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


Mura Masa: Raw Youth Collage review – confused and bitty

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 19 Jan 2020 10:00 am
(Polydor)

You can’t accuse the 23-year-old Guernsey producer Mura Masa of false advertising. Raw Youth Collage, his second album, is bitty and a little raw – notably Deal Wiv It, a persuasive 2019 track in which the punkoid exclamations of slowthai set a tone. Another bouncy track, No Hope Generation, manifests as a string of cliches, however; its punk-lite rush fails to engage.

Like many tracks here, it features the producer born Alex Crossan as vocalist. Mura Masa’s stated aim for the album is how aural nostalgia has become a coping mechanism to ward off the complexities of the present day. As mission statements go, it’s promising.

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One to watch: Hatis Noit

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson | Scene | Sat 18 Jan 2020 3:00 pm

With her ethereal crossover of mystical and modern, this Japanese artist has been moving audiences to tears

The word “spellbinding” has been liberally daubed over everything from reviews of the musical Wicked to every album Bon Iver has ever released (and don’t get us started on “achingly beautiful”). But if you take it to mean the kind of alchemy that stops you in your tracks and leaves you slack-jawed, Hatis Noit may seem magical.

Live, she closes her eyes and loops her voice, like Meredith Monk, Matias Aguayo and Björk, layering drones and trills as if she’s a one-woman choir trying to tap into some primeval, mystical energy (she decided to become a singer after hearing a female Buddhist monk chanting at a temple). Her songs include Inori, a prayer for those who didn’t survive the 2011 tsunami; others pair Gregorian chants with gagaku, imperial court music from ancient Japan. A sell-out performance with the London Contemporary Orchestra in December is said to have moved the audience to tears.

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Poppy: I Disagree review – candyfloss pop with a dark heart

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Sun 12 Jan 2020 4:00 pm
(Sumerian)

Real name Moriah Pereira, Poppy is a YouTube-born character who has been described as both an alien and a cult leader (she has, of course, released a book, The Gospel of Poppy). I Disagree is her third studio album, and it finds the LA-based creator pushing into more eclectic territory than ever – which is saying something, given how her earlier work blended the off-kilter sheen of PC Music with a hyperactive iteration of ska.

Self-described as “post-genre”, Poppy channels early Gwen Stefani (replete with the interest in Japanese kawaii, or cuteness) and whispery, dark, glee-club theatrics – think Billie Eilish gone hair metal.

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Poppy: I Disagree review – candyfloss pop with a dark heart

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Sun 12 Jan 2020 4:00 pm
(Sumerian)

Real name Moriah Pereira, Poppy is a YouTube-born character who has been described as both an alien and a cult leader (she has, of course, released a book, The Gospel of Poppy). I Disagree is her third studio album, and it finds the LA-based creator pushing into more eclectic territory than ever – which is saying something, given how her earlier work blended the off-kilter sheen of PC Music with a hyperactive iteration of ska.

Self-described as “post-genre”, Poppy channels early Gwen Stefani (replete with the interest in Japanese kawaii, or cuteness) and whispery, dark, glee-club theatrics – think Billie Eilish gone hair metal.

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Mura Masa: on why he’s swapped sunny pop for moody nostalgia

Delivered... Michael Cragg | Scene | Sat 11 Jan 2020 11:00 am

He’s the in-demand producer who has worked with BTS and Chic, so why has Alex Crossan left it all behind for grungy guitars?

In a cramped south London rehearsal space, producer Mura Masa, AKA Alex Crossan, is quietly losing the plot. Takeaway boxes and empty bottles rest on crates full of wires, while a small rug added for ambience is covered in upended cardboard boxes. Heat, meanwhile, is provided by two whirring laptops, their screens full of chunky colour bars representing something technical Crossan doesn’t even attempt to explain. The 23-year-old only got back from Asia yesterday, marking the end of a tour in support of 2017’s Grammy-nominated, self-titled debut, which saw him collaborate with A$AP Rocky, Damon Albarn and Christine and the Queens. Now he’s got to figure out how to play his forthcoming new album RYC (Raw Youth Collage) with a full band, hence the place looking like an unmanned stockroom.

While that sun-dappled first album poked and prodded at the pop zeitgeist, fusing tropical house and trap while joining the dots between Disclosure and Jamie xx, its grungier follow-up offers a sonic volte face. Out go the uplifting bangers and in come dense guitars – fuelled by his childhood obsessions with bands such as Joy Division, Talking Heads and Blur – and a lyrical heaviness that reflects, well, 2020. “[My debut] was about pop music, essentially, but trying to come at it from an oblique angle,” Crossan says, perched precariously on a cardboard box. “I think in the past five years that grand obelisk of ‘pop music’ has been destroyed, because as the next generation come in they’re really not interested in genres. Anything can become pop.” He also sees the lyrical themes of this new, looser kind of “pop” shifting, too. “I think there’s a real appetite for vulnerability and emotional transparency. We’ve had a good decade of ‘Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care’ and people are like: ‘This isn’t reflective of what’s happening geopolitically any more.’” He smiles knowingly at that last bit. “They want something that connects to the world they’re living in, and I think there’s something about the guitar that’s really expressive.”

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Mura Masa: RYC review – so mediocre, it’s not even entertainingly bad

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 10 Jan 2020 9:00 am

(Polydor)
Clairo, Tirzah and Slowthai and other guests can’t polish the turds on producer Alex Crossan’s profoundly awful second album

It’s never easy being young, and perhaps it is harder than ever, what with social media and the climate crisis sending youth anxiety rates soaring. This second album by the 23-year-old Grammy-winning British producer Alex Crossan – AKA Mura Masa – is about the understandable draw of nostalgia as an escape from today’s stresses, but it fills you with a different kind of flight impulse.

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Keeley Forsyth: how the Happy Valley actor became the new Scott Walker

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Thu 9 Jan 2020 5:00 pm

She was enjoying a successful if gruelling film and TV career when serious illness struck. But Forsyth has channelled that experience into a bleakly beautiful avant-garde album

Yorkshire is the backdrop to many disquieting works of art, such as David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the Brontës’ explorations of the soul. The newest is Debris, an album made by a 40-year-old actor with a familiar, pale-eyed, haunting face, whom we have seen in recent years playing a sex worker in Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and heroin addicts in The Casual Vacancy and Waterloo Road.

Keeley Forsyth’s debut as a musician is an avant-garde proposition, however: a shivery descendent of Scott Walker’s Tilt, a more unsettling older sister of Aldous Harding’s Designer. Forsyth’s voice marries Peggy Lee’s bluesy vibrato with Nico’s thunderous terror, and delivers lyrics that invert nature, as a way of exploring despair. Large oaks descend and grow roots. Salt hills move. Madness unfurls.

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Georgia: Seeking Thrills review – a bold British hymn to hedonism | Alexis Petridis’ album of the week

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 9 Jan 2020 1:00 pm

(Domino)
The singer and producer has absorbed Chicago house, Robyn-style pop and dub reggae, and refashioned them into an album about being ‘consumed by night’

The photo on the cover of Georgia Barnes’s second album seems telling. At first glance, it looks like one of those classic late 80s/early 90s club shots that get ageing acid house veterans moist-eyed with nostalgia. If you were hopelessly prone to romanticising, you might imagine that the people in it were dancing to a track made by Barnes’s father Neil, one-half of progressive house pioneers Leftfield. But it isn’t anything of the sort. On closer examination, it’s not a vintage photo of a rave but of a kids’ party; a 1988 image by photographer Nancy Honey, titled St Stephen’s School Disco, Bath.

Related: Georgia: the DIY producer zooming up the Radio 1 A-list

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Coachella 2020 announced with headliners Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 11:06 am

Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris and 21 Savage to also appear at California event that kicks off festival season

Coachella, the most high-profile music festival in the US, has announced its full lineup for 2020.

Political rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine headline the Friday of the two-weekend festival in April (each weekend featuring the same lineup), as part of their first tour since 2011. The band, which formed in 1991, released four albums before splitting in 2000. They re-formed in 2007, with their first concert at Coachella that year. Two years later, following a fan campaign, they scored an unlikely UK Christmas No 1 with their expletive-filled track Killing in the Name.

Weekend 1 is sold out Register for Weekend 2 presale at https://t.co/x8PRTb12Eh. Presale starts Monday 1/6 at 12pm PT pic.twitter.com/QPRYnJVe9P

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Ben Lee, Georgia Maq, Tame Impala: Australia’s best new music for January

Delivered... Nathan Jolly and Guardian Australia | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 2:01 am

Each month we add 20 of the best new Australian songs to our Spotify playlist. Read about 10 of our favourites below – and subscribe on Spotify, which updates with the full list at the start of each month

Related: Woodford folk festival review – a much-needed moment of positivity and reprieve

Related: How American pop star Halsey responded to the bushfire crisis faster than Australia’s prime minister

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Sault: 5 / 7 review – intriguing grooves from a mystery funk machine

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Fri 20 Dec 2019 12:00 pm

(Forever Living Originals)
No one seems to know who they are, but one thing is sure: Sault make hooky, dubby, funky music with echoes of ESG and Can

Mystery is a rare commodity in rock and pop these days. The internet has made investigative journalists of us all, and an artist who expends a lot of effort creating an enigmatic aura will almost invariably find themselves revealed online. So hats off to Sault, who managed to release two albums in 2019 – titled 5 and 7 – without anyone managing to conclusively solve the puzzle of who was behind them.

It was not for want of trying. Some people suggested the involvement of a London-based musician called Dean Josiah, whose CV boasts co-writing and production credits for Michael Kiwanuka, the Saturdays and Little Simz – the last of whom raved about Sault on social media. Others have posited that British soul singer Cleo Sol and Chicago-based rapper and sometime Kanye West collaborator Kid Sister – both signed to Sault’s label, Forever Living Originals – are the vocalists. But no one has confirmed or denied anything.

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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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Alabama 3 review – raucous ravers soak up mashup outlaws’ sin and soul

Delivered... Graeme Virtue | Scene | Sun 15 Dec 2019 3:27 pm

Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
This was a rambunctious wake for founding member Jake Black – with their Sopranos’ theme a high point among club and country meldings

Jake Black, one of the founding members of Alabama 3, died in May this year. The southern-fried, dance-infused country irregulars formed in Brixton in the mid-1990s, yet Black was from Glasgow: this would have been a hometown gig.

Usually, you might say he was here in spirit. But Black, who performed as addled preacher the Very Reverend D Wayne Love, is also here in a more corporeal form, commemorated as an alabaster-white idol in a black suit, gazing out over a raucous, sold-out flock of ravers of all ages.

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St Vincent/Nina Kraviz: Masseduction Rewired review

Delivered... Aimee Cliff | Scene | Fri 13 Dec 2019 11:30 am

(Loma Vista)
Russian producer Kraviz moves St Vincent’s 2017 album through a variety of gloomy musical lenses, from footwork to dub

Throughout the 2010s, the album has become somewhat amorphous. Today’s artists are more prone to releasing multiple versions of their records, and many of the old rules about the format have gone out of the window.

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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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