wed 27/01/2021

avant-garde

Albums of the Year 2020: A.G. Cook – 7G

2020 marks the year when the PC Music label’s influence became undeniable. It’s easy to forget that, founded by A.G. Cook in 2013, it was once at the centre of a mini culture war. The label’s refusal to distinguish “between high and low, between...

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Album: Sigur Rós - Odin's Raven Magic

Odin’s ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) are the great Norse god’s messengers, at the heart of a myth that was borrowed in watered-down form for Game of Thrones. The myth inspired a suite of pieces by Sigur Rós and a star-studded...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Breathless

Just as British pub and punk rock of the mid-to late 1970's ushered in an era of music that referenced the history of pop and thrived on irony, much of the French New Wave, nearly 20 years earlier, looked back as much as forward, an avant-garde...

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Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

It must be tough being Michael Clark, subject of one the largest retrospectives ever dedicated to a choreographer still living. Post-punk’s poster boy is that curious thing, a creative figurehead who defined a very particular anti-establishment...

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Max Richter's Sleep review - refreshing as a good night's rest

If there was ever a balm for these confusing times, then it’s Max Richter’s Sleep, a lullaby of a documentary that explores the composer’s eight-hour-plus experimental 2015 composition based on sleep cycles. Richter is a remarkable...

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CD: Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith - Peradam

"The gateway to the invisible must be visible." So intones Patti Smith on the third and final journey in sound with Stephan Crasneanscki and Simone Merli, AKA Soundwalk Collective, musical psychogeographers and field recorders whose journey for this...

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BCMG, Heinen, Brindleyplace Birmingham review - from the concrete canyons to the stars

Birmingham emerged from musical lockdown with Stockhausen. It couldn’t have been anyone else, really. There’s something about Stockhausen’s fusion of modernity and goofy intergalactic romanticism that clearly strikes a chord in the Second City...

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Album: Conrad Schnitzler & Frank Bretschneider - Con-Struct

When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the participants in this album have certainly been on the very cutting edge of sound-making, on multiple occasions. Conrad Schnitzler was a student of radical artist Joseph Beuys and leading light in...

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Album: bdrmm - Bedroom

Shoegaze stable Sonic Cathedral has, in truth, always been a much broader church than its name implies. From the psychedelic, sunshine pop of Gulp, to the blistering art noise of Spectres, it has consistently released music that shares a similar...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 57: Gramme, Terry Edwards, The Orb, The Monochrome Set and much more

After C19 delays theartsdesk on Vinyl is back. My initial policy, reckoning that new vinyl would dry up under COVID conditions, was to do regular lockdown mini-editions with the material already set aside here, until it ran out. That didn’t work out...

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10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Normally we'd put a descriptor - "cellist", "film maker", "techno producer" for example - in the title of this interview, but for Irina Nalis there isn't space. Like, "10 Questions for psychologist, ministerial adviser, festival founder,...

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Francesca Wade: Square Haunting - Bloomsbury retold

These days, Bloomsbury rests in a state of elegant somnolence. The ghosts of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell linger on in the shabby gentility of Russell Square and its environs, the bookish institutions that are the bones of the place conferring...

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