Of all the records released in 2017 none felt more timely, more urgent than Algiers new album 'The Underside Of Power'.
A seismic fusion of blistering no wave noise, post-punk experimentalism and the sheer, physical attack of punk, it wasn't a project that could simply be pushed to one side.
A politicised, righteous blast of savage creativity, 'The Underside Of Power' has been followed by some unforgettable live shows.
Ahead of their next blast of UK shows, Algiers spoke about a few of the key touchstones on their current iteration...
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Caroline K – ‘Animal Lattice’
Caroline K’s 1987 ‘Now Wait For Last Year’ shares more than a title with Philip K. Dick’s 1966 novel. Its sonics evoke an aesthetic similar to the famed sci-fi author’s renderings of future-past landscapes, funereal in their exposition of what could have been versus what was.
While it has become more than cliché for the culture industry to reduce all dystopian art to such associations, ‘Animal Lattice’ is truly representative in its ability to create entire worlds, histories and potentialities, and provides a template for us to explore our own notions of haunting and mourning for lost futures and destroyed pasts. Thanks to Blackest Ever Black for reissuing this.
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The Four Tops – ‘Bernadette’
We share a kinship with the Motor City in many regards, from Detroit serving as a relative refuge for black people fleeing Jim Crow in the American South to fifty years of musical influences from The Stooges to Juan Atkins. Obviously the music of Motown, the Funk Brothers and Holland–Dozier–Holland loom large as well.
This song contains most of the key ingredients of our signature compositions: repetitive instruments pounding away at 8th note drones, big beat hot drums in the pocket, tambourine or secondary percussion elevating the groove, “lead bass” and backing vocals that weave in and out and call and respond. It also contains one of the all-time greatest bass lines by one of the all-time greatest bass players, James Jamerson. ‘Bernadette’ is peak Detroit.
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Novelist – ‘Street Politician’
In what appears to be a new golden age of UK hip-hop/grime, Novelist, for us, shines brightest. His wordplay, charm, political sensibility and production all combine to render a unique version of South London and UK life, replete with police brutality, political alienation and a sense of community and humanity in the face of it all. The struggle continues, from Cleveland to South London, and everywhere in between…
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ONO – ‘I Been Changed’
Apart from being close friends, Travis Travis Travis and P. Michael ONO, are our closest musical forebears, doing in 1979 in Chicago what we have been attempting to do in 2017, smashing together gospel, no wave and noise against a backdrop of racist violence, heteronormative patriarchy and a capitalist hollowing out of liveable spaces.
‘I Been Changed’ re-programmes the coordinates of an old black spiritual into something uniquely new and disquieting in its ability to draw associations between the past and the present.
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The Velvets – ‘I Got To Find Me Somebody’
A Northern Soul dancefloor banger: “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution,” supposedly said Emma Goldman.
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Catch Algiers at the following UK shows:
22 Manchester Soup Kitchen
23 Liverpool Magnet
24 Glasgow Fred Paton Daycare
26 Birmingham Hare & Hounds 27 Leeds Brudenell Community Room
28 London Moth Club
29 London Moth Club
30 Brighton The Haunt
2 Dublin Grand Social
4 Newcastle The Cluny
5 Bristol Exchange
For tickets to the latest Algiers shows click HERE.
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