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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Pop and rock


Domestic disco! How messages from a marriage became a unique double LP

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Fri 8 Nov 2019 9:00 am

Fed up with texting her husband when he was working abroad, Laima Leyton turned home life into a rapturous electronic pop album – with a twist

When you are a musician and the primary parent at home – with five children between you and your partner – how do you make space to be creative? Especially when you have recently arrived in Britain from Brazil, and your husband, with whom you regularly make music, is often away for his work.

Out of the culture shock and loneliness, Laima Leyton has made an album full of sharp, precise electronic pop: the inventive and thoughtful Home. Pulsing in between the sounds of Jenny Hval, Ladytron and Laurie Anderson, it is about the questions thrown at you by long-term relationships, parenthood and where you belong. “I got to the stage where I wasn’t fussed about being a big techno DJ any more, pleasing the kids,” Leyton says. “I thought: ‘Why can’t I share the other things I think about? Why can’t I turn that into music?’”

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50 great tracks for November from Dua Lipa, Destroyer, Selena Gomez and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Mon 4 Nov 2019 11:00 am

From Victoria Monét’s sublime R&B to Lanark Artefax’s squirming electronics, check out 50 new tracks and read about our 10 favourites

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Jeff Lynne’s ELO: From Out of Nowhere review – it’s a pleasure to have him back

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Fri 1 Nov 2019 10:30 am

(Sony/RCA)
Lynne has come out of semi-retirement with an album of creamy harmonies and good-natured pop, firmly in the lineage of classic ELO

There’s something rather heartwarming about the return of Jeff Lynne’s ELO. While being a semi-retired rock star, forced out of the fray by the passing tides of fashion, is no one’s idea of a hard life, it’s also not what anyone with a yearning to make music for an audience wants for themselves. It all turned round for Lynne in 2014, when Radio 2’s head of music, Jeff Smith, persuaded him to headline the station’s Hyde Park concert. Five years on, the new-look ELO have had a platinum album, played Wembley Stadium and filled multiple arenas.

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Tricky review – a bizarre but brilliant enigma

Delivered... Ian Gittins | Scene | Sun 27 Oct 2019 1:07 pm

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
After a year of tragedy, the spotlight-shy producer stays in the shadows during this erratic yet utterly mesmerising set

Tricky has always been allergic to celebrity. When his 1995 debut album, Maxinquaye, went No 3 and made him a media darling, his horrified reaction was to dismiss the “coffee-table” record and the trip-hop movement it birthed, and to move his music firmly left field to evade unwanted critical hyperbole.

Related: Tricky: ‘I’ve lost people before and bounced back. This is different’

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‘We’re an open wound’: São Paulo’s underground music scene

Delivered... Philip Bloomfield | Scene | Wed 23 Oct 2019 9:00 am

Brazil has long had countercultural music, but Jair Bolsonaro’s repressive presidency has made this community more determined than ever

‘When he got stabbed I just thought, we’re fucked. If he is alive, there is nothing we can do.” Brazilian journalist Amauri Gonzo is recalling the moment that he knew Jair Bolsonaro would be elected his country’s president. The stabbing of the far-right candidate seemed to confirm the picture of Brazil that Bolsonaro had been painting to voters: lawless, unsafe, and in need of a leader unafraid to meet violence with violence. Just two months later, in protest at five years dogged by economic crisis, corruption scandals and political turmoil, Brazil chose the openly racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-environmentalist former paratrooper as its leader. The underground musical community, which had come out in force against the extreme right candidate, was stunned. “It all went quiet,” says Gonzo, “like, ‘Oh, what do we do now?’”

Brazilian music might bring to mind the warm breeze of bossa nova, or a sound humid with the sweat of carnival, but a group of loosely connected São Paulo artists are making much harsher music to reflect, and resist, the Bolsonaro era, underlining values of community and artistic freedom.

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Sŵn festival review – weirdness and wonder in Cardiff’s alt-pop paradise

Delivered... Huw Baines | Scene | Tue 22 Oct 2019 9:30 am

Various venues, Cardiff
Based everywhere from an Irish chain pub to an antiques centre, this slickly organised festival shows how varied and vibrant today’s indie scene is

Prowling the stage at Clwb Ifor Bach, the Murder Capital’s James McGovern sums up the mood at Cardiff’s Sŵn festival: “There’s only one thing we want: more.” The crowd responds, stoking the Dublin post-punks’ fires as they charge from coiled menace towards frenzied collapse.

Smouldering among the dying embers of the weekend their set is the ideal capper to the event, which sprawls across a number of venues in the Welsh capital. Foregrounding new music and a sense of adventure, the bill must satisfy both planners and gamblers, and does so adeptly. Twelve years on from its first staging, Sŵn is a slick machine defined by rapid turnarounds and minimal clashes.

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Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood: ‘Instead of cocaine, hook me up with a recorder group!’

Delivered... Andrew Male | Scene | Wed 9 Oct 2019 1:50 pm

He has composed a Prom and scored Paul Thomas Anderson films. As he launches his own classical record label, the guitarist reveals how it all started with the humble recorder

Jonny Greenwood is looking well, all things considered. There’s a thin triangle of stubble on his top lip that the morning razor has missed and a slight bleariness around the eyes, but it’s unlikely anyone spotting Radiohead’s lead guitarist in the corner of this London cafe at 10am would guess that he hasn’t been to bed for 24 hours. “No, not really had any sleep,” he mutters, running a hand through his shiny dark hair. “Hour, maybe?”

He’s here to discuss his new classical music record label, Octatonic, but at midnight he was taking a bow at the Albert Hall following a meticulously curated Prom. It was the culmination of his second life as a composer, a 16-year career that has seen him write for the London Sinfonietta, work as composer-in-residence for BBC Concert Orchestra, collaborate with the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki and create remarkable scores for the films of Lynne Ramsay and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Paul Thomas Anderson sent me some film clips and I thought: 'It's going to be nice to be in a band with this person'

Volume 1: Partita No 2 in D minor and Volume 2: Industry, Water are out on Jonny Greenwood’s Octatonic Records.

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50 great tracks for October by Alicia Keys, DaBaby, Angel Olsen and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 1 Oct 2019 10:00 am

An epic harp workout and an unearthed Japanese ambient gem sit alongside new rap from DaBaby and James Massiah in our playlist of the month’s best new music – read about our 10 favourites below

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Tegan and Sara: Hey, I’m Just Like You review

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 9:30 am

(Warner Records)
Reworked songs of teenage travails from the Quin twins, who go back to their youth in slick, pulsating pop

As tracklists go, you don’t get much more evocative than the one attached to Tegan and Sara’s ninth album, a series of furiously indignant, laughably melodramatic and stomach-churningly poignant missives from the standard-issue internal monologue of the unhappy teenager. It’s tempting to leave the likes of Hold My Breath Until I Die and Don’t Believe the Things They Tell You (They Lie) as song titles alone, imagining the contents to fit your own heady nostalgia trip. But if you do decide to dive in, you’ll discover plenty more painfully perfect evocations of adolescent angst inside.

Related: Tegan and Sara: ‘People never talk about women and drug use positively’

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Death, data and digital doppelgangers: Sui Zhen’s uncanny valley

Delivered... Nick Buckley | Scene | Fri 27 Sep 2019 2:16 am

As she began work on her new album, Becky Freeman’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her interest in the digital lives we leave behind took on a new form

There’s a recording studio in Melbourne, Australia that’s been filling up with Lindas. On the computer screen, when the Guardian visits, is an early digital Linda prototype, bathed in computer-generated grey waves. A white plaster Linda is serenely meditating in its plastic storage box. And then there’s the final form (for now at least): a silicone mask, with vacant white polystyrene voids in place of eyes.

The doppelganger has been created by avant-pop musician and visual artist Becky Freeman, aka Sui Zhen, for her new album Losing, Linda.

Related: L-FRESH the LION, Tones and I, Tkay Maidza: the best Australian music for September

Related: Adrian Eagle on surviving self-hate: 'My anxiety was extreme. I didn't want to see anybody'

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Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury review – country’s outlaw catches fire

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 26 Sep 2019 12:00 pm

(Elektra Records)
Another big shift in direction for Simpson, with anime visuals, glam rock, disco and grunge ornamenting never-more-country lyrics: it’s extraordinary

It seems almost beside the point to note that Sturgill Simpson’s fourth album sounds nothing like its predecessors, as his previous three albums didn’t sound much like each other either. His self-funded 2013 debut, High Top Mountain, suggested the arrival of an arch-traditionalist, a former serviceman and railroad worker, whose vision of country music was rooted in that of artists who balked at Nashville’s tendency to slather everything in a coat of gloss: a defiantly retro reanimation of the late 70s “outlaw country” of Waylon Jennings or Hank Williams Jr. But its successor, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was a kind of psychedelic opus, sprinkled with paeans to LSD and DMT – “woke up this morning and decided to kill my ego … gonna break on through and blast off to the Bardo,” opened Just Let Go – frequently set to music that matched: Mellotron and wah-wah guitars, vocals drenched in spaced-out echo.

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Mark Radcliffe, electronica god: ‘I’m not just some radio bloke having a dabble’

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Wed 25 Sep 2019 6:00 am

The DJ has made an album inspired by untranslatable words, recorded with a bloke he met in the pub called Paul Langley. So what does ‘boketto’ mean?

Mark Radcliffe and Paul Langley are sipping tea in central Manchester. The former is the much-loved radio star; the latter is something of a mystery. “Good, the less said the better,” Langley says from behind his spectacles and pot of Earl Grey. However, I do know he once made an EP in an outfit called Rack-It! “That was with Martyn Walsh from Inspiral Carpets,” he laughs. “He said, ‘You wanna do a track called Sex on Acid – that’ll annoy people.’ And it did.”

Radcliffe and Langley are, they tell me, “soon to be legendary”. This will be in the guise of UNE, the name they have given themselves. The pair have made Lost, an album of lovely, plaintive electronica over which Radcliffe sings. They met five years ago in the Builder’s Arms in Knutsford, Cheshire. Radcliffe, new to the area, asked locals which pub was dog-friendly. This led to dog-walk encounters with Langley, and the pair were soon bantering over pints, about music and Manchester City.

When I heard Paul's music, I thought: 'This is surprisingly good'

Related: Mark Radcliffe ‘surprised’ to lose BBC show during cancer

Lost is out on 18 October. UNE play the Old Courts, Wigan, 3 October, and more dates before Christmas. Mark Radcliffe’s book, Crossroads, is published by Canongate.

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Gary Numan review – terrace chants for thrashing synthpop star

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 1:23 pm

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
The Numanoids are out in force for their idol, who throws in guitar and beefy rhythms for this 40th anniversary tour

Gary Numan’s latest UK tour comes under the banner of a 40th anniversary, although it doesn’t say of what. Perhaps it doesn’t need to. Everyone with even a passing interest knows 1979 was Numan’s annus mirabilis: two No 1 singles and two No 1 albums, and a sense that the future was here. Few things said “the 80s are coming” like Numan performing Cars on the telly, every musician prodding at a synthesiser, not a guitar in sight; his star briefly burned so bright that his idol, David Bowie, felt threatened enough to write a song slagging him off.

You definitely wouldn’t need to remind tonight’s audience, heavy on Numanoids, the diehards who sustained him through his subsequent lean years before he was hailed as an influence by everyone from Detroit’s techno pioneers to Marilyn Manson and Trent Renzor. Less inclined to dress up like their hero than they once were, they nevertheless have their own terrace chant, deployed before, after and occasionally during songs: “Nuuuuu-muh-un! Nuuuuu-muh-un!”

Related: Gary Numan: ‘Eye contact is something I find incredibly difficult’ | This much I know

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Aphex Twin review – wild lights, jungle buzzsaw and a boo for Boris

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Sun 15 Sep 2019 1:45 pm

Printworks, London
The electronic music legend melted genres at breakneck speed in this peerless ambient-to-hardcore festival outing – to the delight of a young crowd

When Printworks opened to much hurrah two years ago, it did so during a run of venue closures in London. It’s aesthetically impressive and has quickly become one of the best venues for large-scale electronic events, and so is ripe for an Aphex Twin brain-tickle – even if free earplugs, sadly, aren’t on offer tonight. Although the musician has never relied on album cycles to draw in new audiences, it is striking how young the audience winding through Printworks is.

As well as releasing around a dozen EPs in the past decade on his own label, Rephlex, and Warp, there was mass excitement about Richard David James’s “return” as an album artist in 2014, with the Grammy award-winning Syro – and the memorable flight of a neon-green blimp bearing the Aphex Twin logo over London. Along with the weight of his back catalogue and mythical status, what makes shows such as these sell out in minutes is Aphex Twin’s love of spectacle and keen support for new electronic artists. The former is a perfect fit for this, the Red Bull music festival’s high concept (and budget). In terms of the latter, he’s viewed as a switched-on father figure to younger artists and fans, his hybrid set blending new club tracks with live modular jams, his own music, and ripe selections of 90s UK hardcore.

The lasers are, bluntly, crazy, an impressive sensory assault. It’s unabashedly fun, strangers craning their necks and grinning at each other

Related: Aphex Twin's best songs – ranked!

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Charli XCX: Charli review – a raw, rousing step towards superstardom

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 9:00 am

(Asylum/Atlantic)
The embattled singer reveals her anxieties and coaxes brilliance from various guests in a candid, confident third album

In the five years since Charli XCX released her last album, she’s sworn that industry interference meant she would never make another. But here we are: after an overwhelmingly productive half-decade of unofficial releases and collaborations, Charli is an album proper, a diminishingly important semantic distinction but one that puts the 27-year-old firmly at its heart.

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