John Carpenter is set to play a very special live show at ATP Iceland next year.

The legendary director/composer will re-visit his film work, recent album 'Lost Themes' and more at the festival next year.

Hosted at a dis-used NATO base, this certainly sounds like a truly one off experience. ATP founder Barry Hogan was understandably over the moon:

“We are incredibly honoured to present the first ever show by this legendary film-maker and composer. Having had the opportunity to present the maestro Ennio Morricone twice in recent years, it has been a burning ambition of ours to also present John Carpenter, who is both a pioneer and a huge influence on us and so many great musicians and film-makers that we work with. You'd be fucking crazy to miss this.”

Check out a preview below.

ATP Iceland 2016 runs between July 1st – 3rd.

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Anton Newcombe doesn't hold much respect for release schedules and other record industry ephemera.

If the Brian Jonestown Massacre wants to release something, then he gets it out there. No mess, no fuss…

Working on new material, the now Berlin-based psychedelic guru decided to piece it together into a package of its own. Unsure what to label the results, it's now been titled 'Mini Album Thingy Wingy' which is both hilarious and utterly accurate.

Out on November 13th, Clash can trail this release with new track 'Get Some'. Direct, driving psych-rock fare, there's also a tinge of the Echo & The Bunnymen's gothic splendour which is absolutely no bad thing in our book.

Another instalment in the hazy tale of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, you can check it out below.

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“What's going on, brother?”

The voice is, unmistakably, DJ Premier. But then, Clash could forgiven for taking a moment to tune in – after all, this is an artist who has spoken with his hands for more than two decades, who has defined and re-defined on a regular basis what hip-hop production is all about.

And he’s still progressing, still moving forward. In the past few months alone DJ Premier has taken his ever-evolving live show out on the road, collaborated on the expanded edition of Joey Bada$$’ debut album and contributed to Dr. Dre’s spectacular comeback ‘Compton’.

“I've been so busy, I've been finishing an album. Finally finishing up my album, working with Joey Bada$$, then I've been working on the official DJ Premier store, all kinds of merchandise – just keeping it official,” he explains. “I've been working on a whole lot of different things. I'm on the Compton soundtrack with Dr. Dre. I've been playing around, keeping doing different things.”

Keeping things fresh seems to be the name of the game with DJ Premier. Heading into the studio with Joey Bada$$, the Brooklyn prodigy’s gleeful dissection of golden age tropes kept the producer on his heels. “100% man. Absolutely. His mom is around our age, she used to come to our shows, and he said that she put him on to so many classic hip-hop albums, so as a child he grew up listening to what his mom was listening to. She's a die-hard head from our generation – so she taught him well!”

But perhaps the biggest event in DJ Premier’s career of late is his cameo appearance on Dre’s ‘Compton’ set. The roots of the project go back to a Boiler Room set in Russia, and collaboration with BMB Spacekid – the beat found its way to Anderson Paak, sparking a new track. Premier and Anderson worked on it silently, patiently, until recent events in the United States forced their hand.

“When we got back to New York and he got back to California the whole thing with Freddie Gray happened, with the police killing him… they shot the guy in the back. And the whole riots thing kicked off. So when that kicked off in Baltimore, Anderson called me from California and said: ‘I don't like this shit going on, this is crazy. I wrote a song to that other beat, I'll send it to you.’”

Anderson then met up with Dr. Dre, who was entranced by what the two had recorded. “Dre listened to it and said: ‘man, I wanna rap on that.’ He called me and said: ‘yo, you mind if I put this out in the movie instead of leaking it out to the streets?’ I was like, absolutely. I know it'll get even more gain. He wanted me to go out and work with him on it, add a few things to it and just make it a big event. So I flew out there, worked with him and he was totally, totally fun to work with. And that's how it ended up.”

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If it's dope to me, that means it's dope.

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Of course, this is just one track amidst an arsenal of new music. Forever moving forward, DJ Premier is ever eager to stay ahead of the game. “I mean my ears are still the same as far as judgement. So whenever something comes my way, some people are like: when you get older you start liking new stuff I don't like. You're not down with the sound of the younger generation. And OK, that's great, but if it ain't dope to me, it ain't dope to me. When I'm listening to records I don't say, oh they're too old for me to like it! You like what you like.”

“So I don't put an age on anything that's musical. I'm always sure that my mind and my soul accepts or does not accept what's fed to it. You can't stop what's in the soul. You can't avoid it. If it attacks me emotionally, then it's correct. I'll either hate it or love it. I don't care if everybody hates it. I don't care if there's a million people on the planet Earth and 999,999 hated it, and only I loved it. So what? If it's dope to me, that means it's dope.”

What’s dope is hip-hop. DJ Premier came of age in the game, with some of his earliest musical memories featuring a litany of rap stars and production greats. “I've always understood hip-hop and witnessed it. I was hanging with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Newcleus, the Get Fresh Crew, Run DMC. That tour was crazy. I went to see LL Cool J and thought: this is how it is. This is how big it can get and how dope you gotta be to put it down. So I made sure that if I ever got a chance I would make sure that I would do the same thing. And I do that.”

Right now, the producer is focussing on a documentary. Legendary recording complex D&D Studios is being shut down, with DJ Premier leading the way on a new film detailing its history and impact. “They sold the building and turned it into condos and office space, so I did a documentary,” he explains. “We're almost done. We're still shooting a few things. Jay-Z did it, Nas did it, we're still working on getting Eminem in there. There's going to be a DJ Premier album called 'Last Session At 320' – that's our address. People see me in the street and go: yo, you still at 320? That's the perfect title, 'Last Session At 320'.”

Cliché aside, it seems that DJ Premier is truly living the dream. Able to work with whoever he pleases, the producer’s creative drive has kept him at the top of the game for more than 20 years with rappers half his age desperate to hook up. “I've dreamed of doing this since I was young,” he says. “I wanted to play sports and I wanted to make music. I wanted to be onstage and I wanted to have groupies coming to the dressing room. Hanging out with me in the hotel, partying, drinking and doing all the things that go along with the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. And I did that. Of course, I've levelled off now, I'm a father now, so while I'm not crazy and wild I still have a party and have a good time. Not as much as I used to, but I still make sure I put my time into and enjoy life.”

“Everyday is a party,” he says. “You just have to know how to turn off the party switch. I definitely know how to turn it off because I had a responsibility now and I'm glad that at my age of 49 that I finally put that understanding towards parenthood because I want my son to be able to understand what it takes to be me. What it takes to be a man, a human being, the right way. So all of that factors in to my life and my success. I was successful young. By the time I was 23 I already had a house, five cars, living next to Vanilla Ice in Miami. All kinds of crazy shit. We had all the fun things and we got it young. We spent our money, had a good time, made more money, had success. Totally got it.”

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DJ Premier spoke to Clash as part of Doctor's Orders 10th anniversary celebrations – details.

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1995 was a seminal year in the evolution of hip-hop.

Midway through the genre's most vital decade, it marks the decline of the golden age and the beginning of something new, something rather more modern.

Clash is toasting some of the year's most potent albums, re-appraising material from Raekwon, Group Home, Big L, GZA and more.

DJ Yoda wants in on the act. A renowned hip-hop head, the selector decided to sing the praises of Grand Puba's '2000'.

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1995 was the autumn of hip-hop's golden era, and as such there are a number of widely celebrated albums by the likes of Raekwon, Outkast and The Pharcyde. As much as I love those, Grand Puba's '2000' retains a freshness for me, perhaps because it isn't lauded as automatically.

Also, Puba has continually proved himself as a timeless MC. From early days with Masters of Ceremony, through to his best known period of fronting Brand Nubian, and then the myriad of solo albums, freestyles and features since – Puba has never once fallen off. His style feels "hip-hop" through-and-through, in a way that often can't be said for his contemporaries.

'2000', although awkwardly-titled for a rap album in 1995, seemed to best showcase the core of Puba though. Silky smooth R&B backdrops combine perfectly with the NYC hip-hop sound of the time – this was the era of Ron G blend tapes, and the true beginnings of the commercial fusion of hip-hop and R&B. Puba's collaborations with Mary J Blige set the blueprint for this kind of style. The juxtaposition of tough drums and bass with smooth soul samples would also certainly have influenced the likes of Kanye, before he had even started rapping.

Lead single 'I Like It' was the sound of Hot 97 in the summer of '95, and so perfectly encapsulates that era of Timberlands, blunts and jeeps, without being too underground or moody. 'Playin' The Game' samples Barry White – elsewhere the album sample DeBarge, The Stylistics and Gil Scott Heron – the sound is very melodic for hip-hop at the time, and perfect for Grand Puba's voice.

Interesting to note that Puba is just as good 20 years later – I've literally just completed a remix for him and Chubb Rock, where he sounds as on-point as ever – a rarity in the rap world.

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Catch DJ Yoda playing a golden age hip-hop set at Leeds' Mint Festival (September 19th – 20th) – details.

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The '90s was a hip-hop decade.

It's the decade in which the genre became a truly global phenomenon, arguably becoming the de facto means for American youth to view themselves.

'95 is – for many – a peak. It's a year that delivered a host of game-changing albums, with the golden era drawing to a close a numerous international icons making their first vital steps forward.

Clash will be celebrating this momentous year for hip-hop with a series of features. First up: Hugh Leask takes a look at some of the most enduring releases from '95.

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The Genius/GZA – 'Liquid Swords'
Hip-hop in 1995 very much belonged to the Wu-Tang Clan, the renowned nine-man New York crew from the city’s forgotten borough and cultural wasteland of Staten Island. With early breakout stars Method Man and Ol’ Dirty Bastard dropping major singles in the early part of the year, Raekwon crafting a hip-hop magnum opus (more of which later), and the group’s chief producer RZA rapidly becoming one of the genre’s marquee-name beatmakers, ‘Liquid Swords’ – the Genius’s second album (a career false start on NY rap indie Cold Chillin’ in the early 90s yielded one album, ‘Words From The Genius‘, and little else) – rounded off a banner year for the Clan.

From the off the Genius (aka GZA) takes an expansive approach on the album, peppering his rhymes with references to chess moves, Eastern philosophies, war strategies and pro wrestling, and comparing his lyrics to “roundhouse kicks from black belts”. Sonically, meanwhile, RZA laid down some of his most experimental work up to that point: the kung-fu movie dialogue samples – a Wu-Tang staple in the mid-‘90s – were still present, but here they’re introduced to weird synths and feedback loops that drop in and out of songs seemingly at random, as the traditional Shaolin soul loops arrive heavily processed and drowning in static.

Songs like ‘Investigative Reports’, ‘4th Chamber’, and ‘Duel Of The Iron Mic’ gather together various members of the Wu-Tang Clan, showcasing the group’s considerable strength-in-depth at the decade’s midway point. The stunning ‘Shadowboxin’, in which the GZA faces off against Method Man – then the Wu-Tang’s star performer (Ghostface Killah had yet to release a solo LP) – offers up a five-star master class in battle-rapping: “I slayed emcees back in the rec’ room era/My style broke motherfucking backs like Ken Patera,” GZA raps, referencing the old school WWE star, before adding: “We reign all year round from June to June/While niggas bite immediately, if not soon…”. Which, if you think about it, is as accurate a summary as any of the Wu-Tang Clan’s absolute dominance in rap in 1995.

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Mobb Deep – 'The Infamous'
Mobb Deep’s second album ‘The Infamous’ built on the late ’80s foundations of Queens-based reality rap laid down by emcees like Kool G. Rap and Tragedy, and saw the duo of Havoc and Prodigy craft a signature sound that would set the tone for New York’s street-level hip-hop for the remainder of the ‘90s.

From the group’s logo, based on those New York City Housing Authority’s ‘Welcome To Queensbridge’ signs that stand outside the district’s project buildings (Hav and P first met as students at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan), to the stark depictions of crime and violence in their neighbourhood, ‘The Infamous’ serves as a fully immersive experience. Its intense, atmospheric sound, comprising eerie piano loops and drums that rattle like passing New York subway trains, matches the group’s hardcore lyrics perfectly. The anthemic ‘Shook Ones Part II’ – used for the final battle-rap scene in Eminem vehicle ‘8 Mile’ – remains a club classic to this day, while the incredible ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ finds Prodigy comparing his surroundings to Vietnam, confessing how “New York got a nigga depressed/So I wear a slug-proof underneath my Guess.”

Even when the sound brightens up – the brilliant Q-Tip-produced ‘Give Up The Goods’ is underpinned by a breezy loop of Esther Phillips’ ‘That’s All Right With Me’ – the lyrics stay grounded in the streets, with Hav and P relaying an array of stick-up scenarios, and guest rapper Big Noyd packing a gun as he visits his parole officer. But its perhaps Prodigy who captures the album’s overall nihilism and despair best, forthrightly declaring on ‘Survival Of The Fittest’: “I’m goin’ out blasting, taking my enemies with me/And if not, they scarred so they will never forget me/Lord forgive me/The Hennessy got me not knowing how to act/I’m falling and I can’t turn back…”

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Big L – 'Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous'
Packing punchline-heavy rhymes delivered in rapid-fire flows with a distinctly un-PC outlook on life, Big L’s ‘Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous’ remains one of the most quotable rap albums ever made.

Imbuing a stack of over-the-top threats and violence with his trademark twisted black humour and surreal wordplay, ‘Danger Zone’ finds the Harlem emcee “always spraying Tecs, because I be staying vexed/Some nigga named Dex was in the projects laying threats/I jumped out the Lincoln/Left him stinking/Put his brains in the street now you can see what he was just thinking”. Elsewhere, the Harlem rapper delivers some straightforward advice for potential detractors (“So don’t try to test me, ‘cause I can’t stand testers/Fuck around, I’ll introduce you to your ancestors”) as well as some heartfelt musings on relationships (“And when it comes to getting nookie, I’m not a rookie/I got girls that make that chick Toni Braxton look like Whoopi”).

This cartoonish-but-resolutely-hardcore lyrical approach drew critical acclaim (his multisyllabic flow and caustic barbs surely gave the young Eminem a few ideas). But while he would score minor radio hits with ‘Put It On’ and ’MVP’, and outshine all the guests gathered here – including Jay-Z, who drops an early pre-‘Reasonable Doubt’ verse on ‘Da Graveyard' – Big L’s verbal dexterity and phenomenal talent did not translate into wider commercial success. Still, he remained a revered figure in underground scene, rolling out a clutch of classics, both on his own and with his crew Diggin’ In The Crates.

Long rumoured to be on the brink of signing with Roc-A-Fella Records – the label run by Dame Dash and Jay-Z – which would have helped set him on the path to stardom, Big L was tragically murdered in Harlem on February 15th 1999. He was just 24.

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Raekwon – 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…'
Chef Raekwon’s remarkable debut solo album, 'Only Built…' saw producer RZA’s grand strings and brass form a rich, widescreen sound for the Wu-Tang Clan emcee – ably assisted by partner-in-rhyme Ghostface Killah (“Guest starring Tony Starks [Ghost Face Killer]” is how album’s cover puts it) – to weave a loose narrative of two street hustlers plotting one last big score in order to escape the streets. It brings a cinematic quality to proceedings which has drawn comparisons to mob flicks such as Brian DePalma’s ‘Scarface’, Abel Ferrara’s ‘King Of New York’ and Sergio Leone’s ‘Once Upon A Time In America’, and marked it out as one of the finest rap albums ever.

Over 18 tracks, Raekwon and Ghostface serve up an intoxicating mix of Mafia-influenced crime rhymes (‘Knowledge God’), project parables (‘Verbal Intercourse’, which features Nas) and straight-up old school battle rap (’Guillotine [Swordz]’) – with a classic Wu-Tang posse cut (’Wu-Gambinos’) tossed in for good measure. Song like ‘Criminology’ and ‘Glaciers Of Ice’ explode with a blistering energy that, 20 years on, still stop you dead in your tracks. And even when the pace settles down a notch, such as on ‘Rainy Dayz’ and ‘Heaven & Hell’, the album remains streets ahead of the competition, delving into themes and moods rarely explored in hip-hop.

So sure of the superior quality of his music, Raekwon (so the story goes) sought to distinguish his brand from everything else out on the street by having his label Loud Records release an initial limited cassette run (rumoured to be around 10,000 copies) in distinct clear-purple plastic casing; a strategy said to be borrowed from neighbourhood drug dealers looking to ship an altogether different kind of product. Original versions of 'The Purple Tape', as the album came to be informally known, are now highly sought-after collector’s items which exchange hands for big bucks, reaffirming the album’s legendary status among hip-hop heads.

Yet to label ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…’ as simply a great rap LP does it a huge disservice. The album is bona fide triumph of modern music, a 100% stone cold classic that deserves – demands – to be mentioned in the same breath as the very best rock and pop of the past 40-odd years.

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AZ – 'Doe Or Die'
In retrospect, ‘Doe Or Die’ – Brooklyn rapper AZ’s debut album – offers a revealing snapshot of a rap scene in transition during 1995, carrying strong clues of hip-hop’s general direction of travel at that point. The traditional rugged street rhymes which characterised the New York style in the earlier part of the decade sit next to the initial outlines of the Mafioso sub-genre which would become de rigeur in east coast hip-hop towards the end of the decade. (Raekwon had already delved into the mob life on ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, Nas would explore it further in 1996 on his second LP ‘It Was Written’, and Jay-Z and Lil’ Kim, to name just two, built their early commercial successes indulging in Mafia fantasies.)

Possibly also predicting the underground vs mainstream split that divided hip-hop in the late ‘90s, AZ attempts to reconcile the two camps on 'Sugar Hill', his debut single and a summer ’95 smash, in which he lays out a hardcore rags-to-riches rap (rhyming “Costa Rica” with “smoke my reefer” and comparing his rap style to a cocaine rush) over a radio-friendly candy-coated loop of ‘80s R&B duo Juicy’s ‘Sugar Free’.

Elsewhere, he excels on ‘Your World Don’t Stop’, an illuminating study of life on lockdown. While most rap songs dealing with prison life rarely go beyond stories of a vicious lunch-hall shanking or attempts to fend off unwanted, er, ‘attention’ in the showers, AZ takes an altogether more introspective approach: “Without knowledge of self, how else can a criminal change?/And being locked up just ain't the life for me/Shit is way too trife for me/‘You're coming home soon’ sounds so nice to me…”

The set also benefits from a stellar supporting cast: AZ had been the sole guest vocalist on Nas’s excellent ‘Illmatic’ LP a year earlier, and Nas returns the favour here on the superb ‘Mo Money, Mo Murder, Mo Homicide’, while the likes of L.E.S., Pete Rock and Buckwild supply the sounds.

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Group Home – 'Livin’ Proof'
Taking a less-is-more approach to the art of rapping, the East New York pairing of Lil’ Dap and Melachi The Nutcracker convincingly demonstrated that an altogether more simplistic vocal style can often prevail over more technically-elaborate rhyming.

Protégés of Guru and DJ Premier – the legendary underground duo Gang Starr – Group Home’s memorable debut sees Lil’ Dap deliver lines with heavy lisp, while Melachi brings an almost brutalist style of emceeing, dropping faintly absurd lines like “it’s a wonderful world/a world of wonder” and “I’m nuttin’ suckas like a runaway deer”. On their debut single ‘Supa Star’ (at one point the biggest song in New York over the ‘94/’95 winter) he advises you to “Always love your mother ‘cause you never get another”, but later he’d threaten to “hit ya moms in the head with a metal pipe”. At least he has all bases covered.

On paper, it absolutely shouldn’t work. But backed by some of DJ Premier’s finest ever production – a heady mix of tough funk breaks and woozy jazz loops – it makes for a memorable trip into the duo’s low budget environment: ‘2 Thousand’ is backed by an awesome cut-up of Donald Byrd’s ‘I Feel Like Lovin’ You Today’, while Bob James’s ‘Valley Of The Shadows’ brings an understated menace to the brilliant ‘The Realness’.

A hundred times more quotable than many other albums by technically superior emcees, consider this the authentic sound of the ‘90s New York underground, before a clutter of rappers with complex metaphors and needlessly intricate rhyme patterns caused it to disappear up its own arse at the turn of the millennium. Group Home: nowhere near simple.

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Words: Hugh Leask

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It’s taken a decade for the powers that be to grant Reeperbahn festival permission to put on a show in St. Michaelis Kirche – credited on Wikipedia as the most famous church in Hamburg, considered ‘one of the finest Hanseatic Protestant baroque churches’, and broached by our guide on every possible occasion – and Clash couldn’t be more grateful they came through.

“I woke up this morning, in a pool of my own vomit,” William Fitzsimmons informs a four figure strong crowd in said holy arena, “I felt like an idiot. And I’ll be doing that exact same thing tonight.”

One of just two artists booked to play the exquisitely assembled interior, former Clash Next Waver Luke Sital-Singh being the other, Fitzsimmons’ confession plays up the contrasting nature of our stay; en route to the religious attraction we witness a guy on a bike wanking in a park, afterwards we are headed to an aesthetically brutal, physically mammoth WWII bunker to watch Metz play. But for 20 minutes we’re fully engaged in an environment that mirrors the grandeur of Beauty and the Beast, embracing the soft tones of the Illinois native.

Now in its tenth year (tote bags aside a detail not hard pushed by its organisers) Reeperbahn festival plays out on and around a street of the same name in the St. Pauli district: Hamburg’s red light ends, if you will (you will, signs for sex priced at 39€ are prominent, ugly though not intimidating, on the main drag).

Like the SXSW model its schedule refrains from gig exclusivity, stretching instead to a conference of talks with titles like ‘Female Is Not A Genre’ and ‘Ten Years Of YouTube – What’s Hot?’ (both sadly missed on account of a walk through of St. Pauli’s football ground and an only partially cringe inducing ukulele boasting Beatles tour); New Order in Conversation also features on the line-up.

Elsewhere marking 2015 as a distinctive year for the festival is ‘Aus Finnland!’ (‘From Finland!’) the inaugural streamlined showcase this year spotlighting Finland. “Finnish music is currently – more so than ever – on a fast rise towards international recognition on a large scale,” notes the director of Music Finland, Tuomo Tähtinen on the official literature.

21 year old Noah Kin here most grabs our attention (he plays four shows across two days, our enthusiasm isn’t just a happy accident); possessing qualities akin to contemporary rap heroes like Kendrick and Kanye (give it time), Kin’s Saturday night performance at Angie’s boasts a healthy crowd and ample interaction; K-X-P’s Rock Café stint is similarly engrossing, their particular brand of techno meets loud rock, smoke filled stage and black hoods informing the bar’s heavy mood.

It’s an interesting precursor to Denai Moore, perhaps, whom we watch next in the St. Pauli Kirche sat atop cardboard boxes (there are chairs but we’re late). Near solo on stage, Moore’s voice booms across the room, her audience fully enchanted. Songs like ‘No Light’ sound huge and grant comparisons to Adele, Florence Welch and Lauryn Hill.

Lucy Rose’s preliminary show (she will perform later in the night backed by a full band) likewise makes the case for seated musical excursions; the most intimate of occasions, half the full house takes to the floor with the rest not much higher. There’s something resolutely more personal in this set up that makes us wonder if the traditional slouched-at-the-bar pose should make a swift exit (unlikely, but can you imagine?).

Intent on making it a collaborative set list, the pin drop volume sees Rose invite audience participation throughout; the kindest moment arrives courtesy of a request for a song that presumably barely made it past 2009. “I’m married now and my husband hasn’t even heard this song; I use the word tsunami,” she protests before gently vocalising the inner most thoughts of her teenage self, tsunami and all.

Off schedule a tour of the Karoviertel area makes good on the volume of record stores promised: Hanseplatte purely stocks releases of those native to or resident of the city while not far Groove Shack’s front of house provides the backdrop for Noah Kin (naturally). Round the corner (Hamburg rapper) Samy Deluxe’s catering venture Gefundenes Fressen entices with desserts like The Blacker The ‘Chocolate The Sweeter The Juice’ and album cover doused doors; no toilet queue has ever been so sweet.

Finally it comes down to one of the festival’s bigger names to woo us. “Most of the time his concerts are quite amusing, sometimes he even performs naked,” confirms the (ultimate lifeline) festival app of Mac Demarco. On Friday night he remains, for the most part, covered up, various band members surrounding him in various stages of dress; general tomfoolery ensues as newbies are crowdsurfed, spit fights fought and tracks like ‘Chamber of Reflection’ prove there’s a crooner in Demarco yet. Embodying the anti-prom king – hands sweetly clasped over his crotch, hips swaying – a mix of tunes old and new gage the mood and fill the auditorium with the necessary vibes.  

Come 2017 the Elbphilharmonie might just be finished (the city’s staggering new concert hall was due for completion six years ago), but have faith when we tell you the city isn’t scarce of showstoppers. 

Words: Zoe Whitfield
Photos: Lisa Meinen, Nina Zimmermann, Florian Trykowski 

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Brighton-based artist Will Samson knew he needed to shake things up.

A respect ambient composer, the electronic musician decided that he needed to push his music somewhere slightly different. Introducing more prominent percussion, new album 'Ground Luminosity' – out on October 30th – is more beat driven, more explicitly electronic.

Will Samson explains: “I felt that this is something that can get lost amongst quiet, ambient sets – so I wanted to explore this middle ground. Since drums were the only instrument I had lessons for, I would spend many endless hours editing the tiniest little details of clicks and thumps, which became an almost zen-like process.”

Clash is able to premiere 'Pyrton Bells' and there's a terrific sense of stillness at the centre of the production. Wisps of vocals swirl around, with the rumble of percussion lending renewed intensity to the work.

Check it out now.

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Stage presence, that's the thing.

So often Clash will troop along to watch a new band, and their fringes will droop down over their chins, eyes pointed to the floor.

Not so, Marlon Williams. A New Zealand born talent, the singer's magnetic, emphatic stage presence contains a near religious fervour.

Signing a deal with Dead Ocean, Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders have pieced together a series of UK shows. As a sign of what to expect, Clash is able to unveil a new video and it's rather special…

Shot at the Theatre Royal in Christchurch, 'Portrait Of A Man' is a deeply personal rendering of a track initially performed by blues legend Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

The band swirls around Marlon as he stares straight ahead, his voice seizing hold of each word and wrestling it into the ground in a bloody frenzy.

It's quite something – watch it now.

Catch Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders at the following shows:

October
19 London The Lexington (support from Fenne Lily)
20 Bristol The Gallimaufry
21 Manchester Eagle Inn
23 Dublin Academy 2 (support from Laura Ann Brady)
24 Belfast McHugh's Bar (support from Jealous Of The Birds)
25 Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's
26 Leeds Brudenell Social Club

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Matt Woods wasn't born near the bright lights of London.

Brought up in Cornwall, he learned to sing as part of the Truro Cathedral choir before deciding to chance his luck in the capital.

Crafting enthralling, ambitious pop music, Matt Woods is now ready to unveil new cut 'Blue Skies'. Bolstered by a soaring vocal and lyrics that are all-too-true, the song is based around the idea of falling in love with your best friend.

Matt Woods: "The track is about falling in love with your best friend, and hoping for that impossible situation."

Check it out now.

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SUNN O))) are one of metal's most powerful and primeval forces, a group whose catalogue inspires artists fare beyond whatever genre you wish to place them in.

Working to their own schedule, the band have gradually pieced together new material. Now, they're ready to take their next step.

SUNN O))) will release new album 'Kannon' on December 4th via Southern Lord. Recorded with co-producer Randall Dunn, the LP includes contributions from long term such as collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, and Steve Moore.

Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger has been commissioned to create the artwork, while critical theorist Aliza Shvartz penned the liner notes.

In addition to this, a limited edition clear vinyl edition of 'Kannon' will be available on Record Store Day's Black Friday event (November 27th).

'Kannon' will be released on December 4th.

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