wed 15/07/2020

2010s

CD: Warpaint - Heads Up

There's a lot of neurosis these days about retro-ism and lack of innovation in music, as if the shock of the new is all that gives things value. Of course, this is something worth keeping in mind: we certainly don't want to end up in a Keep Calm And...

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CD: De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody

De La Soul are the posterboys for creative longevity in hip hop. While some contemporaries have maintained a presence by relying on “heritage” status while going in ever-decreasing circles musically (hello, Public Enemy), the trio – still in their...

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Handmade: By Royal Appointment, BBC Four

The accelerating glorification, in the West at least, of the handmade is a fascinating phenomenon, perhaps a subliminal fight back against overwhelming industrialisation and the age of the robots. And perhaps nowhere is the admiration and commercial...

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Paul Simon Introduces 'Stranger to Stranger'

Perhaps as a hopeful harbinger for Paul Simon's new album Stranger to Stranger, Disturbed recently topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their flabbergasting version of Simon's 1965 song "The Sound of Silence". However, while...

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Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

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David Bowie, 1947-2016

He knew.18 months of dealing with cancer, and rather than withdraw and rest – as he'd done before – David Bowie knuckled down made a record as intense and disturbing as anything he's done before. The Next Day was a worthy return to the fray but...

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Albums of 2015: Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

For some musicians operating on the leftfield, achieving accessibility or commercial success means compromising their unique vision. Not so with Los Angeles singer-songwriter-producer Julia Holter. Her first three albums – four, if you include 2009'...

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Herbert & Kode 9, Abbey Road Studios

There's a new kind of forum for electronic musicians. Certainly not a rave, and not just a recital to earnest nerds, built on a kind of patronage, but a long way removed from a standard corporate gig where you're just providing the interchangeable...

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CD: Blur - The Magic Whip

Few would have predicted it back when they were gooning around in over-tight Adidas t-shirts, but with the benefit of hindsight it makes sense that Blur should have the most convincing longevity of the Britpop generation. Why? Because more than any...

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CD: Carter Tutti – Carter Tutti Plays Chris & Cosey

There’s a danger in an artist having their work reinterpreted that the end result will be little more than a rough outline of the original. Look at Metallica’s axe job on the Velvet Underground for instance. Still, on the bright side, at least they...

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The Gospel According to the Other Mary, English National Opera

A great creative partnership like the one between composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars can endure the occasional wobble. In his peerless autobiography Hallelujah Junction Adams is frank about the information overload in Sellars’ premiere...

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DVD: Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin, the American thriller which won the coveted FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes last year, will amaze. It stars actors you don’t know, made by a director you don’t know yet Blue Ruin is proof of life beyond Hollywood: this is a tremendous...

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