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After winning the Best New Festival Award in 2015, Wild Life was back at Brighton City Airport to now showcase and cement its date in the festival calendar as a major player. To do this, it would need to go one better, bring in something neoteric and exhilarating, whilst also landing some grand-musical heavyweights. They arrived in the form of grime's latest stars Stormzy and Skepta, American vets Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes, and pop artists Bastille.
It was the former N.W.A lyricist who had the crowd trembling at his figure tips though. Supported by no more than his son (not O'Shea Jackson who plays his father in Straight Outta Compton), Ice Cube was the penultimate act on Sunday's main stage and stole the show. The set of the weekend, despite co-curators Disclosure and Rudimental headlining the festival for successive years.
With both Stormzy and Skepta having tracks appear ubiquitously over all radio stations, this was their moment to shine, their moment under the spotlight. They appeared on the main stage Saturday and Sunday respectively and both seemed to revere their audience from the first moment, with Stormzy indicating it was the biggest and best crowd he had every performed at - it probably was for Skepta too.
Continue reading: Wild Life Festival 2016 - Live Review
With the festival season fully under way, Wild Life returns for its second installment, reappearing on the south coast at Brighton City Airport (known locally as Shoreham Airport)
After winning the Best New Festival at last years UK Festival Awards, co-curators Rudimental and Disclosure are set to do it all again, establishing a name for themselves at the festival, making sure everyone knows it is theirs, giving it their own cultural identity.
The two-day festival that spreads across the weekend of June 11th and 12th provides no camping, but a music festival that transcends generic boundaries, a diverse line up that attracts and appeals to all ages. From James Bay to Skepta, Jack Garratt to DJ EZ, Wild Life is showcasing its multifarious taste, despite Earth Wind and Fire pulling out.
Continue reading: Wild Life Festival 2016 - Preview
Smith joins Adele, Emeli Sandé and Florence & the Machine as the winner of the predictive award
Sam Smith has had a year to remember in 2013, but this year of success may very well be only the start of his rise to musical stardom as his considerable talents continue to get noticed. His latest bit of recognition came last night (11 Dec.) when he was chosen as The Brits 2014 Critics' Choice, an honour that has predicted the success of Adele, Emeli Sandé, Ellie Goulding and Tom Odell in the past.
Smith is continuing his rise to the top with his Brits win
"It means the world to me, it's the only award i really care about. I've watched the BRITs religiously every single year," he said in a statement released on the Brits' website. "I'm such a massive fan of female singers and some of the females who have won this award have been my biggest inspirations, so to even be nominated means a lot to me, a lot."
Continue reading: Sam Smith Named Winner Of Brits 2014 Critics' Choice
North Carolina's Mountain Oasis festival is showing some love for British electronic artists such as Gary Numan and Disclosure.
The 2013 Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit brings another year of eclectic electronics with rather a large helping of Britain filling up the line-up!
Headlining this amazing festival in Asheville, North Carolina on the last weekend of October (25th-27th 2013) is Nine Inch Nails; unsurprisingly, given their impressive headlining record this year which includes Lollapalooza, Leeds & Reading Festival, Outside Lands and Rock en Seine. Also scraping the top of the bill are Bassnectar and Pretty Lights, but there's something particularly British about a good chunk of the bands that follow.
With David Bowie, James Blake, Arctic Monkeys and Laura Marling this year could be truly hard to call.
This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize could be one of the greatest lists of nominees in the awards history. 2013's nominees shortlist includes talent old and new, rock, pop, and dance with one thing to unite them all: they represent a selection of Britain and Ireland's strongest mainstream albums released during the last 12 months.
Bowie Looking A Favourite To Win.
It would be almost too easy to say that David Bowie will win: the 66 year-old made a triumphant and unexpected return this year with the critically lauded The Next Day which was recorded in secret over two years. He's also the bookies favourite along with Arctic Monkeys at the moment, with odds that are unlikely to change. Last time Bowie was nominated was in 2002 when he suffered defeat to pop star Ms. Dynamite but this time round there's been such a lot of press surrounding Bowie's come-back that he's been hard to ignore.
The returning Thin White Duke has emerged as the front-runner to take home this years Mercury Music Prize
David Bowie came back from his retirement/hiatus completely unannounced this January, when he released the video for the single 'Where Are We Now,' and managed to catch everyone off guard with his birthday announcement of a new release and the subsequent quality of his first album in a decade.
This is Bowie's first Mercury nomination
The Next Day made the critics swoon after Ziggy Stardust once again and now, five months after he released his twenty-fourth album, Bowie is still being fancied by critics as he emerges as the front-runner to win this years Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
Continue reading: David Bowie Leads The Pack In Mercury Prize Nominations
Who are the best new bands to see at Lollapalooza 2013?
You, being a seasoned festival-goer, will know that it’s Lollapalooza 2013 in Chicago’s Grant Park this weekend (August 2 – 4, 2013), which promises to play host to some of the biggest acts in the world as well as showcasing the most exciting and innovate new bands on the planet. And that’s what we’re here to concentrate on: the young, fresh and ready to impress.
It seems a long, long time since Disclosure’s first single Offline Dexterity, though the British electronic duo have gone from strength to strength in recent years and finally released their debut album, Settle, on PMR Records on June 2, 2013.It was met with both commercial and critical success, including a score of 9.1 from the notoriously picky musos at Pitchfork – no mean feat.
Sure, we’d rather see Disclosure in a club - perhaps in the early hours of the morning – though Lollapalooza-goers will have to settle for 6pm at The Grove, on Friday (August 2, 2013). Saying that, both Guy and Howard will be DJ’ing at The Mid club in Chicago’s West Town from 10pm on Friday.
Continue reading: Lollapalooza 2013: The Best New Bands Worth Checking Out
A week in music videos... Kanye West has been doing a lot of promotion for his edgy, rock-infused track 'Black Skinhead' (or 'BLKKK SKKKN HEAD' as it's otherwise known'), the lead single from his US and UK number one album 'Yeezus', so his anger when the unfinished video directed by Nick Knight was leaked earlier in July was unsurprising. He described the unauthorised distribution as 'heartbreaking' and no wonder; a video as unique as this was definitely worthy of a grand entrance but, nonetheless, the spoiler has definitely not affected the viewing experience.Watch the video for BLKKK SKKKN HEAD here.
French house star Kavinsky has already become a hit in his home nation with his debut album 'OutRun', released earlier this year, reaching number 2 in the charts and he's certainly turning heads overseas too. Teaming up with Canadian producer The Weeknd on one of his newest singles, Kavinsky delivers a driving dance beat with 'Odd Look' - the single from his new EP of the same name. The track also features on his album as a collaboration with fellow electronic musician SebastiAn. Listen to Odd Look here.
It's easy to say what the Lawrences/Disclosure aren't: Saviours of British dance music? Nah. Innovators (said snidey style)? That's a negative. Charismatic divas with star complexes the size of Saturn? That'll be a no.
Too much expectation was placed on siblings Guy & Howard - or onto Disclosure, the vehicle which they use to bring us their music - well before Settle was released. Probably the most fantastical was that the unassuming duo were going to take the (supposed) corpse of electronic pop and somehow form a vanguard, then return the nation to the early noughties apex of big clubs and superstar DJ culture.
Absurd, of course. The rock press have had a field day though as a result, mistaking Settle's refreshed take on UK garage and/or two-step as some kind of shameless grave robbing; a backwards and unnecessary nod to the Artful Dodger and (shudder) Craig David. If this proves anything, it's that most of them simply haven't listened properly, or they're frustrated that the guitar continues to fight a miserable rear-guard action as a contemporary musical instrument with every band sounding like descendants of the Beatles or The Stones, or both.
Continue reading: Disclosure - Settle Album Review
'Yeh I'm losing my edge, I'm losing my edge. The kids are coming up from behind'
Continue reading: Disclosure, The Face EP Review
Squarepusher has a lot to answer for. In the mid 90's, he made subtle, arty dance music a force to be reckoned with, "Feed Me Weird Things" demonstrating to the world that dance music didn't have to be all hollow bravado and posturing. Trouble is, nobody seems to have told Disclosure that not everyone can pull this style of music off - and they fail to pull it off quite spectacularly on this single.
Continue reading: Disclosure, Offline Dexterity Single Review
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