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


Shut Up and Dance: the Hackney rap duo who raved against racism

Delivered... Michael Lawson | Scene | Wed 28 Oct 2020 9:26 am

By accelerating hip-hop breakbeats, and pouring the pain of bigotry and authoritarian rule into music, Carl ‘Smiley’ Hyman and Philip ‘PJ’ Johnson blazed a trail that led to rave and jungle

In British dance music history, the likes of Shoom, Spectrum and the Haçienda are often held up as the defining clubs from the scene’s formative years in the late 1980s. But for Carl “Smiley” Hyman and Philip “PJ” Johnson, better known as pioneering duo Shut Up and Dance, the aforementioned clubs paled in comparison to Dungeons on Lea Bridge Road in east London.

“You’re never gonna find a spot like that again,” PJ insists. “There were all these tunnels, each with their own sound system, all linked together like some sewage system. By the end of the night there’d be sweat dripping from the ceiling.”

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

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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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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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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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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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Róisín Murphy: Róisín Machine review – still inventing new moves

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 24 Sep 2020 12:00 pm

(Skint/BMG)
Pop outsider and lockdown living-room star Murphy distils her disco expertise and musical idiosyncrasies in songs pulsing with dancefloor power

The first thing you hear on Róisín Murphy’s fifth album is a snatch of spoken word, an extract from a monologue that appears in full later. “I feel my story is still untold,” she says, “but I’ll make my own happy ending.”

Murphy’s fans may concur with the sentiment. It’s an article of faith among them that the former Moloko frontwoman should be more famous than she is: look online and the word “underrated” seems to attach itself to her like a nickname. Watching the footage of her performing her former band’s 2003 single Forever More at Glastonbury, or the videos she posted from her living room during lockdown, you can see what they mean. The former offers eight minutes during which Murphy manages to sport four different, preposterous headdresses and execute a mid-song costume change from late-80s raver in puffa jacket, beanie and KLF T-shirt into a glamorous red dress and feather boa. The latter’s high point might well come during a rendition of Murphy’s Law, a single from Róisín Machine, that also involves several changes of headdress: high-kicking around her coffee table, she falls flat on her arse, rectifying herself with a defiant bellow of “I’m alright!” You watch them and think, yes, the charts probably would be a more interesting place if, say, Dermot Kennedy or James Arthur made way for Murphy.

Related: Róisín Murphy: ‘In my pregnancy I was fed like a goose being fattened up’

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Sault: Untitled (Rise) review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 17 Sep 2020 12:00 pm

(Forever Living Originals)
Just 12 weeks after their previous double album, the British group dance from sorrow to resistance, mixing fearless lyrics with house, funk and disco

Over the last two years, Sault’s music has arrived out of the blue: no interviews, no photos, no videos, no live appearances, no Wikipedia entry, a perfunctory and entirely non-interactive social media presence. Physical copies of their three previous albums have credited Inflo as producer – otherwise best-known as the producer of Little Simz’ Grey Area and co-writer of Michael Kiwanuka’s Black Man in a White World, each of which won him an Ivor Novello award. Kiwanuka got a guest artist credit on their last album, Untitled (Black Is), released in June. So did Laurette Josiah, the founder of a north London children’s charity, who it turns out is Leona Lewis’s aunt. The only other available fact is that proceeds from the album “will be going to charitable funds”. Speculation about the collective’s other members has neither been confirmed nor denied, nor has anyone claimed responsibility for music that’s thus far been rapturously received on both sides of the Atlantic.

You could decry this approach as counterproductive. Perhaps a higher profile, a modicum of desire to play the game, might have helped turn Wildfires, the exquisite and excoriating standout from Untitled (Black Is), into the hit it deserved to be. Yet Sault seem to use the time they save by not promoting their albums or engaging with the public profitably. Untitled (Rise) is not only their fourth album in 18 months, it’s their second double album in just over 12 weeks. It’s a work rate that would seem remarkable at any point in pop history, but feels positively astonishing today, compounded by the fact that its predecessor gave the impression of having been largely written and recorded in response to the murder of George Floyd, less than a month before it was released. Pop history is littered with swiftly released singles reacting to events in the news – two of them made No 1 during the Covid-19 lockdown – but you struggle to think of an entire album doing so, let alone one as good as Untitled (Black Is).

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

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One to watch: Moonchild Sanelly

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson | Scene | Sat 12 Sep 2020 2:00 pm

The South African star, a favourite of Beyoncé, blends the Durban sound of gqom with horny global beats

If you felt the giddy thrill of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s explicit hit WAP this summer then Moonchild Sanelly is bringing more of the same. With her trademark electric blue braids, Sanelly is one of South Africa’s most striking artists, and is unapologetic about female desire in her music. One new track, Where De Dee Kat, ends with sweet voices chorusing “penis penis penis”.

Sanelly is best known for rapping over a style of club beats called gqom, an apocalyptic, minimal electronic sound that came out of Durban townships and blends kwaito, house and techno. She moved there in 2005 to study fashion and immersed herself in the poetry and music scene, then relocated to Johannesburg, where she brings elements of punk, pop and hip-hop into her sound. She’s attracted the attention of Beyoncé, who put Sanelly on her The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack last year. The song, My Power, appeared again in her recent short film Black Is King. According to Damon Albarn, who worked with Sanelly on his Africa Express project, she is “a global superstar waiting to happen”.

Moonchild Sanelly’s Nüdes EP is out now on Transgressive Records

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Disclosure: Energy review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 27 Aug 2020 12:00 pm

(Island Records)
With nightclubs closed during coronavirus, the third album from the British pop-house duo has an unwittingly mournful quality

Occasionally, songs take on qualities that their authors never intended them to have. The passage of time casts different light on them; political groups and protest movements co-opt them, lending unanticipated meaning to the words; artists unexpectedly die and their final work becomes freighted with poignancy. To a roll-call that includes Martha and the Vandellas’ Dancing in the Street, John Lennon’s (Just Like) Starting Over, Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm and McFadden & Whitehead’s Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, we now might add, a little unexpectedly, the third album by Surrey-born pop-house duo Disclosure, which events overtook before it was even released.

There may have been less opportune moments in history to put out an album filled with songs hymning the pleasures of clubs, of dancing en masse and of fleeting eyes-meeting-across-the-dancefloor romance, but you struggle to think of one. Energy arrives in a world where most venues are shuttered and festivals cancelled, where dancing with others carries with it the potential of contracting a fatal illness, where illegal raves have become a bigger public bugbear than in the Criminal Justice Act-provoking wake of Castlemorton, and where the dance scene has recently been convulsed by an argument about whether DJs should DJ at all. Online footage of big name DJs playing in continental Europe this month was greeted with general horror, the legal but maskless, non-socially-distanced “plague raves” they were performing at held by some to have contributed to a rise in Covid-19 infections.

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Disclosure: Energy review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 27 Aug 2020 12:00 pm

(Island Records)
With nightclubs closed during coronavirus, the third album from the British pop-house duo has an unwittingly mournful quality

Occasionally, songs take on qualities that their authors never intended them to have. The passage of time casts different light on them; political groups and protest movements co-opt them, lending unanticipated meaning to the words; artists unexpectedly die and their final work becomes freighted with poignancy. To a roll-call that includes Martha and the Vandellas’ Dancing in the Street, John Lennon’s (Just Like) Starting Over, Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm and McFadden & Whitehead’s Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, we now might add, a little unexpectedly, the third album by Surrey-born pop-house duo Disclosure, which events overtook before it was even released.

There may have been less opportune moments in history to put out an album filled with songs hymning the pleasures of clubs, of dancing en masse and of fleeting eyes-meeting-across-the-dancefloor romance, but you struggle to think of one. Energy arrives in a world where most venues are shuttered and festivals cancelled, where dancing with others carries with it the potential of contracting a fatal illness, where illegal raves have become a bigger public bugbear than in the Criminal Justice Act-provoking wake of Castlemorton, and where the dance scene has recently been convulsed by an argument about whether DJs should DJ at all. Online footage of big name DJs playing in continental Europe this month was greeted with general horror, the legal but maskless, non-socially-distanced “plague raves” they were performing at held by some to have contributed to a rise in Covid-19 infections.

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Spinn & Rashad, Unsound 2011: dancing through a crack in time

Delivered... Jennifer Lucy Allan | Scene | Thu 27 Aug 2020 9:00 am

By playing their ultra-fast footwork style in a Soviet-era Kraków suburb, the Chicago DJs opened a portal to the future

Half an hour from the centre of Kraków, out past the ring road, is the Soviet-era suburb of Nowa Huta, a model city that was never finished. It has roads wide enough for tanks, trees planted with the absorption of a nuclear blast in mind, and it is shaped so that the city can lock down into a fortress in the event of an attack. It is also the location of a vast post-industrial hangar-like theatre space called Łaźnia Nowa, where, one cold Saturday night in early October 2011, a crack in time opened, and the future arrived from Chicago.

With DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad at the controls, this set was one of the first times footwork – the fast ghetto-house dance music from Chicago’s South Side – had been played in Europe. Playing as part of Kraków’s experimental music festival Unsound, they took the roof off the low-ceilinged basement.

Related: Fancy footwork: how Chicago's juke scene found its feet again

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Spinn & Rashad, Unsound 2011: dancing through a crack in time

Delivered... Jennifer Lucy Allan | Scene | Thu 27 Aug 2020 9:00 am

By playing their ultra-fast footwork style in a Soviet-era Kraków suburb, the Chicago DJs opened a portal to the future

Half an hour from the centre of Kraków, out past the ring road, is the Soviet-era suburb of Nowa Huta, a model city that was never finished. It has roads wide enough for tanks, trees planted with the absorption of a nuclear blast in mind, and it is shaped so that the city can lock down into a fortress in the event of an attack. It is also the location of a vast post-industrial hangar-like theatre space called Łaźnia Nowa, where, one cold Saturday night in early October 2011, a crack in time opened, and the future arrived from Chicago.

With DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad at the controls, this set was one of the first times footwork – the fast ghetto-house dance music from Chicago’s South Side – had been played in Europe. Playing as part of Kraków’s experimental music festival Unsound, they took the roof off the low-ceilinged basement.

Related: Fancy footwork: how Chicago's juke scene found its feet again

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The Beloved: how we made The Sun Rising

Delivered... Interviews by Dave Simpson | Scene | Mon 24 Aug 2020 2:11 pm

‘The song blew up at the end of summer 1989, by which time a whole generation were going to outdoor raves. What other record are you going to play at 5.30am?’

Jon Marsh and I had been in an earlier, guitar-based version of the Beloved. We did two sessions for John Peel’s radio show, but then we slimmed to a duo and started making electronic music. It was the late 80s and house was just emerging. Jon had discovered an acid house club in London called Shoom and took me along. He said: “Come in here, take one of these and I’ll see you in the morning.” There was so much dry ice I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I just danced all night. After that, we’d go to these clubs, then come home and re-create that emotional rush in our own music.

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Cut Copy on the role of dance music when dancefloors are closed: ‘It doesn’t really make sense’

Delivered... Brodie Lancaster | Scene | Thu 20 Aug 2020 6:30 pm

In mid-March the indie-electro band played their timeless anthems to more than 10,000 people at a Melbourne gig. It feels like another world away

After almost two decades soundtracking nightclubs and parties, Dan Whitford is getting tired. When the founding member of the indie dance outfit Cut Copy decamped to Copenhagen in 2016, he began sussing out the local techno scene at warehouse raves. “I went to a couple when I first got there and then thought, ‘That’s a bit past my bedtime.’”

It wasn’t just the scene that turned him inward; the subzero winter and isolation from the familiarity of home began influencing the music he was making. The result, Cut Copy’s new record Freeze, Melt, is the band’s most contemplative and insular.

Our bread and butter has been sweaty dance floors and tightly packed festival crowds. It’s hard to imagine what context that’s going to exist in in the future

Related: Alex the Astronaut: 'I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was gay, let alone millions of strangers'

We’d given so much of our time to making music that would work on a dancefloor ... it just lost interest for us

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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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