Deadboy has never sat comfortably in any niche.

The South East London producer's music has always absorbed too many influences, too many techniques to sit easily in any one style. The explosive, skippy UK garage beat of 'If U Want Me' was allied to a rich knowledge of grime, the glossy sheen of R&B and a lot more besides.

Returning earlier this year with the Local Action backed 'White Magick' EP, Deadboy seemed to enter further expansive territory. Sumptuous sonics that at times recalled Dolphins Into The Future, the producer is now set to flip the material on its head, re-working the tracks into more club-focussed edits on 'Black Magick'.

Intrigued, Clash had a quick catch up with Deadboy.

'White Magick' feels like a definitive break from your earlier material. Did it feel that way when you were writing it? Were you conscious, say, of attempting something distinct, different?
Yeah I think when me and Tom Local Action started going through all the tracks I had we started to pull together these ones and kind of a thread formed between them all, it was obvious that these were meant to go together and in my head I formed a whole narrative around the tracks, the artwork and everything. Its definitely the most cohesive thing I've done. I don't know if I was aiming to do something totally different I think you've just got to go with whatever wants to come out of you and this was it at that time.

Although traces of grime, R&B etc remain, 'White Magick' largely has a more ethereal, ambient approach. Do you still view this as club music, as system music? If so, where would you place it?
That's why I wanted to do the club edits EP, 'Black Magick', because I wanted to play these sounds out but they weren't going to work as they were so I shaped them into something that I could play in my sets. I don't want people to think if they come to a club and I'm playing that I'm gonna be playing whale noise and flute music or something, I still love to make and play club music but sometimes records are an opportunity to create something, I feel with this one I was trying to create a 3D space or a world that I wanted to exist in or at least visit.

'White Moon Garden' feels almost new age, with those blissful synths. It's almost similar to the palette Dolphins Into The Future drew from, albeit from a defiantly London vantage point. Has this been an influence? Is there a spiritual element, do you think, to what you're currently creating?
Yes I have been very into new age and early synthesizer music over the last couple of years. This has definitely coincided with a shift in my ideas about, I don't want to say spirituality but maybe consciousness. I've been reading a lot of Robert Anton Wilson, Terrence McKenna, Alejandro Jodorowsky, guys like this, and once you start to develop this outlook I think if you are an artist of any kind its impossible to avoid it coming through into what you do.

'Rye Angel' – is this a reference to Peckham Rye? Do you still feel a sense of kinship to SE, and – if so – have recent changes impacted upon you? Peckham, in particular, has shifted enormously with the influence of gentrification.
'Rye Angel' is named after William Blake who lived in South London and had a vision of an angel in a tree on Peckham Rye. Yeah, I do love south and I've lived here a long time now, but things have changed massively. There are good and bad things about this and London constantly changes but going through Lewisham now is very alarming, every spare piece of ground a towering hotel-like bunch of apartments has gone up, tiny expensive prison cells to stack commuters one on top of the other, and when all these buildings are finished and all the people move in what are they going to do because all the public spaces, clubs etc will have been closed down.

So they can get up, get on a packed train to sit in another prison box office, then go and spend the credits they have left on getting drunk in ugly chain bars. This is the London that property developers and the Tories are building.

The emergence of grime and dubstep found artists in different areas of the capital representing different sounds. Do you feel as though London still has that regionalization? Is that an important part of the capital's make up, or do you feel the city has a more fluid, and as a result, more dynamic approach?
It's definitely more fluid. Everyone is connected all the time now on internet so you don't necessarily know where anybody's from and it doesn't really matter so much any more I guess.

'Rye Angel' in particular verges on ambient, but with an enormous sense of tension. Do you mind the use of the word 'ambient' next to your music? If not, how do you think it differs from the traditional definition of ambient?
I don't think it's ambient music in the Brian Eno sense of the word, it just doesn't have any drums. It still has kind of a pop structure and it's got vocals – it's not background music, it's pop music without drums. I don't think I've made anything ambient yet.

The track titles hint at a tension between opulent wealth and grim reality. 'Inner Palace' for example, next to 'Sad Sniper'. What informs this? Is it necessary to have light/shade within your work, or are you suggesting something about the divide within London/UK itself?
Yeah this record definitely became about duality and the binary nature of everything, that's like the heart of the record. You can apply that to everything from this city or this country to everyone's individual psyche and the universe itself.

'Sad Sniper' is perhaps the most direct nod to grime, and fits alongside Mr Mitch, Yamaneko, Dark0. Have you been checking their work? Are there parallels to your approach / ethos? If not, how do you feel they differ?
Yeah I've definitely been into those guys, I love the completely unrestrained melodic approach and experimentalism that's coming about at the minute.

Grime in SE London – in particular Lewisham – is at boiling point right now, with artists like Novelist, Merky Ace hitting their stride. As someone connected to the SE area, is this something you've been checking out? Does the emergence of new artists like this push you to attempt new things, embark on fresh challenges?
Yeah definitely, it's crazy to watch Novelist blow up and The Square doing a lot of things, really inspiring right now and hopefully inspiring a lot of younger people round here as well. I'm always aware of what's going on around me and I feel like with music its always an opportunity to find out what you can do.

A spate of closures have hit London's small to medium sized club scene. Combined with often unmanaged gentrification, it can feel as though creativity within the city itself is being squeezed out. Is that something you've noticed? Has that shift affected the way you view / create music?
It's completely rampant. This city is constantly banging on about its culture, that's what brings tourists here, that's what brings companies here, that's why so many people move here and bring money here, but this government and the councils do not give a fuck about the culture we have here. It will sell off every public and artistic space we have or ramp up prices until nobody can afford to do it any more. What kind of artists can afford to pay the sort of rents that we are approaching, who will be able to afford studios? Meanwhile there are tonnes of buildings sitting empty.

This government will lose its grip on culture in this city and everything will move to places where people can afford to live and create without restrictions and its a shame but I also think it would be good to see some other cities and towns become stronger culturally and artistically, and see some genuine scenes develop. If London is not going to support us, instead actively making it difficult for arts and music to thrive, why should we stay and provide all the culture that it banks on? They are mugging us all off.

Is it harder now, do you think, for a new producer to get noticed given many of these introductory avenues have been blocked off?
I think it probably is, the main thing is being heard through all the noise, everybody's a producer or a DJ now with a SoundCloud etc, you have to really have something unique and vital for anyone to be interested. But if you're making music for genuine reasons, and making the music that you love and you genuinely want to hear, there will be people out there who feel and think like you do. The key thing is making music that is completely honest to you, and learning how to transmit that through your medium, whatever equipment you use, so that it is not compromised.

You've described the EP as being like a 'place' or a 'garden'. It does have an enormous sense of unity- where do you feel that comes from? Is it in the tones, the colours used, or it from the curator-ship, the selection of material which fits as one?
It's everything I think – the sounds, the artwork – it's a whole story. It's supposed to revolve around the paradise garden of Hassan I Sabbah, the story is that initiates would be drugged and wake up in this paradise pleasure garden full of things nobody had seen and beautiful women and stuff, then you would wake up back in Sabbah's palace and depending on your response to the experience you would become a member of the assassin order or the illuminati. Physical action in the material world or wisdom and understanding of a spiritual nature or something like that.

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'Black Magick' is out now – purchase LINK.

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Following a long and tiring week of lessons, numerous after-school clubs, scouts, dance, music lessons and homework, Pesky! got together after school to offer up their thoughts about a selection of singles for Clash magazine.

Fuelled by XXL bags of marshmallows and excitement about the release of their debut EP Smells Like Tween Spirit, the kids sat down in the classroom to peruse the offerings. Although only 10, 11 and 12, these kids know what they like…and also what they don’t. Honest? Yes. Diplomatic? Definitely not.

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Foxes – 'Body Talk'

Megan, lead singer, jumped in on this one: I love it; I’ve listened to it before on Friday Download. The dancing is cool and the beat is awesome. It’s got a really catchy tune.
Jess, keyboards: I love it; the singer is awesome. She’s really pretty and the chorus is amazing.
Niamh, lead singer: I like her shorts and the chorus.
Kate, guitarist and singer: I like it; she’s got big eyes and a good voice.
Joseph, guitarist: It’s not really my thing but it’s okay.
Harry, drummer: I don’t like it. Why? Because it’s not very good.

Fair enough.

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Rocky Nti – 'Ride On'

Kate was straight into this: I really like it. The guitar he uses is the same as mine – brilliant! BUT he has it far too high up. I don’t like that. Guitars should be low down, not high up. Everyone knows that. I think the chorus is really catchy though.
Megan: I don’t like his outfit- it looks uncomfortable and why would anyone have a beard?
Jess, keyboards: It’s catchy but I don’t like how you can’t hear the words ‘ride on’ properly.
Niamh: I like this one but I don’t like the kissing in the video.
Harry: I like it; it’s got real drums in it.
Joseph, guitarist: I like this one, it’s a good tune.

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Jax Jones – Yeah, Yeah, Yeah'

Niamh got the ball rolling: The video is amazing. I love it. We all want one of those cool pushchairs – they’re awesome. I love the cute kids. We all love the video.
Megan: I’d definitely dance to it at a party. It’s got a good beat.
Harry and Joseph: Although it’s not our thing usually, we quite like it and the video definitely fits the song.
Kate and Jess: We like it but the voice is far too echoey. It sounds weird and we can’t work out if the singer is a boy or girl. Great video, though.

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Sigma feat. Ella Henderson – 'Glitterball'

Megan and Jess: We really like Ella Henderson but this is not her best tune. We like it when it gets going, though. The summer theme is good and we love her ‘golden goddess’ look.
Kate and Niamh: It’s okay if a little bit repetitive but the video is far too rude with all the bikinis in it. There’s no need for all that. And why is it called Glitterball? It should be in a disco.
Harry and Joseph: Don’t like the music but love the motorbike in the video; that’s cool.

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Aaron Wright – 'Rob A Bank'

Megan: I really like it. It’s a good tune and I quite like acoustic songs at the moment. You can hear the singing really clearly on acoustic tunes.
Harry and Joseph: It’s really boring. That type of song is terrible. It’s definitely not our thing.
Kate: It’s too classical for me. I don’t like classical music. I like loud music.

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Will Young – 'Thank You'

There was a caveat with this tune. I’d been forewarned by one of the parents about swearing in the track, which was quite literally, the last line of the song, so I was poised to stop it before the offending line. As it turned out, I’d needn’t have worried, as we never got anywhere close to reaching the last line…

‘What’s going on with him now? What is this all about?’ was the general consensus.

Kate: I used to like Will Young when I was younger but this is just weird. The video is scary; it looks like they’re going to perform an operation on the man on the bed.
Harry: I quite like the drums and the chorus is nice and simple but the video is very strange.
Jess: Boring.
Niamh: I agree.

To be fair to Will Young, this was the last track to be reviewed and concentration was wavering. The children seemed much more interested in observing Megan perform the ‘Chubby Bunny’ challenge, which involved shoving as many marshmallows into her mouth as possible, whilst still trying to say ‘chubby bunny’.

At this point I realised it was game over. Thankfully, is was well before the gratuitous four-letter expletive which rounded-off the track. There you have it; astute, reasoned and insightful music journalism it may not be, but, honest opinions from kids who are into music, it is. Make of it what you will.

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'Smells Like Tween Spirit – the debut EP from Pesky! – is out now on Fierce Panda.

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FaltyDL veers between electronic abstraction and direct, pulsating fare.

New cut 'Rich Prick Poor Dick' definitely falls in the latter camp. Built for club use, it's a sparse, billowing track, a stripped down electronic ode to the night.

Available from September 18th on 12 inch vinyl, it comes equipped with 'Bookaloo' on the flip. Check it out now.

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Virus Syndicate seem to be everywhere this summer.

Fresh from collaborations with June Miller and Dope D.O.D. the Manchester crew are stepping out on their own.

'RAG$' is already a fan favourite, a bruising piece of crunching bass-heavy electronics built for epic situations. Borgore has stepped in to remix the track, but Clash is going to focus on the original.

We're able to bring you the first play of the accompanying visuals, a gritty reminder of Virus Syndicate's infectious energy.

Check it out now.

'RAG$' is out now – purchase LINK.

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Post War Glamour Girls aren't hanging around.

The band's second album 'Feeling Strange' is incoming, hot on the heels of debut full length 'Pink Fur'.

Ahead of this, the sharp-as-a-tack Leeds types have unveiled brand new track 'Felonius Monk'. Much more than a delicious pun, it's a swaggering return from a group whose glamorous idiosyncrasies only seem to get more intoxicating with time. Clash is able to premiere the video – check it out below.

Catch Post War Glamour Girls at the following shows:

August
5 Manchester Gullivers
6 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
8 London The Finsbury
15 Birmingham Yr Welcome Festival

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London can often feel like a vast, fluid, homogeneous whole – a myriad of streets, a mosaic of buildings and a flood of people, people, people.

Life on the ground, though, is somewhat different. Each area has its own taste and character, and that's nowhere more true than in South London. A melting pot of culture, it's where The Maccabees largely grew up, and it's where they found the perfect space to base themselves.

A series of twists and turns in Kennington finds Clash knocking on the door of the band's studio, a cozy complex packed with guitar pedals, instruments and, naturally, three members of the group: Orlando Weeks, Felix White and Hugo White.

“We had been rehearsing at a place which is no longer, it got bulldozed and turned into flats in Bermondsey,” the singer recalls, “and just as that was about to happen we started thinking we should try and find somewhere that we can soundproof and make our own recordings. A space to rehearse in – just to save a bit of money.”

When they found it the studio was little more than empty office space packed with faded flyers for bashment raves and a broken down piano, but the studio has provided both refuge and a point of inspiration for the band. Completing the international tour that followed 2012's studio album 'Given To The Wild', the group threw themselves back into the creative process – with decidedly mixed results.

“One of the regrets is that we didn't stop after the last record,” explains Felix. “When you come off the back of a tour you feel like you're bursting to do something else. You've got all this pent up desire to be at home but also making something happen, to make music. But we went straight in and that probably was the wrong call because a few months later we realised we were pretty exhausted and no one had a cohesive idea about what it was we were trying to do.”

“We did go down that wormhole for a little bit,” he admits, “which kind of forced the framework, the aesthetics we set for it. Which meant this record's got the specific identity it has, because we really had to work out what it was in order to fit all this music in.”

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Desperately searching for a framework, for a sense of order, the band realised that they had begun to mimic their surroundings in an odd yet very direct way. “A place informs everything you do whether you're aware of it or not,” Felix continues. “But once we got onto the record a little bit, one thing we did notice was that 'Given To The Wild' was not particularly tangible in terms of a place. You couldn't place it. So having been here for a few years it just kind of started to make sense, we wanted to make the record sound like we were playing in that room.”

“We'd never made an album where we could exactly re-create it and it felt honest, in that sense,” he states. “The songs lyrically ended up being a bit more third person, a bit more stories about the place. Music had started to sound like London at night. They seemed like they worked there, somehow. So that started informing the whole thing.”

The results certainly have an incredible sense of cohesion. 'Marks To Prove It' is a sonically gorgeous record, but it's one where these beautiful tones occur and re-occur, where the palette is restricted to enhance recognition. South East London is both a base, it seems, and a writing tool in itself – as Orlando explains.

“The story is about trying to find a little bit of romance or a little bit of folklore or whatever it is in this area,” he says simply. “We could have been in any area and still been trying to find those, and inflated the drama that goes with it by putting it in a song or making it the album cover. It's circumstance means that's what happened. Elephant is at the centre of that but it's also just happened to be where we've been.”

“On the whole it sounded better being play in that room, it sounded better when we played it at night,” he continues. “A lot of the way I was approaching lyrics and wanting to find stories and starting points for songs would come from things either on my way into or my way leaving the studio. So I think it's there and whether anyone else would ever know it is… it was a very good tool in terms of us structuring and giving personality to the record.”

'Marks To Prove It' is very much a band record, where the personality of the material is informed by the five distinct personalities of the musicians involved. It allows for subtle shifts in emotion, but also for a complex working pattern which needs to accommodate five completely different points of view.

“If there's five of us all working then we would all work differently,” sighs Orlando. “How I would choose to make a record is entirely different to how Felix would choose to make a record. So what we're having to do is find a kind of common language and that's also when stuff starts working. We would come back to it, earmark and highlight it and then at the end of the week we'd come back and say: that worked, why did that work? There's a lot of email chains and whatsapp groups.”

At which point the assembled group start to laugh amongst themselves. Clearly, a Maccabees record involves a lot of email chains, numerous phonecalls and a red hot Whatsapp group.

“It is weird and totally unromantic and dull but it's true,” the singer insists urgently. “So much of it is communication, so much of it is being able to transfer how I think and how you think and how you think… how we're going to get that to something that exists as a song. It's an act. It's politics and it's a group activity and it's art. It's all of these things.”

“It's interesting,” muses Hugo. “Because that's maybe subtly what people think is great about bands, that you do have these different people that they are all together trying to make something happen. I think that's what makes the continuing narrative about bands over time a fascinating one.”

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There's certainly a narrative running through The Maccabees career. Each album has an identity, a taste of its own, with 'Marks To Prove' becoming – at times – their most explicitly emotional statement yet. “When I listened back to it it actually shocked me at how emotional it was,” Felix reveals. “It actually felt much more emotive than I thought it was going to and I think part of that is kind of it is not layering vocals, not layering guitars so it's a bit barer. It disarms you a little bit.”

With so many voices being aired, Orlando felt under enormous pressure to bring together these disparate concepts in his vocal lines. “I find it really, really stressful,” he sighs. “A responsibility to myself, as someone trying to write the best I can, and to the boys, for not letting them down or their song down. People have been asking us if we're nervous about the release and I've been saying that I don't feel at all nervous because all of that nerves were done…”

“I did all of the nervous,” he snaps. “I cared about it and minded it and got it finished and it's the best it can be. So I don't feel at all nervous now. But I did, I found it very, very stressful. As we all do. It's one of the guarantees to yourself, that you're doing something genuine and sincere, is that you mind.”

“It is a collaboration, at the end of the day,” interjects Hugo. “And to continue to make that work you have to constantly adapt and find ways of balancing it and making it work. If one person switches mind-frame the whole thing can be difficult and everyone has to find a way of working together.”

Felix adds: “It's a fragile thing.” It certainly is. The creative process may well be an avenue of self-expression, but it's also definitely a minefield of self-sacrifice – of bruised egos, rejected ideas and continual compromise. It's something the band feel keenly, as the guitarist explains: “Everyone gets their head down and gets knocked at different points, but also everyone feels invigorated, buoyed.”

Sat in their studio, though, The Maccabees are a solid unit of calm, a brick wall of assurance. 'Marks To Prove It' is released this week, a wonderful album packed both with astute subtlety and marvellous grand gestures. It manages to somehow be both grand and intimate, containing material that is both urgently immediate and songs that only reveal their deeper secrets over time.

“It's nice, with the whole record complete,” smiles Hugo. “You can hear moments in it that no one else would. It's a simple thing on the surface, these eleven songs, but there's moments where only we would know only how many songs these parts have been in to get to that point. How many big discussions and big changes to get to the point where it can end up there. Even we wouldn't want to think about that!”

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'Marks To Prove It' is out now.

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There's much more to Flyte than meets the eye.

New single 'Closer Together' may well have a shimmering sense of melody and snappy hooks, but the instrumentation, the harmonies, the arrangement nod towards something deeper.

Out now, the track is accompanied by a flurry of live dates. In fact, Flyte are set to take the stage at Kendal Calling in just a few hours…

Before then, though, Clash challenged Flyte to get cultural.

Book
Favourite book is Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Loved it so much we named the band after one it's characters. The sharp demise of something beautiful.

Film
Kes by Ken Loach, it's real and meaningful, perfect intro to British cinema. 'Both wild…both alike in their love of freedom and contemptuous of the world around them…'

Gadget
Cup holder

Album
Innervisions, Stevie Wonder / Revolver, the Beatles / OK Computer, Radiohead / Moondance, Van Morrison / Graceland, Paul Simon / Hunky Dory, David Bowie / Strangeways Here We Come, The Smiths / Blue, Joni Mitchell / Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads.

TV Show
The Sopranos, modern day Shakespeare mate. Watched it over and over again.

Video Game
Going to have to be Goldeneye on N64.

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'Closer Together' is out now.

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Blossoms are just a bit special.

Emphatic psychedelic pop music, the band's live shows are a swirling, lysergic hymn to hallucinogenic rock music.

Signing with Virgin EMI, Blossoms release new EP 'Blown Rose' today (July 31st). Produced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey at Parr St, the lead track was mixed by David Wrench and it's perhaps the band's most potent offering yet.

Buoyed by a killer chorus and some amazing hooks, it's a gloriously uplifting piece of songwriting. Clash is able to premiere the full video – check it out now.

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Seinabo Sey's pop vision knows no boundaries.

Born in Sweden but with West African heritage, the singer grew up as a hip-hop kid but fell in love with pop music.

Continually shifting and evolving, new single 'Pretend' has a shimmering summer feel. Clash is able to premiere a remix from Cahill Club, which steers Seinabo Sey into more house-infused directions.

A lush piece of electronics, you can dive in below.

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Morrissey is maintaining a hectic touring schedule with the singer recently selling out Madison Square Garden.

However a trip through San Francisco International Airport didn't seem to go as planned – the singer alleges that he was sexually assaulted by an airport securiy officer.

In a note on True To You the singer states that the General Manager On Duty, "stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles.”

Morrissey confronted the individual:

Apart from "that's just your opinion", he would not comment, even though, since the penis and testicles were mine and no one else's, then my opinion must surely have some meaning. But, of course, what the airport security officer was saying was: your opinion will never count in the eyes of the law. The words "that's just your opinion" volunteered themselves from this 'officer's' mouth before he had even heard the question. He knew he could be confronted, but he also knew that he could never be challenged (even though the entire incident is most certainly on CCTV camera).

The TSA provided a response to Rolling Stone:

"Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual." 

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