wed 25/04/2018

avant-garde

CD: Napalm Death - Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs

Sometimes music reaches a point beyond which there's no point in going. Thus it is with Napalm Death who, 30 or so years ago, hit on a formula for furious noise generation, and though they've shifted line-ups many times since then, continue to make...

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Picasso 1932: Love Fame Tragedy, Tate Modern review - a diary in paint?

Painted in ice-cream shades punctuated with vivid red, the series of portraits made by Picasso in the early weeks of 1932 are as dreamy as love letters. His mistress Marie-Thérèse Walther – we assume it is she – lies adrift in post-coital languor,...

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Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes. You get used to it - the frantic Google-mapping to locate the venue; the hike...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Gibson, Gunge

Bach: French Suites Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano) (Accentus Music)The sheer perfection of Bach’s output can be unsettling, and faintly terrifying. So it's pleasing to find a musician who's so keen to highlight his friendlier, cuddlier side. Zhu Xiao-Mei...

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CD: Fever Ray - Plunge

This album has been about in virtual form since last autumn but now receives physical release. In more ways than one. Since theartsdesk didn’t review it back then, its reappearance on CD and vinyl gives us an excuse to now. After all, Swedish...

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Theatre of Voices, Kings Place review - fluidity and dynamism in Stockhausen

The last time Theatre of Voices performed Stockhausen’s STIMMUNG in London was at the Albert Hall, at a late night Prom in 2008, so Kings Place made for a much more intimate setting. In fact, the work, which is for six unaccompanied voices, relies...

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CD: The Go! Team - Semicircle

The Go! Team have been unrivalled in the world of euphoric hip-pop after their samplerific debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, blasted its way onto the 2005 Mercury Prize shortlist. Since then, founding member Ian Parton has utilised everything from...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer, chansonnier and conductor HK Gruber at 75

You haven't lived until you've witnessed Viennese maverick H(einz) K(arl) Gruber – 75 today (3 January, publication day) – speech-singing, conducting and kazooing his way through his self-styled "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!. Composed for chansonnier...

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Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival review - new generation throws down the gauntlet

Reading the line-up for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival can be a bit of a //+DiGit<ijjjjjjjjjjjjj.ggiiigggggH1-RMXn4000// experience (and no, I haven’t invented those). There are flashing light warnings. Ear defenders are routinely...

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CD: Scanner - Fibolae

Robin Rimbaud, AKA Scanner, has been releasing music for over two decades. There was a point in the mid-Nineties when he was a media “thing” due to the way he sampled sounds plucked from the airwaves. Shockingly, this included phone calls because...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Montparnasse 19

The myth of Modigliani, the archetypal tortured artist, was set in train while he was still alive and remains potent almost a century after his death. Every so often a few game academics try to put things straight, and now Tate Modern’s exhibition...

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CD: Angel Olsen - Phases

An underground American star since 2010’s Strange Cacti EP, Angel Olsen’s distinctive brand of indie folk-rock was propelled to new heights in both Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014) and then last year with MY WOMAN. After years of touring,...

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