Clash Magazine today revealed its first ever dual cover: a split concept piece based on rising hip-hop star A$AP Rocky.

The 10 page cover story, shot exclusively by seminal young british artist Matthew Stone, symbolise, symbolize the ‘saint’ and ‘sinner’ aspect of the artist’s character. As explained in Clash’s cover feature, Rocky is more than just a hip-hop cliché – a prolific musician, filmmaker, fashion icon and artist, he embodies the innovative spirit of a 21st Century maestro.

The issue explores the intricate nature of New York’s influential A$AP Collective’s fearless leader. He discusses racism in hip-hop (or rather, the lack of it), the comparisons of A$AP to Wu-Tang, codeine drinks, and his fondness for Michaelangelo. The issue hits newsstands Thursday 5th July, with an exclusive preview of the magazine released in Dover Street Market on July 2nd.

Want to meet the real A$AP Rocky?
Clash goes behind the swag.

Photography by Matthew Stone
Styling by Matthew Josephs

Film by Hayley Louisa Brown
Art Direction by Rob Meyers

View a photo gallery from the first night of the reformed Stone Roses run of gigs at Heaton Park.

The band, Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni, have been warming up with a number of European gigs with Heaton Park their first proper UK date ahead of a summer of festival appearances.

The Stone Roses play T in the Park next weekend.

Photos by Danny Payne

There is little to be said about this closer. Except that it crowned one of the most feared but ultimately successful comebacks this journalist has witnessed. We’d come to taste the stigmata, and hope that their reconciled efforts would be good enough to slake our thirst for it to be as good as we expected. It was, and more so.

Read Clash’s live reviews from The Stone Roses’ gigs at Heaton Park –
Friday
Saturday

Brighton based producer, Dismantle, is readying the release of his debut release for Digital Soundboy.

The 19 year-old, who has garnered respectable fans in the shape of Skream, Benga and Annie Mac no less, has a four track EP entitled ‘Warp’ to come from Shy FX’s respected imprint.

Combining a healthy dose of garage, dubstep, house, and even some UK funky, the young producer is showing that he definitely has the versatility to back up the attention he’s receiving from the bigwigs of the bass scene.

It was Dismantle’s massive dancefloor hit ‘Computation’ on Wheel & Deal Records that originally got heads turning last September. January 2012 saw him sign an exclusive deal with Shy’s label and his forthcoming EP is set to do no harm to his rising reputation.

As well as the summer release, the young beatsmith continues to tour around the UK and Europe with festival dates including Tomorrowland and Croatia’s Outlook.

Stream it first on ClashMusic.

Warp EP is out on 15th July on Digital Soundboy
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/warp-ep/id540019897

Words by Errol Anderson

tUnE-yArDs is the extravagant moniker of Merill Garbus, a woman who is as equally experimental with music as she is typography. Debut album ‘BiRd-BrAiNs’ was compiled using only a Dictaphone and free recording software, yet the result was an incredibly distinctive lo-fi record painstakingly put together. The follow-up, ‘w h o k i l l’, saw the same creativity used in a studio setting. Saxophones and a live band were added to the mix and chopped up sporadically in the recording process to retain that cut-and-paste DIY feel.

“I started recording when I was in-between things, let’s put it that way,” says Merill from New York via a crackly phone line. “I’d just quit my job as a puppeteer and was living with my parents until I figured out what I was going to do. It was a bleak scenario,” she remembers. “The only glimmer of hope was these weird songs I was playing with a Dictaphone and a ukulele.”

Those weird songs formed the first album. “The beginning was wonderful because I had so much control. I spent hours with that Dictaphone. By the end I’d maxed out the system and it was so slow and I thought ‘I can never do this again,” she recalls. “The other cool thing about doing it that way was it gave me freedom and I didn’t have to spend all of my non-existant life savings on recording.”

For the second album Merill had to contemplate where to take her sound. “I went through a lot of painful questions. What does Tune Yards sound like? Do I have to put everything through a Dictaphone to get the sound I want or can I go into a studio?”

She opted for the latter. “When you’re in a studio you’re always limited by the number of hours you can spend there because it’s really expensive or because the engineer’s going to need to sleep at some point,” she laughs. She managed to capture the same playful experimentation in the studio, never compromising on her ululating vocal style or ever-shifting rhythms. Having received modest success via her debut, she was overawed by the way ‘Whokill’ garnered acclaim. “I never really saw where the second album could go. It’s been really surprisingly well-received but I thought I’d made a pretty challenging album, by the time it was over I was like ‘shit, this is tough stuff’ and I wasn’t sure who was going to like it and who would discard it. There were other people around me at 4AD (the label she’s signed to) who saw where this could go but I don ‘t think you can imagine what this is until you’re living it.”

The reception to ‘w h o k i l l’ and its tough subject-matter – dealing with violence, gender roles, with animalistic imagery – was hugely positive and propelled her into a whirlwind tour. “We just came back from South America and I can’t believe the reception we got there. It’s amazing how many times we’ve been over to Europe too.”

Her live show has gained even more critical acclaim than the albums. Using loop pedals she builds textures from ukulele, drums and her voice. Even when the pedals break mid-set it merely endears her further to the crowd. “As a live performer with many years in theatre I’ve just learned to keep going, and it’s true that those moments can make the audience feel involved.”

She’ll be playing the inaugural Nova festival this year (5th-8th July), a creatively focused festival which perfectly suits her inventive nature. . “It’s brilliant to be part of the first ever one. The people behind it are so forward-thinking that I know it’s going to be a brilliant one. There seems to be so many quirky little things going on,” she enthuses.

Words by Simon Butcher
Photo Credit: Chloe Aftel

Consider us intrigued.

Earlier this month an email popped into the ClashMusic Inbox, informing us of a new project from excitable indie sorts Peggy Sue. Seemingly the band had decided to cover the soundtrack of Kenneth Anger’s classic film ‘Scorpio Rising’, a score which will gain official release later this year.

Only 1000 physical copies will be available, with ‘Scorpio Rising’ also set to be released digitally. Clash sent across some questions to Peggy Sue in order to find out more – here’s what they had to say.

– – –

Can you tell us more about ‘Scorpio Rising’?
‘Scorpio Rising’ is an avant-garde film from the 1960’s made by influential cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger. It’s a pretty controversial 30 minutes of cinema and was banned in LA when it was first released in 1963 but it has incredible visuals and an amazing soundtrack of pop songs.

Why cover the soundtrack?
Katy first saw ‘Scorpio Rising’ during her film degree and thought it would be amazing to perform the soundtrack live along to the film. We’ve always been drawn to the idea of re-scoring a film or writing a soundtrack but since lyrics and vocals are so central to our music the idea was pretty intimidating. In ‘Scorpio Rising’ there is no dialogue and no title cards so the story is essentially told entirely by the visuals but Anger uses the lyrics of the pop songs to confirm or alter the meaning of the images. This is a very common technique now but that disconnection of image/sound was quite groundbreaking at the time and is a central device in avant garde film. So for us this was the perfect way to interact with a piece of important cinema and hopefully draw some new attention to it.

So how did this come about?
In the summer of last year some friends of ours called Assemble were curating a film/live music program at a temporary cinema in Hackney and asked if we wanted to take part. We jumped at the chance and then spent near enough a month re-writing the songs from the original soundtrack and making the new arrangements fit to changes in the film. Some of the cover versions are quite faithful renditions but some we went off on a bit of a tangent. The show was supposed to be a one-off but we had such a good time and we were so proud of the collection of songs we’d created we decided to record them as an album – a sort of unofficial soundtrack. We did this here and there whilst we were home from tour and finally finished it in February.

Is it true that you’ve crafted videos for each track?
Yes. Although this is very much a work in progress. Kenneth Anger’s lawyer type people are not very enthusiastic about us performing with the film which is pretty sad so we are making new visuals. It’s pretty interesting though because a lot of avant-garde cinema is about borrowing and recycling so whilst the performance becomes a sort of homage to Anger’s original film which in turn was a homage to the music and imagery which inspired it.

– – –

‘Scorpio Rising’ will be released on July 23rd.

Greetings comrades! As another typically schizoid British summer sends us torrential rain and cascades of glorious sunshine with no apparent pattern or logic, it’s impossible to know what sort of mood to be in. Last time we spoke, Clash was pretty glum following the closure of several of Liverpool’s best-loved venues (most notably Static Gallery and The Masque) – albeit the sort of glum that gets washed away pretty quickly when something good happens. Sound City was that ‘something good’ this time round, friends, and once again it was rather awesome. Highlights for this hack included Forest Swords’ post-dubstep atmospherics, the murky indie rock of Kestrels and another sterling showing from Salam Rages, whose blood-curdlin’ good fun just keeps lighting up this column. We also joined the rest of the press in ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Manchester’s PINS, who are surely on the verge of doing something Very Special Indeed. Keep an eye out.

This time round we’re feeling somewhat cheery thanks to the reopening of the Royal Court; one of the city’s most prestigious venues over several decades, sadly unused for live music since being briefly ignored during the Capital Of Culture years. It’s unlikely (if not entirely clear) at present whether the refurbished building will continue its latent policy of hosting – ahem – ‘local flavour theatre’ rather than live music, but it’s good to see the old place in use again.

Anyway! Let’s see what’s going on over the summer months. It’s festival season, so as usual there’ll be less in the way of gigs. No-one seems to have told EVOL, however – their relentlessly excellent schedule brings visits from pacy NYC types Cerebral Ballzy (Kazimier, 12/7), the tipster’s hipsters Savages (Leaf, 25/7) and the rubbishly-named Ram’s Pocket Radio, who sound like they’re aiming to be covered on the next season of Glee. Lovely stuff if you’re into that sort of thing, anyway, and they hit the Shipping Forecast on July 10th. EVOL also team up with the city’s second most prolific promoters Harvest Sun to host country-inflected rockers Dawes on that very same date (Kazimier).

It’s a rare quiet month for the HS chaps, most likely indicative of the summer schedule, but they’ve still managed to put together a show for The Low Anthem, whose gentle Americana rocks The Kazimier extremely gently on July 19th. Thereafter things go relatively quiet until Damien Jurado nips over to Leaf on August 18th, a newfound sense of grace hopefully meshing well with the more raucous material of his Sub Pop years. Fun.

Behind The Wall Of Sleep are also busy folk, and they present and album launch show for synth-laden doomy types Gigantes on July 1st (Mello Mello), as well as an incredible-looking all-dayer starring a reunion set from much-missed hardcore heroes Walk The Plank (Wolstenholme Creative Space, 28/7). Doubling up as an album launch for streetpunk faves the Down & Outs, and also featuring sets from the phenomenal Eagulls and the aforementioned Salem Rages, this should NOT be missed. There’s also the small matter of intense prog types Anta at Mello Mello (28/8), by which time gig season should be getting ready to restart in earnest.

Amongst the miscellany of other shows, it’s worth mentioning the Brazilica Fringe Carnival Ball, which promises a plethora of samba rhythms, Afrobeat, reggae and more (Kazimier, 7/7). You might also wanna check out Orca Team’s shimmering surf-pop (Mello Mello, 11/7), or possibly even ex-Insipiral Carpet Tom Hingley (Lomax, 19/7). There’s also a choice between bleepy post-rockers Fonetiks (Lomax) and fraggle survivors Midway Still (Format) on July 27th. Failing that, head to The Bear Social at Elevator on July 28th for some fun with Vasco de Gama and Married To The Sea. Rain, schmain – there’s still plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Words by Will Fitzpatrick

Joe Goddard and Jessie Ware are set to team up as part of Bacardi Beginnings.

Set to celebrate its 150th birthday this year, Bacardi are planning to celebrate with a tonne of live music. Launching the Bacardi Beginnings campaign, the brand are intent on helping new artists progress.

Hiring three mentors, Bacardi Beginnings will be overseen by Joe Goddard, Mylo and Friendly Fires. Stepping up to the plate, Joe Goddard is set to pair off with fast rising newcomer Jessie Ware.

The exact details of the project are unclear, although in the press release Bacardi do state that it could be “producing an exclusive remix, putting on a gig in an unusual location or creating a compelling collaboration”.

Joe Goddard and Jessie Ware will have a £10,000 budget to work with – tempting, to say the least. “When BACARDI asked me who I’d like to mentor for BACARDI Beginnings I had no hesitation in naming Jessie. She’s a real star in the making and I can’t wait to get into the studio with her” Joe Goddard explained recently.

“I was so flattered when I found out that Joe wanted to work with me for BACARDI Beginnings”, Jessie Ware added. “I’ve always been a huge Hot Chip fan and the 2 Bears album is one of my favourites of 2012 so far.”

Jessie Ware and Joe Goddard are set to play a Bacardi birthday party in London on July 10th.

The official video for Wiley’s summer single ‘Heatwave’ has emerged online – watch it now.

Ah, the multi-faceted personality of Wiley. The Grime pioneer has two sides to his persona, shifting between underground acclaim and mainstream acceptance.

With his ‘Steps’ project still creating ripples, Wiley is now focussing on his summer single. Signing up with a major label, the rapper appears to be aiming straight for the charts with ‘Heatwave’.

Hopelessly optimistic title aside, ‘Heatwave’ could well strike a chord with the public. OK, it doesn’t have the sass of ‘Wearing My Rolex’ but Ms D is on hand to lend ‘Heatwave’ some feminine charm.

The video dropped this morning, check it out below.

– – –

‘Heatwave’ is set to be released on July 29th.

How To Dress Well is set to release his new album ‘Total Loss’ on September 17th.

An alter ego for Tom Krell, How To Dress Well’s fractured, spectral take on R&B won massive plaudits with the release of debut album ‘Love Remains’.

Hinting towards – and then posting – new material on his Twitter feed, the producer has now firmed up plans for a new full length. How To Dress Well will release ‘Total Loss’ on September 17th, with the material emerging over a span of 15 months in Brooklyn, Chicago, Nashville and London.

During recording sessions Krell was seemingly “very unhappy and confused…while writing these songs I was trying to learn to lose in a meaningful way and to sustain loss as a source of creative energy”.

Going further, the producer described ‘Total Loss’ as “an opening-up” and an “album about sharing.”

Here’s ‘Ocean Floor For Everything’.

– – –

‘Total Loss’ is set to be released on September 17th. Tracklisting:

When I Was in Trouble
Cold Nites
Say My Name or Say Whatever
Running Back
& It Was U
World I Need you, Won’t Be Without You (Proem)
Struggle
How Many?
Talking to You
Set it Right
Ocean Floor For Everything

How To Dress Well has also confirmed a one off London show:

August
8 London Birthdays

Click here to buy tickets for How To Dress Well!

The Cardigans are amongst the final additions to the line up of Open’er festival.

Held in Poland, Open’er is part of a new generation of Eastern European festivals attracting attention. Returning this summer, the event already boasts performances from the likes of Bjork, New Order and Bloc Party.

Organisers recently confirmed the final names on the line up. The Cardigans returned recently, and the much loved Swedish band are set to perform at Open’er.

With their Anglophile streak – their debut album was named ‘Emmerdale’ – The Cardigans spent the bulk of the 90s producing effortlessly contagious guitar pop. Crafted with care and wit, their back catalogue contains some outright gems and lesser known treasures.

Set to appear at the Polish event, The Cardigans are just one more name on a bustling line up. Open’er could well boast the best value for money weekend on the festival calendar, with tickets for each day starting at just £33.

Tickets are on sale now.

Open’er runs between July 4th – 7th. Line up:

Wednesday (July 4th)
Bjork
Gogol Bordello
New Order
Orbital
The Kills

Thursday (July 5th)
Justice [live]
Bon Iver
Dry The River
Jamie Woon
Major Lazer
The Maccabees

Friday (July 6th)
Franz Ferdinand
Bloc Party
M83
Nosowska
Public Enemy
Tory Y Moi
Wiz Khalifa

Saturday (July 7th)
SBTRKT live
The xx
Bat For Lashes
Friendly Fires
Janelle Monae
Mumford & Sons