Morrissey’s fanbase is one of the most committed in music. But with the recent James Baldwin racism scandal stirring up a quagmire of controversy, how do his followers reconcile the former Smiths frontman’s increasingly reprehensible behavior with their enduring admiration for his art? April Clare Welsh asks his fans for their take on Morrissey the provocateur…read the full article.
Since around 2008, Cubans have been getting a weekly fix of foreign music, film and TV via an underground network of pirate entrepeneurs armed with massive hard drives. Known as “El Paquete”, this DIY business is the real star of Give Me Future, a new documentary about Major Lazer’s historic gig in Havana last year…read the full article.
Since its birth in Rotterdam in the early ‘90s, gabber has largely been derided by “serious” clubbers as as whizz-fueled music for puerile head-bangers. But forget what you’ve heard – a new generation of French gabber obsessives are pumping fresh blood into a maligned genre to bring a taste of gabber to a contemporary club audience. April Clare Welsh meets the Casual Gabberz.
Nosebleed tempos, chainsaw samples, skull-crushing bass drums, a lurid dress code and frothing skinheads gurning their faces into oblivion – gabber, in its original form, probably isn’t for everyone. Rotterdam’s homegrown strain of hard techno began life in the early ‘90s as a counterattack to the highbrow house music that had started sweeping through Amsterdam a few years prior. Kickstarted by the self-styled “godfather of hardcore” DJ Paul Elstak, whose 1992 single ‘Where the Fuck Is Amsterdam?’ – engraved with the words “It’s Not A Disgrace To Be Gabber!” – laid the template, gabber exploded into a massive yet short-lived cultural phenomenon that grabbed Dutch teenagers by the scruff of their necks….read the full article.
Set two decades after the original Trainspotting, T2 shows that some things never change. April Clare Welsh takes a closer look at the sequel to a film that marked a generation.
“Choose watching history repeat itself,” Renton says halfway into Danny Boyle’s new Trainspotting sequel, T2. Renton’s ‘Choose Life’ monologue, one of the original movie’s defining scenes, is given a 21st century update that swaps CD players and big televisions for Twitter and Instagram, and his words resonate throughout the film as we watch familiar cycles of opportunity, betrayal and resolution unfold…read the full article.
Kay Logan rarely goes to clubs. The fact that she’s made one of the best electronic records of the year, released under her alias Helena Celle, doesn’t make her feel any less detached from dance culture. “I don’t feel like I can ever really belong in clubs,” she says. Instead, it’s among the “weirdos” of Glasgow’s fertile punk scene that she feels most at home, she says, having joined hardcore band Anxiety last summer. “They gave me employment, encouraged me, and most importantly accepted me.” They also put a roof over her head when she arrived in the city from the Scottish town of Airdrie around three years ago….read full article.
Protest music has found an avant-garde champion in the formidable grunts and howls of Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. April Clare Welsh finds out how the First Nations activist and Björk collaborator is using her platform to shine a light on Canada’s dark history…read the article.
Iranian-born, London-based producer Kasra V is joining the dots between Balearic hedonism and the centuries-old folk of his homeland, where an illegal rave scene thrives in spite of government crackdowns. April Clare Welsh meets the self-styled “Persian Prince” as he releases his third EP, The Window…read the feature.
On her sixth album, acclaimed Norwegian conceptual artist Jenny Hval explores the taboo of menstruation. By her own admission, it’s her most fictional and most personal record to date, filtering stark reality through the surreal lens of ‘70s horror cinema. April Clare Welsh examines the themes behind one of the year’s most exceptional albums…continue reading.
“If this is the sound of the blog house revival, I’ll get my (houndstooth pea) coat.”
“There’s an industrial-goth sized stomp to this song that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Matrix soundtrack or at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on a Friday night – worshipped by the rubber-clad DJ, air-punched by the freaks and the metalheads.”
“A painfully executed attempt at making painfully relevant club music.”
“A good reminder of how grime even got here in the first place.”
Read what I had to say about this week’s singles.
I went down to the licensing review at Islington Town Hall to hear the outcome of Fabric’s fate….read the full article.