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

Beat surrender: classic club-night posters – in pictures

Delivered... Kadish Morris | Scene | Sat 1 Aug 2020 5:00 pm

“Artists and graphic designers like working on music [projects] because they get creative freedom,” says Gemma Curtin, co-curator of Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, on view at the Design Museum, London W8 (until 14 February). The show explores the design and aesthetics that define electronic music. Curtin says: “Graphic designers like Peter Saville used innovative techniques and high production costs to create rich visuals that still look really fresh today.”

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Electronic at the Design Museum review – a sweaty rave paradise lost

Delivered... Dorian Lynskey | Scene | Tue 28 Jul 2020 4:33 pm

Design Museum, London
From squat synthesisers to a gyrating cube, a new exhibition dedicated to dance music culture poignantly brings the spirit of communal celebration to a museum

One of the first items you see upon entering the Design Museum’s ambitious new history of electronic music is a vast Andreas Gursky photograph of ravers in Dusseldorf in 1995. Electronic debuted at the Philharmonie de Paris last year and this expanded, anglicised version was meant to open in April, but subsequent events have rendered the curators’ efforts to represent electronic music’s fans as well as its practitioners unexpectedly poignant. A scenario that was commonplace for 30 years is suddenly unattainable: a sweaty paradise lost. Social distancing hasn’t just changed the layout of the exhibition but its emotional resonance. It’s just a shame that there’s no mention of masked rave duo Altern-8 now that every museum-goer resembles them.

Related: 'Keep the dist-dance' - Design Museum reopens with electronic music exhibition

Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers is at the Design Museum, London, from 31 July–14 February 2021.

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‘She gold-plated songs’: Denise Johnson, the voice of Manchester’s dancefloors

Delivered... Fergal Kinney | Scene | Tue 28 Jul 2020 2:10 pm

Nineties bands in need of rave vocals looked to the late Johnson, whose rich, fiery voice alchemised their music into something else entirely

News: Denise Johnson dies aged 56

Manchester’s nostalgia industrial complex tends to privilege its white men: Joy Division and Tony Wilson are the ones to have had biopics made about them, with another about Shaun Ryder on the way. But these rightful remembrances can crowd out figures such as Barry Adamson and Rowetta: black, genre-fluid pioneers amid the city’s wildly exciting music scene in the 1980s and early 90s. Vocalist Denise Johnson, who died this week aged 56, was another of them at the vanguard.

“Even though she was a mate,” remembers Johnny Marr, “you felt it was a privilege her being on your song. She kind of gold-plated songs – you knew that the track was going to acquire a few extra gold stars.”

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Kraftwerk, Tribal Gathering 1997: past, present and future become one

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Mon 27 Jul 2020 11:00 am

The German electronic music pioneers’ first festival set was a pivotal moment, one that showed just how profound their influence was while acknowledging their influences

Read all of the pieces in the 20 iconic festival sets series

One night in 1997, in the grounds of a country house just off the M1, I watched Kraftwerk, the enigmatic Mensch-Maschine, successfully evolve. Their appearance at the dance music one-dayer Tribal Gathering was the group’s first ever festival set. To be there was to witness Kraftwerk in the context of the black dance music they had inspired and were inspired by.

Related: Kraftwerk: where to start in their back catalogue

Related: Kraftwerk: their 30 greatest songs, ranked!

Related: Florian Schneider: the enigma whose codes broke open pop music

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Steve Barker: the ‘anti-John Peel’ sidelined by the BBC after 43 years

Delivered... Joe Muggs | Scene | Tue 14 Jul 2020 4:49 pm

The 72-year-old DJ has been beaming leftfield music – plus interviews with Bono, Morrissey and more – into Lancashire since 1977, but drastic local radio cuts have ‘left us to drown’

Not many people casually call themselves “Zelig-like”. But then not many people can say they were at Bob Dylan’s “Judas!” Manchester Free Trade Hall show as well as the Sex Pistols’ second ever gig, and that they gave A Guy Called Gerald’s acid house classic Voodoo Ray its first radio play.

This is Steve Barker, the 72-year-old host of On the Wire on BBC Radio Lancashire, which has been taken off air after 36 years and 1,850 episodes amid devastating cuts to local radio UK-wide. When the Covid-19 lockdown began, BBC local TV and radio stations were reduced to skeleton staff, but earlier this month it was announced that the new structures would be permanent, with the loss of at least 450 jobs and a major reduction in specialist and current affairs coverage.

I knew one day they'd seal the escape hatches and leave us to drown. But I'm not ready to stop

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Trax Records: Larry Heard and Robert Owens sue for $1m ‘unpaid’ royalties

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Fri 26 Jun 2020 10:41 am

A lawsuit accuses the house label of ‘masquerading as paternalistic benefactors’ for ‘musicians hungry for their first break’

The foundational house music producers Larry Heard (AKA Mr Fingers) and Robert Owens are suing Trax Records for allegedly unpaid royalties.

In a federal copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Illinois on 23 June, Heard and Owens accuse the legendary house label of “building its catalogue by taking advantage of unsophisticated but creative house music artists and songwriters by having them sign away their copyrights to their musical works for paltry amounts of money up front and promises of continued royalties throughout the life of the copyright”.

Related: 'It's all about feeling': Chicago dance great Larry Heard takes house to the heavens

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Pet Shop Boys: where to start in their back catalogue

Delivered... Kate Solomon | Scene | Mon 15 Jun 2020 2:07 pm

In Listener’s digest, we help you explore the work of great musicians. Next: the peerless pop duo who elegantly delved into the big issues


Related: Neil Tennant on West End Girls: 'It's about sex and escape. It's paranoid'

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Glastonbury’s Shangri-La goes virtual with Fatboy Slim and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 8 Jun 2020 6:49 pm

Chaotic rave zone of cancelled festival will be rendered in 3D online for two-day event in July

Glastonbury may be cancelled for 2020, but one of its most eye-catching areas will party on regardless: Shangri-La is to be recreated in a 3D digital form for a free two-day online festival in July featuring Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Peggy Gou and more.

The area, an outdoor art gallery situated in the notoriously hedonistic south-east corner of the festival site, will be rendered in a videogame-like 3D landscape for the online Lost Horizon festival. It will be accessible on PC or via a mobile app, plus a virtual reality option via the Sansar platform, and feature “computer-generated avatars and green screen hologram performances”, according to organisers.

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Lady Gaga: Chromatica review – Gaga rediscovers the riot on her most personal album

Delivered... Michael Cragg | Scene | Fri 29 May 2020 1:11 pm

Returning to the sound of her maximalist electro-pop heyday, Gaga explores buried trauma, mental illness and the complexities of fame on this return to form

A criticism often levelled at Lady Gaga is that the fantastical imagery she constructs around her albums eclipses the music itself. But it’s a sliding scale – and one that certainly mattered less when she was knocking out undeniable dance-pop party starters like Poker Face and Just Dance, or cementing her status as pop’s freaky outlier on the twisted Bad Romance. That she appeared in alien-like form in that song’s video made perfect sense: here was a chameleonic pop superstar in the vein of Bowie, Prince and Madonna opening a portal to an escapist dimension. Later, it made sense that she would lean into the imagery of hair metal on 2011’s gloriously OTT, Springsteen-referencing Born This Way. Yet on 2013’s bloated Artpop – billed as an exploration of the “reverse Warholian” phenomenon in pop culture, whatever that may be, and featuring at least one performance in which she employed a “vomit artist” to puke green paint on her chest – the aesthetic felt more like desperate distraction tactics.

Related: Lady Gaga's 30 greatest songs – ranked!

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The 100 greatest UK No 1s: No 8, The Prodigy – Firestarter

Delivered... Chal Ravens | Scene | Wed 27 May 2020 9:00 am

A surreal and terrifying mix of big-beat pyrotechnics, lyrical vitriol and tabloid outrage. ‘Ban This Sick Fire Record,’ squawked the Mail on Sunday – but it was much too late

It starts with a riff: not a distorted guitar but a contorted squeal from a twisted fairground. It’s a riff nonetheless, the instantly sticky sign of an unstoppable hit single. Firestarter was one of the biggest pop-cultural events of 1996 and by the end of the year the Prodigy were one of the world’s biggest bands. The Essex four-piece’s first No 1 was a flashpoint of teen angst, TV infamy, moral panic and tabloid outrage, carried aloft by big-beat pyrotechnics and a lethal barrage of lyrical vitriol. “Ban This Sick Fire Record,” squawked the Mail on Sunday – but it was much too late.

The Prodigy were already a dominant force in pop. All but one of their singles since 1991 had made the Top 15, including 1991’s Charly, the cartoon-sampling hit that famously “killed rave”, according to clubbers’ bible Mixmag. Liam Howlett, the band’s musical engine, was bored with cranking out rave hits to a formula and started experimenting with elements of hip-hop and rock on their second album, Music for the Jilted Generation. Now the Prodigy were ready to reintroduce themselves as stadium-sized heroes with The Fat of the Land, taking dance music deep into the moshpit while promoting dancer-cum-hypeman Keith Flint to songwriter and vocalist. As an opening salvo, Firestarter was flamboyant, surreal, terrifying – and, like all the best pop songs, totally novel.

Related: Keith Flint: the neon demon who started a fire under British pop

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Lockdown playlists for every mood, part three: chosen by Bat for Lashes, Neil Tennant, Jason Williamson and Mike Skinner

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 1:00 pm

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for moments of melancholy, optimism, escapism and contemplation

At her home of three years in Los Angeles, Natasha Khan and her boyfriend are having a particularly unusual lockdown, because she is six-and-half-months pregnant. “Going through all this on our own is a bit sad,” she says. “But weirdly, it’s a bit of nesting time, anyway. It’s been good to bed down.” She’s also been loving the “incredible colours” of spring blooming all around: the jasmine, tropical plants and orange poppies on the mountains.

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Lockdown playlists for every mood, part two: chosen by Norah Jones, Joe Talbot and Flohio

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 11:00 am

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for when you’re feeling peaceful, spiritual - or full of energy

In lockdown in New York, Norah Jones and her husband, Pete, have started a new musical tradition: playing Christmas songs every Sunday. Their children – a six-year-old and a four-year-old whose names Jones has always kept anonymous – aren’t impressed. “We’re basically doing it to cheer up the grownups in the house. The kids also don’t like the fact they don’t get any presents! ”

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Lockdown playlists for every mood, part one: chosen by Jarvis Cocker, Haim and Lianne La Havas

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 8:00 am

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase, for when you’re feeling angry, in need of a boost - or ready for a dance

Cocker and his partner, Kim, have been keeping their spirits up during lockdown by doing domestic discos on Instagram Live. “You’ve got to go for the uplifting music, haven’t you?”, Cocker says from his home outside Sheffield. “The world’s on pause, after all. It’s time to remind yourself you’re lucky to be here.”

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Lorenzo Senni: Scacco Matto review I Ben Beaumont-Thomas’s album of the week

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 23 Apr 2020 12:00 pm

The Italian producer charges the euphoria of dancefloor anticipation with punk spirit in these joyous, poignant tracks

‘Where’s the drop?” This was a complaint often howled at festivals or in YouTube comment sections during the EDM years (usually by a hench guy in a vest), when mainstream dance was all about extreme peaks and troughs. They would get annoyed if a track just simmered without delivering a thunderous pay-off, accompanied by a blast of confetti, which in turn was annoying, because for many people the simmering – the coiling tension as a track builds or is allowed to just be – is the best bit.

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

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New Order: where to start in their back catalogue

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 10 Apr 2020 2:30 pm

In Listener’s Digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Next up: the band who rose from the ashes of Joy Division to wed guitars and dance music

Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)

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