Deep techno-head Mike Shannon takes it down a gear for his exclusive Clash DJ mix, finding his Sunday afternoon shuffle. Or as he puts it, “tripping into the unknown”.
The Canadian producer has been one of the most influential figures in nurturing his native country’s dance music scene. Now based in Berlin and with a long catalogue of releases for respected labels – including Wagon Repair and, of course, his own Cynosure Recordings label – Shannon is as likely to roll out jazz-dusted house as he is hypnotic techno in his DJ sets – then again, he might just thrown in a few rip-snorting numbers to keep everyone on their toes.
How best to describe his “cheeky yet serious” mix for Clash, recorded to give a flavour of a London party, Half Baked, he’s about to play? Best ask Shannon himself.
“The Five Years of Love Mix was recorded at the Love City Central studio in Berlin. I had the spirit of the Half Baked parties in mind when I recorded this one, with a selection of house tracks that, in my mind, reflect the essence of a night at Half Baked. Sunday afternoon shuffle/late-night grooving, tripping into the unknown, cheeky yet serious at times, but at the end of the adventure always landing on your feet. Well, most of us anyways…”
Listen to it now.
1. House of God Acapella
2. ? – Fathers and Sons
3. Cab Drivers – Affect [Cabinet]
4. Rob Ordell – Nobody loves Bishops Gate [Half Baked]
5. ? – Licht und Kino – (Mike Shannon remix) [Milagro]
6. Nikola Kazimir – The Cocody Groove [Les Points]
7. Dewalta – McNulty (Ghetto mix) [Meander]
8. B2 – GL-008 [Rush Hour]
9. Daniel Jacques – Emotion Devotion [Mistress]
10. Andrea Fiorito – Free Jam (Brain & Butter) [Cynosure]
11. A – GL 008 [Rush Hour]
12. Nikolas Rowland – Headspin [Borft]
13. Andrea Fiorito – People In The House Jam [Cynosure]
14. DJ.Spen – The Feeling (dub mix) [Basement Boys]
15. Mike Shannon – Over and Over (Time To Celebrate Mix) [Half Baked]
16. Pepe Bradock – Vermeille [Versatile]
17. Kenny Dix Jr. – Midnights [Soul City]
Words: Tristan Parker
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Mike Shannon will be playing at the 19-hour Half Baked Fifth Birthday at Studio 338, London, on November 29th, alongside Zip, Hold Youth, Sammy Dee and dOP.
Have you seen it? Peeled yourself off the ceiling?
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The first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens went live.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) November 24, 2014/blockquote>
Look, here it is! (Assuming this is the real one, of course.)
And it raises more questions than it asks. Why has there been an awakening? What sort of awakening? Where are Luke and Hans and Leia and Chewy? Could QuickTime have a more ironic name?
Which is exactly what you’d expect from an 88-second trailer (“probably longer than most Star Wars nerds last in bed,” punned Time Out’s Dave Calhoun) that has been released over a year in advance of the film itself.
What we actually see… Well, isn’t a whole lot, to be honest:
– John Boyega is first to show, looking as sweaty as you’d expect from someone whose job it is to run around Abu Dhabi while dressed as a Stormtrooper.
– Then we have a droid who appears to the product of an illegitimate carnal incident between R2-D2 and the official matchball of the 2010 World Cup.
– Next comes loads and loads of heavily armed Stormtroopers, who I suspect (for no logical reason) to have a beef with Boyega’s character.
– There’s Daisy Ridley, shooting across the desert on something fast that looks pretty cool, but that will struggle to be as iconic as the speeder bikes from Return Of The Jedi.
– Oscar Isaac in a X-Wing. Hope the ginger cat is being looked after.
– Someone dressed in black with a Dark Side red lightsaber, which from previous speculation could well be Adam Driver.
– Cue BIG BOOMING STAR WARS MUSIC. And the Millennium Falcon, looking just as grand as it used to back in the day.
Is it a great trailer? Yes! Is it going to provoke months of mostly ungrounded speculation? Does it mean that Episode VII will be great? Who knows, for despite the hype, it is only a trailer. All will be revealed on December 18th… That’s December 18th next year. Enjoy the wait.
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The Big Film: Horrible Bosses 2
Whatever you made of the first one, it did well enough to warrant a sequel. And here we are, three years after the first vulgar, puerile affair, with the follow up.
If you’re wondering how they could possibly spin out a story involving three conspiratorial friends plotting to off their odious bosses into a second film, the answer is as follows.
This time, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) become their own bosses and get themselves embroiled in a kidnap plot. Inventors of a clever in-shower dispenser, they’re offered a deal by father-and-son duo Bert and Rex Hanson (Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine) to take control of both product and company. When they’re predictably screwed over, they set about planning their revenge.
Although many of the jokes are as tasteless as in the first, this feels less misogynistic – one of the major criticisms of its predecessor. Kurt may be hiring staff based on their looks and his desire to sleep with them, but he’s ridiculed for his attitude and actions. Dale, meanwhile, is a loyal husband and father, and Nick is painted as a decent guy. Falling for Dale’s former boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston), he’s caught up in an interesting role-reversal scenario, where Aniston adopts the more typically male sexual predator persona and Bateman takes on the position of the doe-eyed infatuee.
Essentially, they’re all more likeable this time around – particularly since the blackmail plot they’re drawn into is not of their making.
The cast is clearly having fun, and there’s a warmth to the film that’s lacking in the first. There’s great chemistry and some funny deliveries, but be under no illusions – this is far from cinema’s finest moment. For the most part, Horrible Bosses 2 is juvenile toilet humour for pubescent boys. Words: Kim Taylor-Foster
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Also Out: Stations Of The Cross
“If your parents tell you funk and soul is bad music, it’s because we’re older than you and know where danger lies.”
It’s just one of numerous admonishments delivered to 14-year-old Maria by her strict mother in Stations Of The Cross, a film which examines a family that lives according to the rules of a fundamentalist Catholic community. Rock, jazz, gospel and the “Satanic rhythms” of Roxette are also disapproved of in a script which poses numerous intelligent questions about faith while also managing to take a darkly comic satirical swipe at the strange extremities of belief.
In addition to her mother’s control, Maria is educated by Father Webber about her purpose as one of God’s soldiers on earth: his talk of self-sacrifice and illness as a punishment for past sins strikes a chord with a teenager whose younger brother is yet to utter a word. Even for someone as deeply pious as Maria, her upbringing means that every natural impulse leaves her on the cusp of committing a major sin.
Structured around 14 episodes that see Maria following Christ’s own Stations Of The Cross, director Dietrich Brüggemann crafts almost all of these stations as a long static shot. Often recalling religious art in their compositions, each scene necessitates rigorous concentration from the cast. Its meditative tone heightens the power and occasional absurdity of its dialogue, and – especially as events become even more serious – underpin the film’s intimate emotional intensity to discomforting levels.
Stations Of The Cross isn’t a scathing critique of religion as a whole – indeed, the family’s actions are viewed with bewilderment by the rest of the town which appears to have struck just the right balance in which belief is a core part of contemporary living rather than the sole purpose of existence. The central question that remains is: at what point does well-meaning faith overcome its believer’s rationality to inadvertently become abuse?
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Last weekend’s UK box office was dominated by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (has there ever been a more cumbersome title?) which not only earned the accolade of the year’s biggest opener (£12.5 million+) but it also, according to my rudimentary mathematics, took more than the rest of the top 15 combined. The higher-ranking new entries included another live performance from the Met Opera (#8) and the Flight Of The Conchords recast as vampires in What We Do In The Shadows (#12). James Brown biopic Get On Up entered at a flaccid #13, and was followed by Israel ‘Beastie Boy papa’ Israel Horovitz’s My Old Lady at #14.
Tommy Lee Jones walked out of an interview to promote his film The Homesman, seemingly because he didn’t appreciate it being described as a Western. He probably didn’t appreciate the film debuting at #21 either, but such is life.
At any other time, the Jurassic World trailer would be the biggest event of the week and almost 30 million views for a long-awaited movie sequel is indeed a pretty darn big deal. But, y’know, most other weeks don’t bring new Star Wars footage.
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Words: Ben Hopkins, except where indicated
"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do.
To swell a progress, start a scene or two…"
The completeness of a work of art renders the small details with incredible importance. To some, it's the parts which linger in the background, almost unseen, which have the most meaning.
It seems to be themes such as these which underline a new compilation from theQuietus. Pairing up with Arts Council England, upcoming release 'Minor Characters' finds East India Youth, Forest Swords and more contributing new music themed around lesser figures in classic texts.
East India Youth, for example, is inspired by Lucy, from 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas', while Forest Swords plumbs for Miss Lonelyheart from 'Rear Window'.
Here's theQuietus editor John Doran to explain more:
"People have been singing stories about characters since year dot. I have always loved tunes that take me on a journey through some sort of narrative. At the same time I've always been fascinated by eccentrics and those on the periphery. The sort of people who inhabit John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, or a Tom Waits number. I'm not saying it's some original break- through, I just wanted to kind of expand on it a little and see where it took people."
Set to be available as a free download via BandCamp, 'Minor Characters' was created with assistance from Arts Council England's Chris Bye.
1. East India Youth – 'Terminally Jangled' (Lucy from Fear And Loathing)
2. English Heretic – 'Lavinia Whateley' (Lavinia Whateley from The Dunwich Horror)
3. Luke Abbott – 'Fantasy Wurlitzer' (Organ Morgan from Under Milk Wood)
4. Ten Mouth Electron – 'Lux Mundi' (de Selby from The Third Policeman)
5. Forest Swords – 'Miss Lonely Heart' (Miss Lonelyheart from Rear Window)
6. The Lone Taxidermist – 'Marion' (Marion from Wings Of Desire)
A pioneering work in minimalist composition, Terry Riley's 'In C' continues to challenge and beguile, entice and confound.
Africa Express musical director Andre De Ridder recently decided to re-visit the piece, using it as a framework to compare Western avant garde to African music.
In a performance at London's Turbine Hall, a host of musicians helped to interpret the piece. Brian Eno, Damon Albarn and more took part, with the results partially online now.
Due to be the focus of a full documentary, a snippet has been placed online.
Check it out below.
The physical release of 'In C' is forthcoming through Transgressive.
Hailing from Bristol, BRIDGES have been able to hone their sound free from metropolitan hype.
Soft, supple songwriting with a dark edge, the band bring to mind names such as The National or even Interpol in their evocation of glamorous melancholy.
New single 'Ballgowns' is out on November 30th, combining sweet melodies alongside lyrics with just a hint of noir.
The accompanying video focusses on these lyrical themes. Beautifully shot, you can watch it below:
'Ballgowns' is out on November 30th.
With record sales remaining low, bands are increasingly focussed on live performances as a means of getting their music heard.
Some are better than others. The DICE Live Award was launched earlier this year, aimed at shining a light on fantastic live talent.
The ceremony took place last night (November 27th) at Shoreditch venue the Old Blue Last, with Wolf Alice scooping the award.
Accepting the trophy, vocalist Ellie Roswell said: "We feel really honoured that people are enjoying our live shows, especially when we spent so long playing to nobody and wishing for a moment like this. Thank you to DICE, we completely support No Booking Fees."
Fancy catching Wolf Alice live? Well, try any of the following shows:
23 Glasgow Oran Mor
24 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
26 Manchester The Ritz
27 Sheffield Leadmill
28 Newcastle Riverside
31 Birmingham Institute Library
1 Cardiff Globe
2 Bristol Trinity
3 London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
4 Oxford O2 Academy 2
7 Reading Bowery District
8 Bournemouth Old Firestation
9 Brighton Concorde 2
10 Cambridge Junction
Returning to spread some festive cheer/visual stimuli/evidence of a degree for the fourth year running, London College of Fashion’s College Shop opens its doors this time on 11th December.
The six day pop-up boasts a new location for 2014 – 33 Marshall Street – but remains a unique source of retail for LCF students past and present, exclusively stocking their garms.
Marking her second year at the shop, Camilla Elphick replaces last year’s Pez shoes with a luck doused collection titled ‘You’ve Got The Luck’; shoes decked in lucky number sevens and four leaf clovers.
Joining her is Barbara Kolasinski, responsible for the tartan and pink shaggy numbers above, plus Min Wu (also womenswear) and Nicole Paskasuskas (silk braided accessories); C Studio will be selling men’s and womenswear while Esoteric returns with a selection of jewellery.
An exciting newbie to the gang is a fashion photographer zine corner, which promises the best of the college’s BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course. And potentially the early work of tomorrow’s Clash contributors. Potentially.
Until 16th December.
Styling: Saskia Cole
Photography: Eugene Shishkin
Hair Styling: Mattie White
Make up: Ekaterina Novinskaya
We all have our favourite record labels, houses of aural excellence that we feel a connection with, whose catalogue we’ve come to trust. Don’t we? Perhaps, in this fractured world of instant-download gratification, we’re not so bound to labels as we once were – but believe us when we say that there are some mighty fine stables out there, working around the clock to get the most amazing music out.
Here are just seven of the labels that we feel have really excelled in 2014 – which is not to say that others haven’t had brilliant years, too. You’re all superstars in our eyes (and ears).
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Key releases: Wiley, ‘Snakes & Ladders’; Young Fathers, ‘Dead’; DELS, ‘Petals Have Fallen’; Tre Mission, ‘Stigmata’; Kate Tempest, ‘Everybody Down’; Run The Jewels, ‘Run The Jewels’ (European edition).
Outstanding achievement: Two Mercury Prize nominations is right up there amongst the Pretty Flipping Impressive ranks, with ultimate winners Young Fathers and Kate Tempest both celebrated as amongst the year’s finest purveyors of long-play art.
Select Clash verdicts: On Young Fathers’ ‘Dead’ (9/10): “They possess that which makes the best British acts truly special, a singular identity born of multinational mixology.” On Wiley’s ‘Snakes & Ladders’ (8/10): “‘I’m a weirdo, but label me grime, please,’ he spits on ‘Bloodtype’. Of course, Wiley – you are grime.” On DELS’ ‘Petals Have Fallen’ (9/10): “An album of consistent high quality and endearing personality, it’s worth popping a tenner on this making the Mercury shortlist in 2015.”
Young Fathers, ‘Get Up’
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Outstanding achievement: AWVFTS’s ‘Atomos’ proved a more than worthy follow-up to the pair’s eponymous debut album, an energised yet ambient set of heartache and cathartic comforts. And it was turned around in just a matter of months according to its makers, which makes the feat all the more impressive.
Select Clash verdicts: On Kiasmos’ ‘Kiasmos’ (9/10): “Striking, graceful and completely naked, this cold album hovers at the crossroads where dance meets the overgrown trail of modern classical.” On Douglas Dare’s ‘Whelm’ (8/10): “Both richly emotive and beguilingly, bewitchingly uneasy.” On AWVFTS’s ‘Atomos’ (9/10): “A slow-burning, deeply resonant collection with a stirring potency and the capacity to truly wow.”
Douglas Dare, ‘Nile’
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Outstanding achievement: Um, the small matter of a first new Aphex Twin album in 13 years? Yeah, that, we reckon.
Select Clash verdicts: On Aphex Twin’s ‘Syro’ (8/10): “An effortless comeback that almost plays like a greatest hits set.” On Flying Lotus’ ‘You’re Dead!’ (8/10): “LA’s most talented producer is using his vivid heritage to explore the album format… and has brewed up some seriously bitching beats.” On Plaid’s ‘Reachy Prints’ (8/10): “Another artful and aerial treasure.”
Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar, ‘Never Catch Me’
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Key releases: Tenth-anniversary celebrating compilations ’10.1’, ’10.2’, ’10.3’ and ’10.4’, plus EPs from Ikonika, Flowdan, Cooly G’s ‘Wait ‘Til Night’ album and Fatima Al Qadiri’s ‘Asiatisch’ LP. Then there was the small matter of the final recordings from The Spaceape (alongside Kode9), on the ‘Killing Season’ EP.
Outstanding achievement: Marking its 10th (Clash feature) with a remarkable showcase of diversity across four essential compilations.
Select Clash verdicts: On ’10.1’ (9/10): “The cumulative effect of this shatters any doubts over the label’s continuing vitality… Essential.” On ’10.2’ (8/10): “Celebrates the diversity of a neglected side of the label’s output.”
Cooly G, ‘Wait ‘Til Night’
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Outstanding achievement: Continuing to throw its strictly-indie reputation against the nearest brick wall until it – or the wall – crumbles, the venerable stateside institution has made some seriously impressive moves into the avant-garde in 2014. Albums from clipping. and Shabazz Palaces have furthered its interests in leftfield rap circles, while a complete reissue series from Sleater-Kinney serves as the perfect way to introduce a comeback LP, their first in 10 years, from the Olympia trio – ‘No Cities To Love’ is out in January.
Select Clash verdicts: On Shabazz Palaces’ ‘Lese Majesty’ (8/10): “Anyone looking for a mind-expanding trip to the outer edges of the Solar System, these rap futurists are your guides.” On clipping.’s ‘CLPNNG’ (8/10): “While it aims to push boundaries, ‘CLPPNG’ does so in a way that demonstrates a love for the culture that forms its source material.”
clipping., ‘Work Work’
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Outstanding achievement: It’s got to be the unlikeliest partnership of this year – and many before it – hasn’t it? ‘Soused’ is just the most arresting, alien listen of 2014, full stop.
Select Clash verdicts: On ‘Soused’ (8/10): “An uneasy, intuitive, idiosyncratic masterpiece.” On SOHN’s ‘Tremors’ (8/10): “Sure to be a hit with the disenfranchised, give the man a single bulb to perform under on stage and fans will be riveted.” On tUnE-yArDs’ ‘Nikki Nack’ (8/10): “Invigorating, wilful and wildly exuberant.”
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Outstanding achievement: Mute’s consistency has been amazing across 2014, although not one of their album releases has borne all that much of a similarity to the preceding set. From Liars to Ben Frost, the mighty Swans to the bruises of Zola Jesus, the label has always put art before business, allowing some of the brightest creative talents to shine through its doors.
Select Clash verdicts: On Liars’ ‘Mess’ (8/10): “Another ambitious statement from a band that has made a habit of reinventing itself at every stage, while still sounding uniquely Liars.” On Swans’ ‘To Be Kind’ (9/10): “Imagine Karlheinz Stockhausen’s jarring classicism, Captain Beefheart's twisted blues, and the industrialism of Einstürzende Neubauten coalescing into a swirling musical miasma. Near perfection.” On Ben Frost’s ‘A U R O R A’ (8/10): “Nothing he has released before has resonated with such life, such energy and desire for breaching the barrier separating the extraordinary from the wholly otherworldly.”
Liars, ‘Mess On A Mission’
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Many of these labels will be present and correct at the Independent Label Market, London, taking place at Old Spitalfields Market on Saturday, November 29th. More information.
Initially shy and retiring, Alex Burey's music leaves a devastating impact.
Slowly, subtly making his presence felt, the South London native is ready to unveil his debut EP.
'Inside World' is due to be released on January 26th, with Pling Recordings stepping in to support the songwriter.
Title cut 'Inside World' is online now – softly seductive, it's a neat introduction to a talent just coming into focus.
'Inside World' will be released on January 26th. Catch Alex Burey at London venue St. Pancras Church on January 21st.
A complex, engrossing project, Feldspar spent 2014 getting conceptual.
The band's ongoing Compass tour saw the group take their music across the country, playing countless special shows in the process.
As they went, Feldspar wrote, recorded and released four singles. A narrative arc, the tracks focus on different sides of the human condition: heartache, lust, mortality, and anger.
Closing the quartet, 'Hang Your Head' is a powerful piece of songwriting. Frontman Will Green explains:
"It’s anger at the way a select few have turned the most basic of human needs, having a roof over our heads, into a way to get rich and thereby suppress the rest of the population."
Due for release on December 4th, you can check out 'Hang Your Head' below: