Thursday, 28 March 2013

Feature // Manchester Reborn #6 & #7

Gooood Morning! This week's Artrocker column sees myself heading down to the fantastic Future Everything Festival events down at Islington Mill and covering the wonders of Brandt Brauer Frick, Om'Mas Keith, Lapalux, Space Dimension Controller and Jam City. You can read it here (and the preview was #6- here!)! The two events I attended were done in conjunction with Carharrt and Resident Advisor and was some of the best fun I've had so far this year.Tonight I'm off back home to catch Boddika, Loefah, Levon Vincent, Seb Wildblood and Tessela, phew!
Words and Image by Yours Truly X

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Review // FaltyDL and Lone @ Sankeys

Afternoon! Last week I went and finally saw the marvelous FaltyDL (I'm so obsessed with Hardcourage and he was literally, such a gent after his set.) and Manchester's very own Lone smash the shit out of Sankeys effervescent basement, it was enthralling, engaging and magical- you can read about it over here on Crack Magazine. I've also been crazy busy covering Future Everything Festival this week, you'll read all about that soon enough! I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine now the snow has cleared! I'm going to spend my Tuesday evening at a screening for all twenty-two chapters of R Kelly's 'Trapped In The Closet'; this is not a drill...
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 18 March 2013

Review // Theme Park @ Ruby Lounge

Aloha! Last weekend I went and caught Theme Park on their debut UK headline tour over at Ruby Lounge. It's a critical one you can read over here at Crack Magazine. Also, I have no Artrocker Column this week- It's been pushed back in order to accommodate for upcoming festival antics- keep your eyes peeled!
Words by Yours Truly X

Friday, 15 March 2013

Review // Jacques Greene @ Mint Lounge

Good Afternoon! On Wednesday evening I ventured off into Northern Quarter to catch Jacques Greene's highly anticipated set in aid of promoter extraordinaires Chow Down's Second Birthday. There was familiar faces, gin, enthusiastic shape-pulling to this and a whole encyclopedia of tunes dropped- I reviewed it as my first piece for the fantastic Crack Magazine over here, it's good to be on board, guys!
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 11 March 2013

Review // Dauwd- 'Heat Division' EP

Dauwd- 'Heat Division' EP

US-born, Wales-raised come now South London-based producer Dauwd, is back with his first EP release since 2011’s ‘Acireams’ and ‘Whats There’ smashes from Pictures Music, that certainly caught the eyes and ears of a saturated post-dubstep scene, in bringing a much needed lease of life- albeit in a minor reference. This four-track ‘Heat Divison’ issue sees the collaboration of the aforementioned label of past releases, collaborate with Ghostly International making for two highly respected roads upon the electronic motorway, conducting the perfect relationship to release this less than twenty-five minute tease. The EP’s title track opener is automatically cited as one of the deeper, heavier tracks across the piece- what with simmering analogues that sound like something spliced straight off a Jiaolong release mixed with heavy breakdown beats and mesmerising synth exertions, that result in a tripping techno effort. Organic, glossy rhythms take to the forefront of this, constructed meticulously to make for an EP that cements itself as an intricately complex compilation of tracks, rather than focusing primarily on vocal attributes, as he did on his infant offers.
From the offset, ‘Heat Division’ omits a warming rather than heavily brash tone, as most contemporary producers shy away from- and hey, they say you should never judge a book by it’s cover but looking at the selected artwork and the connotating relations to a balmy yet marvellous thought-out pitch, we say dive right on in. ‘Aqueous’ bleeds through with wavering tribal-like blisters and harmonising elevations that take it to something of a drugged-out state, as slattering paces layer overhead moulding beautifully into a synth-led finisher upon ‘Silverse’. Closer ‘And’ rises with gloopy, high glitches, densely stretched drones and ethereal, remixed vocal samples- an addition of which is an obvious missing insertion everywhere else on the EP that we would have submerged ourselves into as a focal point, mercilessly, that we know and love from Dauwd's earlier chopped techniques .
Pensively atmospheric and stepping away from the safety blanket of his past, more dance floor friendly introductions, ‘Head Division’ finally sees Dauwd cementing his own personal talents alongside his peers who wouldn't dare shy away from their staple techniques with an influx of beautiful bends and stretched gurgles- but it seems like the man behind the guise is here to experiment for quite some time, yet.

Words by Yours Truly X

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Review // Lapalux- 'Nostalchic'

Stuart Howard- also known as Lapalux- finally releases his debut full-length this month and I reviewed it for the cool cats (Seriously, have you seen this event they are putting on? Scousers' know how to throw a party!) behind Waxxx Magazine, back home. I've been waiting for this record to drop ever since I saw the man himself splice together everything from Danny Brown spits, to pop bootlegs we thought we'd forgotten about and back again to his own sparkling recordings; it may only be March but 'Nostalchic' is definitely going to be holding its own come a lot of end of year lists, I can tell you that right now. You can pre-order it over here, too- Thankyou Based Brainfeeder!
Lapalux- 'Nostalchic'

Hailing from humble beginnings straight out of Essex and still only in his twenties, Stuart Howard- also known as Lapalux- is the only British signing to co-exist alongside the likes of heavyweights to the genre Martyn and Thundercat, upon the impressive roster of FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label. Having remixed Bonobo to melodic levels and turned Lianne La Havas’s ‘Lost & Found’ into a smooth, chopped ‘n’ screwed number whilst still retaining sentiment, Howard finally releases his debut full-length next month, a year after his acclaimed pair of debut EP’s for the label dropped to a rapturous reception; but will ‘Nostalchic’ be able to stay originally exciting across all twelve tracks?
Album opener, IMYSIS (Tape Intro), plays like an emotional, drawing piece thanks to high keys along with contagious, deep-rooted and ghostly introductional beats, showcasing his managbility and talent of successfully offering flair and notable, diverse points of interest that don’t just commence and halt at the starting block. ‘Guuurl’, first single to be previewed from the album, combines cleverly twisted vocals that soar over achingly submerged, investigational beats and cite nothing short of tremendous production values to make for an indubitably provocative single. As well as this, he manages to reflect how much more experimental and bold this collection of tracks pans out against his previous ‘When You’re Gone’ EP, mixing- as he does throughout the LP- guest vocals that don’t overshadow but complement his workings, exquisitely.
Releases such as the re-worked version of 2011’s ‘Kelly Brook’ that also features, cements Howard’s evident hip-hop influenced taste with deep vocal samples and what with the insertion of Quasimoto and Danny Brown tracks morphing their way into his recent live sets, it’s clear that this gent knows his shit- and well at that. The rippling undertones of ‘One Thing’ when combined with the bindings of static on ‘The Dead Sea’, makes it apparent that the obvious nostalgia/ chic combination is anything but dated and unfolds as a brilliantly pragmatic album that is sure to set the bar to new-fangled, fresh heights within UK electronica.
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 4 March 2013

Review // Disclosure @ Manchester Academy 2

It's been a while since I've posted a live review, hasn't it? Well, last Friday I went and caught Disclosure on the opening date of their sell-out, debut headline tour to review the show for Artrocker- of which I'll link to once it is live-  along with taking some shots which can be seen below with the whole article. As for this evening, I'm off to swoon over Cyril Hahn and Maribou State sharing a bill over at NQ Live, Monday has never looked so good! I'm keeping this one short and sweet, enjoy!
Disclosure / Shadow Child @ Manchester Academy 2
 2012 was the year of young, British electronic prodigies’ omitting their frustrations felt in droves throughout their home towns, sparking a movement of garage-infused nostalgia, laced with fresh experimentation that could only stem from a new generation of these mid-90s born beat-makers. Too young to travel far and wide to world-class mecca line-ups held in various cities across the country, the likes of Matlock’s Karma Kid (A chap just barley-legal to purchase a pint.),  now Leeds-based fifteen-year old house crafter Happa and the Lake District’s biggest musical export since- well, ever- Bondax are all note-worthy names to reference, however, where these gents follow, another surely leads…
After a string of underground support upon their earlier ‘Offline Dexterity’, ‘Tenderly/ Flow’ offerings and ‘Latch’ featuring that attention-grabbing Falsetto from Sam Smith, going into 2013, the Howard siblings of Disclosure have only continued to rise to the top. Securing a Number Two chart position with a little help from AlunaGeorge last month, the duo have managed to secure their first ever headline UK tour with a string of sell-out shows; but will the essence of their originality flounder after such a steep rise to popularity, this early on into their careers? We headed down to the first night of their tour at Manchester, to find out.
With the modest size Academy Two playing habitat to tonight’s hostings, supporting act Shadow Child (For a man that is more used to 2am rave sets to students and older techno-head crowds, rather than a 9pm stage time to younger onlookers...), splices together a combination of tracks that ran from Sub Focus’s crowd-surger ‘Tidal Wave’, over to the cinematic build-up and bassline house drops of his own release ‘String Thing’, wrapped with commanding slickness and ease. Despite the initial short-set offering being reduced in stage time from the man himself, as the surveilling packed-to-the-rafters throng displays a rapturous series of applause and appreciatory waves of dropping down low, a spectacle  of chrome and a trio of screens (Embossed with Disclosure’s now-trademark facial logo.) stand brazen upon the stage, as the duo of the moment take to their craft.
Opening their set with new track ‘Infected’ taken from their forthcoming debut Album set to drop this spring on PMR, the unexpected employment of Howard on vocal duties makes for body popping-inducing repetitions of “Because I played the fool before you”, standing supplied with huskingly soulful undertones, that windingly weave around low-tempo beats. Yes it certainly continues on the use of uprising keys and curling snaps that make it recognisable as theirs respectfully, yet the inductions of crooning lyrical delivery and infectious qualities (‘scuse the pun…) help to bring it back to sounding oh so renewed and inventive.
After the bellowings of “Wheelchair coming through!” behind me, boom straight from the lungs of a neon jacket-clad security guard, just as the launching into of old favourite ‘What’s In Your Head’, looking around the venue as something of an evening pre-outing show of a dance nature, it really is alarming to see teens dotted around all wide-eyed and clenched-jawed, resembling the behaviour of those way older than seen at a 14+ occasion. Sure, the crowd aren't the  be all and end all of any event, musical orientated or otherwise, yet this is a signifier of how Disclosure have played such a big part in infiltrating the mass dance market and the younger crowds they've bought in along the way.  The fantastic performances include tracks such as ‘Control’, simmering with its snaps of glittering electronic warps and Ria Ritchie’s soaring vocals; yet seeing a troupe of blazer-clad girls higher than the moon for the first time in their lives isn't exactly the breed of crowd I want to get excited about such a fantastic new pairing with…
Weaving in, at a healthy ratio, new as-yet untitled tracks in with their established and still-amazing offerings- take the foot-stomping, house-led vibes of ‘Tenderly’, over to the fantastic, entwining and dippy buzzes heard on ‘Flow’- the Lawrence boys seem to be achieving their success of heading up the umbrella of cross-generational genre resurrections’, scoping out old-school garage qualities sprinkled across their take of modern day dance music. Closing a triumphant set by anyone’s standards, the chance taken to part ways with the people of Manchester on their smash remix of label mate Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’, results in not one person seen failing to move on the dance floor and a whole host of abandoned shoes upon our departure. It certainly has been a whirlwind year for Disclosure, what with laying down tracks at Red Bull Music Academy’s eponymous studios in London, over to achieving Radio 1 A-list daytime status before they've even had their own tour or full-length out; I, for one, don’t see this success story slowing down any time soon.
Words and Images by Yours Truly X