Archive for the ‘Previews and Editorial’ Category

Christopher Nosnibor

13x is less of musical project and more of an experience. As such, the katt13x website, the platform of the proudly transgender antiscene artist is a brain-melting labyrinth of sound and image that has a William Gibson-esque retro-futurist vibe that screams cyberpunk while searing your retinas with wildly oversaturated images that often render what’s being presented barely distinguishable.

The EPK video is, without doubt, a perfect summary of everything, as raw, bleeding primary tones melt and glow radioactively through a selection of appropriated snippets and other spliced scenes that takes Burroughs’ cut-up technique to the height of early noughties simplism to create something disorientating, disturbing.

Remember when the Internet was considered scary, because it contained the worst and more terrifying shit, from images from murder scenes and people being hit by trains (the original traingirl video was a blur, but a sickening one)? Pages like gruesome.com seemed extreme, and the porn explosion that was so concerning to many consisted of just so-many thumbnails and low-res .JPEGS of barely 50K because dialling up on 14K modems at a penny a minute, that kind of prurience was actually a fucking luxury. 13x takes us back to a time before YouTube, when eBay and Amazon were in their nascency, and we had Yahoo! Auctions and most people accessed the Internet and email having installed AOL with a free 3.5” floppy disc passed on to them by a friend who’d bought a magazine from WHS.

I’m reminded of Stewart Home’s original Spacebunny-designed website, which was a primitive-looking affair, neon-green text on a black background, and every word was an internal hyperlink. Not because 13x looks like it, but because it’s a reminder of when the Internet was inventive, was crazy, because there were no riles and there was no corporate involvement. No-one really policed the Internet, but then, kids were safe because the fact was, no-one even had Internet. But it was then future, and those who were present were pulsating to race headlong into cyberspace, whatever that was. And this takes us back to the time when we were on the cusp, and is accompanied with a period soundtrack, of sorts.

That soundtrack is an array of glitching, overdriven technoindustrial noise propelled by harsh, smashing snare crashes and squelching, wet fabric thwacking deadened bass beats define the abrasive, disorientating sound. Abrasive soundclashes, with squalls of noise and shards of feedback flare and blare over woozy undulating basslines and retro blippy 16-bit game mzk.

The sound and visuals in combination are an extreme and intense experience, where everything goes off in your face all at once, and it’s magnificent: dizzying, overwhelming, uncompromising, and one that doesn’t just touch, but assaults the sense from all sides at once.

Canadian DJ & Multi-Instrumentalist JHNN has unleashed his highly-anticipated new album, StereoTYP.

StereoTYP is a personal dark album redefining the definition of what it means to be a walking "StereoTYP" who enjoys different kinds of music.

As a taster, he’s unveiled the video for ‘Heroin’: check it here:

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JHNN says regarding the album, "Basically the album was made from 2016 – 2020 and it’s about my biggest pet peeve of society which is the existence of StereoTYPs. It only scratched the surface of what I like to talk about; what it means to be a black man who just likes, is not afraid of experimenting, and making synth pop without being too expressive. I wanted to have fun as well and I wanted to get the point across. I also wanted to show all my sides of trying to cope like in the song "Darkness Will Always Be There", the fact that all the people in power won’t matter; "Children Are The Future", dealing with being anxious "The Warning/Warfare" and some views on religion "Greatest Lie."

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Sometimes, an image is enough.

This…

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Long Division ​have confirmed the first wave of guests for this year’s festival, now scheduled for the weekend of September 25th rather than it’s usual occurrence in early June. Having made the decision to move the Wakefield festival to give them the best chance of staging it in a safe manner, Long Division’s organisers are now optimistic about the festival going ahead following the UK government’s roadmap towards easing Covid-19 restrictions. Consisting mostly of artists who were originally scheduled to play the festival in 2020, this initial lineup will be added to over the coming months.

At the forefront of the announcement are Sunderland indie stalwarts ​The Futureheads​, renowned beatboxer and comedian​ Beardyman​, lo-fi psych-punk duo​ The Lovely Eggs​, the Manchester post-punk collective ​Brix & The Extricated​ (featuring the ex-Fall members Brix Smith Start and Steve Hanley), and ​Lanterns on the Lake​ who released their Mercury-nominated latest album on Bella Union last year. Joining them are The Wirral’s ​She Drew The Gun​, Scottish singer-songwriter and Idlewild frontman ​Roddy Woomble​, and London-duo ​Peggy Sue​, along with Beans on Toast​, ​Too Many T’s​, ​Big Joanie​, ​Hands Off Gretel​, ​Langkramer​, ​Katie Spencer​, ​Jodie Nicholson​ and ​Mt Misery​.

With the first Long Division event dating back to 2011, the award-winning festival celebrates their long-running status this year with their 10th edition. An occasion which has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated cultural events in the Wakefield calendar, Long Division draws droves of music lovers to the area from much further afield.

Committed to a wider role in providing support and opportunities to the city, Long Division have also been planning a number of important initiatives that will run alongside the festival (and throughout the year), including the introduction of a free-to-hire City PA system for Wakefield arts events, and securing additional funding to form the Wakefield Live Music Consortium to support a wider scheme of live music curation in the city. Beyond this, Long Division are also working on bringing a dedicated rehearsal space to Wakefield city centre, alongside a new education programme that will work with up to 100 young people throughout the year, earning them qualifications whilst supporting them in forming new bands and organising events. With all of this combined, the hope is that these efforts will hugely benefit the music offering of Wakefield in a wide sense.

Dean Freeman, Founder / Director, Long Division:

“It’s such a strange mix of emotions to ‘be back’ with another lineup announcement. It honestly felt like the early days again, where it was exciting just to design a poster and see those names laid out, ready to share with the world. We want to give people the best possible Long Division we can. Not the biggest ever, but one that celebrates not just our ten years, and not just the return of live music but also the power of community. People being together – even if it’s with 1 metre gaps and masks and sanitising their hands every 30 minutes. Even if half the audience is watching via a stream. It’s going to be great!

This year audiences need to put their faith in their promoters, in their festivals, and they need to buy tickets. For Long Division refunds will always be available should the worst happen. And I know that finances may be stretched. But at Long Division that £30 for a ticket goes so far and enables so many artists to perform. Grassroots festivals like this (there are many more) are an essential part of kickstarting this insane machine called live music. We’d love you to join us in Wakefield this year!”

Tickets and more are available at the Long Division website.

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Yes Sisters and Brothers, it’s been a whole year since our Prime Minister BoJo made his “Stay At Home” announcement! One day later The Urban Voodoo Machine main man Paul-Ronney Angel (P-R) took to the stage in his East London living room with fellow musician and partner Ane Angel to entertain a locked down community starved of live music.

The show was a storming success and a weekly engagement was born. Throughout the year P-R and Ane have delivered a bourbon-soaked foot stomper of a show every Saturday night featuring Urban Voodoo classics and freshly written tunes making comment on the pandemic. Social distancing permitting, guests have been invited to perform, including Rat Scabies of The Damned, Tomirae Brown (widow and backing singer of James Brown), Jim Jones (Jim Jones Revue) and various members of The Urban Voodoo Machine themselves over the year.

Be sure to tune into The Urban Voodoo Machine’s facebook page this coming Saturday at 8pm and every Saturday till this pandemic’s beaten (Anniversary show / Episode 53 is Sat 20th Mar) – each week is special and who knows what’ll happen!

· Dress code: Black ‘n’ Red

· Streaming Link: facebook.com/TheUrbanVoodooMachine

Other dates for the diary include Paul-Ronney Angel’s debut solo album London Texas Lockdown out in June and The Urban Voodoo Machine’s new studio album $nake 0i£ €ngine released in September.

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Having talked with Lori Forster just a few weeks ago about her plans for a new, curated festival straddling London and Leeds in 2021, things have moved on apace at Ghost Road Fest HQ, with the announcement of the first four acts and the release of a batch of super-discounted, super-early bird tickets… and here’s where things start to get exciting.

Announced so far:

The Virginmarys (London only)

SHEAFS (Leeds only)

Weekend Recovery (London and Leeds)

SNAYX (London and Leeds)

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The Virginmarys are clearly major draw for the London show, being a well-established and respected live act with a solid and swelling fanbase, and running parallel, SHEAFS are very much a band on the up, having been booked to support The Slow Readers Club on their next tour when it finally happens. This is a big deal, and the chances are that with exposure like that, SHEAFS will be laying considerably larger venues before long. This makes the opportunity to see them likely to be pretty special.

But the measure of any festival is the depth of the lineup, and the early signs are that Ghost Road Fest is packing the lineup with quality all the way, with SNAYX playing both London and Leeds. The crunchy bass / guitar alt-rock duo sold out their last show before lockdown in March and again, after a string of high-profile support slots have shown they’ve got game.

Weekend Recovery have been AA regulars for an age, and they just kick ass harder the further on they go. Stripped back to an ultra-dynamic power trio with the immensely talented Loz Campbell now on bass, and a new album out early next year, they threaten to be explosive while playing both the London and Leeds shows.

With November a safe enough distance away, this looks like being a belter already.

Tickets and updates are available here.

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Cruel Nature Recordings – 2nd October 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

If ever a band’s name perfectly encapsulated their sound, it has to be Lump Hammer. The Tyneside trio go all-out on sludgy sonic bludgeoning. Similarly, Beast lives up to its name, with nine tracks and a running time of one hour, two minutes and 48 seconds, it’s a monster of epic proportions, and man, it’s fucking ugly.

‘Alarm’ sounds the album’s arrival in the dankest, grimiest of fashions. A downtuned chord, dense and dirty tears from the speakers gradually picking up pace to become a proper riff, before everything gets truly fucked-up and mangled, as if the mixing desk was suddenly buried in a landslide. It sets the bleak, monotonous tone perfectly.

If you’re after variety, you’ll be disappointed: Lump Hammer’s approach to songwriting consists of taking a simple riff and driving away at it until they stop. Sometimes, it’s a long time till they stop, and sometimes it’s a very long time. The eleven-and-a-half minute closer, ‘Gravy (Beef)’ crawls into the space between Sunn O))) and Earth. Each chord is a whirling vortex of overdrive, its colossal density and mass utterly crushing. The pace is very much in the mid-to-low tempo range, accentuating the monstrous weight of the music. And there are probably words, but mostly Watts’ vocals are indecipherable, elongated guttural growls.

There are some quieter, more subtle moments, as evidenced by the first half of the gloomy nine-minute ‘Where’, which carves a trough of claustrophobic isolation – but it’s all just a protracted build-up to the next megalithic deluge of noise.

With Beast, Lump Hammer continue the trajectory of their two previous outings, the eponymous EP from 2017 and February’s split album with Bodies on Everest: you wouldn’t really call it an evolution, beyond the fact that this time they’ve gone one louder, and over the duration of a full-length outing, the cumulative effect of their relentless grinding trudgery achieves optimum impact. Beast is blunt forced trauma manifested in sound.

Beast is their first album for Cruel Nature and is available on 2 October as a limited-edition cassette and digital download, and will be released on CD by Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings. The release coincides with the band’s performance at Tusk Virtual 2020 online festival. It’s available to order from today, but you can stream it EXCLUSIVELY in its entirely now, here:

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AdderStone Records, the label started by internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail, have announced the deluxe vinyl reissue of her 2016 album ‘Five Incantations’ on 20th November. Jo comments,

‘With the original CD format being sold out for a few years, I am delighted to be able to now present to you a very special edition of Five Incantations, this time as a beautiful double vinyl with two colour variants to choose from. The detailed sleeve and inserts feature photography by Ake Tireland, and includes a special bonus track of ‘The Breathing Hand’ recorded live with the choir of Cappella Gedanensis and Alicja Lach-Owsiany (cello) in Gdansk. The lyrics of this track are written by Mohan Rana, as a direct response to the original piece of music, and are included in the sleeve in Hindi, English and Polish.’

The origins of the album began to emerge in the spring of 2015 during Jo’s fourth tour of Australia where she felt especially connected at that time to a vital or spiritual source, opening her mind to wonder from both a personal and archetypal understanding. Jo adds,

‘Whether practically this was due to an intense focus on music minus the day to day existence, the remoteness of being a mum away from my family, or myriad other reasons I cannot guess, but I felt swept away by this sensation and immediately began to write what became ‘Five Incantations’. The album is a suite of interlinked movements, each individual yet essentially drawn from one theme. It has been recorded and will be performed at 432hz. Each movement describes a personal reflection on one of the four cardinal points, with the fifth aspect being Spirit.’

‘Five Incantations’ is the 2nd release on AdderStone Records which was originally set up in 2019 with the initial aim of reissuing Jo’s back catalogue on vinyl. The first being a release of her 2018 album ‘Exsolve’ which led to Jo picking up the Limelight Award at the Progressive Music Awards last year.

Over the past few years Jo has been touring extensively across Europe performing alongside the likes of Boris, Emma Ruth Rundle, Amenra, Caspian, God is an Astronaut, Myrkur, MONO, Årabrot, Battles and Winterfylleth. Festival performances include ArcTanGent, WGT, Dunk!, Tramlines Festival, Handmade Festival, Hellfest and Damnation and two separate concerts at the invitation of Robert Smith for his curation of the Southbank’s Meltdown Festival. 

To support the release Jo Quail will perform an exclusive limited capacity live streamed show from The Black Heart on Hotel Radio’s Pay-Per-View platform on 19th November. More info and tickets are available here:

Streaming tickets: www.hotel-radio.com/pay-per-view

Live show tickets: http://ourblackheart.com/

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Japanese instrumental rock band MONO will return to Europe in 2021. Hoping to reunite everyone through music again as they prepare for their new album, lead guitarist Taka comments:

"We’re excited to be able to return and give you live music again after then, almost a year-long of an unfortunate global health crisis. Through the real loud live experience, we hope to re-connect, share hope and rejoice again with you all.

The tour will be supported by A.A. Williams.

Tickets on sale Friday 17th July from: www.monoofjapan.com

MONO w/ A.A Williams:

18/03 – NO Oslo, Jakob

19/03 – SE Stockholm, Sodra Teatern

20/03 – DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset

21/03 – DE Hamburg, Uebel & Gefahrlich

22/03 – DE Berlin, Columbia Theater

23/03 – DE Cologne, Luxor

24/03 – CH Zurich, Mascotte

25/03 – CH Bulle, Ebolition

26/03 – FR Toulouse, Le Rex

27/03 – FR Biarritz, Atabal

29/03 – PT Porto, Hard Club

30/03 – PT Lisbon, LAV

31/03 – ES Seville, Custom

01/04 – ES Murcia, Garaj

02/04 – ES Madrid, Cats

03/04 – ES Barcelona, Apolo 2

05/04 – FR Besancon, L’Antonnoir

06/04 – FR Paris, Trabendo

07/04 – BE Antwerp, Zappa

08/04 – FR Lille, Aeronef

10/04 – UK London, Lafayette

11/04 – UK London, EartH

13/04 – UK Glasgow, Oran Mor

14/04 – UK Leeds, City Varieties

Recorded with producer Steve Albini, Mono released their 10th album ‘Nowhere Now Here’ in January 2019 via Pelagic Records before ending the year with ‘Beyond The Past’ 20th anniversary shows in London in December.

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As part of their fundraising efforts, Wakefield’s Long Division Festival – which has now been postponed until 2021 – have announced two new records available to order as part of this Friday’s Bandcamp fee-free day.

The first is  ‘A Romantic Destination’ – a live album by Jamie Lockhart, leader of critically acclaimed DIY Wakefield band Mi Mye. Recorded at Long Division 2018, ‘A Romantic Destination’’ see’s the songwriter and producer reimagining music from a book of songs that has been passed down by his family in Skerray in the Highlands for 166 years.

A songbook from 1851 used by two brothers; one a folk songwriter, the other the 1st Piper To Queen Victoria was passed down six generations before ending up in Jamie’s hands – accompanied by Mi Mye bandmate Morgan Evans, ‘A Romantic Destination’ captures this incredibly special one-off and sold out performance.

The second of these new albums is ‘New Additions: Vol 2’ – the second in a run of compilations from Long Division Festival, ‘New Additions’ features brand new songs and recordings from artists who had been scheduled to play at this year’s Long Division Festival.

Pressed onto 12” vinyl thanks to support from independent label ‘Last Night From Glasgow’ , New Additions features 10 new songs from a host of exciting new artists including Priestgate, Cowgirl and Mt. Doubt with all proceeds distributed evenly amongst the artists.

Full Track listing:

· Cowgirl – Wasn’t Listening

· Priestgate – Now

· Life Model – Walking Backwards

· Lemon Drink – Manic

· Mt. Doubt – Stairwell Songs

· HerTiltedMoons – Orange Grove

· In The Morning Lights – Milk And Honey

· Bunkerpop – C’est Comme De Robots N’est Pas

· Macroscope – Reveal

· The State Of Georgia – Little Tiny Ones

Both records are available to buy now from Bandcamp: https://longdivisionfestival.bandcamp.com

Long Division’s Crowdfunder is sitting just below 50% of its goal after its first week, more information on the fund, how it will be spent and how you can contribute can be found here.