tue 11/08/2020

New Music Interviews

Q&A Special: Electronic Musicians Bonjay

Paul McGee Bonjay's Ian Swain and Alanna Stuart take a break from bass-heavy dancehall futurism

A potent combination of growling electronics, sub-bass frequencies and expressive vocals seems to have moved back to the centre of the UK's pop landscape in recent months, whether via the likes of James Blake, Magnetic Man or even the unlikely sound of Britney Spears appropriating dubstep signifiers on her new record. All of which makes the arrival in the UK of Canadian duo Bonjay seem...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Moby

Thomas H Green Moby, punk, electronic orchestrator and self-confessed nerd

Moby (b 1965) has been a presence on the dance scene and in global clubland for two decades. He is best known for the multimillion-selling 1999 album Play which, among other things, combined lush electronic orchestration with old field recordings of a cappella blues shouters. Moby's musical career, however, began at least a decade earlier.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Martin Carthy

graeme Thomson

One of Britain’s most esteemed and influential folk artists, Martin Carthy (b 1941) celebrates his 70th birthday on 21 May. The occasion is being marked by the release of a two-disc career overview, Martin Carthy Essential, and next weekend's celebratory concert at the Southbank Centre, London.

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Q&A Special: Musician Mary Gauthier

Tim Cumming Mary Gauthier: Her concept album 'The Foundling' tells the story of her adoption

The Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury preserves the story of the Foundling Hospital, established in 1739 by Thomas Coram, the artist Hogarth and the composer Handel. At the end of April, American country singer Mary Gauthier performed The Foundling, a concept album telling of her birth and adoption in 1962 and the attempted reunion with her birth mother some 45 years later. Spiky-...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Electronic Musicians Hype Williams

joe Muggs Inga Copeland and Dean Blunt aka Hype Williams

The music of Hype Williams is the definition of an acquired taste. It sounds ramshackle, thrown together, deliberately awkward – either deeply contrarian or the work of very, very messed-up people just playing around with archaic home recording equipment. But immersion in it reveals all kinds of layers of strangeness, and particularly a rich and emotionally resonant sense of melody that weaves through all the clashing rhythms and crackly recordings. Even the arrangements, it becomes apparent...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pop Musicians The Human League

Thomas H Green

The Human League are one of the brightest lights in the history of electro-pop

They have had many incarnations over the years but since late 1980 the core of the group has been frontman Philip Oakey (b 1955) and singers Joanne Catherall (b 1962) and Susan Sulley (b 1963).

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theartsdesk Q&A: DJ Annie Nightingale

Hilary Whitney Annie Nightingale: 'There’s nobody I know in my age group who remotely likes this kind of thing. I don’t understand why. I really don’t. I’m driven by it. It grabs me by the throat'

In 1970, Annie Nightingale became Radio 1’s first female DJ. The appointment was made somewhat grudgingly - DJs, believe it or not (and we’re talking about the likes of Ed “Stewpot” Stewart and Tony Blackburn here), were perceived to be “husband substitutes” and it was generally accepted that a female voice would alienate the listeners. And yet 40 years later, Nightingale is the only DJ left from the original line-up.

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Q&A Special: Musician Bob Geldof

Nick Hasted

Bob Geldof only shuts up in the end because a plane he should be on is imminently taking off for India, and he is still in his local South London pub, refusing to let a heavy cold stop him from talking like others drink - with unquenchable relish. He is in passing promoting his new album, How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, a lesson Geldof could have given with conviction during his old band the Boomtown Rats’ pomp between 1977 and 1980, when their first nine singles hit...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Producer/DJ Carl Craig

joe Muggs

Carl Craig is extraordinarily easygoing. Most dance producers of his seniority and level of achievement would come with at least a publicist in tow, but when we meet him in his London hotel, his only entourage is his nine-year-old son, playing happily with an iPad or chatting to the photographer as we talk, and Craig is very easy and engaging company.

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Q&A Special: Musician Lee Hazlewood

Kieron Tyler

Forty-five years ago today, Nancy Sinatra’s risqué “These Boots Are Made For Walking” entered the British charts, beginning its rise to Number One. This country-slanted ode to sex and domination, sung by Frank’s daughter, hasn’t had its impact blunted by repeated exposure on nostalgia radio.

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