fri 23/08/2019

New Music Features

Interview: Tinariwen, Poets in New York

Andy Morgan

All was quiet in room 509 when I turned up with my bottle of Jura whisky. Tinariwen’s sound engineer, Jaja, was watching a vampire movie on TV. Elaga, their rhythm guitarist, was sitting at a small, darkly varnished table eating pasta from a Styrofoam carton. Said the percussionist was lying on his bed, delving through the archive of photos and recordings on his LG mobile, keeping his own counsel as he usually does. 

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2011

Kieron Tyler

Iceland is remote. Strategic too. Vikings stopped off there on the way to North America. It hosted the Reagan-Gorbachev summit 25 years ago. On the anniversary, visitors from America, Canada and across continental Europe are in Reykjavík for the 13th annual Iceland Airwaves. Over its five days the festival brings an extraordinary range of music to Iceland’s capital. Three years on from the country’s financial meltdown, Iceland remains strategic. Culturally strategic.

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Interview: Peter Gabriel

Peter Culshaw

One of the problems with Peter Gabriel’s back catalogue for me, I tell him, as he is reclining in an office at EMI in London, is the sounds - some of them really are very dated. Gabriel would often pioneer a sound like the reverse-gated drum sound - others would imitate, it becomes trendy, over-used, and then hugely unfashionable.

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theartsdesk in Oslo: FolkeLarm Festival

Kieron Tyler

It’s almost dark. Frescoes depicting the cycle of life are barely visible. They could be shadows. Waves of sound pulse through the mausoleum of Norwegian artist Emanuel Vigeland. Fiddle player Nils Økland is feeding the 15-second delay with peals that reverberate around the space, folding back into themselves. It’s a spooky, unforgettable introduction to FolkeLarm, Oslo’s annual festival of Nordic folk music.

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Bert Jansch: 1943-2011

graeme Thomson

The great folk guitarist Bert Jansch died early this morning, aged 67. Whether as a prime mover in London's 1960s folk scene, or as part of pioneering folk-jazzers Pentangle, or as a songwriter and solo artist, his influence on everyone from Paul Simon, Donovan, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young to, later, Johnny Marr, Graham Coxon and Beth Orton is simply immeasurable.

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Zun Zun Egui: New Indie Band of the Year?

mark Kidel

In the generation of twentysomething rock musicians bottle-fed on world music, the Bristol band Zun Zun Egui really stand out. They make some of the most exciting music to have emerged in the last 12 months.

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Interview: 10 Questions for The Pierces

graeme Thomson

Formed in 2000 by thirtysomething sisters Catherine and Allison Pierce, Alabaman duo The Pierces have spent over a decade flitting from style to style and label to label, the nuggets of critical acclaim heavily outweighed by public indifference. Everything finally clicked, however, with their fourth album, You & I, which entered the UK charts at number four earlier this year.

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theartsdesk in Brasilia: Music from the Melting Pot

joe Muggs

I know nothing about Brazil, I have come to realise. A Sergio Mendes album here, a Gilles Peterson compilation there, a blurred memory of catching City of God on Film4 once – these do not add up to even the beginnings of insight into a country big and diverse enough to be more like a continent in its own right.

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theartsdesk Debate: The Art of Performance

ismene Brown

To celebrate theartsdesk's second birthday on Friday, we held a panel discussion on The Art of Performance at Kings Place, London, in the Kings Place Festival.

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Opinion: Is The X Factor back for good?

Jasper Rees

And so it begins again. Earlier this summer I attended what has become a regular British ritual, exactly like Wimbledon and Henley, the Chelsea Flower Show and Ascot, with only one or two small discrepancies.

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