These New Puritans – Music critique as an art form and the end of the world as compositional imperative

Blog English March 16 2019

Essay by Macon Holt

“Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining. I have always wanted to do something long form, beyond opinion; dip my toe into an exploration of origin and essence; the metamorphosis of spirit into reality.” — Morf Vanderwalt, “Velvet Buzzsaw”

These New Puritans are a British band, formerly on Domino records, who initially garnered attention in 2006/7 as the arty-ist members of the, already insufferably arty, new rave genre. But even with their first record, “Beat Pyramid”, it was clear that the vision driving their project couldn’t be contained by the conventions of British post-punk. The band’s leader, vocalist Jack Barnett, seemed to be planning something that could only just be glimpsed through the cracks in his opaque lyrics (“ELVIS! I wasn’t talking about that king”), determined structural experimentation, and has slurring singing voice. The incorporation of spectacularly arranged orchestral instruments with beats and dub bass synths on their follow-up record, “Hidden” (2010), revealed some of this vision. But with the release “Field of Reeds” in 2013, it became fully apparent just what the scope and depth of their ambitions were. The only way to really play it live was with a small, new music orchestra supplemented with electronics in the concert halls of London, Paris, and Berlin. All the while, the snarling opacity remained but it had somehow become beautiful.

Next week, These New Puritans fourth album, “Inside the Rose”, will be released and I feel utterly unequipped to review it. One reason for this may have something to do with the trivial notion that one needs to have some kind of distance to properly appraise a piece of art for the purposes of critique. And since I spent 2014 listening to their last album on repeat, I have completely collapsed that distance. Following the release of the first four tracks from the new record, however, I have been overcome with the urge to share my excitement about this music publicly, and with reviews out of the question, I felt completely impotent. I didn’t just want to blog about my excitement, I wanted to actually find some way to communicate it, to share it with other people. But that doesn’t seem to be what cultural journalism is for. It doesn’t seem to be my place to ecstatically express excitement. Such vulgarities should only be committed by paid off shills.

So then, I am left wonder what is the place of the critic? And what is it we want from art if this sober detachment is what we want from our critics?

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Ryong & Raquin – Musikalske eskaleringer og opløftelser

Kritik March 15 2019

Raquin “Dance of the Peacock” & Ryong “s/t” (Janushoved, 2019) – anmeldelse af Alexander Julin Mortensen

Mens januar ebbede mod sin ende, blev tre nye titler tilføjet til Janushoveds fortsat ekspanderende katalog af båndudgivelser. Ud over “One Shot, One Life” af Internazionale, Mikkel Valentins 20. (!) udgivelse under aliasset, udkom der bånd fra to af de aktører, der senest er blevet tilføjet Janushoveds særegne musikalske sfære. Det drejer sig om “Dance of the Peacock” af Raquin – opfølgeren til sidste års “Ariclone” – og den selvbetitlede debutudgivelse fra ligeledes København-baserede Ryong.

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Body2Body – Quenching Aarhus’ thirst for hard music (interview)

Blog English March 13 2019
DJ Lag

Body2Body, March 16th & 22nd @ TAPE, Aarhus – live preview by Ivna Franic

Aarhus is in for two pretty sickening events this month – headlined by Lee Gamble and DJ Lag, respectively, and organized by Body2Body, a local club night promoting genre-bending music, pairing cutting edge international acts with leading local talent, and putting a focus on the visuals.

Body2Body has so far put on events featuring acts like DJ Nigga Fox, Jana Rush, RP Boo, DJ PayPal and others, with the two forthcoming events following a similar trail. One could even get the impression that tense club music styles such as ghetto-tech, ghetto house, juke or grime are much more of a “thing” in Aarhus than they are on the techno-dominated Copenhagen scene.

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Triad God – Klubmusik for søvngængere, rapmusik som vuggeviser

Kritik March 12 2019

Triad God “Triad” (Presto!?, 2019) – anmeldelse af Alexander Julin Mortensen

Triad God debuterede tilbage i 2012 med “NXB” på Hippos in Tanks (RIP), der ligeledes udgav Nguzunguzu, Gatekeeper, Games, Grimes og flere andre i årrækken 2010-13. Syv år senere udgiver italienske Lorenzo Sennis label, Presto!?, Triad Gods opfølger, albummet “Triad”. Albummet virker på trods af de mange år, der er gået, som en naturlig forlængelse af det stilistiske udtryk og stemningen på debuten.

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International Women’s Day – paying homage to brilliance

Blog English March 8 2019

Article by Laura Juncker and Astrid Hald

Today is International Women’s Day, which gives us a chance to reflect on the state of things in our immediate surroundings. To look at the workings of what we might be working with. At first glance, we might ask what do the obvious, hard-fact, explicit numbers and ratios tell us? For example, how many female names have been on your line-ups and contracts? What are the women you hire getting paid compared to the men? What are the roles of the women in your organisation, your label, your crew? Who gets to make decisions? Who has the mandate to start new things? who get to talk?

The round of questions that follow those above seek explanations. The whys. The questions with more ambiguous answers. The not really sure, but probably. The non-factual yet very felt. The answers might not be right in our faces, but still, we need to be open in searching for them. Why, if you let things go on as they always did, do the numbers not correct themselves? Could you, as an individual, of any gender, have a role in this? More importantly, do you have any means of power to change it?

Meanwhile, it might be worth drawing inspiration from what has already been achieved. In tribute to the women in music, who defied expectations, pursued a passion not assigned to femininity, and who deserve credit that was not always afforded them by their times, here is a selection of pioneers and talents in electronic and experimental music with whom it is well worth spending your 8th March.

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