Monthly Archives

July 2017

The Weekly Roundup 30.07.17

The outdoor music festival season is in full swing right now here in Europe and with it comes the annual criticism of the line-ups at many of the major ones. Regardless of the genre – be it dance, rock or alternative – the top end of the bills tend to operate on a two or three year cycle which sees the same acts popping up with numbing regularity. There are only so many bands that can top a bill, some of them might not be available and they may not be affordable. But that doesn’t answer the complaints of the critics as to the conservatism of the events. Anecdotally I’m hearing friends say they’re noticing this trend working its way further down the running order now, so that at some festivals almost the entire bill had played at the same festival in the previous few years. As for the cause? There are many opinions but no real facts – agents and promoters working too closely together, festivals having to play safe due to the costs involved, buy-ons or audiences getting older and less adventurous have all been suggested as causes. The thing is, the festivals are still getting big numbers through the door and ultimately they have to watch the bottom line. For some running festivals may be a labour of love, but they are about making profits for investors. But as we’re seeing here in the UK with top-level football, eventually it results in events becoming something to be consumed quietly and passively, rather than to be lived and experienced. A festival where the audience stands in silence whilst the band played on would be a tragic thing.  And with that, on with the music!

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NEW MUSIC: Queen Alaska – Under My Skin

Berlin based electronic producer and songwriter Queen Alaska really caught our attention with her debut release Under My Skin. At times epic, at other times fragile; it sees composer, producer, vocalist and audio-visual artist Anneli Bentler using a wide range of influences and sounds to whip up something magical.

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NEW MUSIC: idesia – Ain’t Over

Electronic soul band idesia’s new single Ain’t Over is a collaborative project between Chicago-based vocalist Sophie Dimitroff, LA-based producer Daniel Oldham and visual artist Kelsey Boncato. It’s a delightfully upbeat tune, taking some chilled beats, hints of jazz, downtempo, soul and conscious rap and fusing it all in to the sweetest of electronic styles.

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The Weekly Roundup 23.07.17

Like many people, I was shocked and saddened by the death of Chester Bennington this week at the age of 41. There’s lots of speculation around what happened and why, but I’d prefer to think about his musical legacy; Meteora and Hybrid Theory were great rock albums  – in fact great albums, period. In recent years Linkin Park’s sound had changed markedly and even though it sounded more commercial in the latter part of their career, the lyrical content could still carry great emotional weight and meaning as seen and heard on Nobody Can Save Me. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how they found peace, reassurance and comfort in the work of Bennington and his band when they were going through their tough times and it’s sad that for whatever reason he couldn’t find that solace himself. To this weekend’s roundup then.

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NEW MUSIC: Lump200 – Pull the Daisies

I have to admit I have no idea what I could say about Pull The Daisies by Lump200 that would do the track justice. It’s a collision of funk, samples and avant-garde sounds that combine to make a track that is deeply experimental and very, very fun.

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