crunchy electronica ripe for club remixes. Jónsi’s voice takes on different incarnations, at times being heavily processed, at others floating free. Good gentle moments come early, like Cannibal, on which the Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser guests delicately, and Sumarið Sem Aldrei Kom [The Summer That Never Came], which carries in its slowness a soft, fluid sadness.

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Why Radiohead are the Blackest white band of our times

Delivered... Daphne A Brooks | Scene | Fri 2 Oct 2020 10:00 am

Radiohead released Kid A 20 years ago today. It pointed a new direction for rock music – and mirrored radical Black art by imagining new spaces to live in amid a hostile world

Ask anyone who is the Blackest white rock band to emerge over the past 30 years, and my hunch is that few would say Radiohead.

The hypnotically wonky Oxfordshire quintet are lauded for intricate, challenging music that is now far from their grunge-era breakthrough. Their rapturous second album (1995’s The Bends) yoked together symphonic alt-rock melodies with even bigger feelings, and their post-prog-rock masterpiece OK Computer (1997) delivered darkly ominous late 20th-century dread about everything from rising neoliberal alienation to the coldness of technology. It prompted stop you in your tracks superlatives from critics, who became even more rapturous for the follow-up, Kid A, released 20 years ago today.

What makes Radiohead so radical are their deeply introspective other worlds, built as bulwarks against the tyrannies of everyday life

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Working Men’s Club review

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 2 Oct 2020 9:00 am

(Heavenly)
The West Yorkshire band take the stark electronics of the post-punk scene and warm them with Detroit techno and Italian house – while addressing Andrew Neil with mischievous one-liners

The Golden Lion pub in Todmorden gives locals the chance to meet and talk about the high number of UFO sightings in the isolated West Yorkshire town. It’s also the centre of a thriving music scene, where 18-year-old Sydney Minsky-Sargeant’s band have undergone lineup changes to evolve from a guitar band into a New Order-type rock-electronic hybrid.

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