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


Grimes: Miss Anthropocene review – a toxicity report on modern celebrity

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 20 Feb 2020 1:00 pm

(4AD)
Notionally a concept album about the goddess of climate crisis, the Canadian’s fifth album is actually a compellingly chaotic statement about her own private life

Miss Anthropocene has had a lengthy, difficult birth. As perhaps befits an album that was announced in 2017, then derailed by ferocious-sounding spats between artist and record company, rerecording, and rejigging of the track listing, it comes with a weighty concept attached. Miss Anthropocene is, Grimes says, a work based around the idea of anthropomorphising climate change into the figure of a villainous goddess (“she’s naked all the time and she’s made out of ivory and oil”) whose name is a conflation of “misanthrope” and the proposed scientific term for the current geological epoch, and who celebrates the imminent destruction of the world.

'This is the sound of the end of the world,' she sings over a haze of noisy, shoegazey guitar

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Pop star, producer or pariah? The conflicted brilliance of Grimes

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 19 Feb 2020 3:43 pm

Claire Boucher has spent a decade battling the press to reclaim her reputation. Dating Elon Musk means she’s never been more controversial – but could her new album set her free?

Grimes has always had a tortured relationship with visibility. No sooner had Claire Boucher broken beyond the Montreal warehouse scene at the turn of the 2010s than she was telling journalists that she only fronted her music because she couldn’t afford to hire someone to do it for her. She wanted to be Phil Spector – though maybe she also wanted to be Britney. “I really hate being in front of people,” she told Pitchfork in 2012. “But I’m also obsessed with being a pop star.”

That ambivalence colours Boucher’s earliest press. She could make “dumb fucking hits all day” but didn’t, because “that’s obviously not how I want Grimes to be perceived”. She once asked: “What’s the difference between Napoleon and everyone else? Napoleon had great image branding.” Given that her style and hair colour changed in every photo, Boucher disrupted the possibility of ever solidifying into the kind of stable pop silhouette connoted by either bicorne hat or cone bra. She craved a new archetype: whether she resembled a space lieutenant or racoon-eyed wraith, the one consistent would be her iconoclastic skill as the sole producer of her music.

Grimes was deified like a pop star, and there was a triumph-of-the-weird will to see her become one

Against all odds, Miss Anthropocene is Boucher’s continuing personal testament to creativity as resistance against destruction

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Andrew Weatherall obituary

Delivered... Adam Sweeting | Scene | Tue 18 Feb 2020 2:54 pm

DJ and record producer whose work on Primal Scream’s 1991 album Screamadelica helped it win the first Mercury prize

The list of Andrew Weatherall’s achievements as DJ, musician, songwriter, producer and remixer could fill a hefty volume. His career took him from working as an acid house DJ in the late 1980s to being a celebrated remixer of tracks by Happy Mondays, New Order and Primal Scream. His production work on Primal Scream’s album Screamadelica (1991), creating a revolutionary mix of indie, hard rock, house and rave, helped the record to win the inaugural Mercury music prize the following year, and remains Weatherall’s most memorable calling card to a mainstream audience.

Then he moved on to an assortment of collaborative projects such as Blood Sugar, Two Lone Swordsmen and the Asphodells. More recently he had released a sequence of solo albums including Convenanza, Consolamentum (both 2016) and Qualia (2017).

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Andrew Weatherall: 10 of his greatest tracks

Delivered... Gabriel Szatan | Scene | Tue 18 Feb 2020 2:30 pm

From My Bloody Valentine to Saint Etienne and Ricardo Villalobos, Andrew Weatherall sprinkled magic throughout his career

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Pi’erre Bourne review – rapper-producer with an eye on Kanye’s crown

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Tue 18 Feb 2020 1:30 pm

Yes, Manchester
Known for beats for 21 Savage, Young Thug and Chance the Rapper, the South Carolinian producer dances gracefully through genres in his live show

‘When I say, ‘Yo Pi’erre’, you say, ‘You wanna come out here?’” instructs Pi’erre Bourne to an obliging audience as he steps on stage. The line – a dialogue sample from The Jamie Foxx Show – has become the rapper and producer’s tagline since it featured on Playboi Carti’s Magnolia, a monster hit propelled by Bourne’s game-changing earworm of a beat.

The South Carolinian’s board skills have rocketed him upwards, and he is now one of the most sought-after producers in hip-hop, working with Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Chance the Rapper and even his hero Kanye West. It was West’s dual role as producer and rapper that Bourne once looked to shadow, saying: “I could really be the next Kanye type of star.” In 2019, he released his major label debut, The Life of Pi’erre 4, a T-Pain-esque overload of Auto-Tune crooning above deft production skills.

Touring until 19 February.

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Andrew Weatherall: lone swordsman who cut new shapes for British music

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Mon 17 Feb 2020 6:37 pm

From producing dub symphonies, or DJing ferocious techno, to never losing his insatiable musical curiosity, Weatherall was a truly inspirational figure

There was a point, quite early on in Andrew Weatherall’s career, when vast commercial success appeared to beckon him. Already an acclaimed DJ and remixer, his production work on Primal Scream’s 1991 album Screamadelica had helped turn a middling indie act whose career had given every appearance of being in its terminal phase, into an award-winning, multi-million selling band suddenly at the cutting edge, the epitome of the fruitful interface between rock music and the post-acid house dance scene.

Related: Andrew Weatherall, British producer behind Screamadelica, dies aged 56

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Moses Boyd: Dark Matter review – party-facing solo debut

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 16 Feb 2020 10:00 am
(Exodus)

Moses Boyd is a drummer in the same way Questlove from the Roots is a drummer, which is to say that the twice Mobo-winning 28-year-old Londoner is a producer-composer-collaborator-influencer not bound by the kit surrounding him. A progenitor of the current London jazz scene, Boyd’s official solo debut goes large on cross-pollination – and dancing.

Whereas Boyd’s previous Mobo-winning duo with the saxophonist Binker Golding and his Exodus ensemble remained more or less on-genre, Dark Matter exists very much in the wake of Boyd’s breakout track of 2016, Rye Lane Shuffle (which featured Four Tet and Floating Points on mixes). This is the London hybrid jazz of now – a party-facing electronic record that takes note of Afrobeats, two-step garage and Boyd’s travels in South Africa.

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Moses Boyd: Dark Matter review – party-facing solo debut

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 16 Feb 2020 10:00 am
(Exodus)

Moses Boyd is a drummer in the same way Questlove from the Roots is a drummer, which is to say that the twice Mobo-winning 28-year-old Londoner is a producer-composer-collaborator-influencer not bound by the kit surrounding him. A progenitor of the current London jazz scene, Boyd’s official solo debut goes large on cross-pollination – and dancing.

Whereas Boyd’s previous Mobo-winning duo with the saxophonist Binker Golding and his Exodus ensemble remained more or less on-genre, Dark Matter exists very much in the wake of Boyd’s breakout track of 2016, Rye Lane Shuffle (which featured Four Tet and Floating Points on mixes). This is the London hybrid jazz of now – a party-facing electronic record that takes note of Afrobeats, two-step garage and Boyd’s travels in South Africa.

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Katie Gately: Loom review – nightmarish orchestrated despair

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 14 Feb 2020 10:30 am

(Houndstooth)
Earthquakes, shovels and screaming peacocks are all sampled in a bombastic and occasionally ingenious album

A nail-bomb of grief explodes in this second album by US musician Katie Gately, trauma seeming to rip open its edges. It was written while her mother was dying from a rare form of cancer; the title suggests this horror looming into her life, but also somewhere she can thread it together and tie it down.

Related: Katie Gately: ‘I’m a pretty diehard Billy Joel fan’

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DJ Diaki: Balani Fou review | Ammar Kalia’s global album of the month

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 14 Feb 2020 9:30 am

(Nyege Nyege Tapes)
DJ Diaki’s debut is a speeding cascade of sound that skilfully re-creates the pounding atmosphere of Malian street party Balani Show

Recent years have seen some of the most exciting dancefloor-focused music moving further and further away from its spiritual homes of Detroit, Chicago, Berlin or London. Now, styles such as South African gqom or Angolan kuduro-techno are pushing their way into club sound systems with rattling tempos in excess of 200bpm and unpredictable polyrhythms replacing the familiar four-to-the-floor kick.

The work released by Ugandan label Nyege Nyege Tapes is among the most inventive of these styles. Encompassing sounds from the ground-shaking rhythms of Tanzanian singeli to the electro-synths of Ugandan acholi, the label has been challenging a recent trend towards often purposefully punishing “deconstructed” club music with their joyous reimaginings of east African music. Their latest release by Malian DJ Diaki is no less formidable. A stalwart of the Balani Show sound system – a party setup playing electronic, layered versions of the marimba-style instrument balafon – Diaki now releases his debut on Nyege Nyege.

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Pone: the paralysed producer making music with his eyes

Delivered... Anaïs Brémond | Scene | Fri 14 Feb 2020 9:00 am

Motor neurone disease has left the French hip-hop artist totally immobile – yet he still found the means to compose a remarkable album inspired by Kate Bush

Interviewing an artist who can’t speak is an unusual, almost meditative experience. I am in a small town outside Toulouse in south-western France to meet Pone, a beatmaker who helped shape the sound of French hip-hop in the 1990s. As part of Marseille’s seminal group Fonky Family, he produced hits such as Art De Rue, Sans Rémission and the hair-raising Mystère et Suspense, as well as 113’s hypnotic single Hold Up. But we are here to discuss Kate & Me, an instrumental beat album created as an ode to Kate Bush, and the first album in history to be entirely produced through an eye-tracking device.

The silence in Pone’s bedroom is punctuated by the amplified sound of a breathing machine, his torso slowly moving up and down under a blanket, and the playful mewing of his daughters downstairs. Every so often, his wife, Wahiba, stands up from the couch at the sound of her husband’s computerised voice. “Eyes, please,” is a request to soothe his eyes with sterilised pads.

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Inversia: the Arctic music festival lighting up perpetual night

Delivered... Andrew Dickson | Scene | Tue 11 Feb 2020 5:24 pm

In Russia’s frozen far north, Murmansk’s Inversia festival draws artists reflecting on the edges of the earth – including Brits, despite ever chillier diplomatic relations

In the Arctic Circle during the dim days of February, reality becomes a little attenuated. At 10am, it’s still dark, the streetlights colouring the pavements pale orange and making sallow shadows of the trees. When the forecast announces that today it’ll only be -11C, there’s a palpable sense of relief: someone gruffly makes a joke about global warming. By early afternoon, you’re into dusk, a meditative dwindling and diminishing that makes you wonder if it ever really got light. For what seems an eternity, the sky is rimmed with whitish-pink; the snow goes through every shade of blue, from azure and ultramarine through to deep indigo. The sense is that winter has frozen not only the ground, but time itself.

Given the sensory intensity, it’s little wonder that the wintry far north has proved so seductive to musicians and artists – or festival organisers. The Dark Music Days gathering in Iceland has been a mainstay of the experimental scene for 40 years, encouraging Europe’s most innovative composers and performers to flock to Reykjavik during late January. More recently, it’s been joined by Svalbard’s Polarjazz festival, Tromso’s Insomnia and at least two separate events, in Canada and Norway, named after the northern lights.

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One to watch: Pongo

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Sat 8 Feb 2020 3:00 pm
The Lisbon-based musician’s bold take on Angolan kuduro and quickfire rap are infused with a true survivor’s energy

After a few years when pop was all about emotional bloodletting, now stars are refusing to be defined by trauma – see recent records by Kesha and Selena Gomez, which celebrated survival over suffering, and Frank Ocean’s promise that he’s trading vulnerability for fantasy.

Pongo, 27, mainlines a similar philosophy. As a child, she and her family fled Luanda for Lisbon to escape the Angolan civil war. In Portugal she experienced intense racism, and claimed that the police abused her when she made a domestic violence complaint. Despite these hardships, her music is defiantly joyful: “a place to be happy with my memories of Angola”, she has said.

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HMLTD: West of Eden review – riotous rock and grand guignol glam

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Fri 7 Feb 2020 11:30 am

(Lucky Number)
The London band throw together glam, goth, electro, Kurt Weill … and have even added conventional pop to the mix

It seemed as though HMLTD’s moment had come and gone. A couple of years ago, their riotous gigs were the most fun you could have while paying too much for warm cans of lager, but a deal with Sony seemed a stretch for a band who, no matter how great they were live, didn’t seem to be rolling in radio-friendly hit singles. They were duly dropped and, as their contemporaries from the scene based around the Windmill in south London overtook them – Shame, Goat Girl, Black Midi – HMLTD seemed condemned to having been a brief but startling firework.

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Beatrice Dillon: Workaround review – a global future-folk manifesto

Delivered... Tayyab Amin | Scene | Fri 7 Feb 2020 10:30 am

(PAN)
These exuberant electronic experiments in mixing 150bpm dub-techno with live instrumentation fizz with the joy of artistic creation

At the end of last year, the Guardian declared Beatrice Dillon “the most thrilling new voice in British electronic music”, and her first full-fledged solo LP, Workaround, demonstrates why. Put together during stolen moments over three years, it feels as though it’s been in the works for even longer. She released a solo mini-album in 2014 and has busied herself with collaborations, DJ sets and art commissions since. Her musical knowledge came through countless hours absorbing music as a record shop assistant. Visual art, literary and other cross-media influences began to crystallise some time after her fine art studies, lending themselves to her installation work. Dillon’s defining feature, however, is the insatiable curiosity for sound that sees her follow sonic leads to their unpredictable ends and beyond. Playful percussion and electro-acoustic experiments are central to her records with Rupert Clervaux, with dubby, jazz-tinged house and techno coming into focus on her club-peripheral productions.

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