Category Archives: live
Following two sold-out headline shows at The Roundhouse last year, Portico Quartet return with ‘Memory Streams’, their fifth studio LP continuing the journey first started with 2008’s Mercury-nominated debut ‘Knee Deep in the North Sea’. It’s a creative path that has seen the band embrace new technology and explore ambient/electronic influences alongside minimalism, jazz and beyond. It is a process that has encouraged change, with each album seeing them expand the scope and explore new trajectories.
From the gentle charm of their breakthrough debut’s inimitable mix of jazz, world and minimalist influences, the tight-knit brilliance of ‘Isla’, the electronic infused eponymous ‘Portico Quartet’ to ‘Art in the Age of Automation’ (their most electronic statement to date), they have never been artists to look backwards. Each record has been its own world, its own statement and offered its own meaning. It’s the mark of a singular group that has always stood its own higher ground, above being tarred with certain genre brushes, separate from any scene and prepared to challenge itself, find new things to say, and push its own limits.
It is an approach that has encouraged the band to plough their own furrow, with saxophonist Jack Wyllie commenting, “I feel more connected to other musicians these days and those relationships influence the sound we have in some way, but I wouldn’t say we feel a part of a supposed movement or fit in any pigeonhole. It still feels quite out on its own, which is cool, because it helps the music feel unique”.
The new longplayer ‘Memory Streams’ is part of the same continuum and yet, as the name hints, there’s a sense here of a remembering, shards of past influences, and hints of ideas re-forged. For Wyllie, Memory Streams “feels in some ways about the identity of the quartet, about the records we’ve made before, and the memory of them”. whereas for drummer Duncan Bellamy it suggests “a torrent of imagery, accessing and reliving archived memories, which perhaps aren’t even your own”.
Sonically, ‘Memory Streams’ embraces the classic PQ palette of drums, saxophone, bass and hang-drums, but nonetheless the output has modulated, become more modern, whilst still channeling the beauty and mystery which has always marked the very best of their music. It’s the sound of an outfit at ease with itself, who after a dozen years of recording and playing together, are able to simultaneously explore and embrace their own identity.
‘Memory Streams’ also marks a return to a more predominantly band orientated sound than ‘Art In The Age…’ and its partner release ‘Untitled’. Bellamy says “we wanted to create something that had texture, fibre and space to it. Something that felt vivid, real and alive”. During recording they re-amped a lot of the sounds, a process which lends a sense of depth and spaciousness to the audio. Wyllie adds, “we tried to reduce the elements to what really identified the group and also as a way to help us write – it’s not easy if you have unlimited possibilities. But it was also an interesting challenge, as it was about writing something new that felt like a development, whilst also drawing on the past”.
One of the first tracks they wrote for the new album, ‘With, Beside, Against’ has an expansive, quietly unfolding quality that makes it the perfect opener. ‘Signals’ is a creeping, mysterious piece that captures the spirit of the record. It’s hypnotic, rolling quality builds throughout with shades of a classic PQ tune, but with a tougher edge. The outstanding ‘Gradient’ is a more produced piece; mixing lo-fi and beautifully recorded acoustic parts together, it grows from a simple, repeated drum motif, outwards into a searching hypnotic crescendo. ‘Ways of Seeing’ is a synthesis of minimalism and more dancefloor-oriented rhythms. A lone pulse from the drum machine cuts through a haze of chiming, swirling hang-drums and pads built from shards of looped sax.
‘Memory Palace’ is a distant echo of the motif from ‘Gradient’, and is a bare, slow piano piece shrouded in a mist of saxophone noise. The punchy ‘Offset’ is all about motion and tension and Bellamy’s drums pound in response. ‘Dissident Gardens’ is an intricate, hypnotic track in 3 parts – almost prog-like in rhythm, but with a strong minimalist element, with Farfisa organs as the repetitive top lines. ‘Double Helix’ begins with string swells – stopping and jolting as if someone is switching TV channels before locking into a deep groove. The beautifully sparse, emotional heft of ‘Immediately Visible’ sits in a powerful lineage of Portico Quartet tracks like ‘Line, Rubidium’ and ‘Beyond Dialogue’. It was largely improvised in the studio and offers the perfect ending point for the album with its sense of journey and deep well of feeling.
An LP that locates their music in an age where we have unfettered access to a vast and ever-expanding archive of imagery and ideas, ‘Memory Streams’ both embraces and builds on Portico Quartet’s own unique music and legacy, and locates them firmly in the present.
The Cinematic Orchestra have shared a new live video for “Lessons” taken from their new album “To Believe”. Filmed by acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Brian “B+” Cross (Mochilla) whilst the band were in Joshua Tree, USA earlier this year.
B+ said of the video, “The desert has been an important reference for Jason and Dominic during the creation of this project. We took photos out there three years back in the beginning of the publicity for the campaign. It was wonderful to go back out to Joshua Tree and hear the music performed live by the full band. It was an honour to capture the energy in the room over six takes and then intercut it with some observational shots we created using a pretty sophisticated drone. Drone technology was created in Southern California and all the stark beauty it can capture underwritten by the military industrial narratives we live with here is present in the work. Thinking about these deeper themes is central to this new Cinematic project and it was a privilege to be part of these conversations.”
On the instrumental ‘Lessons’, a melodic, melancholic meditation is built around Luke Flowers’ drums, driving the track’s ebbs and flows of energy. Whilst the saxophonist is the ever present band member Tom Chant, who in many ways embodies the evolving symbiosis of the band: a friend-of-a-friend turned studio partner turned bedrock of the band’s live formation over two decades.
The Cinematic Orchestra (founded by Jason Swinscoe and now joined long-time collaborator and friend Dominic Smith), have always defied category and convention. Neither an orchestra nor a band, not a pure jazz act but full of its influence, not electronic but originally rooted in a London based electronic scene. Musical trends come and go but they have assuredly and defiantly stuck to their principles. A refusal to compromise, to bend to classification, to follow convention.
“To Believe” was released on 15th March on Ninja Tune to widespread acclaim
For our Greek-speaking friends:
Μία από τις μακροβιότερες εκπομπές στο ελληνικό ραδιόφωνο, φέτος συμπληρώνει 30 χρόνια on air και το γιορτάζει την Παρασκευή 7 Δεκεμβρίου με ένα ολονύκτιο party γεμάτο μουσικές από τα καλύτερά μας ραδιοφωνικά χρόνια.
Ο Νίκος Κομνηνός συνιδρυτής και δ/ντης προγράμματος του Offradio από το 2008, μετρά τρεις δεκαετίες αδιάλειπτης ραδιοφωνικής παρουσίας και εκπομπών, μέσα από τις οποίες μεταδόθηκαν και διαδόθηκαν μουσικές και καλλιτέχνες που σημάδεψαν τα καλύτερα μας χρόνια. Όλες αυτές τις μουσικές θα φέρει μαζί του – σε βινύλιο και CD- στο Death Disco στις 7 Δεκεμβρίου, για μία νύχτα που δεν πρέπει να χάσετε, και κατά τη διάρκεια της οποίας όλοι όσοι θα είστε εκεί, θα έχετε τη δυνατότητα να “παραγγέλνετε” επί τόπου τραγούδια μέσω PM!
Death Disco, Ωγήγου 16, Ψυρρή
Starts 00.00 | Entrance €5
#30yearsKOM #offradio #Μουσικάρες
Λίγα λόγια για τον Νίκο Κομνηνό:
Το να «μεταδώσεις» το Νίκο Κομνηνό γραπτώς δεν είναι απλή υπόθεση. Δεν είναι απλό να κλείσεις σε λέξεις καθημερινές εκπομπές μιας ολόκληρης 30ετίας, μεσάνυχτα ή μεσημέρια γεμάτα καλά φιλτραρισμένους ήχους, μουσική πληροφορία, αφιερώματα και το πάθος ενός ανθρώπου για μουσική και επικοινωνία, στο οποίο είναι ταγμένες τουλάχιστον τρεις γενιές μέχρι τώρα. Πίσω από το οξύμωρο της βραχνής χροιάς της φωνής του -αυστηρή και ρομαντική συνάμα- υπάρχει ένας τύπος αυστηρός τόσο με τον εαυτό του όσο και με τους συνεργάτες του, αλλά και μια ρομαντική φύση που κάθε φορά που πλησιάζει μικρόφωνο γίνεται εκείνος ο παθιασμένος πιτσιρικάς που ξεκίνησε εκπομπές παράνομα τη δεκαετία του ‘80 με τους φίλους του στην πολυκατοικία του πατρικού του και που άλλαξαν τα όνοματά τους για να μην καρφωθούν στην αστυνομία. Είναι ίσως ο μοναδικός «πειρατής» του ραδιοφώνου που δεν λοξοδρόμησε στην πορεία, παραμένοντας πιστός στο μέσο και τη μουσική, στις αξίες του και τον ακροατή. Η δόξα, τα χρήματα, η αναγνωρισιμότητα και τα «τυχερά του επαγγέλματος» δεν τον συγκίνησαν ποτέ, όσο τον συγκινούν τα «δυσεύρετα πια» καλά τραγούδια και αυτή η μυσταγωγία και η οικειότητα συνάμα της επικοινωνίας με το κοινό που μόνο στο ραδιόφωνο μπορείς να έχεις. Ο πιτσιρικάς πειρατής των ‘80’s, ήταν από τους πρώτους που η ελεύθερη ραδιοφωνία έφερε στον FM100 της εποχής Κούβελα στη Θεσσαλονίκη και εν συνεχεία στον FM101, το πρώτο νεανικό ραδιόφωνο από το οποίο «αποφοίτησαν» μεγάλες καριέρες του σήμερα. Από τότε μέχρι σήμερα, ο ίδιος έχει βάλει την προσωπική του σφραγίδα ως δ/ντης προγράμματος σε τρία ραδιόφωνα που άφησαν εποχή στη Θεσσαλονίκη και όχι μόνο: 88μισό/Μύλος, Republic 100.3 και OFFRADIO – το δημοφιλέστερο online ραδιόφωνο με έδρα τη Θεσσαλονίκη, φανατικό κοινό σε όλη την Ελλάδα και ακροατές σε όλο τον πλανήτη.
Winter Festival 2017
1st & 2nd December | Athens, Greece
“Plisskën is rammed, fizzing with energy and nobody goes home until dawn” – The Guardian
“The kind of eclectic line-up that will twitch the ears of any music connoisseur” – The Quietus
“In some ways Plisskën is a perfect festival” – Crack Magazine
MAC DEMARCO // MULATU ASTATKE
LADY LESHURR // ROMARE // HOLY FUCK
67 // LIARS / ANDY STOTT // JESSY LANZA // WEVAL
ANOPOLIS // AUTARKIC // BILL KOULIGAS // BLACK ATHENA // BORROWED IDENTITY
BRASSICA // CHAOS IN THE CBD // COBY SEY // DEDNEWB // DEMDIKE STARE // DOG2TH // GAIKA
GIGANTA // HIEROGLYPHIC BEING // HUERCO S. // IGUANA DEATH CULT // ILLUM SPHERE // IVAN SMAGGHE
JOYCE WRICE // LAMBERT // LAPS // LAST JAPAN // LENA PLATONOS // LOTIC // MATTEO VALLICELLI
NTS RADIO // PAULI. // SMERZ // THE LONGCUT // THOMEY BORS // TOPS // TOSIN MARTYNS
The winter edition of Athens’ Plisskën Festival returns once again with another innovative, heavy-hitting, multi genre line-up showcasing a broad mix of styles and quality. Set in a city rich in both ancient and modern culture on Friday the 1st and Saturday 2nd of December, Greece’s most ambitious and forward-thinking musical gathering will host 2 consecutive nights with over 40 international & local artists performing across 3 neighbouring venues. The surrounding area with house a food court, cocktail bar and lounge area, creating a unique street festival atmosphere for the crowd to enjoy.
Savages Perform at Plisskën
Since its debut year in 2010, past line-ups have included the likes of Perfume Genius, Savages, Mogwai, The Horrors, King Krule, Black Lips, Death Grips, Wild Beasts, Ariel Pink, Brodinski, Âme, Wooden Shjips, SWANS, Fuck Buttons, Mount Kimbie, Vitalic, Simian Mobile Disco and Peaches. Charismatic Canadian cult-hero Mac DeMarco and the father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke will headline this year’s event, which will also feature sets from deep techno’s finest Andy Stott, Ninja Tune whizzkid Romare and South London rap crew 67. Experimental noise outfit Holy Fuck, masters of eccentric electronica Liars and first lady of grime Lady Leshurr will also grace the stage, alongside Dutch duo Weval and Jessy Lanza, who deals in pure and minimal electronic pop. Much hyped XL newcomers SMERZ and Midwest house outsider Huerco S. are on the bill with Gaika, Ivan Smagghe, Chaos in the CBD, TOPS, Lotic and Lena Platonos helping to complete a bumper line-up of epic proportions.
Peaches performs at Plisskën
Not only is Plisskën committed to delivering an eclectic line-up containing some of the hottest musical acts on the planet, every year it pushes the boundaries of multiculturalism as well as it’s environmental and social ethos. Believing in young people and wanting to offer something back, The Lab, is an annual workshop organised by Plisskën, where participants get the chance to learn about all of the elements that comprise putting on a festival. From booking the bands, handling the press & marketing, to the environmental awareness of a production and finally the actual set up, by the end of it, one gets a well-rounded view & experience in production.
Plisskën Festival has also been nominated for ‘Best Small & Best Indoor Festival’ by European Festival Awards for their third second consecutive year as well as the 2nd star for the Greener Festival Award.
Doors open on both festival days at 19:00
Plisskën’s box office and collection of festival passes will be located at Metallourgeion.
• Website: www.plisskenfestival.gr
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/plisskenfestival
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/plisskenfest
• Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plissk%C3%ABn_Festival
Le Femme perform at Plisskën
Plisskën by day
Zomby performs at Plisskën
‘Xpander’ is taken from ‘Sasha : re-Fracted: Live at the Barbican’ limited edition Blu-Ray
Just in time for Summer’s warm up arrives Romare’s ‘Come Close To Me (Live Session 1)’ a hazy, pulled-apart live edit of the single taken from his 2016 LP Love Songs: Part Two. Along with the track, which rides out like a slow-burning exercise in self-sampling, is a witty, 80’s inspired music video drenched in analog VHS sheen and complete with a blurry Mazda speeding off into a fading dusk. “From our first phone call discussing the concept for ‘Come Closer’ [Come Close To Me’ – Ed]”, says director Greg Barnes “Archie (Romare) and I were on the same page. We both wanted to push the limits of what a performance-based, session style video could be, and it was clear that meant smoke, lasers, and his Mazda.”
The single and video are released today (premiered via Crack) on Ninja Tune, just as Romare prepares for his forthcoming headline show at KOKO on 11th November – his biggest and dare we say most impressive performance to date– which will see him showcase his disco-heavy cuts with a live band in addition to DJ sets by Romare himself and a string of other companions late into the night.
Boiler Room presents ‘TRANSITION’ – a singular visual experience by the visionary Chilean-American artist and the world’s leading underground music channel.
Shot in Brooklyn at the now-defunct DIY venue Aviv in September 2016, the film takes a cue from Jaar’s semi fictitious network of interlocking radio stations as well as his latest studio album ‘Sirens’.
From its very first enigmatic scene to the unmissable ending, ‘TRANSITION’ is an unscripted POV journey into one night in NY at a transitional time in America.
Rainbow Power (T.Thomas)
I Know What U Did (Nymphs V)
American Dream Radio (Network #156)
A Coin In Nine Hands (Nymphs VI)
We Can Rise Above ()
Allegrate Con La Bulla (Cumbia 4 Trump)
Everybody ¡¡¡Slit-Thru-Lose-Control (Arca x Missy)
Free rotation 003 (Duckett – Naaice track!)
Elegua (Nico + Obbatuke Prod @ Manana fest 2016)
Swinging Stars Orchestra
Djal Bai Si Camin (A Dos Santos woowooo)
Make Your Transition (UR)
Who 2 Govern (Sirens)