Andrea Oliva can do it all.

Capable of rocking both Coachella and the Panorama Bar, the producer's breadth, his vivid imagination is something to be admired.

New album '4313' is a dexterous return, with the Swiss producer veering from intelligently constructed techno to delicious, old school house.

Out now via Objektivity, Andrea Oliva sums the album up as follows:

"Musically speaking this album is all about being spontaneous and having fun. I didn't follow any particular waves or hype of music, I just wanted to sit in the studio and get inspired alongside the musicians I was working with. Everything happened very naturally and I was able to capture each mood in the right moment – you will understand when you hear the whole album – every track is different and has a different story. Every approach to each track was different."

"The whole production time was very intense but a great experience, and it has been a pleasure to work with such a variety of talented artists. Each of these collaborations alongside my ideas created a big universe of music covering pop, techno, house….there really is a little bit of everything."

Clash has nabbed the exclusive stream of '4313' – check it out now.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

The Twilight Sad made their majestic return last year with new album 'Nobody Wants To Be Here, And Nobody Wants To Leave'.

A work of rare intensity, the record was followed by some wonderful shows, demonstrating just how special this Scottish band truly is.

In the hot seat for this week's singles column, The Twiight Sad offer opinions on everyone from Charli XCX to Waxahatchee.

– – –

Charles Hamilton – 'New York Raining' feat. Rita Ora

I don't know who Charles Hamilton or Rita Ora are, but I see that they've used the font from 24 for the video, no Jack Bauer though. "Red wine and cheese before bed time"? I don't really know why that line is in the song unless he's just stating a recipe to have nightmares. Maybe he's sneaked that line in as a backhanded way to say his girlfriend is actually a fucking nightmare. It's kind of like the Jay Z New York tune, but just not very good.

– – –

Charli XCX – 'Famous'

I don't know who Charli XCX is, but I assume this is an educational video aimed at 6-year-old kids to teach them to remember to charge their phones. That's fair enough I suppose, but there's no need for that song though. Nobody needs to listen to that.

– – –

Lianne La Havas – 'Unstoppable'

I don't know who Lianne La Havas is, but I recognise this song – they must play it on 6Music. She seems to know what she's doing and she can sing. The production and arranging is well done, the way it swells in and out to give the vocals room to breathe is good, and I like that Silvertone that she plays.

– – –

Waxahatchee – 'La Loose'

I don't know who Waxahatchee is, seems alright to have on in the background. It sounds a bit like the Vaselines or Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. The vocal melody in the verse sounds like 'Shining Light' by Ash.

– – –

Catch The Twilight Sad at Plisskën Festival in Athens (June 5th and 6th), alongside The Horrors, Mogwai, Savages, Perfume Genius, Ariel Pink, Waxahatchee, Mudhoney, Sleaford Mods, Electric Wizard, Austra, AME, Ice Age, Ratking and Thee Oh Sees.

Tickets: http://www.viva.gr/tickets/festival/plissken2015/ Website: http://plisskenfestival.gr

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

At the controls of a mix that he's pretty much riding bareback, Actress relinquishes the steering wheel – look, techno, no hands! – and watches how the cards fall and hard drives crash. Darren Cunningham is clearly neither taking the 49th DJ-Kicks nor the mix format for granted, juddering and wobbling before collecting and correcting himself towards something approaching clarity.

On first listen it's a real trip as to what happens next, and non-Actress followers will be amazed at how much sense the mélange makes. As dense as it is bare, the aural fog and disorientation of alt-techno he has made his own across four albums has Actress throwing himself headfirst into a heap of wires and making sure every choice earns their right to the tracklist.

Boogie charlatans that brazenly pipe up out of a hard-nosed exterior are the most upstanding for Cunningham's pro-anything goes stance, though Actress has long had a bit of a groove about him, buried or buoyant. After Reel by Real's 'Look at Me' has put on early frighteners, Moon B's 'Those Moments' activates the mix's release valve, oblivious to the hardware maxed out around it, followed by Chez n Trent's joyous garage groove 'Windy City Club.'

Moments of head-clearing (or head-scratching) clarity, along with John Beltran's purpose-built meditation zone 'Anticipation', don't have long to dwell before they're choked in the to-and-fro of the off-kilter. Scooping up bottom end wreckage, electronic largesse, iron-grip supremacy and just plain techno meanness (Shxcxchcxsh's 'LDWGWTT') – and never mind the unclassified in between – Cunningham's befriending of the faders is a wide awake shake-up of mix purism.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

– – –

– – –

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Even if you weren't aware this release was rendered from Tyondai Braxton's latest experimental performance work, you would feel it.

A granular, echoing conversation between spiralling synthesisers and erratic percussion, intent on sidestepping any familiar beat structure, zooms and flexes between your ears. Transforming your mind, perhaps, into a space as spontaneous and freeform as the one it was made for. There are no chugging riffs from the former Battles frontman here.

Conceived for New York's Guggenheim Museum in 2013 and subsequently taken on tour, 'HIVE1' presents eight pieces composed by Braxton for three percussionists and two old-school modular synth players.

Live, each sits crossed legged atop five striking, individual glowing plinths designed by Danish architect Uffe Surland Van Tams. Connected with headphones, they interpret the other's sounds, working both solo and as one, as a hive. The challenge says Braxton, was to get "real character" out of the machines, to avoid an "ambient tapestry or wash of ideas".

Fans of the masters – Amon Tobin, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher – will take huge pleasure in his uninhibited electronic twists and buzzing alien landscapes. Moments of ambience are quickly scrambled into distorted percussive phrases that mutate like a neverending supply chain of transformers, bodies locking, popping and bursting into new forms faster than the eye, or ear, can follow.

The joy is in the ambiguity and Braxton's exemplary manipulation of sound and space – one can only imagine the sheet music for these pieces. For those that witnessed the full show this is a glistening souvenir. For those that didn't, it's a challenging and enigmatic thrill; albeit one that proves FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – a very just syndrome indeed.

7/10

Words: Kim Hillyard

– – –

– – –

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

It's remarkable that more than a decade on from the release of 'Pulse X' no one can produce a decent, succinct definition of what grime actually is. A genre whose fluidity is matched by its ferocious sense of identity, grime continually sidesteps any definition placed in its way. 

However grime does have a number of foundational figures, artists who developed and nurtured the sound, continually moving it forwards. Part of East London's iconic Ruff Sqwad crew, Prince Rapid is a legendary name within the grime community.

An artist with a rare history, the producer recently burst back into contention with the stunning 'Pepper Riddim'. Catching the ears of some vital MCs, Chipmunk recently sprayed over the 'Pepper Riddim' instrumental at a recent Lord of the Mics session.

Following this with new EP 'Rapid Fire Vol. 2' on Ruff Sqwad Entertainment, it's clear that Prince Rapid is in no mood to rest on his laurels. Ahead of this, Clash has grabbed an incredible mix featuring Prince Rapid and Logan Sama going back to back.

Featuring countless Rapid productions and vocal snippets, it's a titanic introduction (if one were needed) to a pair of grime heavyweights.

Prince Rapid:

"This mix was inspired by a lot of things that I have been hearing since the 'Pepper Riddim' dropped. Many people thought I had quit the music game, some people had never even heard about me or Ruff Sqwad as its a different space, so I thought it was necessary for me to put together a mix where I could educate the grime followers about the Ruff Sqwad sound and History. The mix includes new and old tracks which hold a place in my heart and represent Rapid productions precisely."

"I asked Logan to do the mix as he has been very much involved with pushing the sound from the start, he understands my productions and my different patterns/styles. I hope you enjoy stepping in to this Time Capsule."

Check it out now.

Tracklisting:
XTC – Functions On A Low
Ruff Sqwad – Anna (Vocal)
Xtra Remix Xtra (Vocal)
Underground Down (Vocal)
Together (Vocal)
RSMD (Vocal)
Cleo Remix Jampie (Vocal)
Good Old Days
I'm From A Place (Vocal)
Nug (Vocal)
Top 3 Selected (Vocal)
Cheque Prince (Vocal)
This Side (Vocal)
Long Time Help Me Remix (Vocal)
Poison Yesterday (Vocal)
Mission (Vocal)
Pepper Riddim

– – –

'Rapid Fire Vol. 2' EP will be released in July.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

As an aspiring singer-songwriter, Paul Marshall found himself feted in certain circles upon the release of 2007’s ‘Vultures’, a folksy acoustic record revealing a not inconsiderable talent.

It wasn’t long before he signed to Bella Union and the Nick Drake-esque plucked guitar was beefed up with Wurlitzers, trumpets and a string quartet for 2010’s ‘The Devil & I’. To mark this shift, a new moniker was adopted. A press release at the time proclaimed, “Paul Marshall is metaphorically dead. Long live Lone Wolf.” Five years on, it would seem that Lone Wolf is nearly dead, but Paul Marshall seems fairly well resuscitated.

“It’s a stupid, stupid name that should never have happened,” Marshall tells Clash. “There were loads and loads and loads of singer-songwriters everywhere and I was another guy with an acoustic guitar and I was just plain old Paul Marshall. Simon (Raymonde – Bella Union boss) was my manager at the time and I’d suggest something that I liked and he wouldn’t like it and then he’d suggest something that I wouldn’t like and it became the best of a bad bunch and then, once you’ve made that kind of a decision, you just have to stand by it.”

Apart from its ubiquity as a phrase making it a nightmare for search engines, the name soon came to feel like an unnecessary burden and, as Marshall prepares to retire it, he reflects “I almost feel like I went from it being just a name to it actually being a pure metaphor of who I am, because I actually ended up being very much a Lone Wolf more than I was when I got the name, and that’s why I think it’s as good a time as any to go back and be Mr Marshall again, boring old Paul Marshall.”

He parted ways with Bella Union after that first record as Lone Wolf and increasingly found himself plagued with anxiety about his music and, in particular, performing. “I don’t know if it was just when I lost my record deal or something, but I almost felt like I’d embarrassed myself or I felt like a failure and as if the world looked at me like I wasn’t good enough to be there. It started to manifest itself as a thing where I just didn’t feel good enough; I didn’t feel worthy of being on a stage.”

These feelings are explored in unrelentingly vivid fashion on his recently released album ‘Lodge’, the last under his adopted name. It is a quite remarkable collection, built around the stirring piano sound Marshall so adores in producer James Kenosha’s soon-to-close Bridlington studio that gives the record its name. Marshall makes full use of the instrument’s magic, conjuring a pulsing rhythm with it on ‘Crimes’ that was one of the driving forces in the creation of ‘Lodge’.

“I wrote that on my iPad when my baby daughter was only about a week old and I was walking around downstairs, getting her bottle ready, and I got that rhythm in my head. I listened to a lot of R’n’B and hip-hop for a while and essentially that’s a hip-hop kind of loop, if you think about it. If you took my vocal off it and someone did some kind of syncopated rap over it, it would actually work, I think. That was one of the first things that made me think if I’m going to do this record, it’s got to be on the piano for it to work. I just wanted the piano to be the beating heart of the record as it is the studio.”

The sparsely captivating nature of his sound is something he, in part, attributes to the producer of his previous record ‘The Lovers’, Jon Fougler, who “helped me to understand that I should show a bit more of me as opposed to layers,” which he had embraced on ‘The Devil & I’. The musical nudity seems a necessary accompaniment to the emotional nudity of the lyrics, as Marshall tells us everything about his extreme anxiety.

“On ‘The Devil & I’, I’m telling you everything on that as well, but I’m disguising it in stories. With ‘The Lovers’ it’s almost like the music takes your attention away from maybe what the real inner meaning of the lyrics are and that’s why with ‘Lodge’ it had to be more spacious, almost to give the words room to say ‘hey, listen, please, I need to talk to you.’” With song titles like ‘Give Up’, “Art Of Letting Go’ and ‘Mess’, there’s no hiding on ‘Lodge’, indeed ‘Mistakes’ opens with the lyric “I’ve made mistakes, I think I’m making one right now. You’re hearing every note of it.” Clash pushes for more on this unease about putting those thoughts out there. “I love making music and I love making it in the privacy of my own home. It’s only when it comes to letting other people hear it that I start getting a bit nervous.”

 

– – –

– – –

Driven to make the record by the news of the imminent closure of The Lodge, Marshall was actually freed from some of this concern, deciding to work on songs for an album irrespective of whether it would actually be released. He wrote a blog for his fans explaining his intentions and confessing he wasn’t sure how it would come out. “I was thinking about doing a free download, because that was the thing – it was no longer about a career. I mean, I’d love to make some money, I really would. I’m skint. I’d love to make some money; all this was done on my credit card.”

Finishing the blog with a note to independent labels inviting them to get in touch if they were interested in working with him, Marshall was surprised to then be contacted by two fans of his, Gene Priest and Derek Jones, who run an American music podcast and, it transpired, nascent label of the same name, Sharing Needles With Friends.

Using money left by Gene’s mother-in-law, herself a big fan of Marshall’s work, they offered to release ‘Lodge’. Despite initially battling his own doubts about letting them down – “this is the way my brain works” – he has been thrilled with how it has worked out. “They are absolutely wonderful people and they are just two human beings. They’re not part of the wheel that I don’t want to be a part of. It’s almost like a couple of pals have released my record for me and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.”

When you’ve recorded a record built around anxiety often triggered by live performance, how do you then deliver it to audiences? Marshall launched the record recently with several shows and “I came very close to pulling the gigs a couple of times just because I just get so stressed. My friends are like ‘I don’t really know why you’re bothering to play live at all. You don’t have to.’ And I’m like ‘I know that’, but I don’t think it’s fair on the record if I don’t go out and try and at least represent it a little and get it heard.”

“I don’t want people to think that I don’t want to be there when they come and see me performing. It’s not actually the case; I just can’t control the fact that I just become a bag of nerves. Thankfully, my audiences always seem to treat me with a kind of understanding respect.”

Clash observes that, barring a few festival appearances, he’s now out of the woods, only to find that there is still a final act to be written. “I want to do some stuff later in the year. I’d like to give Lone Wolf a bit of a send off. I don’t want to sound like a Ziggy Stardust kind of thing, but I’d like to draw a line under Lone Wolf as a part of my history I should be proud of, as opposed to something that caused me a lot of pain.”

Talk turns on several occasions to Marshall’s concern that people simply view him as miserable, but there’s definitely hope in ‘Lodge’. Getting all of those emotions out there is surely an enormous weight lifted?

“The first reaction of somebody that I know and love, and who will remain unnamed, was that it was just really nice to know that they’re not alone, because they go through the same pattern of emotions. I’d never even thought that it might actually bring comfort to other people that might feel the same way. That’s probably more than I could have asked for; that’s worth a million good reviews.”

The album’s artwork, a photo taken from a chapel across from the studio, also seems to suggest a change. “I was just sat on one of the pews writing some stuff down and turned round and looked at the door and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more directly apt symbol of what this album is about. I’m in a dark room with a massive great door, but if you just open it there’s a beautiful field out there with horses in it.”

– – –

I feel my insignificance is of the utmost significance.

– – –

Those who follow Marshall on Twitter will know that he’s also a keen astronomer, uploading some of his rather impressive astrophotography from time to time. Clash wonders if, for a man prone to agonising over whether he deserves his place in the world, staring at the universe and contemplating our role in the bigger scheme of things is the most appropriate of hobbies.

“It’s really bizarre and a lot of people talk about the idea of infinity, or the concept of how small we are compared to the universe and how it blows your mind, but for some reason I’m really comfortable with that. My astronomy is purely and utterly meditational.”

He doesn’t use computer technology to help him seek out certain clusters or galaxies, preferring to do all the work himself. “I starhop (using brighter, easier to identify stars as a guide for where other things should be) and I can’t always see the object that I’m trying to find because it’s too dim, but when you hit the galaxy, or whatever the object is I’m looking for, it’s like going fishing and catching a fish.”

“It’s like you’ve technically been meditating for all that time you’ve been looking for that object because you’re focussing on nothing else and my astronomy is absolutely intrinsic to my existence as a human. Strangely, it has the opposite of what you might think. I feel my insignificance is of the utmost significance.”

What is, perhaps, more significant is what comes next. ‘Lodge’ has been, quite rightly, lauded amongst those who’ve taken the time to get to know it. With the next Paul Marshall project a blank canvas, Clash wonders who inspires him.

“Talk Talk and things like that come up a lot when people talk about ‘Lodge’, and that’s completely fair enough, because something like that is to do with having the balls to allow yourself to leave that amount of space and that amount of awkwardness in your music without it being contrived. Three albums ago I would never have had the balls to do something like ‘Pripyat’, just because I’d have been like ‘oh, but there’s nothing you can get your teeth into’, but then you realise that Talk Talk did ‘Spirit Of Eden’ and ‘Laughing Stock’ straight after a career of pop.”

“I listen to a lot of music whilst I’m recording, because, if anything, I need people to remind me that I am allowed to be myself if I want. I don’t know how to say this without being really pretentious or crap, but you want to have something to do with what we’re leaving behind as a species or at least what you’ve left behind as a human being, and you want that to be as accurate a representation of you as possible. I think that’s where the key lies.”

Words: Gareth James

– – –

‘Lodge’ is out now on Sharing Needles With Friends.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

In a way, the phrase 'depressing beauty' is an apt one to tag the wistful, occasional adventures of The Orange Humble Band.

Formed by Australian songwriter Daryl Mather, the project's output has attracted enormous devotion from some of the most acclaimed songwriters in the game.

New album 'Depressing Beauty' will be released on July 4th, and features Mather working alongside Ken Stringfellow (Posies), Jon Auer (Posies, Big Star), and R.E.M. associate Mitch Easter among others.

A glorious return, Clash is able to trail new track 'The Girl Without A Name'. Pristine power pop, the lush strings are set against powerful, searching vocals – classic fare, but all the better for it.

Check it out now.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

As difficult as it may be to believe, but Postiljonen have been silent for almost two years.

The band's debut album 'Skyer' arrived back in 2013, a drifting, wonderfully lucid fusion of hallucinogenic synth work, sighing vocals and killer pop melodies.

Since then, the Scandinavian trio have retreated to their sonic lab to focus on fresh material. A new album is said to be forthcoming, with new cut 'Wait' set to be released on Monday (June 1st).

A gorgeous return, the sheer attention paid to the sonics – glistening layers, flushed with vital tones – is matched to typically engrossing songwriting.

Check it out now.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Plastic Birds first began attracting attention earlier this year.

A pair of Australian brothers, the project's bleached out, sun kissed psych surfed its way across the web.

Calling card 'In Time' is a perfect example of their succinct lysergic explorations: clocking in at a mere two minutes, it's a nimble yet satisfying introduction.

Given the visual treatment, you can check out 'In Time' below.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

Major Lazer have always loved to collaborate, to search out fresh voices.

New album 'Peace Is The Mission' is peppered with guest artist, with Diplo & Co. eager to include anyone who takes their fancy.

New cut 'Powerful' features two contrasting voices. Ellie Goulding you may know already, while Tarrus Riley may well be new to some.

Bombastic dancehall infused fare, you can check it out below.

Buy Clash Magazine

Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android