Zomby feature for new MTV site

I’ve just started penning wordz for new MTV site http://www.districtmtv.co.uk

Here’s my first piece – a short but sweet interview with Zomby about En Noir/fasssshion and his new album…

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As is so often the case with enigmatic electronic artists, London based Zomby prefers to keep his real identity under lock and key.

The international man of mystery side-stepped onto the scene in 2008 with the mind-altering, jungle-ready Where Were You in 92? which was released on Werk Discs and which took a wide-eyed look back at the 90s rave scene. He followed this with the bleep-filled One Foot Ahead of the Other EP, before signing to cult indie label 4AD in 2011 and releasing his needle-sharp Dedication album. Even though the label is rich in electronic talent, it is arguably best known for its connection to dream-pop and indie acts like The National, Bon Iver, Beirut and Camera Obscura. Zomby’s signing somewhat threw the cat among the proverbial pigeons.

Relentlessly entertaining on Twitter, with nearly 17k followers, some of his declarations include “I get so much done I should be called 2brainz”, “reincarnate me as an 808 drum machine” and “fashion isn’t an overdrawn credit card.”

“It’s you against the world and it isn’t pedestrian in presentation; that’s called ‘well dressed’. It’s easy to be well dressed but style is unique to an individual and not so easy to encompass,” says Zomby, offering his take on style. Considering his keen sartorial eye, providing a fashion soundtrack feels like the most natural meeting of minds. Victoria Beckham appropriated Zomby’s forward-thinking cut for her SS12 collection, the Armani show featured ‘Witch Hunt’ and now this new thunderous, doom-laden track has reared its head, produced exclusively for US fashion house En Noir, which Zomby says came about more naturally than these projects often look. He wrote the song ‘Hall of Mirrors’ for them and has a lot of love for Rob Garcia’s leather-led label, which has seen the likes of Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Usher and A$AP Rocky don its designs.

Read the rest of the article here 

Ira Kaplan Baker’s Dozen feature for The Quietus

iraPerennial three-piece Yo La Tengo – Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew – are one of the most spectacular bands to have come out of the US in the past thirty years. Turning their hand to everything from classic pop tunes and lullabies, elongated widescreen indie meanderings, free jazz freak-outs and lounge-y bossa nova rhythms to gentle organ jams, drone-y, noise drenched clusterfucks and sweetened garage-pop, they are as chameleonic as they are prolific and their 13th studio album Fade, out now on Matador, only further confirms their unique position within the indie canon.

Whether it’s reimagining the classics as Condo Fucks – or indeed, as the real YLT – creating improvised soundtracks like 2002’s The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, or churning out remarkable albums like 2000’s blissed-out opus And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, the mellowed-out melodies of Summer Sun, the hefty noise of 1995s Electro pura or 2006’s behemoth I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, they exist entirely as a self-contained entity, occupying a space and venturing where no one else would, or indeed could, dare.

The sublime new LP presents 10 tightly coiled, beautifully tendered songs which all seamlessly bleed into and rush through each other like a pure, crystalline stream. The only criticism, if even a criticism at all, is the record’s brevity. Clocking in at just 45 minutes, it’s their shortest album since Fakebook, but is still by no means a fleeting, forgettable tryst. Concise and compact, as with every YLT album, you get a real sense of their agonising diligence to their craft, marked by obsessive attention to detail. From acoustic idyll ‘I’ll Be Around’ to the bittersweet crackle of ‘Paddle Forward’ and the easy-breezy Summer Sun-era ‘Stupid Things’, it’s soporific and completely perfect. Yo La Tengo truly produce intelligent pop, with broad lyrical themes, in a way that no one else ever has.

Ira speaks to us as he prepares for a show later that evening in snow-covered Vermont: “I just picked 13 records I really liked but I don’t really know if they’re my favourites per se – I don’t think I can really choose, or whether ‘favourites’ really exist. There are things I like, and things I don’t like, but it’s all dependent on how I’m feeling that day. Any familiarity with our band will be able to connect the dots.”

Read the full article on The Quietus here