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We recommend: c/o pop & C’n’B 2010

05:29 PM

After discussing intellectual property ajar with modern cyberculture in 2009, German c/o pop is now re-focusing on the creative industries from June 23 to 28 in Cologne this year.  With a thematic range from creative tools or sustainability to future communication and storytelling among other topics the festival is trying to generate a collective exchange between the worldwide first ever international cross-branch forum for the creative industry,  the C’n’B Convention (June 23 to 25), and the regular live music program. Too, c/o pop is joining forces with Koelnmesse for an even broader contextual asset. No wonder, even the porn industry is of the party.

Logically there will be a long list of interesting speakers – for instance Dieter Gorny (founder of the German music fair Popkomm, former manger of German music TV broadcaster VIVA, president of both, the German Music Council and the European Music Council), Steve Blame (author, screenwriter, TV format developer and TV host), Heiko Hebig (German blogger and head of Burda Media’s Media Innovation Lab), Ji-Hun Kim from German electronic music and culture magazine de:bug will participate in the debate. Eventually, a very special keynote interview, impressively underlining the forum’s aspiration and content, will take place on Thursday as official begin with Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, who’s representing the (unofficial) hub of the world, the World Economic Forum in Geneva, and the Stanford University.

So one can be excited for this year’s presentations, discussions and a possible and helpful consent for music and creative industries.

This gets aligned by a extensive and exceptional festival program. On Friday German magazine Spex invites everyone to watch Robyn, Caribou and Bonaparte at Cologne’s Gloria Theatre, while Luxor will see autoKratz supporting New Young Pony Club and Hans Unstern, Ja, Panik and 1000 Robota will play at Bogen2. The day before the same venue will host a night with Crystal Fighters among others in cooperation with Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival. Too, on Thursday the artistic likes of Hjaltalín, the Casio Kids and Jamaica will turn Europareise‘s networking party into good one at Stadtgarten and Studio672, where already on Wednesday the electronic music night Deep Vibes will celebrate the kick-off of the festival marathon.

Of course it wouldn’t be c/o pop, if there wouldn’t bet some top-class label showcases. This year the ones of Get Physical (Thu. /w M.A.N.D.Y., Thomas Schumacher and others at Roxy), local Kompakt (Fr. /w Michael Mayer, Gui Boratto a.o. at Papierfabrik), Ed Banger (Fr. /w Uffie, Mr Flash and Busy P at Bootshaus) and – finally – Italic Recordings (Thu. /w Von Spar a.o. at Deutz Air) are not to be missed. Saturday night then provides you with Schlachthofbronx, Edu K, Douster and Daniel Haaksman at the big Favela Blast-Party at Opernterassen.

Here’s a list of our personal highlights for the week: Pantha Du Prince will play an exclusive silent gig at the city’s zoo (powered by Sennheiser), wall to wall with the tropical house and between gorillas and tigers (sic!), on Friday, Phoenix‘s a Telekom Streetgig on the roof top of the Koelnmesse on Thursday, Die Vögel at the Herr von Eden Shop on Saturday, German legendary band Die Sterne together with Gomma’s Munk at the official c/o pop closing party at Stadtgarten on Sunday, and Aufgang plus the Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz duo a common concert at Kölner Philharmonie.

Other great artists from the festival’s line-up include Tiefschwarz, DJ Hell, Booka Shade, We Have Band, The Go! Team, Shantel, Dâm Funk, the Post War Years, Matias Aguayo, Hundreds, beat!beat!beat!, Morgan Geist and – somehow as well – German snot snout Gunter Gabriel (vicarious embarrassment deluxe).

See the full program with all yet-unmentioned acts here. A festival ticket will cost you € 77.50 and is available like single tickets for every event and gig here. You’ll find the entrance fees and the complete program for the C’n’B convention here and here.


Gil Scott-Heron “I’m New Here” (Video)

06:12 PM

Musician, poet and political littérateur Gil Scott-Heron created a huge record of artistic diversity within a 40-year period of creative word. The reputable representative of the spoken-word scene is still thrills and moves his audience. Now, after 14 studio albums and 16 years after his recent full-length, one can be impressed by the poet once again and enjoy seeing him demonstrating his mastership on his new LP I’m New Here (XL Recordings) released ealier this year.

Too, “I’m New Here” is the title of one song taken from the record, which just got accompanied by the video above. This both, sad and beautiful, cover of Bill Callahan alias Smog’s original imposes the listeners with Scott-Heron’s voice, in his very own, almost nihilist conception of musical aesthetics.  In contrast to his recent “Me And The Devil” video, that pictured a masked street gang in the darkness of a city, Gil Scott-Heron himself is now put in the video’s focus. There he calmly sits on a share declaring, that he has not changed (No, I did not become someone different).

A performance that definitely encourages one to see him live on one of the dates below.

Gil Scott-Heron live:
04.07. SummerJam, Cologne, Germany
08.07. Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival, Sete, France
09.07. North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
11.07. Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
12.07. Dieci Giorni Suonati Festival, Vigevano, Italia
14.07. Somerset House, London, UK
17.07. GentJazz, Gent, Belgium
23.07. Jazz Festival Pori, Pori, Finland
24.07. Nova Jazz and Blues Night, Wiesen, Austria
25.07. Womad Festival, Malmesbury, UK
28.07. Cognac Festival, Cognac, France
30.07 Blue Balls Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland
01.08. Kulturzelt, Kassel, Germany
04.09. Electric Picnic Festival, Dublin, Ireland
08.09. La Vilette Jazz Festival, Paris, France
10.09. Bestival, New Port, Wales , UK

Sroobius Pip-Bestival-Podcast

09:22 PM

Attenion please! David Peter Meads alias Scroobius Pip of British duo Dan Le Sac Vs Sroobius Pip compiled a nice, little podcast for too-British Bestival (with live-acts like Hot Chip, Flaming Lips, Roxy Music, The XX, Fever Ray, Dizzee Rascal a.o.) with the finest poetic samples the spoken-word artist performed himself at the festival and his own gig-series the Satin Lizard Lounge through all the years. Also featured on this piece are Kate Tempest, Kid Carpet, Itch and Ventriloquist.

If these names don’t (or do) ring a bell, you should definitely download this great work of orginal rap music and feel the grooves. And if you like, what you hear, Ucheck the new and quite political DLS vs SP single “Sick Tonight / Great Britain” as well – we highly recommend.

Check, check this!
…Especially in this instance
with the never ending persistence
to use the words in each sentence
as if they were blunt instruments
to beat a hole in the defence
of this beauty and her innocence…
(from: “The Beat That My Heart Skipped”)

Scroobius Pip “Camp Best of All Podcast”[Download]

Christina Aguilera ft. M.I.A. “Elastic Love”

08:57 PM

It’s only logical that to give birth to a child requires time, rest and of course hard work. The woman becomes focussed on being a mother and on the kid. But not just since (female) artists like Fever Ray and Jenny Wilson, we know, that it can also mean a big load of artistical inspiration and productivity. Now global underground-superstar-in-the-making M.I.A. and commercial super diva Christina Aguielera show us once again, that women can manage both, child and job at once. So they decided to collaborate already in recent summer and, surprisingly, the result, quite interesting electro-pop track “Elastic Love”, sounds pretty interesting.

Stream | Christina Aguilera ft. M.I.A. “Elastic Love

Miss Aguilera’s next less pop-orientated album Bionic will be released via Sony Music / RCA in the next days (June 4 in Germany, June 7 in the UK) and features the likes of Peaches, Goldfrapp and Ladytron along M.I.A. But Christina’s key inspiration was still her little son Max Liron. Bionic got his first promo boost (or better, implosion), when stylistically heavily critised video “Not Myself Tonight” recently hit the public.

So if you have some strong nervs, you better watch M.I.A.’s as well (politically) heavily critised current video for “Born Free“, which again caricatures a dystopia of war terror. “Born Free” will appear on the artist’s new album /\/\/\Y/\, which is to be released via XL Recordings / N.E.E.T. on July 13.

Meanwhile M.I.A’s is having a little, media clinch with the New York Times journalist Lynn Hirschberg: After M.I.A. got put into a virtual rage (including new song) by travel recommendation to post-war Sri Lanka in the paper’s magazine, she recently got together with Hirschberg for an interview. The result, a pretty comprehensive and long story, then displeased M.I.A. once again, so she tweeted Hirschberg’s phone number and uploaded two audio samples from interview on her site. In the text M.I.A. got indirectly described as truffle-flavoured-french-fries-eating hypocrite by Hirschberg, but the samples prove, that it was the journalist herself who ordered the expensive meal – on account of the NYT. Too, M.I.A. put a stream of the vocal track “I’m a Singer” (wrongly covered as “Haters” first), her sweeping swipe at the whole situation, on the site.

Stream | M.I.A “Haters

Siriusmo “Wow”

12:03 AM

Leather gloves, two young girls posing around, party feeling, excess. At Martin Waltz‘ (unofficial) video for Siriusmo‘s “Wow” (which is however the artist’s first ever music video), music serves as the object of sexual desire. The (musical passion of the) night hereby not only implicates ecstatic dancing,  it’s simply all about dancing and lolling, whether on a couch, a table or in front of a printer. Waltz shows us all the passionately inebriate moments plastering the nocturnal way from hotel room to party. Dance and feel the beat.

The flamboyant sound track mixture of ravey, electronic and booming beats comes from the hands of Berlin  Moritz Friedrich aka Siriusmo, who’s the first and (by now) only artist on Monkeytown Records, which again got founded by Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary of Modeselektor about a year ago. Nevertheless, “Wow” was released by Grand Patrol for the first time and gets now a re-release as single by Shir Khan‘s Exploited Records label.

Besides producing beats and sounds Moritz Friedrich used to be in a punk band called Sirius and was / is working as an illustrator and stuccoer. An in many ways talented, eclectic artists, whose tracks deserved a recommendation on this site, anyway.

Who Knew: Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle

11:36 AM

Current associations with Iceland are pretty easy to guess – Björk, Sigur Rós and world famous glacier volcano Eyjafjallajökull, that’s it. Luckily we can add another item to the string, no volcano – don’t worry -, but a young, new band called Who Knew. From the land of fairies they’re now bringing us their debut album Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle via German Devilduck Records/101 labels.

One could expect, Who Knew would like Björk have put a great number of expressionist sounds and noises on their first one, but that’s not the case. Instead singer Armann’s voice is overtaking the part of an instrument delivering dramatical connotations. From time to time this sounds like  cry for help from an Icelandic hill down into the shady deep.

Sadly Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle quickly despairs in it’s own monotony and appears by this not completely sound and unripe. After all, Who Knew do release a piece of fine Icelandic mythology with interesting musical interventions here and, too, will tour with it through Germany soon.

Who Knew Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle will be released on May 21 2010 via Devilduck Records/101 in Germany.

Who Knew live 2010:
23.05. Knust, Hamburg supporting Kashmir
24.05. Label-WG Party, Hamburg
30.05. Café Wagner, Jena
02.06. Hafen2, Offenbach
04.06. Bang Bang Club, Berlin
05.06. Lunatic Festival, Lüneburg
06.06. Astrastube, Hamburg
08.06. Stadtgarten, Erfurt
10.06. Franzi’s, Wetzlar
12.06. Seaside Rendezvous Festival, Flensburg

Jónsi “Time To Pretend (MGMT Cover)”

01:53 AM

To many „Time To Pretend“ was the hit of 2009. Played everywhere from bars and clubs to your local barbecue not a few of us are already bored by it. But after all it was „Time To Pretend“, which made MGMT become super popular, and still the songs features a beautiful electro-pop attitude. Besides current news that MGMT are releasing their second album Congratulations very soon, from which we already presented you first foretaste „Flash Delirium“, too, there’s a new cover interpretation of „Time To Pretend“ by Icelandic singer Jón Pór Birgisson alias Jónsi. He turned it into a sweet and classic ballade over a lovely piano instrumental, recently performed on-air in a live lounge session at the Jo Whiley show on BBC Radio 1. Hear a stream of this version below.

Too, Jónsi is musically active as the part of well-known Icelandic band Sigur Rós founded by him, Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson and Georg Hólm in 1994. On April 5 Jónsi’s second solo LP Go will be released via Parlophone – among others producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) worked with him here zusammen gearbeitet hat. Hear and download the there included song “Boy Lilikoi” plus the video for “Go Do” in our recent first Jónsi post here.  Jónsi will tour through Europe playing two shows in London along one night in Berlin during May and June 2010. See all dates on his website.

PHOTO: Lilja & Inga Birgisdóttir

We recommend: Pantha Du Prince

10:00 AM

„Music slumbers in all matter; any sound, even silence, is already music. The mission, then, must be to render audible what is unheard and unheard of: black noise, a frequency that is inaudible to man.“ That’s how Aram Lintzel describes the music of Hendrik Weber aka Pantha Du Prince. Black Noise (Rough Trade) is the title of his third and current LP, which the Berlin resident, dj and producer wants to present on a few more shows across Europe.

In his music Pantha Du Prince offsets the discrepancy between nature and technique to create an interaction of both forces, which are immanent to his work. It’s the avant-garde psychedelic sounds with a touch of romanticism, which characterize the album and thus appear as striking and imperceptible key elements. Sometimes you even believe the mountains would speak to you through the music’s context, but in the end it’s only Pantha Du Prince creatively gathering natural elements re-working them into compositions.

The perhaps most outstanding of them – besides the song “The Splendour” (stream below) – is “Stick to My Side” (video below), which Weber recorded with Animal Collective‘s Noah Lennox alias Panda Bear and which now finds its completion in a few very good remixes. F.i. Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet surged ahead leaving the natural elements aside, but integrating a lot of new interesting sounds giving the song a proper club appeal (mp3 on Gorilla vs Bear). And if your again still in need of more natural sounds: the Walls remix (stream on their Myspace) shows them to their full advantage. Both remixes just recently got released on the new Stick to My Side single among other ones by Efdemin and Lawrence.

Though, if you don’t want to miss these brilliant sounds in their original way, you should visit Pantha du Prince at one of his upcoming tour dates in the UK, Germany and the rest of Europe:

11.03. Club Academy, Manchester, UK
12.03. TJ’s, Leeds, UK
13.03. Bongo Club, Edinburgh, UK
14.03. Homegame Festival, Anstruther, UK
17.03. Combo, Kaunas, Lithuania
25.03. Lux Fragil, Lisbon, Portugal
26.03. Via Latina, Coimbra, Portugal
27.03. TSB ,Porto, Portugal
31.03. Dunkel, Copenhagen, Denmark
03.04. L’Usine @ Electron Festival, Geneva, Switzerland
09.04. Petrol, Antwerp, Belgium
16.04. Teatro Franco Parenti @ Elita Festival, Milan, Italia
30.04. Tanzhaus West, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
01.05. Rote Sonne, Munich, Germany
07.05. Babylon, Istanbul, Turkey
08.05. Forum, Bielefeld, Germany
22.05. Dissonanze Festival, Rome, Italy
31.07. Field Day, London, UK

Till then you can listen to some sample of his work below.

Attention! In an earlier version of the article we claimed that Pantha du Prince would play at the next Spex Live on May 12 at Berghain, Berliner, among the High Places and the Spex DJ Team. Sadly there has been a communication mistake and the event will take place without him, but more confirmations will follow soon.

Stream | Pantha du Prince “The Splendour

Stream | Pantha du Prince “Behind The Stars

Video | Pantha du Prince ft. Panda Bear “Stick to My Side

We recommend: Owen Pallett live

11:51 AM

If you think about violinists in the pop business, fantastic Owen Pallett will surely come to your mind or at leasts his last year discarded alter ego Final Fantasy. But the Canadian talent got well known for harmonic live appearances with The Hidden Cameras and Arcade Fire.

Now his third album Heartland (which you can listen to below) got released on Domino Records earlier this year, for which Pallett  composed some tracks for the Prague Symphony Orchestra creating an original piece of music featuring not only classical, but lots of electronic traits. The work tells a story of love and friendship and the tale of Owen Pallett and his fictional counterpart Lewis.

It’s interesting that all songs can be played by an orchestra collective or simply solo, check them out below. Besides Heartland you’ll find a well-done remix by Simon Bookish of “Keep the Dog Quiet”, which you can download here. Too, Domino is giving away “Lewis Takes Action” for free as well here.

Everyone, who doesn’t want to miss those pieces live, should have a look on all upcoming European tour dates by Pallett from March to April:

10.03. Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, Portugal
11.03. Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, Portugal
12.03. Centro Cultural e De Congressos, Aveiro, Spain
13.03. Friedenskirche Dachau, Munich, Germany
15.03. Mousonturm, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
16.03. Roxy, Prague, Czech Republic
17.03. UT Connewitz, Leipzig, Germany
18.03. Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
19.03. Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
20.03. Les Trinitaires, Metz, France
21.03. Aeronef, Lille, France
22.03. De Duif, Amsterdam, Netherlands
23.03. Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
25.03. Millenium Music Hall, Cardiff, UK
26.03. KOKO, London, UK
28.03. The Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK
31.03. Victoria Inferno Festival, Oslo, Norway
03.04. HAU2, Berlin, Germany

Especially highlighted should be the double concerto Pallett will play with not less orchestral adept instrumental rockers from MONO at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer theater on April 3. The gig will not only mark his grande tour final but the only show of the Japanese band in Germany during their current European tour. MONO just recently celebrated a little comeback with their new album Hymn To The Immortal Wind last year after taking a longer break in 2008 and played a great gig at Berlin’s Lido almost exactly one year ago.

Owen Pallett – Heartland by DominoRecordCo

Owen Pallett – Keep The Dog Quiet (Simon Bookish Remix) by DominoRecordCo

PHOTO: Ryan Pfluger

Foals “Spanish Sahara”

09:15 PM

Almost two years after the release of their debut album Antidotes British folks from Oxford’s Foals are entering the spotlight again with the follow-uph Total Life Forever due to be out on May 10 via Transgressive Records. Unfortunately that’s still months to go, but you can spend the time till then watching their new video, listening to a great remix of the same song and getting excited for their upcoming gigs.

Let’s start with the newly composed „Spanish Sahara“ and the video for it. The song is borne by a melancholic ease, which though and surprisingly is not rooted in the pacey and dynamic sound facets of Antidotes. In the beginning it’s the calm, hierarchically structured synthesizer samples and soft vocals slowly working out the song, later it’s the energetic drums leading to an emphatically deep sound re-created in the icy atmosphere of Dave Ma‘s (directed for The Horrors, Delphic and, too, the Foals before) video. Here singer Yannis Philippakis mimes a hunter pulling his booty on the banks.

It’s the track’s intensity British duo Mount Kimbie were hunting for while making an even expressive and impulsive dubstep mix for „Spanish Sahara“, which is really worth a listen and download.

Spanish Sahara (Mount Kimbie remix) by Foals

And still there are more Foals-related news. On May 3 – four days before the release of Total Life Forever -Foals will drop the first new single This Orient. Don’t forget their few and selected new European tour dates.