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

Readers recommend playlist: songs with sudden changes

Delivered... Pairubu | Scene | Thu 15 Mar 2018 1:00 pm

Artists such as Lorde, Sparks, the Moody Blues and Metallica bring changes of pace to a prog-heavy playlist with twists and turns

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from hundreds of stories and suggestions on last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

Related: Go back to go forward: the resurgence of prog rock

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50 great tracks for March from Chvrches, Riko Dan, Machine Head and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Wed 7 Mar 2018 11:00 am

Check out Angolan kuduro, fluffy disco-funk and whimsical fingerpicking in this month’s roundup of the best new music. Subscribe to the playlist of all 50 tracks and read about our 10 favourites

Related: The month's best music: Jonghyun, Marmozets, Peggy Gou and more

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Elvis Presley’s power, Tina Turner’s legs: musicians pick their biggest influences

Delivered... Interviews by Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Thu 1 Mar 2018 7:18 pm

Sade taught Jessie Ware quiet confidence, while Sly Stone helped Baxter Dury ‘make the unlikely into something rational’: some of our contemporary favourites salute the stars who had the most impact on them

● Guardian writers on the most influential artists in music today

My greatest influence probably isn’t very evident in my music. Sly and the Family Stone, or more Sly, captured my imagination from the moment it was forced out of a giant pair of Tannoy speakers placed in our front living room. He was a handsome opportunist hippy who manipulated the times, but definitely changed the course of them. The music is soulful, subversive and sleazy, but beautifully arranged and played. It’s a theme park of unrelated ideas made logical by Sly’s magnificence. I learned so much about making the unlikely into something rational.

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The Chainsmokers review – pyrotechnic rallying slogans and theatrical self-loathing

Delivered... Jazz Monroe | Scene | Thu 15 Feb 2018 2:05 pm

Alexandra Palace, London
Gimmicks, grand entrances and pop-cultural gags inhabit the DJ duo’s universe, where vague grievances attain epic proportions

Each pop era needs a critical piñata to embody all its horrifying afflictions, but few offer quite so large a target as the Chainsmokers. Derided first for their sexist videos, then their preposterous interviews, the duo have nonetheless insinuated themselves into the culture’s fabric. To their credit, the New Yorkers’ breakthrough in 2014 had substance, ushering a pensive sensibility into the rapidly expiring EDM movement. Their palette soon broadened – they’ve now settled into a sort of pop-house for soulful bros – but not as quickly as their audience, which has generated more song streams than the planet has inhabitants.

Related: The Chainsmokers on feuding with Mark Ronson and writing 2016’s biggest hit

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The month’s best music: Jonghyun, Marmozets, Peggy Gou and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 5 Feb 2018 11:00 am

Our monthly playlist has camp country by Kylie, freaky funk by George Clinton, a dub odyssey by Leslie Winer & Jay Glass Dubs and more. Subscribe to the playlist of all 50 and read about our 10 favourites below

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Jab Jab, Chakk and Fun-Da-Mental: the great Yorkshire bands you’ve probably never heard of

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Fri 2 Feb 2018 7:00 am

From psychedelia and early reggae to nascent electronica and dance music, the region has been home to fine musicians – including some who may have passed you by …

● How South Yorkshire became the British indie heartland

● Bingley rockers Marmozets: ‘I learned to walk again’

There was a lot of ersatz psychedelia about in 1967 and 68, but York’s premier – possibly only – exponents of tough, R&B-based psych sounded like they knew what they were singing about. Predating the summer of love by several months, their fantastic debut single, My Friend Jack, approvingly depicted a Timothy Leary-like LSD proselyte, while the ferocious guitar noise that spiked the track hinted at the dark, overwhelming side of the acid experience. The BBC banned it, which didn’t seem to dampen the Smoke’s enthusiasm for similar topics, as evidenced by the subsequent, self-explanatorily titled High in a Room and Have Some More Tea. Big in Germany, they finally achieved a British hit in 1981, when Boney M, of all people, covered My Friend Jack.

Related: 'There are a lot of weird people around here': how the north stayed underground

Related: Bleep of faith: 20 years of Warp records

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Rave On: Global Adventures in Electronic Dance Music by Matthew Collin – review

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Tue 23 Jan 2018 8:00 am
A scholarly account of how dance music migrated from the margins to the multibillion-dollar mainstream is illuminating

Where you stand on today’s dance culture might actually have a lot to do with where you stand (or, in my case, stood) on the dancefloor itself. For thrill-seekers who came of age during the late-80s rave boom or earlier, the dancers were the focus, and the repetitive beat the lodestar.

The vinyl being spun could still trace its lineage back to gay and African American subcultures. The most dedicated clubbers were kaleidoscope-eyed margin-walkers rejecting the grind for a more egalitarian, smiley-faced existence, in what the anarchist writer Hakim Bey has termed “temporary autonomous zones”.

Back in New York, a young generation of voguers are renewing that city’s reputation for fun as asylum

Related: Come together! How rave returned to the cultural mix

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Where to party in 2018: a clubbing, nightlife and festival guide

Delivered... Will Coldwell | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:00 am

Fill your ears and your year with the sweetest beats at the best music and clubbing events – from Berlin and Reykjavik to New Orleans and Cape Town

The start of the year sees the return of CTM Berlin (26 Jan-4 Feb), the “festival for adventurous music and art”. This year the event, across venues in the city – from Berghain to the Kraftwerk building – features artists from the sincere German techno producer Recondite to Peruvian electronic-pysch band Dengue Dengue Dengue - is on the theme of Turmoil – expect artistic responses to a growing sense of global instability. Berlin will be absolutely freezing this month, so those seeking a vitamin D-fuelled party (and can afford the short notice flights) should head to Goat (26-28 Jan), a boutique festival in Goa, India, with a lineup including Horse Meat Disco and Moxie. January also means the start of Laneway Festival (27 Jan-11 Feb), which starts in Singapore, before touring cities across Australia with a lineup including Bonobo, The Internet and Wolf Alice.

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Brit awards nominations 2018: Dua Lipa beats Ed Sheeran with five

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Sat 13 Jan 2018 7:45 pm

The New Rules singer caps her breakthrough year with the most nominations at British music’s biggest awards ceremony

Dua Lipa, the breakthrough pop star who scored a huge summer hit with New Rules, has earned the most nominations at the 2018 Brit awards – even beating Ed Sheeran, despite his spectacular year-long assault on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

She was nominated in the British female solo artist, breakthrough act, single and video categories, along with the night’s biggest award, British album of the year. Without being able to be nominated in the breakthrough category, Ed Sheeran is the runner-up with four nominations, for British male solo artist, video and single (each for Shape of You), and the album award for ÷, the biggest-selling album of 2017 in the UK. East London rapper J Hus and platinum-selling songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man each received three nominations.

Related: How Dua Lipa became the most streamed woman of 2017

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********, ∆, †‡† … the most unpronounceable band names ever

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 9 Jan 2018 1:04 pm

Whether it’s a marketing gimmick or a way to stop anyone ever talking about your band, musicians are rejecting random nouns in favour of punctuation and ancient languages

Of all the stock ways to name a band (lame puns, random nouns, Something Something and the Somethings), one of the most enduring is choosing something totally unpronounceable. Take ********, whose “first and final” album The Drink is out at the end of the month. They’re probably pronounced Guinness, given this self-penned guide to their name: “Generally Underwhelmed. Incognito. Niceties. Not Even Slightly Suggestive.”

Their aggressively out of tune Bontempi jams, like Dean Blunt tinkering in a haunted bingo hall, aren’t likely to bother the mainstream, so they might as well stop people even being able to talk about them. Or is it the opposite – that they’re making their very unpronounceability a talking point? Well, whether obfuscation or marketing device, they’re far from the only ones to choose a name that requires a record company briefing before you can insert it into dinner party conversation.

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From Chinese communes to Durban taxis: how dance music went global

Delivered... Matthew Collin | Scene | Fri 5 Jan 2018 7:00 am

While western dancefloors are often full of jocks craving Instagram moments, the internet is helping techno, psytrance and more reach uncharted territory

• ‘I’ll be going through a slum to a rich club’: India’s upside-down rave scene

After darkness falls, there are strange phantasmagorical rumblings deep in the guts of cities around the world: a disused slaughterhouse near the Danube in Belgrade, an old air-raid shelter beneath the streets of Shanghai, a vast concrete swimming pool under a football stadium in Tbilisi, an unsignposted apartment building in the cobbled back alleys of Istanbul.

Over the past three decades, electronic dance music has spread to places such as this on the way to becoming a worldwide culture, establishing a home in some of the most unlikely places, mainly because of the relentless enthusiasm of the iconoclasts, misfits, fanatics and hustlers who have embraced the music and sought to build communities around it.

Vegas clubs can feel like showpiece sports tournaments with lines of fans facing the stage, holding up phones

Related: 'I'll be going through a slum to a rich club': India's upside-down rave scene

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‘I’ll be going through a slum to a rich club’: India’s upside-down rave scene

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Fri 5 Jan 2018 7:00 am

Magnetic Fields, a three-day festival in the Rajasthan desert, saw the country’s burgeoning dance scene go overground. But there are concerns that clubbing is a corporatised ‘rich person’s game’

‘Before this, there was Bollywood, and everything else was deep underground.” These are the words of producer Karsh Kale, describing India’s music scene as recently as 10 years ago. It is telling of just how much has changed that Kale is saying this by a fireplace in the middle of a desert in Rajasthan, where an electronic music festival is taking place.

Now in its fifth year, with a capacity of more than 3,000 (having started at less than 500), Magnetic Fields is one of many events catering to a burgeoning underground music scene in India. Sets from Four Tet and Ben UFO that go on until 8am in the grounds of a magical 17th-century palace are remarkable in themselves (as are surreal moments such as a local hip-hop DJ dropping Big Shaq’s Man’s Not Hot under the stars), but what is especially noteworthy is the number of Indian acts and attendees.

Related: The Ska Vengers: 'The worst that could happen? We could get lynched'

The ability to build a cultural community through music is severely hindered by the fact these events are corporatised

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Coachella 2018 lineup announced, headlined by Beyoncé and Eminem

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Wed 3 Jan 2018 10:56 am

The Californian music festival will also feature the Weeknd, David Byrne, Cardi B and dozens more pop and rap stars

Coachella, the two-weekend Californian event that traditionally kicks off the summer’s festival season, has announced the lineup for its 2018 edition.

Beyoncé will headline on April 14 and 21, in her first live shows since her Formation world tour in 2016. The R&B star took 2017 off from live performance after giving birth to her twins Rumi and Sir, and the Coachella announcement will further fuel rumours she is gearing up to release new material.


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Powerdance: The Lost Art of Getting Down review – love is the message

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 21 Dec 2017 3:00 pm

The collective celebrate disco and post-punk from an age before tedious dancefloor Instagrams – but their bass-heavy toughness means they never become retro

In spring this year, dance music collective Powerdance released their third single, A Safe and Happy Place. It came accompanied by a video shot at the Bethnal Green strip club that hosts Savage, an LGBT+ club night “combining disco music with an army of pole-dancing drag queens” at which Luke Solomon – the core of Powerdance, alongside Chicago-born, German-based producer Nick Maurer – is among the resident DJs. The video features the club’s regulars turning themselves into androgynous creatures of the night, a riot of stiletto heels, leather, sequins, thongs, gold teeth grills and, perhaps more unexpectedly, Jacobean ruffs. The images fit perfectly with the track. Its soft, understated sound, occupying an area somewhere between disco and early Chicago house, seems to capture a sense of anticipation about the coming night; its lyrics hymn clubs as a place of transformation and abandon, where the outside world is barred: “Don’t be afraid to let it go … unless it’s love nobody cares … disco has made this place for us.”

It’s a theme that’s been taken up in countless tracks aimed at dancefloors over the last 50 years, but, as with the music it’s set to, A Safe and Happy Place presents it with what you might term a modern twist. The ideal dancefloor, suggest the lyrics, is a place where “nobody stares”, a line that seems to gently suggest that that you can’t really escape into unselfconscious abandon if there’s someone nearby with their phone out, snapping away and posting the results on social media, searching for likes; that it’s hard to shut out the outside world if people insist on bringing the outside world with them in their pockets.

Related: Run the code: is algorave the future of dance music?

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The Prodigy review – teeth rattled in dystopian breakbeat pantomime

Delivered... Graeme Virtue | Scene | Tue 19 Dec 2017 1:41 pm

Glasgow Academy
Twenty years on from their multimillion-selling album The Fat of the Land, the Prodigy refuse to get nostalgic, nor reduce the energy levels below total pandemonium

In an era when memories can be monetised, most bands – active or otherwise – might hungrily eye the 20th anniversary of their most successful album as an opportunity to mount a special tour to shore up their legacy and top up their Isas. Not so the Prodigy, Liam Howlett’s tetchy but tireless road warriors.

As Britpop shrivelled, their third album, 1997’s The Fat of the Land, took Howlett’s uncouth youthquake of evil techno and hot-wired breakbeats to the world; an astonishingly successful incursion into the US arguably laid the groundwork for the recent EDM explosion. Two decades on, you could forgive these Essex boys a backward-looking victory lap to fatten the brand.

Related: The Prodigy: 'we should be as important as Oasis or Blur'

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