There's something innately disco in the French psyche.

Perhaps it's the glamour, the shimmering essence that disco brings, but our Gallic cousins have always adored disco, from its heyday to its current 21st century iteration.

Anoraak is leading the 2k16 charge, with the French producer uniting disco's various strands into something sensual and cutting edge.

Recently completing a North American tour alongside the Midnight In Paris label, the producer has crafted a new mixtape featuring some real highlights from his set.

Fun, frisky, and undoubtedly French, this is a gifted disco odyssey…

1. Vérité – Gesture
2. Lope & Kantola – See You
3. B R L L N T – 24
4. Nyxen – Take You
5. Robotaki – Ghostboy feat. Claire Ridgely
6. Pat Lok – My Own Throne (Young Franco remix)
7. LeMarquis – Thoughts
8. CIEN – Float
9. Cabu & Akacia – Gold (Fabich x Ferdinand Weber remix)
10. Shura – What’s It Gunna Be (Tourist remix)
11. Anoraak – We Lost feat. Slow Shiver (LEFTI remix)
12. LoFrames feat. Anoraak – Since You’ve Gone (Ride The Universe remix)

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Organ Reframed is a new venture that aims to cast new light on one of our oldest instruments.

The humble organ is most often used in church music, but – given its enormous range of tone, colour, and hue – it remains one of the most flexible musical instruments you can come across.

New three day event Organ Reframed aims to push this to the limit. Taking place at London's historic Union Chapel venue (itself still a working church) it features a raft of guest musicians and special performers.

Claire M Singer has been at the forefront of putting the event together, and agreed to piece together a new mix for Clash exploring the line up.

Check it out below, then catch her notes after the jump.

1. The Revd Mustard his Installation Prelude‚Ä® Written by Nico Muhly, performed by James McVinnie
(James McVinnie is performing at Organ Reframed on the 7th and 9th October)

2. Live in La Petite Chapelle (Extract) Written and performed by Christian Fennesz
(Performing at Organ Reframed on the 8th October)

3. Satyagraha – Act III Finale Written by Philip Glass, performed by Kevin Bowyer

4. Liminal Passage (Extract) Written by Bill Thompson, performed by Bill Thompson and Roger Williams
(New commission sound installation by Bill Thompson throughout the festival 7-9 October)

5. OST2 (Radio Edit) Written by Chaines
(Premiere of a new work for James McVinnie (Organ) and the London Contemporary Orchestra on the 9th October – Chaines will also be performing)

6. Nosferatu (Extract) Written by Irene Buckley
(Premiere of new score for organ, electronics, viola and cello for Nosferatu screening at Organ Reframed on the 7th October)

7. The Eternal Chord live at St. Saviour's Anglican Church, Riga, Latvia (Extract) Written and performed by Charles Matthews & Mike Harding
(Performing at Organ Reframed on the 8th October)

8. Volumina für Orgel (Extract) Written by György Ligeti and performed by Dominik Susteck

9. Live in the Crypt (Extract) Written and performed by Philip Jeck
(Performing at Organ Reframed on the 8th October)

10. The Molendinar (Extract) Written and performed by Claire M Singer (Union Chapel 1877 Henry Willis Organ)
(Artistic Director of Organ Reframed and performing on the 8th October)

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Organ Reframed runs between October 7th – 9th – ticket LINK.

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It's Monday morning, so here's a treat for you…

Phantom Runners is a collaborative project led by future-pop producer ADAL, a beat maker whose work is always laced with colour. 

New cut 'First Time' features vocals from Brooke Bailey, and it's a bright, buoyant, up beat piece of electro pop with an 80s R&B twinge. Having premiered 'First Time' on Clash back in July we are excited to hear the track reworked and the remixes do the sweet, blissful innocence of the original justice.

Cologne electronic duo MBP and Berlin based Lindahl step in on remix duties, and these re-work's will light a fire under you. Tune in now.

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Colouring are aptly named – there's a painterly quality to the way they approach sound, to the way each song is sketched out.

The English four-piece are essentially a dream pop project, but their hazy, gauze-like sound is far more complex than that term might suggest.

Clash is able to unveil a new cover from the group, tackling a Motown classic and one of pop music's core texts.

'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' is given a funereal treatment, slowed down, pared back, and shot in monochrome.

The paranoia of the original is heightened, with Colouring seeming to suggest the moment of heartbreak in rather more bleak terms than Marvin Gaye.

Tune in below.

Photo Credit: Grace O'Neill

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Kate Bush is set to release a live album based in her residency at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

The iconic English artist broke a long held hiatus from touring with the 22 night residency Before The Dawn in 2014, and the results were somewhat spectacular.

Each set was split into three parts, combining a run of hits with material from the song cycles on the 'Hounds Of Love' and 'Aerial' albums.

The upcoming live album is attributed to The KT Fellowship, and will be released on November 25th through Kate Bush's Fish People label.

Available on a 3-CD and 4-vinyl set, the press note promises that "nothing on the record was re-recorded or overdubbed".

Incredible scenes…

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SLO is the latest iteration of Jess Mills' ineffable creativity.

A songwriter with real flair, Jess recently took a step back, re-evaluating the type of music she wanted to make and how she wanted to make it.

SLO allows her free rein, with this imaginative approach resulting in some of the most intriguing music of her career.

New EP 'Atone' finds SLO mixing it up, with Jess Mills' silken-smooth vocals set against some sparkling production.

An incisive pop commentator, Clash placed SLO in the hot seat for our weekly singles round up.

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Empire Of The Sun – 'Two Vines'

Empire Of The Sun’s music is instantly recognisable – they have a consistent and real distinctiveness to their sound. 'Two Vines' is not as infectious as some of their previous singles – but it's definitely a grower! I particularly like the breakdown in the middle section.

Green Day – 'Bang Bang'

It sounds like it can be a big single for them – musically Green Day sit on a different plant from mine, but their fans will love it.

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Jack Garratt – 'Far Cry'

I love what Jack does. His productions are relentless in the pursuit of new ideas and at a time when a lot of music has become so derivative – his feels fresh and full of imagination. I particularly love the latter part of this track. You can tell he makes music for himself and not just to please the crowds, even though as a result he has definitely ended up doing that massively, too!

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Tinashe – 'Superlove'

For me, the production is the best part of this trac – the song is not so special, though. The best parts of the production remind me of 'Shorty Swing My Way' by KP & Envyi, which can never be a bad thing.

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Bastille – 'Send Them Off'

I’ve listened to this song a few times, but have struggled to find something really memorable in it. Whether Bastille are your cup of tea or not, their writing can definitely be ear-catching. For me, though, this song doesn’t have as much character.

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Dua Lipa – 'Blow Your Mind (Mwah)'

I first heard Dua Lipa a year or two ago. An old friend of mine co-wrote 'Hotter Than Hell' with her, he played the demo to me in cafe off his iPhone just as an a capella. We both knew then it was going to be a big song for them both, and I’m so happy it was. She’s a proper pop star – one of the brightest coming out of the UK at the moment. She laid a brilliant foundation for herself with her first few singles and I think this one will keep her star burning on bright.

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'Atone' EP is out now.

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It's been a long, hot summer, and Tuska are in no mood to let it slip away.

Raw, vital rock music with psychedelic overtones, the upcoming two-piece have plenty raucous shows across the land, bringing their larger-than-life sound to a venue near you.

Now located in London, the duo – Richard Sturges and Rob Weaver – are busy beavering away in the studio, working on fresh material.

New cut 'Da Da Da' is the result. Oddly infectious, the raw production style is allied to some of the pair's most direct, up-front songwriting to date.

Check it out now.

Catch Tuska at the following shows:

29 London Good Karma Club, The Islington

18 London Electrowerkz

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Alyss is classically trained but found her true home in the clubs.

Immersing herself in electronic music, something seemed to blossom within her, something genuinely creative – check out those recent collaborations with MJ Cole, SG Lewis for further evidence.

New EP 'Motherland' drops on October 28th, with vital tastemakers PMR Records stepping in to support the highly talented producer.

New cut 'T S I E R' – 'This Shit Isn't Even Real' – is online now, with its billowing, silken-smooth production matched to some superb songwriting.

Alyss explains: "I’d been studying shaman teachings around that time and there was one principle that I couldn’t get out my head: dreams are real and reality is a dream. Both are equally as real as they are hallucination. The more I dissected the concept, the more it tripped me out. In a good way. It’s mad how such simple words have completely changed how I view existence. I guess making 'T S I E R' was like an audible screenshot of that perspective shift".

Adesse steps in on remix duties, amplifying the electronics while retaining the emotional core of Alyss' artistry.

Check it out now.

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Rough comparisons have always done a disservice to the scope of vision between Merchandise’s two principle songwriters Carson Cox and David Vassalotti. For a songwriting duo that got together over a love of Ornette Coleman’s ‘Free Jazz’, Faust’s ‘Faust IV’, and Muslimgauze’s ‘Lo-Fi India Abuse’, one imagines it can be pretty amusing for them to see papers and blogs hail them the next Tears For Fears with shades of Echo and the Bunnymen during every album campaign. But comparisons, like genres themselves, are usually a marketing tool — demarcating the boundaries of an artist’s creativity in the hopes of cellophane wrapping an easy-to-digest package. The real truth lies across the void between critic and artist.

‘A Corpse Wired For Sound’ is the second record Merchandise have put out for 4AD. Their first, ‘After The End’, saw the group remake themselves as a pop band — think less Tame Impala, more Roxy Music. The band refused to compromise on any of the weirdness that made them so unique, instead crafting a set of louche but palatable songs with clever arrangements that would attempt to entice you into their world but as David says in the press bumph for this album, “it couldn’t last.” On ‘A Corpse…’ we see a return to the same kind of noise rock dynamics they tried on first LP ‘Strange Songs In The Dark’. Swirling ambience characterises the album’s first few seconds as ‘Flower Of Sex’ gets underway. The DIY production is rigorous and academic in its detail. Certain drums are out of reach, certain guitars don’t want to announce themselves as guitars, at every turn the album asks you to stop listening to the bricks and just listen to the wall.

Of their five records to date, ‘A Corpse…’ is their heaviest. They picked the title because in Carson’s words: “it could be anything or nothing but either way it sounds fucked up.” Every motif they explore, both musically and lyrically, seems to obliquely refer to it. Whether it’s the lifeless metallic guitars, gut-sinking dive-bombs, and blunt dubby drums of ‘End Of The Week’ or the abject lyrical jadedness of ‘Right Back To The Start’, everything retroactively seems to converse with the metaphoric ‘corpse’ to make for a listen that’s sometimes deeply uncomfortable in its pessimism — like voyeuristically peering into a stolen journal only to recoil at the realisation that you’re looking at the fears and traumas of another human being.

Fragmented and seemingly built for solitary listening with headphones, ‘A Corpse Wired For Sound’ nevertheless succeeds in holding your attention for the entirety. While often bleak, there is a joy to be heard for anyone willing to look for it. The joy of making music and experimenting really permeates the later parts of the album. On ‘Lonesome Sound’ David effortlessly peels off a frankly bizarre guitar lick that sounds like a saxophone squawking free jazz. For the most part a somber song, the outro to ‘Silence’ sees the group spectacularly murder the thing they’re writing about with earth-shatteringly noisy synths. ‘I Will Not Sleep Here’ is a Vassalotti song written almost a decade ago which the group have had troubles recording over the years – it’s euphoric to hear them finally nail it. Meanwhile all the heads will have found their new favourite live song in the driving beats and transcendent arrangements of ‘My Dream Is Yours’.

Difficult, fragmented and curiously metallic, Merchandise relay their subjective experience of modernity on this album. It’s strangely perverse and cynical, by turns encouraging multiple listens, or making you feel like you need a break. Foremost though, it’s a beautiful album, and it’s the sound of a band realising they can finally do anything they want with sound.


Words: Tim Hakki

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Danny Brown casts off the more user-friendly EDM touches that brought his previous effort ‘Old’ some mainstream attention in 2013, and drags his fourth LP ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ into an altogether murkier zone – both sonically and thematically. In the build-up to its release, much has been made of the album’s Joy Division-referencing title and Brown’s punk rock inclinations. And while lo-fi guitars and grungy feedback frequently reverberate around his jittery drug-fuelled dispatches, the album – issued on the Warp label – also taps into the grimier aspects of his Detroit home turf’s electronic lineage.

“I’m sweating like I’m in a rave,” Brown begins on opener ‘Downward Spiral’, establishing the album’s highly-strung tone with a narcotics-comedown swollen with paranoia and discomfort in which he refuses to answer the door, nauseous having not eaten for days. ‘When It Rain’, meanwhile, is an overwrought, turbulent juggernaut that bounces ghettotech references (Traxman and DJ Assault are both saluted) off crime-ridden blocks swamped with angel dust. “Doomed from the time we emerged from the womb/So to cope, drugs we consume,” he gasps.

Yet beyond this wired mix of post-punk anxiety, splintered techno elements and haunting soul samples, it’s Danny Brown’s rhyming ability that ultimately sees the LP flourish. As he puts it himself, he’s “nice with the bars, even the beat begs my pardon.” Brown constantly switches up flows, deftly weaving punchy pop culture homages into the off-base speedball stories, which makes for a compelling, if unnerving, concoction. Paul White, Alchemist, Black Milk, Petite Noir and Evian Christ handle the music, and while the tempo ebbs and flows, the ominous vibe never really lets up. Stellar posse cut ‘Really Doe’ gathers together Ab Soul, Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar to spit scintillating raps over Black Milk’s pounding horror movie beat, which is shot through with a restlessly creepy bell ring, as ‘Today’ and ‘Pneumonia’ create an equally eerie minimalist flipside.

The only real respite comes in the form of ‘Get Hi’, a whimsical, woozy weed rap which features Cypress Hill’s B-Real on the hook and pays tribute to the 20th century’s jazz greats (and, inevitably, their extensive drug use.) “I’m Coltrane on Soul Plane”, declares Brown in between Miles Davis and Cotton Club namechecks, before explaining how he “hit the greenery, jaws go Gillespie/have a nigga shakin’ like epilepsy” (memorably mispronounced here as “epsilepsy”.)

The autobiographical closer ‘Hell For It’ details Danny’s formative years growing up in Detroit and his come-up in the rap game. It’s a stomping grand finale. “Stuck up in the hood, praying rap would get me out/Momma ‘bout to lose her house/Gotta figure this shit out,” he recalls, sketching out in rich detail his hard-scrabble rise from hustling drugs with his uncle (“Used to hide it in my closet/Type of shit that have a fiend crawling on his carpet”) to catching 12-hour bus rides to New York, shopping his demo and sleeping on studio floors.

By verse two he’s in full flow, dissing Iggy Azalea and lobbing lyrical grenades across the hip-hop landscape (“I’m knowing I’m the best, they compare skills to sales/Tell myself every day, ‘No, this shit ain’t real’/Radio don’t make you ill/Get a hit, they feel they’self/Respect for lyricism? In this game ain’t none left…”), before concluding his manifesto: “I just wanna make music, fuck being a celebrity/’Cause these songs that I write leave behind my legacy.”

It’s a surprisingly rousing wrap-up, with our protagonist sounding sharp and purposeful in marked contrast to the trembling wreck we discovered at the start of the LP. The song not only contextualises the coke-fuelled fresh hell on display earlier, it also offers pretty persuasive proof that, in terms of rapping pedigree, there aren’t many better than Danny Brown at this point.


Words: Hugh Leask (@HughSnoozeULose)

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