sun 25/10/2020

New Music Buzz

Long-overdue recognition for Motown’s West Coast subsidiary Mowest

Kieron Tyler

The Motown label will forever be identified with its Detroit birthplace, even though it had a Los Angeles office in the Sixties. The shift west was completed in 1972 when founder Berry Gordy Jr moved the whole concern to California. Before that though, in 1971, Gordy had launched subsidiary imprint Mowest to ostensibly showcase Los Angeles acts and as a test run for the California move. This gold-chip compilation shows Mowest is worth remembering.

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Sónar 2011: Day 3 and Round-up

joe Muggs

This is where the delirium kicks in. Tired but happy, the attendees started the third day of Sónar festival slightly boggled by how to pick and choose from the strange delights on offer. Saturday was when the true musical variety of the festival was displayed: straight-up hip hop to eye-popping South African tribal dance displays, balmy ambient revivalism to apocalyptic techno, heartbroken electronica to deranged prog rock: it was all on offer...

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Sónar 2011: Day 1

joe Muggs Dazzling stage presence: Singer/percussionist Yukimi Nagano of the fabulous Swedish electropop band Little Dragon

“This is what Ibiza used to be like,” said the man dancing next to me. I've never been to the White Isle, so I have to take his word for it, but he presented a very convincing argument that the commercialisation of dance music's Mediterranean Mecca has led to a polarisation of its crowds towards either ostentatious spending or mindless drunkenness – whereas Barcelona's Sónar Festival attracts more diverse and discerning hedonists focused on music above all.

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RIP house music singer Darryl Pandy

joe Muggs A still from the 'Love Can't Turn Around' video

The house music of Chicago, led by producers and DJs, has long had a tendency to feature the greatest vocals of any genre yet not make stars of its singers. And for most of his working life, Darryl Pandy, who died yesterday aged 48, was not the star his huge presence and elemental, gospel-schooled voice warranted – instead working the club circuit and soul revival shows, and featuring on dance tracks scattered across dozens of 12" singles on many labels worldwide.

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Martin Rushent, 1948–2011

Kieron Tyler

Although record producer Martin Rushent was firmly identified with the punk and post-punk eras, the biggest records he had worked on before then were those of Shirley Bassey. His production of The Human League’s epoch-defining Dare changed that.

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Showtime! - UK dancehall on the rise again

joe Muggs Lady Chann: The face of the new wave of UK dancehall

This month sees an audacious attempt to showcase British dancehall music, when the Cargo venue in Shoreditch hosts the multi-artist revue Showtime!. The Heatwave collective have brought together vocalists from various UK underground scenes, linked by a strong influence from the high-energy Jamaican sounds of the past 30 or so years. While many of the artists involved have found success in crossover...

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Sonic Youth play London – almost

Kieron Tyler

Next Tuesday, 31 May, will be a day of difficult choices for fans of New York’s Sonic Youth. London is hosting three separate shows by band members and associates. That evening their mainstay guitarist, Thurston Moore, plays the Union Chapel. SY’s drummer, Steve Shelley, is at The Borderline, guesting with Chicago’s Disappears. And Half Japanese, who both Shelley and Moore have collaborated with, are headlining at The Scala.

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London children offered 400 music scholarships

ismene Brown

Private music patrons aim to raise £2 million to fund 400 scholarships for London children with a talent for music. The aim is to give steady four-year support for disadvantaged children to have Saturday lessons, individual coaching and group tuition to learn a musical instrument. Alongside the scholarships, there is to be a "partnership" scheme whereby professional musicians go into schools to work on music with up to 10,000 schoolchildren.

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The Asian Music Circuit fights back

Peter Culshaw Anuradha Paudwal: On tour courtesy of Asian Music Circuit

In the ravages of the recent arts cuts, and debates over the winners and losers, one estimable organisation tended to be overlooked in the coverage – the Asian Music Circuit, who have done more for Asian arts in the UK than probably any other entity. They have had their entire grant cut. The director of AMC, Viram Jasani, told me he was stunned by this unexpected savagery and took a week or two to gather his thoughts and mount a campaign. Sections of the media have started to swing behind it...

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Jenny Hval – When Viscera takes control

Kieron Tyler

Viscera, the new album by Norway’s Jenny Hval, is a striking, often disturbing, surreal examination of how the body can take control, winning out over thought. Hval enfolds her explicit, literature-inspired lyrics in music that suddenly shifts from the impressionistic to the surging. Her voice can be disquietingly detached, narrating, as she puts it, “a partly uncomfortable listen”.

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