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


Marie Davidson: ‘We were the under-under-under of the underground’

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 29 Sep 2020 9:00 am

The deliverer of electropop’s most withering putdowns talks club culture, workaholism and making French rock cool again

Empathy and gentle encouragement are all well and good, but sometimes you need browbeating into action. How else to explain the appeal of fitness instructors, BDSM and Marie Davidson? Since her first dancefloor-adjacent release in 2014, the French-Canadian producer has made intimidation her brand, disparaging the shallow side of club culture and its self-destructive behaviours in a voice that could shrivel ripe plums. It wasn’t just a pose, either. Each record, from Perte d’Identité (identity loss) to Adieu au Dancefloor (goodbye to the dancefloor) to her breakout, 2018’s Working Class Woman, sought enlightenment amid the sadistic aesthetic.

The latter was conceived as an “anti-burnout” record, even if lead single Work It, with its exhortations of “sweat dripping down your balls”, was often misinterpreted as a productivity doctrine: the real work, Davidson avowed at the song’s conclusion, was nurturing oneself. Planning to tour it for a year, then take a year’s sabbatical, she thought she had built-in limitations that would allow her to do just that. Yet she succumbed to burnout anyway, ending up plagued by chronic insomnia, a sleeping-pill addiction and strange rashes. “It’s like a domino effect,” she says. “You get caught in a spiral until you realise: this is not working any more.”

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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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Sleaford Mods review – a bracing stream of class consciousness

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sat 19 Sep 2020 2:00 pm

The Nottingham punk duo let rip with a livestreamed battery of barbed lyrics, bizarre noises and back-to-basics beats

Across town at the Royal Albert Hall, the Last Night of the Proms is under way. In the basement of London’s 100 Club – a famous venue in the annals of punk, granted “special status” by Westminster council before Covid struck – a man from Nottinghamshire is, not for the first time, at the end of his tether.

“Fuck England! Fuck my country!” he bellows to an empty venue, “Lob it in the bin!” Singer Jason Williamson doesn’t recognise his homeland any more. BHS has gone down. The “rich list” grows ever bigger. “In the snakes and ladders,” people like him, he snarls, “are the Baldricks, son, and Blackadders.”

Williamson says out loud the things people would like to say but would get sacked for if they did

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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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AG Cook: the nutty producer behind the decade’s most divisive music

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Wed 16 Sep 2020 9:00 am

Having polarised pop with the abrasive PC Music, he’s now going solo. ‘I trust my own dislike of things’, he says

Describing AG Cook’s haircut is a challenge. Part mullet, part moptop, it also features elements of shag, perm and bowl. The more I try to place it the context of hair history (Paul McCartney? Joan Jett? Late-80s Deirdre Barlow?) the more disorientated I become. It is not the only thing about him that is liable to confound. Cook, 30, from London, is the man behind PC Music, the record label whose sickly, abrasive and ultra-synthetic output doubled as the most divisive sound of the decade.

Yet, in typically contrarian style, the lead single for Cook’s new solo album, Apple, sounds completely different. Oh Yeah is a catchy guitar ballad pumped full of brain-tickling nostalgia for late-90s pop-rock. Much like his hairstyle, it evades all my attempts to find any close relatives (Natalie Imbruglia? Deep Blue Something? Hanson?). According to Cook, his main influence was actually Shania Twain.

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

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‘A voice for our emotions’: Poland’s club scene fights for LGBTQ+ rights

Delivered... Mariia Ustimenko | Scene | Wed 16 Sep 2020 8:24 am

As towns declare themselves ‘LGBT-free zones’, Polish DJs and musicians are leading furious opposition to widespread homophobia and police brutality

In August, as a giant bouncy castle was throwing a shadow on Warsaw’s baroque-style Ujazdów castle – home to the Centre for Contemporary Art – a party was under way. It was the last in To Be Real, an events series aimed at maximising the space’s fleeting inclusivity of Poland’s LGBTQ+ community. One of the artists was running late. “I came almost straight out of jail and played probably the most aggressive set in my life,” says DJ and producer Avtomat.

A day earlier, he had been arrested at a protest against the pre-trial detention of an LGBTQ+ rights campaigner known as Margot. Human Rights Watch described the government’s violent crackdown on activists as an attempt to crush dissent against state-sanctioned homophobia: the ruling Law and Justice party has pledged to fight “LGBT ideology” to protect the so-called traditional Polish family unit.

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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Silver Apples’ Simeon Coxe: visionary who saw music’s electronic future

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Wed 9 Sep 2020 1:52 pm

In the late 1960s, armed with a homemade synthesiser and pioneering zeal, Coxe made hypnotic sounds that sparked a rock revolution

In the late 1960s, before Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra became the post-hippy stoner’s soundtrack of choice, before Kraftwerk’s Autobahn instilled the idea that pop could be made entirely using electronics in a generation of musicians’ minds, the synthesiser was still an instrument largely associated with novelty albums and classical music: serialist composers including Milton Babbitt were fond of them; the big electronic hit album of the era was Wendy Carlos’s Switched-On Bach, featuring the Brandenburg Concerto and Air On a G String rendered on a Moog.

In the world of rock music, they existed largely as something to embellish the albums of top-flight bands, decorating a couple of tracks on the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends. The rock artists who jumped in feet-first were a peculiar bunch: there was Lothar and the Hand People, a scrappy folk-rock band intent on using a theremin wherever they could; there was the White Noise, refugees from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop whose 1969 album An Electric Storm blended psychedelic whimsy and punishing experimentalism; there was the United States of America, communists who saw their music as a means of politically radicalising an entire country.

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

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Silver Apples synth pioneer Simeon Coxe dies aged 82

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 9 Sep 2020 9:34 am

Electronic innovator jammed with Hendrix, inspired bands from Portishead to Stereolab and drove an ice-cream truck before becoming a cult sensation

Simeon Coxe, co-founder of the pioneering 1960s experimental electronic band Silver Apples, has died aged 82. He had a progressive lung condition, pulmonary fibrosis.

In the late 60s, Coxe introduced a 1940s audio oscillator into his group, the Overland Stage Electric Band. “Besides the drummer Danny [Taylor] who later joined me, no one in the band was amused,” he said in 2012. The change in direction prompted the departure of his band members until only he and Taylor remained. They changed the band’s name to Silver Apples and established their pioneering, proto-synthesiser setup: nine audio oscillators and 96 manual controllers – pieced together in part from discarded second world war equipment, Coxe once said – fondly known as “the Simeon”.

Related: The great 60s electro-pop plane crash: how pioneers Silver Apples fell out of the sky

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DJing formally offered at GCSE: a challenge to a ‘colonialised curriculum’

Delivered... Joe Muggs | Scene | Tue 8 Sep 2020 4:39 pm

An additional new syllabus of formal grade exams on DJ decks – the technology behind grime and hip-hop – has been welcomed for promoting greater inclusivity

When Austen Smart and his brother Scott were kids, they were driven amateur musicians, relentlessly making mixtapes and teaching themselves how to MC. Yet they had no connection to their school’s music department. “In fact, we only went in there for the first time when we went back years later and started teaching DJing, having had a relatively successful career in music,” says Austen.

Over the past five years, the pair have been trying to rectify this disconnect with their education initiative FutureDJs, working to get DJing recognised in formal musical education. Early on, they managed to get DJ decks recognised as an instrument for GCSE assessment, but creating the framework for this to work in practice was a bigger challenge. Last week, they succeeded: FutureDJs and the London College of Music Examiners published a syllabus that offers grade certifications on CDJs (decks for manipulating music from CDs or digital files). This puts them on a par with classical and jazz instruments, and provides a national standard for GCSE marking. The aim, says Sandra Allan of exam board AQA, is “allowing more accessibility and diversity, giving students opportunity they may not have considered before now”.

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

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Auf wiedersehen, techno: Berlin’s banging Berghain club reborn as a gallery

Delivered... Philip Oltermann | Scene | Tue 8 Sep 2020 2:58 pm

With nightlife in limbo due to Covid-19, the legendary temple of techno has reinvented itself as art gallery – with works by Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson, Wolfgang Tillmans and more

Inside a disused power station in east Berlin, a red-and-white buoy is bobbing mid-air, swooping six metres up and six metres down in rhythm to imaginary waves. The artist who had the idea to hang it there, Julius von Bismarck, has connected an automated pulley system via sensors to a real buoy in the Atlantic Ocean, mirroring its movements.

Usually, the waves crashing over the heads of visitors to these halls are made of sound, pumped out of a custom-built PA that many dance music connoisseurs consider the finest in the world: this is Berghain, Berlin’s mythical temple of bassy industrial techno.

It's this laissez-faire space where you can waste 12 or 20 hours without feeling watched

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Spiller: how we made Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)

Delivered... Interviews by Elizabeth Aubrey | Scene | Tue 8 Sep 2020 6:00 am

The dance classic was the first song ever to be played on an iPod. But, as its creators reveal, the demo was left in a car – then tossed on to a floor and forgotten

This was one of the fastest tracks I ever produced. It was 1999, the night before I was due to fly to Miami for the Winter Music Conference, where all aspiring DJs and producers went. I was trying to stay awake for my early-morning flight and put on an unreleased version of Carol Williams’ Love Is You. I ended up sampling it and, in a couple of hours, I had Groovejet more or less written.

Related: Sophie Ellis-Bextor on music, motherhood and lockdown discos: ‘Most of my children are feral!’

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Spiller: how we made Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)

Delivered... Interviews by Elizabeth Aubrey | Scene | Tue 8 Sep 2020 6:00 am

The dance classic was the first song ever to be played on an iPod. But, as its creators reveal, the demo was left in a car – then tossed on to a floor and forgotten

This was one of the fastest tracks I ever produced. It was 1999, the night before I was due to fly to Miami for the Winter Music Conference, where all aspiring DJs and producers went. I was trying to stay awake for my early-morning flight and put on an unreleased version of Carol Williams’ Love Is You. I ended up sampling it and, in a couple of hours, I had Groovejet more or less written.

Related: Sophie Ellis-Bextor on music, motherhood and lockdown discos: ‘Most of my children are feral!’

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Kelsey Lu: ‘The white male hetero-patriarchy is being deconstructed’

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Sat 5 Sep 2020 10:00 am

The cellist and singer, who has worked with everyone from Solange to Skrillex, on Oprah, activism and immersive sound baths

In times of crisis, we need to make some space for healing: a long bath, a cry, a nourishing meal. It’s important to put time aside for restoration, and multidisciplinary American artist Kelsey Lu’s latest project, Hydroharmonia, aims to provide exactly that – including the bath.

Born out of her time spent locked down in the Cayman Islands recently on an artist’s residency (“It’s unlike anything I had ever seen – the vastness of the sky!”), Hydroharmonia is an ongoing series of immersive music and visuals, with episodes one and three taking the form of “sound baths” – 20-minute streams are available on YouTube and Bandcamp – intended for a listener to sit with while meditating. The first video features beautiful footage of the sea, with the orange sun on the horizon. “The more you’re in tune with nature, the more you’re in tune with yourself, your spirit,” the 29-year-old explains. “You will find the people that are your community, that are vital for you to have in your life.”

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

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Here’s a listening and buying guide for electronic music on another Bandcamp Friday

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 Sep 2020 7:22 pm

This year is a constant reminder that even in dark times, there are musical messages to hear. Bandcamp has extended their Fridays giving back commissions to artists, so it's another chance to stock up on downloads and assemble a collection you'll listen to on repeat.

The post Here’s a listening and buying guide for electronic music on another Bandcamp Friday appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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