Listening to Skinny Pelembe is like peeling back different layers of musical heritage. From UK drum 'n' bass and contemporary jazz, to classic US hip-hop and surf guitar bands, his collage-like approach speaks to an absolute love of music, and disregard of genre.

Looking to shoegazers My Bloody Valentine as much as broken beat pioneer IG Culture, the Johannesburg-born, Doncaster-raised artist’s musical journey has taken him to the aptly diverse musical home of Brownswood Recordings, and has seen him make waves with his experimental beats and sound.

Skinny has also collaborated with the likes of Yazmin Lacey, Hejira and Emma-Jean Thackray, and garnered attention from legendary producer and label boss James Lavelle (Mo’Wax), who hit him up to join UNKLE on stage at Royal Festival Hall in April.  His eagerly-anticipated debut LP – ‘Dreaming Is Dead Now’ – was co-produced by Malcolm Catto (The Heliocentrics), while on lead single he worked with a duo of foundational drum 'n' bass producers (working under the mysterious alias of The Bleeding Edge) who he’s long looked up to.

In March Skinny released the defiant ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’ – written on the day he moved to London, about the racism and prejudice still so prevalent in British society – and his deeply personal upcoming album looks set to deepen the mark he’s already made on UK music. Clash caught up with him to find out more about the record, his journey getting to it, and his creative process.

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Listening back to everything you’ve made over the last few years, it feels like there are so many different influences coming through. What do you draw on, musically?

I try never to put a genre on it, but I've also tried to be in bands and in all different things, everything at some point or another. Like, I wanted to be in a surf band, then at uni in Leeds I wanted to make drum 'n' bass, then this and that, then at one point I thought I'd try and bring them all into one thing. 

Did moving from up North to London change things for you creatively?

I moved down about five years ago. I think I’m a bit of a mardy arse, and when everyone's doing one thing I just want to go and do the opposite thing. I moved down and everyone was doing the cool jazz thing, and I was like 'I don’t want to do that at all", but now I'm on the same label as all of those people. And as much as I want to do the opposite and say, 'You can stay in Manchester or Leeds, you don't need London' it actually does help. I moved down, joined Future Bubblers [a Gilles Peterson-linked musical talent incubation project] and it just sped everything up a million times. 

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Future Bubblers is everything. The whole reason I sound like I do – partly – is through listening to Gilles' show, and he literally plays everything. The guy who was my first band's manager (and runs a studio in Doncaster that I still record at), he put me onto that show when I was like 15.  I remember the time that I most liked listening to his show, Gilles was going through a punky phase and playing Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' and I was like “This is great, who the f*** is this?!” My brother had been telling me about Bauhaus and I didn’t want to listen to him – he was a trendy hipster – but then Gilles played it…

Listening to his show put me on to so much stuff. 

Then being associated with Brownswood and Worldwide FM and that whole crew was great.  Alex Patchwork at Ninja Tune was my mentor on Future Bubblers, just a really sound guy, and all those people are people I really looked up to. Then all of a sudden there was that feeling of, "Oh, I could be proper. These guys are proper, I'm talking to them…maybe I could be proper."

I think I feel slightly proper, a quarter proper. 

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It sound like it’s been a really personal journey, not just in the connections you’ve made in music but in your lyrics too – you talk about racism and xenophobia, the death of your father…why do you reach for the personal?

This record is completely personal. It's nice in one sense, but its going to be nice to be able to move on and write in a different kind of way or from a different perspective. But for this one, it was kind of unavoidable. I've been trying to say this for years. 

It all kind of feels cathartic, for me it's nice to get that over with and done. It's something I've always had in my head and always been a bit obsessed with death so it was good to get it all out. Have one moody album, then get onto the next one – which is just going be all bangers. 

I read that you had used a dream journal to write some of the lyics?

I got a book off my brother by Erich Fromm called 'Beyond the Chains of Illusion'  – basically a book about Freud and Marx from his perspective, and not that I'm a Freud fanboy or anything but it is interesting. I posted a picture of it online and some random woman in Germany said I should keep a dream journal and gave me load of other recommendations for books. So I just did. 

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Then I realised it's a really easy way to write lyrics, I'm doing them while I’m sleeping. Literally just wake up, write down the dream and it’s there. 

When it comes to production, how do you find your samples?

I can't collect stuff. You know that thing about having everything you own fit into a suitcase? I've managed to get down to the suitcase (apart from the guitar, and a couple of jackets…well, lot of jackets), because I like the feeling of being able to go at any point, I don’t like being settled in one place ever.

So I don’t collect records unless someone gives them to me and they have a nice meaning, or it has a certain memory associated with it. I sample either from stuff people have given me, or from charity shops. I don’t like going to record stores for digging, because everybody's gonna get the same stuff, you’re gonna sound the same. So it’s usually shit soundtracks and stuff like that from charity shops, stuff from from Western films. 

The Yazmin Lacey record [‘Not Your Friend, Not Your Enemy’] has samples from a record that’s literally just a 12inch full of the sound of switches and clicks – switches being turned on and off – so there's loads of that in the percussion. It must have been made by someone with way too much time on their hands and way too much budget!

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The guy that I co-wrote it with brought that, and I brought a record full of bird sounds, and we put the two together. 

We didn’t put anything over Yazmin’s vocals. The thing I really love about her voice when that there’s hardly any reverb – she's perfect. I didn’t need to put anything on it, It just kind of falls out of her. 

Are you less confident about your own voice? It seems to be coming through more now than on earlier work?

On the earlier stuff it's way more buried in the mix – I just didn’t think I could sing at that point. With the new stuff it’s slightly higher in the mix because listening back to older stuff it felt really quiet.

And also now I think I can sing a bit. 

You definitely can! Talking of the work with Yazmin Lacey, you’ve collaborated with a lot of people over the past few years – does it help your creative process?

No I don't think it helps! I'm a bit of a control freak.

With Yaz that was fine, we're mates and we met through Future Bubblers and she's absolutely great. Emma-Jean Thackray was the only person I hadn’t met before I worked with her, but she's from Leeds, so, I thought she'd be sound – turns out she is! That's the rule of thumb: if you're from Yorkshire, you're usually sound. 

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I can already hear what I want songs to sound like – the hard bit is getting it to record. The fewer chefs involved the better. Here, the chefs we did have – the producers – I didn’t mind touching it, because I really rate them.

And with then the band – we sampled them way more than I ever have before. I gave them a lot more of a free rein. Remi [Graves]'s drumming is all over ‘No Blacks No Dogs’, And Chloe [Smith} our keyboard player played a lot of the bass parts. 

But I literally thought I was going to crack up finishing it [the album]. Then we finished and I just went to a mountain in France for a week, away from everything. It was really nice. 

It sounds like an exciting project to work on, despite feeling like you were going to crack towards the end. Now that part’s over, what are you looking forward to?

We're playing with UNKLE on Friday [Clash sat down with Skinny in April] and I've literally never been more excited. UNKLE's albums were the ones that I got when I went to uni, and took them home and thought 'F***ing hell this is amazing' – so to open for him is mint.

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Amazing! How did that come about?

I think he got in touch because I was listening to ‘Natural Selection’ – the remix by Tom Furse from The Horrors, and posted on social media: “This is literally one of the best tracks ever” and tagged them. About a month later he phoned up and asked if I wanted to play this gig. 

The track that I was on about – fingers crossed – is the one I'm going to sing on at the Royal Albert Hall. With UNKLE. I get to sing one of my favourite songs, with one of my favourite bands. So, forget all the other stuff – that's gonna be the most exciting thing ever. 

Then I'll be filling up my 'proper' tank a little bit. 

‘Dreaming Is Dead Now’ is out on 24 May via Brownswood Recordings

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Photography: Casey Moore

Words: Emma Finamore

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Roken grew up around music.

His grandfather ran a small record label in the 60s, releasing doo wop and bubblegum alongside shards of soul. His father, meanwhile, was in bands during the 80s, providing a backdrop to his early childhood.

Writing songs from childhood, Roken swapped New York for Nashville, before flying out to London to develop his own sound.

Left field R&B mingling with deft electronics, a further move to Los Angeles allowed Roken to bring all of these places together.

Working alongside Francois Tetaz (Gotye) and Jasper Leak (Sia) to produce an EP, it's a patchwork of his experiences to date.

He explains: "The EP is an interesting group of songs in the sense that some were written at home on Long Island surrounded by friends and loved ones, while others were written in other cities across the country with people I was just meeting for the first time. I think you can really get a sense of the loneliness I was feeling in some of the songs I wrote when I was far away from home."

New cut 'Comfortable' is online now, a bold return that hinges on that dramatic vocal, his ability to bring decidedly non-pop influences into a pop context.

Roken explains: "One of my favourite things to do when producing is to find a sound or a group of sounds that I don't normally hear on the radio, and then melding that with the words and story being told in the song. I think being able to find a way to blend the lyric with the music in a fresh and interesting way that still makes sense, is the ultimate goal in creating music."

Tune in now.

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Proper Micro NV released one of last year's most intoxicating underground records, fusing introspective songwriting with questing electronics on 'Dormant Boy'.

Soulful in a mechanised fashion, it seems to use technology as a means to pin down common humanity, to open out new conversations.

Roisin Murphy was a fan of the record, and with the Irish artist ready to move into new areas he has decided to share a brand new video.

'All The Time Proactively Searching' was a real highlight on the LP, recalling Darkstar's rendition of 'Gold' in its sub zero synth pop resonance.

"The song is very deep and straight to the point," he comments. "I wrote it at a time where I was looking for that big euphoric feeling but it wasn't really coming and so that realisation that it wasn't there yet hit the song lyrically. It's very simple yet quite warped – and I like that."

We're able to share the full video, a simple but dazzling affair that finds Proper Micro NV's mask-clad face shrouded in colour.

He continues: "The video is very colourful and a bit neon – the total opposite to the song really but the movement of the character, the darkness of the surrounding area and the characters sudden realisation at the lack of euphoria kind of portrays the journey the song is putting out there. It was a quite a trick to try and get all of that across whilst wearing a mask but I suppose that was part of the challenge for me…"

Tune in now.

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“It’s such a waste if you don’t embrace the music you genuinely like,” sighs frontwoman Barrie Lindsay. Sat upstairs at Moth Club surrounded by wooden furniture, patterned carpets and a trophy stand, Clash listens to what the five-piece Brooklyn bunch have to say in their distinct twangy American accents.

Forming around lead singer and songwriter Barrie Lindsay, Barrie was born and bred in New York. Consisting of four other musicians – Dom Apa, Noah Prebish, Sabine Holler, and Spurge Carter – the band began releasing music together only last year. It's been a whirlwind ride so far, and we’ve heard three fascinating singles: the glossy 80s synth-led ‘Tal Uno’ and glistening chill of ‘Canyons’, to the classic rock heard in ‘Michigan’.

Taking things to the next step, they have announced their first album to be out this Friday. On this debut LP 'Happy To Be Here', their multidimensional take on classic pop sounds awake and present, yet also like a dazed daydream. “In making it, there was no set theme but in retrospect I think a lot of it is about moving and transitional,” Barrie ponders. “In some ways it reflects me moving to New York and meeting these people, starting a new phase of life. Like I say, it was never a conscious thing but you can definitely see that thread through the songs. It’s a very New York album,” she shares.

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Largely writing songs late into the night, alone in her apartment, her voice feels appropriately full of possibility and fragility. "Little touches like that really shine through,” she beams.

Choosing Brooklyn as their designated spot, the band seeded from involvement with The Lot, a Brooklyn based online radio station, with members being recruited from various locations. “Spurge and I first met at The Lot Radio,” explains Noah. “There was this guy there called Joe who was managing Barrie when she was living in Boston and came to us like oh I’m managing this singer, she’s going to be huge and you’re going to be in her band and we were like alright!” he laughs.

“None of us were really looking to start a band it just sort of happened. Barrie moved to New York and showed up – we were a band whether we liked it or not. Thanks Joe, wherever you are!” he cheekily grins as Sabine finishes: “For me, it was my second month in New York and l was casually looking for stuff to do whilst being a musician. I was on Tinder and there was this profile that was like if you’re a girl and can play bass we want you to be a part of this band. I swiped right and we met up,” she giggles.

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The fact they’ve all ventured from different places, undoubtably brings contrasting influences to their music. “Everybody has very different backgrounds and skills,” Barrie agrees. “Noah has a ton of synth production experience and Spurge as-well in terms of production. Sabine has her own solo project where she does lots of experimental electronic stuff, then Dom is a really experienced drummer. Especially in bringing a live show to life, it has been a success and more what I could have done if I was just on my own,” she tells me.

“Barrie just writes the songs but after that’s where our experience comes in,” Dom continues. “So for us, the songs are already pretty much done, and we then go onto interpreting it ourselves. It’s interesting and with this being the first album for Barrie and stuff, I don’t think any of us have previously joined someone else’s project or thought of ourselves as people that would be worthy to bring something to the table. I think each of us had to find our own way, figuring out what about us individually that we could give. We all listen to completely different music so when we’re in the studio I’m always amazed at how we agree on things.”

Nodding in agreement, Barrie clarifies: “Although a lot of the songs were already written, we played and rehearsed them for 6-9 months before we recorded the album. So I guess a lot of them grew throughout the process of us playing them,” she says.

“Yeah, it’s very decidedly Barrie’s songs but we act as the background with different elements,” Noah adds, politely interrupting. “It’s all been a bunch of happy accidents which has been a result of people taking different approaches.”

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Primarily being Barrie’s own project, it was interesting to hear how the journey's been for them all as a band. Developing from just one member to five must have been a cataphoric shift for Barrie and her work.

“When I was in Boston I had all my equipment and everything in my apartment, but when moving to New York I didn’t have access to them which ended up being a blessing. This meant I could rely on everyone else to do other parts which is great! In the past I always tried to do everything myself,” she explains.

“Personally for me, I’ve never played in a band before,” Spurge proceeds. “I’ve always been into electronics and stuff. We all make music individually on our laptops as-well so through physical communication it has been really good for all of us to see how we understand things.”

Softly chuckling in the background, Noah notes, “I just want to say for anyone out there thinking about starting music but feels like they’ve waiting too long, Spurge had never played in a band and then two years later played live in the BBC radio studio so you can do whatever you want!”

Collectively laughing as one, Sabine speaks up: “I didn’t know how to play bass before. I fooled them, I was a guitarist really,” she bursts.

Clearly generating their excitement through radiant smiles and titters, Barrie match charming charisma to magical dream-pop – we're lucky to have them.

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Barrie will release 'Happy To Be Here' on May 3rd.

Words + Photography: Lauren McDermott

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Bob Dylan has curated a 14CD box set based on his famous Rolling Thunder Revue.

The 1975 tour took the legendary songwriter back out on the road, playing a series of shows across North America.

Joined by a host of guests, the performances have become much mythologised, with Dylan at his freewheeling best.

A new 14CD box set looks to be a true treasure trove for fans, featuring all five of Dylan’s full sets from that tour that were professionally recorded.

Alongside this the box set will include tapes for recently unearthed rehearsals at New York's S.I.R. studios and the Seacrest Motel in Falmouth, MA plus a bonus disc featuring some one-of-a-kind performances from the tour.

'Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings' will be released on June 7th – pre-order LINK – and will contain 148 tracks in total, alongside never-before-seen Rolling Thunder Revue photos and an essay by novelist/musician Wesley Stace.

'Bob Dylan – Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings' details:

DISC 1: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 19, 1975
DISC 2: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 21, 1975
DISC 3: Seacrest Motel Rehearsals, Falmouth, MA – October 29, 1975
DISC 4-5: Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA – November 19, 1975
DISC 6-7: Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge, MA – November 20, 1975
DISC 8-9: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (afternoon)
DISC 10-11: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (evening)
DISC 12-13: Forum de Montreal, Quebec, Canada – December 4, 1975
DISC 14: Rare Performances

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If Roses Gabor’s music was a type of food it would “probably [be] some gorgeous looking blue or sea-green hallucinogenic mushroom,” she tells Clash.

Gabor makes the sort of heart-cleansing music that transports you from the drab realities of everyday life to the more fantastical stylings of the imagination, yet still retaining such true, relatable, emotive feels throughout. “I feel what I feel, I write it down and then I share it with the world, or at least try to,” she says.

Her sound, while soulful, often flirts with a more expansive, sometimes otherworldly, electronic palette. “I think R&B has always been a part of me and is something that will always be a part of me,” she goes on to explain, “but then I’ve always dabbled in other things, because there are other things that I like, so sonically it might have been difficult to pin it down.”

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Slow-burning in both her cadence and her trajectory, the West Londoner of Grenadian-Dominican heritage has lent her captivating vocals to an impressive roster of producers including SBTRKT, ShyFX, Machinedrum, Swindle and Gorillaz. Focusing on solo material in the last few years after quitting a job in the City, her debut album, ‘Fantasy And Facts’, was released back in February, and boasts Grammy-winning collaborators such as The Stereotypes, Greg Wells, and Fred Ball, as well as esteemed UK talents Team Salut, Toddla T and Sampha. “My record is full of people that I really love, people that I really feel excited about when they play me something,” she enthuses.

In parts soul searing, elsewhere without inhibition, surprisingly energetic and danceable, time and again Roses proffers lush, incredibly depth-filled soundscapes that almost dip into the celestial.

Love, vibrations, astrology and spirituality are all influences in Roses’ world. Describing a track from her debut album that she thinks will imbue the most numinous in listeners, she notes: “I think it would be a song called ‘Perfect Magnitude’, produced by Greg Wells. I recorded it in this chateau in France. The room I was in looked really churchy and the sonics in there were beautiful. As I was recording it I could feel the tears coming. I felt most connected and it’s been one of my favourite songs for a long time.”

“But then,” she adds, “‘I Could Be Yours’, I feel like it touched people in such a magical way that [it] too could be seen as that same sort of connection.” She could have chosen many more, to be honest. Roses Gabor will have that effect on you.

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Words: Laura Arowolo
Photography: Vicky Grout

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Vancouver post-punk group Dumb shake hard on their new single 'Beef Hits'.

The band's 'barbed wire wrapped around barbed wire' approach makes each song riveting, delving into the spirit and fury of post-punk while adding something resolutely new.

Comparisons could be made with everyone from Parquet Courts to the Pop Group, with new album 'Club Nites' ratcheting things up a notch.

Out on June 7th, new single 'Beef Hits' leads the way, with its wayward rhythmic push allied to some ultra-dry guitar tones and heavily spiked riffs.

Weirdly contagious, it explodes into a James Chance style sax solo, a warbling, gyrating whirlwind of sound as the band crashlands around it.

Tune in now.

Photo Credit: Marisa Holmes

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Stateside-based synth pop artist Patience has shared her gorgeous new song 'Living Things Don't Last'.

The project is helmed by Roxanne Clifford, whose work in The Royal We and Veronica Falls retain their lustre after all this time.

Now living and working in Los Angeles, Patience will release her debut album 'Dizzy Spells' through Night School Records on May 3rd.

New single 'Living Things Don't Last' is rooted in her pure vocal, with wisps of digital sound billowing around her.

Recalling those imperial New Order singles or even early Pet Shop Boys, it's an endlessly intoxicating synth curiosity.

The video is online now, and it features Patience rollerskating. Roxanne explains…

"When I rollerskate my mind goes somewhere else completely and I fall into a sort of trance like state of content. I wanted to conjure up this feeling in the visual which acts as a simple and hypnotic companion to the song. The footage was shot from a car window and shows me endlessly skating around Silver Lake Reservoir at dusk."

Tune in now.

Patience will play London's Moth Club on June 18th.

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Travis are set to release their breakout set from Glastonbury in 1999 later this year.

The set marked a real moment for the group, who were basking in the acclaim and warm feeling around their album 'The Man Who'.

Just as they went to play 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' the heavens opened, and the sight of thousands of people dancing in the rain was beamed into households across the country by the BBC.

The set will now be given an official release, with 'Glastonbury '99' landing on June 21st.

Fran Healy recalls: “We all thought it was a really below-par performance and a literal washout. When I got home that night, I switched the TV on and the presenters on the Glastonbury highlights were hailing us as the performance of the festival. I watched it years later on YouTube. It was a great performance. A band teetering on the pivot and then tipping all in one gig.”

Alongside this Travis have prepared a bonus expanded edition of 'The Man Who' featuring 19 B-sides hand-picked by the band themselves.

The new edition of 'The Man Who' will also land on June 21st.

Photo Credit: Pat Pope

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Pete Doherty has been admitted to hospital after suffering an infected wound following an incident with a hedgehog.

The Libertine is currently promoting his new album, with Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres' debut LP finding his muse revived.

Clash was due to interview yesterday – April 29th – but following a conversation with the singer's manager it became clear it wouldn't happen.

The reason? Pete Doherty was in hospital, his hand carrying an infected wound due to a hedgehog spike.

According to reports the songwriter was walking his two huskies when one caught a hedgehog – attempting to retrieve the animal, a spike became stuck in Pete Doherty's hand.

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake broke the news:

"Pete Doherty is now in hospital having the infected hedgehog spine removed from his finger. We wish Pete well because whatever has happened is serious enough that he has not been able to make it."

Get well soon Pete!

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