Animaux | UK

Primavera Sound Review [2017]

Jun
24

From a personal perspective, Primavera turned into a prime example of times when you might enter a festival rattled up for particular artists and perhaps see a few that almost seem dispensable to the acts you’re eager to see. In an interesting twist of fate, these dispensable acts might just be the highlights of the night, or even, some of the most memorable shows you will ever witness. When was the last time you went to a concert and ended up watching a fully grown and talented man fashion his boxers as a g-string and set fire to his leg hair? What about seeing a 69-year-old performing while wearing a strap-on? What script could we have written that would have showcased any of this?

Aphex Twin

Thursday kicked off in jazzy hip-hop high-tops by BADBADNOTGOOD, and Kate Tempest – who through conveying complex emotions musically was example #1 of unexpectedly entrancing performances. Headlining the evening was Aphex Twin, with a set filled with drawn-out, aloof and prickly transitions that left many describing it for the rest of the weekend as “I’m not too sure what I just watched.” Things were turned down a notch with a theatrical-like show from Tycho, which looking back perfectly resembled vanilla – nice, pleasant, safe. Nothing to get too excited over.

Some sort of effort has kind of happened with Primavera’s stage layout, which results in most alternative/”mainstream” artists performing in the main body of Parc del Forum, with a long, constantly overcrowded bridge connecting this torso to a predominantly electronic music limb. Here, as #2-5 of unforeseen goodness, Fatima Yamaha gave a fittingly lofty and upbeat set, followed by a deliverance of subterranean levels of deep house by German producer/cult figurehead Henrik Schwarz and a truly chilling live set of breakbeat and broken vocal sample wading into moments of old school dubstep from Bicep to an enthusiastic and amicable crowd.

Mogwai

For many, Friday was from the very start not going to live up to the heightened expectations people had set themselves, considering that just the Sunday before, headliner Frank Ocean pulled out his performance as a result, the momentary trend of the festival “Prank Ocean” was born and available on t-shirts, bags and hats.

Regardless of this, the bill promised a rather organic affair of indie and alternative acts, starting with an impromptu show of smoke which somewhere amidst, Mogwai was playing. Mirroring recent albums, things were, once again, a bit vanilla – if anything, they were a perfect beginning for those just arriving and talking to each other while laying on one of the only grassy areas on site.

If anyone were to ask me what Primavera 2017 was like, seeing Mac DeMarco get halfway through “Together” before jumping onto a speaker, giving himself a thong and in the process the cameraman a good old view of his behind whilst carnally lowering himself towards the naked drummer and wincing when he caught himself burning his armpit hair would probably be the first thing that came back to mind. As someone who doesn’t take himself seriously, even as a musician, we, as spectators, were truly given a performance.

The contrast came heavy, then, when on the main stage of the festival, The xx somehow managed to give thousands of people a truly intimate and slightly sombre piece. I was someone who saw the debut album as a lover you never really got over and felt like everything that you experienced afterwards couldn’t compare to. Yet, a compelling interaction between singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim throughout playing, not to mention the iridescent personality of the group conveyed something that I’d never noticed before in the recent albums I’d so strongly stayed away from. In the vocal harmony alone lies a duet that is captivating and yet is almost obsolete in music today. It was clear that the trio had considered a wide range of elements for the set and combined a well-ordered set list with glistening visuals and faintly subdued lighting, which together exhibiting patterns of refracted light, left many in absolute awe. It was, in many ways, so precious, that it seems a shame to have to denote serious issues with sound, as was, in fact, to become a recurring theme throughout the weekend.

The xx

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, sound troubles continued on the Bowers & Wilkins stage, which considering is celebrated for its ingenuity in sound systems, it was almost agonising to listen to legendary force Âme play a live set through a crackling speaker. Despite this, it is impossible to characterise the tandem as anything other than a pure energy drive; it’s instantly clear why the duo has such a powerful reputation between them. This kind of vigour consequently feeds into its audience, which was spaciously formed of techno freaks and house heads.

Friday was signed off with panache by Flying Lotus, who has created himself as a type of cosmic jazz/contemporary electronic music alien. Exalting oomph in both a collision of musical genres and accompanying visuals (of which at one point starred a computerised human tied up on the floor, another feminine body with a face similar to FlyLo’s own twerking over) he unceasingly showed himself to say “no thanks” to conventional style, obscure and haunting one moment, hilarious and mocking the next. Talaboman, the duo outfit that is John Talabot and Axel Boman, moved light-dark/dark-light as the final act of the night when it starts to become morning. Stragglers of all stages transfixed to modern day landmarks of intelligent electronic music, a subjective climax peaking with the sunrise and moving to “The Sun Can’t Compare” in its full and entire glory.

Grace Jones

With a tendency to present older names and long-celebrated artists on Saturday, the atmosphere at Primavera is usually significantly different. The atmosphere gets a bit more relaxed, the crowd dies down and things become, or so it seems, a little more for the locals. The groove sets in earlier than previous days – this time in an oriental fusion with Junun, a project of different cultures and nationalities, usually including Jonny Greenwood. As a mixture of traditional Indian instruments and Israeli influences with electronic coding as the backbone of the outfit, Junun is a multi-cultural, polyrhythmic discourse; their performance giving colour and vitality and making it impossible to stay still. Later, diva/musical icon/Jamaican disco goddess Grace Jones created an absolute storm on the main stage, her entrance somewhat improvised after a dramatic and wind-induced curtain fall. Between bearing a force of a stage persona by asking for a “Coke” in an ambiguous manner midway through the set, to unveiling herself wearing a dildo, she showed herself to a society obsessed with youth and as limitless and unapologetically ageless.

John Talabot

In fact, Primavera proceeded to go down a Saturday Night Fever route in which disco proved to be king. Since Primavera is also an international phenomenon in both acts and audience, there is something intangibly special when John Talabot, who hails from Barcelona, comes back to his roots and performs in front of an appreciative and melody-hungry audience. Playing a disco set, Talabot continuously manages to capture this essence of bliss and yet take the whole of humankind on the same journey at the same time. Weval were a stones’ throw away making some similar magic – as a live and downbeat edition. The Dutch duo is a bit like how a priest might describe God – personal yet impersonal; transcendental yet immanent. Moving away slightly from the intricate power they’ve consistently mustered throughout their studio work, Weval led all eyes on an emotional thread and offered an all-encompassing performance that takes electro-pop, dreamy dance and touching vocals to finish in a state of rapture.

Regardless of the hushed-up malfunctioning sound system and the constant clashes of interest in the programme, reputations happen for a reason. Primavera is now recognised in international lands as a leading festival for its line-up, and this year, excluding the heartache of Prank Ocean, was no exception. An almost predictable outcome of this is a melting pot that allows attraction of like-minded people from a plethora of countries. Where other festivals might offer better food, boutiques and camping, few festivals can compete with the feeling of leaving in the early morning sun to head to the beach and walk back to base in the magical city with borderline mythological architecture and infinite springs of culture that is Barcelona.

Check out http://www.primaverasound.com/ for more info.

Nuage – ‘Wild’ Review

May
24

A follow-up to his 2015 widely acclaimed album ‘Neida’, St. Petersburg’s Nuage has devoted a year of complex production and travel to the opposing ends of the earth to create the seemingly complete and more mature LP Wild on the consistently marvellous Project Mooncircle label.

Wild, in many ways, contrasts and challenges itself, often in the same moment. Starting track ‘Occur’ eases in with a strong and ambient introduction; the album continues to flit between feelings of warmth, world and leftfield-tinged instrumentals that breathe fresh remnants of summer, and cooler climates, delving downtempo; the first frost of winter is just about as crisp. Nuage at times comprises self-styled drum and bass, yet at others indicates brisk moments of tribal origins, broken beats and deep house rudiments.

Wild by name, Wild by nature – in its entirety, the album expresses several boundaries of mood, playfully explores within and often merges each limit. ‘Arrival’ immerses and dreamily gravitates, while ‘Habitat’ combines cut up vocals with a deeper bass, with a classic synth sample and joyful fleckles of organic instruments. The album is stunningly vocalic throughout, still keeping itself to a lofty signature, rolling up and down, in boundless kaleidoscopic motion.

You can buy vinyl, digital or stream it by clicking here.

Alga – Aralia EP – Inter-re-view

May
25

Available for free on Lost Oscillation’s website, Dan Egdell’s first outing as Alga is a 2 track EP showcasing an original and inventive mind.

Four Tet, Caribou and other associated acts have a lot to answer for when it comes to the current crop of SoundCloud wannabes. Luckily, sometimes the slew of homebrewed imitations and rip-offs is interrupted by tracks or EPs which genuinely develop and respect the fundamental successes of their inspirations. Aralia is one such EP.

By avoiding the temptation to smash random sonic textures together in pursuit of a rich and lush soundscape, Alga sidesteps the type of error a lesser producer would leap headfirst into. Still a student, his promising work thus far has shown him maturing into a canny aesthetic operator. Bringing his skill as a DJ to bear on these tracks, elements transition seamlessly; in fact, it seems like the main aim of both pieces to effortlessly end up far from where they started.

“This Is Your Carnival” spins itself a semi-demented fairground ride out of some propulsive brassy pomp. The selection and deployment of instrumentation is ingenious, allowing the track to retain its character even as the constituent parts are piled up, taken away, demand attention, or subtly change the direction. It pays rich dividends here as the midpoint of the track finds the layered pieces stripped away. The hand drumming, satisfying kick and rising mania of the synths is the highlight of its 8 minutes (and it truly is the better for being that long).

Moreso than simply grasping at sound and texture, Aralia illustrates Egdell working as a songwriter and a selector. The joy of “This Is Your Carnival” is in the details: the slight dissonance of the climax; the interplay of the reverbing horn blasts in the introduction; and the finely woven percussive textures that underpin the whole thing.

“Patina” relies even more heavily on Egdell’s percussion work. However, for much of the track these elements are foregrounded in the mix, rather than underpinning. Synth chords, rich basslines and ethereal vocal samples slowly emerge from beneath and behind them. This inverts the formula of the first track and though it leaves some sections feeling paradoxically sparse considering the variety of percussion instruments present, the payoff more than makes up for it.

At just two tracks (albeit two eight-minute tracks) long, Aralia is a teaser of what’s to come from Egdell. Having emerged from an album containing 8 tracks, it is a little disappointing not to be able to hear more of that body of work just yet.

I sat down with Dan (albeit over Skype) to discuss the EP, his musical history, and his inspirations.

EM: So you weren’t Alga to start with, you started out as Slyside?

DE: Yeah, I started as Slyside about 2 years ago when I was in second year. I just kinda decided to start making music, needed a name, went with Slyside and then released something through Anonymous Records in York. Which was great, I really liked the Slyside stuff, but it felt like I’d finished, and it didn’t seem right with the kind of stuff I was writing. So I decided to start from scratch.

EM: Would you say there’s been an obvious progression since your Slyside material? It’s no longer on SoundCloud, so it’s hard to view the material that came before Aralia.

DE: Well yeah, I kinda wanted to ditch the whole thing. Maybe it was a bit of a rash decision looking back but I didn’t want anyone to be able to find out about me and go “oh, you used to be Slyside”; I liked the whole anonymous thing.

EM: Would you change your name again for another project or EP?

DE: Well, probably not because I’ve found a sound and Alga seems to make sense with it. You can still find the Slyside stuff on YouTube. I’m not too happy with that. I like that stuff, but I felt like I needed to progress and it was holding me back to try to sound like Slyside.

EM: When it comes to creating, do you have a procedure? Are there particular elements that you start with, or things you like to have in your mind at the start of a project?

DE: I wish I did! It would make my life a lot easier. No, I don’t. I get ideas when I’m walking around and I record a little bit on my phone, or I find a sample that I like or I find a groove that I like. There’s no real routine, what happens – happens and some tracks dissolve into nothing and others take off.

EM: Were there a lot more tracks that you could have put on this EP?

DE: Yeah, there was actually 8 tracks. I was writing an album in my 3rd year as an equivalent to a dissertation. I handed it in and I was happy with the results but I felt that there were some tracks that could be chipped away and weren’t really needed. And when I sat down it turned out there were 6 tracks that weren’t needed.

EM: Do you do live performance stuff, or do you have any plans to?

DE: I was thinking of getting a band together to do some of the Alga stuff, but now I’m writing again. The plan was to do some gigging but that’s on hold until I have a little more material I think. We might do it after that.

EM: In terms of the EP as a whole, what kind of influences have played a part?

DE: John Talabot, I love the way his tracks progress and his production style and how percussive it all is. I was listening to a lot of his stuff while I was making it. Caribou as well, which is an obvious choice but it was a big influence. Also Nicolas Jaar, even though it doesn’t really sound anything like what I make, it was definitely an influence. And again, jazz, even though it’s not really a direct influence and you might not hear it.

EM: And you play a lot of the instruments on the EP live?

DE: All the drums, all the brass, all the bass is recorded by me. The synth line at the end of TIYC, all the synth stuff was recorded into the computer but the rest was real instruments.

EM: Both tracks are 8+ minutes; did you consciously aim to create a long and smoothly transitioning track?

DE: It wasn’t a deliberate choice, like I didn’t sit down and say let’s create a 10-minute track that’s gonna evolve. It might just be because I’m bad at being concise, I don’t know. It starts with an idea and then I couldn’t end the idea without it changing. I started with it and it was like, this isn’t done yet. I kept going until it felt done and it felt like it morphed into a different song in the second half, but I kinda like that. They both do a similar thing as well which I think works, they both match that pattern.

EM: Thanks for your time Dan.

You can download Alga’s Aralia EP for free from Lost Oscillation’s website.

Boomtown Releases Its 2016 Mainstage Line­ups

Feb
07

So it’s coming to the time of year when everyone starts crawling out of the gym wondering what the hell happened to January. We’ve just spent a month trying to reverse what a couple of weeks binging on Aldi’s finest booze, and sugar riddled treats can do to our otherwise, I’m sure, trim and sculpted bodies. Nevertheless memories of sunnier and happier days start to filter through, hazy flickering memories of a time when being outside didn’t mean wearing more layers than a family sized lasagna and when sitting in a field listening to music was not only possible, but a pleasurable experience at that.

Yep you guessed it, it’s time to think about festivals, and Boomtown is one I have been itching to see a line­up for. It’s a festival which is well-known for its rich atmosphere and freedom of expression. It even comes with its own warped dystopian storyline, one that develops year on year, with last years saga seeing the union of the brainwashed ‘Comrade Jose’ (formally Mayor Burrita José) and ‘The Sheriff’. A move that led to the building of the ‘Bang High Palace’, a huge, nine story fire-breathing behemoth of a main stage. Erupting with vicious drum and bass, the palace was erected as a monument to the strength of the new totalitarian alliance, and it worked, right up until the end of the four days, when a speech by ‘Comrade José’ was hijacked by a masked figure heralding the beginning of a new uprising and a new revolution, the tantalising cliffhanger for the next chapter in the Boomtown legend.

Never pinning itself down to any specific genre, Boomtown really rewards the wanderer, you can find yourself raving in a hidden wood one second then skanking on a sun drenched amphitheatre of a hillside the next. Quite literally, the nine different districts making up this brilliantly peculiar pop up city each boast its own flavour of musical delights, from the Latino carnival mood of ‘Barrio Loco’ to the futuristic neon drenched buildings of ‘DSTRKT 5’, a stroll around boomtown is as spicy and unpredictable as a liger (Editor’s Note: Liger) in a curry house. So all in all I don’t think I can be blamed for my, let’s be honest, childish anticipation for the “immersive audio­visual joyride” that is Boomtown. Especially when you look at the wide variety of well known names hitting the many stages this year.

Damian Marley, reggae legend in his own right, returns to the UK’s biggest reggae stage ‘Lion’s Den’, alongside the Kiwi seven ­piece Fat Freddy’s drop and classic skank merchants Madness. In the centre Boomtown’s self proclaimed musical “melting pot” ‘Town Center’ looks to be living up to its reputation this year, setting up to host electronic dignitaries Leftfield and Parov Stelar alongside the ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminals’’ eclectic mix of hip-­hop, funk. Over in ‘DSTRKT 5’ ‘Bang Hai Palace’ is back and immense as ever, looking ready to blast its drum and bass propaganda to the masses with Roni Size and DJ Krust reuniting to mark 20 years of Full Cycle Records, as well as a b2b from DJ Hype and DJ Hazard. Boomtown wouldn’t Boomtown without it’s vast menagerie of hidden spaces and secret stages, and this year looks to be no different. Names like the unpredictable Glaswegian house, disco (and.. well, everything else) connoisseur Jackmaster, renowned for being “one of the most talented and versatile DJs there is” lining up alongside Radio 6 funk and soul stalwart Craig Charles to grace some of the more enigmatic stages sprinkled around Boomtown, the spirit of exploration is clearly still alive.

But anyway, here it is, the first major line­up announcement for Boomtown Chapter 8.

The Warehouse Project, unique every time.

Nov
17

For the past few years, since my interest directed itself towards the clubbing scene, there has been one event everyone around me has been talking about. The annual line-up announcements are preceded by weeks of chatter; booking speculations and defiant statements of intent, swearing attendance to this apparently momentous occasion. I never quite understood the hype, the cynic that I am, associating excitement with inevitable let-down; and so with mixed emotions I made my way to Manchester, home of the Warehouse Project, to see what the fuss was about.

One of the most historic Warehouse Projects yet, showcasing the final stand of the 50Weapons label, with Rødhåd, Siriusmodeselektor, Truncate, Dark Sky, Clark, Addison Groove, and the rest testing British build quality. The label’s end has been lamented as the biggest tragedy of dance music this year, as saying goodbye to ten years of service and an all-star roster can be, but there were no tears shed at this event.

The venue is hidden away near Manchester Piccadilly station, the entrance a gap in a wall under a bridge. I say hidden, but it was hard to miss with the amount of security set up outside – from pat-downs to dogs – methodically ushering the crowds into the dark innards of the bridge. There was a feeling that I wasn’t supposed to be seeing this location, hidden in plain sight, that hundreds of people unknowingly walk past every day. Upon entering the structure I was immediately lost in cavernous red-brick (as if you can tell in the dark) rooms full of bustling ravers, all facing two stages at opposite ends of the venue. The light shows were impressive and unique to every artist, each performance is clearly separated from the last, making it seem like a kind of honour for the artist to be present. Surprisingly, I found gourmet food being served in the smoking area and a variety of affordable cocktails at the bar. This is an event that is prepared for anything its patrons might desire, leaving it hard to not have a good time. After a short wander around the space the fuss friends, strangers and acquaintances had been making was explained.

Even more impressive was the religious following of this event, as it seemed people had travelled from around the world for this night. These were not just students or young professionals living in Manchester, they were people who had travelled from France, Switzerland, Spain, even Germany (a Berghain regular proclaimed his love of the event to me) just for the weekend, or even the night. If this is the crowd that attends every Warehouse Project, then it is a crowd that has invested hundreds of pounds to live it up on this one night, undoubtedly contributing to the unique atmosphere.

Of course, the system and the music did not disappoint. I was particularly surprised by Clark’s live set, beginning with the somber melodies that define him before ramping up into, what must have been over, a 140 bpm marathon set. From this Truncate made his appearance on the main stage, delving into what a bystander announced to be “sounds of scratching metal”, in a set showcasing the best of 50weapons techno. From the gloom of Truncate, Modeselektor built up to a live-set with Siriusmo. The performance was unbelievably varied, moving from left-field house to dub before the crux of German Clap and Evil Twin. The level of interaction with the crowd was incredible, Gernot Bronsert grabbed the microphone and began cheering “modeselektor” before breaking out the deep vocals of Evil Twin, joining the crowd’s cheers. Last but not least, I enjoyed Rødhåd’s militant thumping, that I’m sure we are all acquainted with by now, adequately placed in the closing slot. I remember the bitter-sweet, minor-key synths escorting me to my 4.50 am train.

Needless to say, I will be attending the Warehouse Project again. If you haven’t been you should go, there aren’t really any excuses especially if you live in England and enjoy dance music. This is the closest you can get to a festival in the winter months, without the inconvenience (to some) of having to camp out. Those Europeans were having the best time, and you could be too.

More info on the rest of WHP shows: https://www.thewarehouseproject.com/

Review: Grimes’ newest venture “Art Angels”

Nov
11

Since about late 2012 until last Friday I have been ready to slate this album. After she quite rightly gained international stardom with Visions (2012) Grimes kept hinting at a move to pop music, so we knew her fourth full album would be a pop one. I took this perhaps a bit too personally – Grimes has acted as an inspiration for thousands of people, in particular young women (like myself), to become involved in electronic music so her move felt like a betrayal. Pop doesn’t need you, I do. But after 3 years of saving up lots of ideas of mean things to say out of spite Art Angels is not actually deserving of it.

Claire Boucher

No, it isn’t revolutionary or brimming with brilliance, but it isn’t a bad album. Claire Boucher remains a talented musician and has creating some catchy enjoyable songs that I’m not embarrassed to say I listen to. At first I was convinced that Art Angels is carried by the obvious singles of the album. One frequently noted qualm is that a lot of the songs fall flat and are soon forgotten, so I wasn’t the only one with this fear. However, after giving myself the weekend I have come to accept that it is a grower. No one would claim it is an album full of hits, but the more you listen the more you find the songs have something that pulls you back.

So what can you actually expect? The first thing you notice in the orchestral opening track laughing and not being normal is she hasn’t forgotten her ambient tones that helped build her and we do see her unique personality continually in Art Angels – it isn’t the cold, straightforward pop album so many feared. Hell, most people probably wouldn’t even call it a pop album. Too much weirdness for that. The second thing you notice is that it has a build in “fuck you” to everyone like me who spoke ill of Grimes for changing. The second track, California, is the first where you can actually make out her lyrics and opens with:

“This, this music makes me cry
It sounds just like my soul, oh
Oh I’m not ready to win
Oh lord cause I don’t wanna know what they say
Cause I get carried away
Commodifying all the pain

Well now I just feel bad. Sorry…

The third thing you notice is just how much variety there really is in this album. There’s some Americana sounds, K-pop, guitars, violin, ukulele. Much more than the synth-heavy songs of previous work. This increased diversity and globalisation works. It increases her appeal which, let’s face it, is just good marketing and it prevents stagnation. Grimes fans would be complaining more if she had stuck with the old ways. Turns out I quite enjoy listening to Grimes songs where I can’t do a direct comparison to Oblivion (considered song of the decade), which was probably the aim.

Finally, the fourth thing you notice is that a lot of heart and thought has gone into these songs. Layered, rich and well produced they are clearly objects of affection. Kill V. Maim, Pin, Realiti and Venus Fly (feat. Janelle Monáe) are probably the highlights.

Concluding remarks? I have to admit, I was wrong to judge so quickly and so harshly, I don’t hate Art Angels. It isn’t going to change the face of music, or even become one of my favourite albums, but it does what pop should do – have you humming along whilst you focus on something else.

Jamie XX’s ‘In Colour’ tour – Hackney and back again [Luxembourg]

Oct
23

Warming a chilly autumnal evening, Jamie xx visits Den Atelier in Luxembourg. His “In Colour” tour is elegantly designed to offer the world a taste of the UK’s clubbing scene and its heritage, as well as to challenge first impressions by exploring the vast and varied sound of his debut album. Jamie xx offered a surprisingly heavy set to a very demanding audience, occasionally dipping into the mellow sounds of “In Colour” that have so pleasantly painted our summers.

Jamie XX

Just as days shorten rapidly and the October skies turn grey, suddenly invaded by uninvited clouds, Jon Rust opened lulling the crowd into a colourful flashback, bathing the room in countless shades of blue, red, and green. He welcomed the swelling crowd with sounds reminiscent of summer and spring. His opening set leaped from mellow ambient tunes to house bangers, before eventually introducing the audience to the characteristically rich basslines that thump in London clubs every weekend.

Acclaimed by the impatient pack of 800, Jamie xx cheekily announces his arrival on stage with his own “Stranger In a Room” and quickly follows with Radiohead’s ethereal “Everything In It’s Right Place” to produce a misty, tense atmosphere. The haze quickly dissipates, however, as the unsuspecting mob was thrust deep into what was to become the body of Jamie’s performance: an all-round guided tour of the unique sounds of British clubs. A tour regularly punctuated by an encompassing selection of Jamie’s own repertoire, exploring the malleability of the tunes that we have become so accustomed to hear since “In Colour”’s release in late May.

Throughout the night, Jamie xx provided a hand-picked selection of the sounds that define British nightlife steering the set through years of morphing musical realities, meshing UK garage with house, grime, and bass-heavy techno. All along the way, the set highlighted similarities between Jamie’s production and the varied genres that were touched. With imposing delicacy, the crowd was teased into appreciating the versatility, depth and complexities of Jamie’s top-charters. Complexities which can often go unnoticed given the ease with which the album flows from open to close, and the seemingly simple sounds that permeate every track, from “Gosh” to “Girl”.

As the bass subsided a little, leaving scope for more melodic genres, the room was again submerged in a colourful haze and tracks thought to be known inside out revealed new dimensions. Introduced by tribal percussions and jungle beats, and followed by the hottest grime tune of the night, the single “All Under One Roof Raving” morphed into a distinct yet identical version of itself, acquiring a new location in the spectrum of electronic music. “I Know-How There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” was announced by The Persuasions’s 1972 tune that it samples, highlighting strong R&B vibes otherwise muted by more prominent features of the track. After flirting briefly with trap, dub finally fades over the tail of Popcaan and Young Thug’s lines: the beginning of the end.

Jamie xx leaves the stage after engulfing the room with Girl’s warm flow. Like his album, this fantastic musical journey could only have ended with an ode to the cradle of Jamie’s unique and irresistible sound.

Animaux: Apéritif LIVE Now!

Sep
12

Vous êtes tous des Animaux.

Apéritif is aimed to provide an intimate setting, where you can kick back, listen to some quality music and taste some amazing cocktails

This week its Endeser all night long! We start at 9 and finish late.

Enjoy!

FKA Twigs Releases Videos to Accompany Her New Album: m3ll155x

Aug
24

FKA Twigs new album comes with five music videos, available here as one 18 minute segment.  The album deals with issues such as the objectification of women, their roles as child-bearers and their position in society.

http://m3ll155x.com/

It’s well produced and beautifully abstract, with captivating choreography.  In “Figure 8” an older woman with features of an angler fish may describe the allure of women, as they attract men without a display of their true selves.   “I’m your Doll” explores how a woman might be a sexual object from the waist down, as Twigs appears on a bed with the body of  a sex doll.  After she is impregnated, “In time” appears to parody the promiscuity of RnB but, instead of showcasing lyrics about seduction and sex, Twigs asks her partner to “stay with [her] in this”.  “Glass and Patron”, my favourite track, juxtaposes brutal bass with birth and is by far the most abstract video of the bunch.

The final track, “Mothercreep” of the album does not have a video attached to it.  Could it be that Twigs considers child–birth as the end for women, their ultimate purpose?  Or is that a reflection of what society dictates?

With every viewing I unlock more, but I’m never sure of anything other than the fact this is a great album.

FKA twigs – m3ll155x

Source: FKA twigs – m3ll155x

Preview: Dekmantel Festival 2015

Jul
09

This will be the third, ongoing year of the young festival of electronic music, hosted in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. From the opening concert on the 30th of July to the last beat of the closing act in the early hours of August 2nd, Dekmantel will vibrate all the way throughout the capital with its new improved and expanded layout; and I sure as hell can’t wait to be shaken by it.

For the past two years Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) has been the main and only location of the festival. The 1,000 hectares of the entirely artificial landscape park –that is three times the size of Central Park if you need a comparison are located just outside of the city on the borders of Amstelveen. Although artificially created, don’t expect to see fake trees and little ponds. The site is a host of immense natural beauty and amongst other things you can expect to see lush forests, grassy meadows and large water areas including lakes and rivers. It is also a host of a variety of animals but I doubt you’ll get to see any before they are chased away by the boisterous vibes. De Heuvel (The Hill), is one thing you shouldn’t miss; an artificial mountain turned massive slippery slope in winter for kids to enjoy winter sports on. But who says you can’t use it for your regular adrenaline rush tumble? And if you want to fully embrace nature in all its glory there’s even a ‘Naturalist area’ where you can ‘kick your clothes off’ and relax. This year, the space will host five stages (MAIN, UFO, THE LAB, SELECTORS, BOILER ROOM) and not only will you have the chance to experience all of the above, but also another two additional venues!

Treating the opening concert (30th July) as a proper concert, the team have decided to host it in the concert hall for contemporary classical music, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ (Music Building on the IJ). The building features two massive venues -one for music, one for theatre- and is located above the IJ tunnel by the waterfront, just a 10 minute walk from Centraal Station.

The second, newly adopted venue for the night programme is one of significant importance to the Danish electronic music scene. Former dairy factory, the Melkweg (Milky Way) has been the city’s most well-known electronic music venue ever since its renovation and re-opening in 1970. Located in the nightlife hotspot of Leidseplein, the venue features a number of multi-purpose rooms including two on the ground floor with ridiculous capacities (Max: 1,500 and Oude Zaal: 700) which will most likely be used for the purposes of the festival.

The Dekmantel team lives by the ethos they started with: quality over quantity. The music scene is grand and there really is something for every taste.

I for one can’t wait for some of the big names that will hit the stages of Amsterdamse Bog. The king of the infamous Berghain in Berlin, as well as producer and label owner, Ben Klock, will be gracing us with his presence, followed by the equally influential techno master Marcel Dettmann. Both will play on the Friday evening as a perfect reminder of what is to follow in the next couple of days. Two of the biggest American names in techno, Carl Craig, Detroit master and experimentalist and Jeff Mills with his relentlessly hard and industrial sounds are certainly going to grant some life-changing dance floor experiences I do not want to miss. One of my personal favourites, Nina Kraviz, will be one of the last to share her unique blend of acid house and techno with the festival crowds on Sunday at the UFO stage, clashing with the deep beats of Dixon from the Main stage –it’s going to be a hard choice. Incorporating more styles into his techno beats than anyone, from hip-hop to jazz, grime and live instrumentation, our very own U.K. artist Four Tet will also be gracing the Main stage and is certainly someone I never tire of seeing. Certainly, there are more names that strike a chord and a lot more genres for you to look out for. Squarepusher will be bringing us some drum & bass, musique concrete and acidic beats with jazz influences, Ricardo Villalobos his mad dance beats, Madlib his hip-hop influenced sounds and Siriusmodeselektor will give us the opportunity to feel his mad bass live. And if you need a break from all the electronic music just for a little while, Roy Ayers will be there to chill you out with his funk, soul and jazz.

Last but not least, I have to mention the treats the team has lined up for our evening entertainment in the Melkweg. Again, I just have to praise one of the headlines as I am monstrously excited to see this guy. After his recent release ‘Faith in Strangers’, Manchester dub and techno producer Andy Stott will be playing a live set. Another highlight will certainly have to be watching the U.K. father of disco/garage/house, DJ Harvey, mix another one of his incredibly varied sets. Moreover, two artists will be returning to the Dekmantel stage after their successful sets last year: the granddad of U.K. techno Surgeon and U.S. experimental house boss Traxx. Once again, there will be something for every taste. Answer Code Request will be bringing the industrial punch and fierce determination, Basic Soul Unit the deep house, Boris Werner the house and others a lot more.

My expectations are big, but my excitement is bigger. I know I’m not missing this for the world… why should you?