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


Cabaret Voltaire: Shadow of Fear review – a fittingly dystopian fantasy from Sheffield’s industrial pioneers

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 19 Nov 2020 4:00 pm

(Mute)
The first Cabaret Voltaire album in more than two decades feels oddly of the moment, their grim presentiments about disinformation, curfews and crackdowns fulfilled

Between 1974 and 1994, Cabaret Voltaire made a career out of being slightly ahead of the curve. They may well have been the world’s first industrial band. Throbbing Gristle coined the genre’s name, but more than a year before they formed, Cabaret Voltaire were ensconced in a Sheffield attic, experimenting with tape cut-ups inspired by William Burroughs, looped recordings of machinery in place of rhythms and churning electronic noise. When their sound shifted in the early 80s to something more commercially palatable, involving funk, the influence of New York electro and, eventually, collaborations with Chicago house pioneer Marshall Jefferson, it presaged their home town’s unique take on dance music, which eventually produced revered techno label Warp.

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

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Jónsi: Shiver review – ethereal steel for strange times

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 4 Oct 2020 1:00 pm

(Krunk)
Co-producer AG Cook strips back Jónsi’s first album in a decade to a clever mix of crunchy electronica and floating vocals

Twenty-six years into an experimental career where he’s still generally thought of as the indie boy Enya, Jónsi Birgisson has recruited a 30-year-old co-producer to help change his game. Step forward AG Cook: Charlie XCX’s creative director and a master of glitchy, peculiarly skewed modern pop. On Jónsi’s first solo album for 10 years, Cook encouraged him to strip each song to its bare bones and add stranger, steelier muscles.

The results veer between the kind of palatably edgy, ethereal fare for which Chris Martin would give his eye teeth, and crunchy electronica ripe for club remixes. Jónsi’s voice takes on different incarnations, at times being heavily processed, at others floating free. Good gentle moments come early, like Cannibal, on which the Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser guests delicately, and Sumarið Sem Aldrei Kom [The Summer That Never Came], which carries in its slowness a soft, fluid sadness.

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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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Working Men’s Club review

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 2 Oct 2020 9:00 am

(Heavenly)
The West Yorkshire band take the stark electronics of the post-punk scene and warm them with Detroit techno and Italian house – while addressing Andrew Neil with mischievous one-liners

The Golden Lion pub in Todmorden gives locals the chance to meet and talk about the high number of UFO sightings in the isolated West Yorkshire town. It’s also the centre of a thriving music scene, where 18-year-old Sydney Minsky-Sargeant’s band have undergone lineup changes to evolve from a guitar band into a New Order-type rock-electronic hybrid.

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Good vibrations: how Bandcamp became the heroes of streaming

Delivered... Chal Ravens | Scene | Thu 25 Jun 2020 9:00 am

They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vaporwave to eco-grime. Founder Ethan Diamond explains how he did it

When Ethan Diamond founded Bandcamp in 2008, he imagined it an alternative to MySpace: an easy-to-use website where bands could interact with fans and sell music. Bandcamp would take care of the fiddly stuff – transcoding music into different formats, payments, analytics – and take a 15% cut of every sale. Five thousand miles away from Oakland, California, another startup millionaire was launching his own music service in Stockholm, one that would give listeners access to everything ever recorded. Spotify would be “better than piracy”, thought its 23-year-old creator, Daniel Ek.

In the decade afterwards, the music industry remade itself in Spotify’s image. Streaming services – including YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal – signalled that the era of ownership was over. Who would want dusty vinyl or external hard drives if they could have all the music they wanted on their phone or laptop for a low subscription price? The result of this shift, as musicians from Taylor Swift to Thom Yorke to Joanna Newsom have complained, has been paltry payouts for artists and a consolidation of power among tech companies. Spotify has rarely turned a net profit, but it has 130 million paid subscribers and managed to scrape together $100m for a recent deal to host podcaster Joe Rogan exclusively.

A lot of independent labels waived their fees as well. Some gave to food banks and other organisations. Those labels aren't big corporations … that was amazing to see

People feel like their money is going somewhere, and not getting lost in this big black box of royalty nightmares

It can’t be that music is a commodity, or content to use to sell advertising. Artists have to come first

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Good vibrations: how Bandcamp became the heroes of streaming

Delivered... Chal Ravens | Scene | Thu 25 Jun 2020 9:00 am

They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vaporwave to eco-grime. Founder Ethan Diamond explains how he did it

When Ethan Diamond founded Bandcamp in 2008, he imagined it an alternative to MySpace: an easy-to-use website where bands could interact with fans and sell music. Bandcamp would take care of the fiddly stuff – transcoding music into different formats, payments, analytics – and take a 15% cut of every sale. Five thousand miles away from Oakland, California, another startup millionaire was launching his own music service in Stockholm, one that would give listeners access to everything ever recorded. Spotify would be “better than piracy”, thought its 23-year-old creator, Daniel Ek.

In the decade afterwards, the music industry remade itself in Spotify’s image. Streaming services – including YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal – signalled that the era of ownership was over. Who would want dusty vinyl or external hard drives if they could have all the music they wanted on their phone or laptop for a low subscription price? The result of this shift, as musicians from Taylor Swift to Thom Yorke to Joanna Newsom have complained, has been paltry payouts for artists and a consolidation of power among tech companies. Spotify has rarely turned a net profit, but it has 130 million paid subscribers and managed to scrape together $100m for a recent deal to host podcaster Joe Rogan exclusively.

A lot of independent labels waived their fees as well. Some gave to food banks and other organisations. Those labels aren't big corporations … that was amazing to see

People feel like their money is going somewhere, and not getting lost in this big black box of royalty nightmares

It can’t be that music is a commodity, or content to use to sell advertising. Artists have to come first

Continue reading...

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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Pairing mode: music to listen to right now – a new series

Delivered... David Abravanel | Labels,Scene | Thu 9 Apr 2020 12:54 am

Ed.: Pairing mode is a new series focused on music to which we feel connection – mostly new, some back catalogs, all stuff we’re listening to. And maybe that’s the most essential way to approach music, finding what excites us. Resident music editor David Abravanel launches his new column.

Interested in getting covered? Promos can be sent to david[at]dhla[dot]me, or hit up David on twitter at @dabravanel

Quiet no more: cLOUDDEAD reissues

About a decade before the likes of Clams Casino, A$AP Rocky, and Lil B made Cloud Rap into a genre with major-label appeal, Oakland’s cLOUDDEAD were forging an experimental hip-hop path that was so cloudy it literally featured “cloud” in the name and clouds on the cover of a self-titled compilation of early EPs.

Clouds in the sky

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cLOUDDEAD – none more cloudy

Consisting of Why?, DoseOne, and Odd Nosdam, all of whom would later go on to solo success, cLOUDDEAD was a seminal moment for the late-90s/early-00s “undie” hip-hop sound. A series of EP releases featured side-long tracks that collaged together stream-of-consciousness raps, lo-fi drone beats, and the occasional bizarre skit. Predating Burial’s track collages and the lo-fi/chill beats explosion, this was noncommercial music for the time, but sounds like the kind of thing that could easily have taken off towards wider appeal in the SoundCloud/Spotify/Bandcamp era.

cLOUDDEAD – “The Sound of a Handshake”

And there’s a lot to listen to from cLOUDDEAD, on top of everything. With a self-titled compilation of early EPs (2000), the album, Ten (2003), a couple Peel sessions and an EP which featured career highlight “The Sound Of A Handshake”, it’s hard to know exactly where to start. For beginners, Ten is a pretty consistent listen – and its single, “Dead Dogs Two”, featured a rare Boards of Canada remix (Odd Nosdam later returned the favor, remixing “Dayvan Cowboy” in 2006).

cLOUDDEAD – “Dead Dogs Two (Boards of Canada Remix)”

The new remastering from Daddy Kev brings things to a better general level while respecting the extremely lo-fi origins of some of this material. Dig in and surf some clouds.

The Sound of metal

For decades, Electric Indigo aka Susanne Kirchmayr has explored the experimental nooks and crannies of techno and its adjacent microgenres. Following 2018’s 5 1 1 5 9 3, a granular-heavy album on Robert Henke’s Imbalance Computer Music, Kirchmayr moves to another impressive imprint, Editions Mego, for 2020’s Ferrum. Inspired by the sounds of metal (“ferrum” is the chemical name for iron), Ferrum sounds appropriately clangy, exploring digital synthesis and the metallic tones is enables.

While the album’s first two 10+ minute pieces focus more on evolving and immersing sounds (this is a headphone album par excellence), Kirchmayr’s affinity for and roots in techno come through on pounding numbers like “Ferrum 5” and “Ferrum 7”. 

Ed. I fell in love with this material when I first heard her live set associated with the releaseI think that may even have been the last time I was out in Berlin before the lockdowns, at about blank. Anyway, point of this story – this work is equally engaging live. If you’re thinking of whom to book in 2021…

A welcome return from Windy and Carl

Isolation lends itself well to drone music, and Detroit’s Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren are two of the best ever to do it. Eight years after their last album, new LP Allegiance and Conviction on Kranky is another winner full of the duo’s trademark heavenly guitar, bass, and organ soundscapes. Windy Weber’s singing, previously used on other albums as a sparing treat, is a more frequent feature this time around – and adds an extra emotional punch to the sonic tapestry. 

If we’re going to continue the navel-gazing narrative around “ambient” as a buzz term, we can pause and show some respect for truly classic artists who have advanced ambient music, and continue to provide engulfing and beautiful post-rock experiences with deceptively simple guitar and bass lines.

Iheartnoise hearts space rock

Having followed the label Iheartnoise for a while, I’m hard-pressed to pinpoint their specialty, other than perhaps “all that is outside the norm”. There’s label stalwart Petridisch’s plunderphonic collages (including a forthcoming MiniDisc exclusive release – take that, cassette fetish culture), and in another corner there’s the slow psychedelia of Skyjelly and Solilians, two acts whose split release forms Iheartnoise’s first-ever vinyl release.

Skyjelly’s side reminds me of back when Animal Collective was a bit more disjointed and noisy, while Solilians self-described “tireless Jewish space rock” sounds somewhere between a bootleg of Seefeel on “Gowron Breaths” and drone rockers Loop on the live “Planet”.

Until next time, you can tell David what you think of his opinions on Twitter.

The post Pairing mode: music to listen to right now – a new series appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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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Guardian albums and tracks of 2019: how our writers voted

Delivered... Electronic music | The Guardian | Scene | Fri 20 Dec 2019 7:00 am

We’ve announced our favourite releases of the year – now the Guardian’s music critics reveal their top picks of 2019

Albums
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Sturgill Simpson – Sound and Fury
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Fontaines DC – Dogrel
Sault – 5
Tyler, the Creator – Igor
Dave – Psychodrama
Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe
Chemical Brothers – No Geography
Brittany Howard – Jaime
Little Simz – Grey Area
Jamila Woods – Legacy! Legacy!
International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop
Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
Anderson .Paak – Ventura
These New Puritans – Inside the Rose

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Sheffield’s post-punk explosion: synths, steel and skinheads

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Thu 12 Dec 2019 6:00 pm

In the late 70s, the city’s bands set out to create the sound of the future – while trying to avoid getting beaten up. Jarvis Cocker and other leading lights recall a revolutionary scene

Sheffield in 1977 had a slight feeling of being the city of the future,” recalls Jarvis Cocker. “I didn’t realise that it was all going to go to shit. It was Sheffield before the fall.”

That pre-fall year is the starting point for a new box set: Dreams to Fill the Vacuum: The Sound of Sheffield 1977-1988. Familiar names appear – Pulp, Heaven 17, the Human League, ABC – but they are joined by a wealth of other acts, such as I’m So Hollow, Stunt Kites, They Must Be Russians and Surface Mutants, spanning punk, post-punk, indie and electronic with that droll outsider energy particular to South Yorkshire.

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The 50 greatest Christmas songs – ranked!

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Thu 5 Dec 2019 1:00 pm

From John Fahey, the Sonics and the Waitresses to Slade, Wizzard and Mariah Carey, we count down the best festive numbers

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The 50 best albums of 2019: 41-50

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 3 Dec 2019 7:00 am

We begin our pick of the year’s finest albums with gritty electropop, oddball songwriting, tender jazz, louche punk funk. Check in every weekday as we count down to No 1

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