Releases of the yearWe asked our contributors to nominate their top 10 vinyl, CDs, downloads and streams of the year, then we counted up the votesCritics' ReflectionsOur contributors look back on 2015’s cultural highs and lowsPictures Of InfinityStewart Smith on the cosmic jazz connectionLeave The CapitalAbi Bliss on underground music thriving outside the metropolisWriting And DifferenceFrances Morgan on women writing about musicEgo Trippin'Richard Stacey on MCs growing up in publicMoving PremisesPatrick Ward on the return of the concept albumColumnists' chartsOur specialist critics select music that rocked their corner of the subculture, from avant rock to the outer limitsArtists' ReflectionsA cast of 2015’s most active movers and shakers shine the spotlight on their cultural yearArchive Releases Of The YearOur contributors voted for their Top 10 reissue or archival albums, tracks and downloads, and we counted them all upMarc BaronThe French collage artist tape-tackles the jumble of daily life. By Nick CainLawrence LekThe film maker reveals truths about the modern city via parables of a depopulated future. By Emily BickCollateral DamageDW Robertson (aka Ergo Phizmiz) assesses the drawbacks of music’s pay-what-you-want online economyGlobal Ear ZagrebThe Croatian capital’s disparate underground music scene is alive with possibilities. By Antonio PošćićInvisible Jukebox GnodSalford’s neo-psych warriors trip over The Wire’s mystery record selection. Tested by Nick MitchellThe Inner SleeveNoveller on Sonic Youth's Goo videosEpiphaniesJohn Collins finds his own space on a tour bus in GhanaPrint RunNew music books: jazz and religion, musical revolution, the mysteries of Japan, and adventures in American musicOn ScreenNew films and DVDs: Theory Of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents and Tubby Hayes: A Man In A HurryOn SiteRecent exhibitions: X-Ray Audio: Forbidden Soviet Music ‘On The Bone’ in Birmingham, and Karen Finley in LondonOn LocationRecent festivals, gigs and clubs: Semibreve, Jazzfest Berlin, Księżyc, PJ Harvey, and moreSoundcheck A-ZApparatus, Dean Blunt, Joshua Bonnetta, The Bug, Circuit Breaker, Dikeman/Parker/Drake, Eartheater, Father Murphy, Jürg Frey, Gaika, Dominique Grimaud, Guttersnipe, Hijokaidan, Hijokaidan x Yoshihide Otomo, Jojo Hiroshige, Jojo Hiroshige & Haruo Ueda, Eva-Maria Houben, JT The Goon, Jack Latham, Lilly Joel, David Lynch & Mark Zebrowski, Stephan Mathieu, Daniel Menche & Mamiffer, Miss Red, Mordant Music, Jon Mueller, Cian Nugent, Roly Porter, Pyramids Of Space, Hans Joachim Roedelius & Leon Muraglia, Marianne Schuppe, Keith Seatman, Shapednoise, The Sprawl, Swifta Beater, Thanet, Tortoise, Aino Tytti, Vainio & Vigroux, Various: Gqom Oh!, Various: Grime 2015, Various: NoFi Rainbow Vol 2, Various: Pekak!, Various: Territoires Vol 1, Nate Wooley Quintet, Wrekmeister Harmonies, ZeitkratzerThe BoomerangAfrican Head Charge, Laddio Bolocko, John Cale, Change, The Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble, Dredd Foole, Magma, Tom Mkhize, Normil Hawaiians, Gary Numan, The Soul Jazzmen, Various: LEAF 20, Volcano The Bear
Annette Peacock From her early association with Paul Bley, through the eruptive sensuality of her 1970s music, to her more reflective recent work, the singer, songwriter and synthesizer pioneer has blazed a singular trail. By Frances Morgan United Bible Studies The shifting cast of players making up this intergenerational Anglo-Irish collective unite folk, improv, psychedelia, rock and drone. By Ian Maleney Powell After a brush with Steve Albini, the UK producer and Diagonal co-founder talks dry music, grainy pigeonholes and shameless advertising. By Chal Ravens Bites: Christine Sun Kim: Deaf from birth, the Berlin based sound artist forges new ways of listening. By Emily Bick Manongo Mújica: Percussionist paints pictures of Peru. By Russ Slater Emma Dove and Mark Lyken: The film making duo reflect the Scottish wilderness via field recordings and multiple voices. By Philip Clark David Kanaga: The California based composer-designer opens up a portal to 18 dimensional space. By Adam Harper Yogyakarta Global Ear: A new avant garde is finding its home at street level in the Indonesian city. By Noel Meek Invisible Jukebox: Attila Csihar The Sunn O))) and Mayhem vocalist feels the burn from The Wire’s mystery record selection. Tested by Edwin Pouncey The Inner Sleeve: Danielle de Picciotto on Tropic Of Cancer’s Stop The Suffering Epiphanies: Clusters of small but significant events fuel Gordon Mumma’s appetite for collaboration On Screen: Sven-Åke Johansson’s Filme II and Eric Robel’s The Color Of Noise Print Run: Billie Holiday reappraised, Jon Savage on 1966, mass-appeal pop, and a Californian perspective on European rock On Site: Takehisa Kosugi in Birmingham On Location: Cut And Splice, Tusk, Monorail, Zappa Plays Zappa, Jason Lescalleet, and more Soundcheck: Joshua Abrams, Rodrigo Amado/Joe McPhee/Kent Kessler/Chris Corsano, Oren Ambarchi & Johan Berthling, Arca, Pierre Bastien, Bataille Solaire, Black Mecha, Bremen, Cornered Yet Climbing, Corrections House, Dam-Funk, Egyptian Lover, Jean-Baptiste Favory, Giant Claw, Laurel Halo, Anna von Hausswolff, Hieroglyphic Being, Patrick Higgins, Hypnotower, IBM, Iglooghost, Petre Inpirescu, J-Felix, Kelela, Kowloon Walled City, DJ Krush, The Mekons & Robbie Fulks, Lubomyr Melnyk, XL Middleton, Normal Echo, Bill Orcutt & Jacob Felix Heule, Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur, Time Machine Orchestra, DJ Paypal, Michael Pisaro, Duane Pitre, Colin Potter, Kristo Rodževski, Raphael Roginski, David Rothenberg & Michael Deal, School House, Bing Selfish & Bob Helpless, Sunn O))), Tactile, Rian Treanor, Various Pod Tune, Richard YoungsThe Columns by Nick Southgate, Chal Ravens, Steve Barker, Dan Barrow, Andrew Nosnitsky, Daniel Spicer, Julian Cowley and Louis PattisonSize Matters by Byron ColeyThe Boomerang: Maki Akasawa, Harry Bertoia, Coil, Ellen Fullman, Anne Gillis, J Dilla, King Crimson, Kosmose, Fela Kuti, Howard Riley, Sun City Girls, Swans, Mikael Tariverdiev
Bonafide magazine issue 11 features a double cover of two of the country’s most exciting and increasingly revered contemporary pop artists, Disclosure and Young Fathers. Elsewhere in the issue we speak with electronic mavericks DJ Koze, John Talabot and Scuba. As well as the cantankerous Tyler, The Creator, charming Roisin Murphy and investigate London’s soul jazz renaissance with 22a among much more.
Blues Brother Mentored on the axe by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s brother Jimmy and mentored on the music business by friend Cody Chesnutt, Austin guitarist Gary Clark Jr. was hailed as blues music’s second coming after a couple of self-released records and his Grammy-winning, major-label debut, Blak and Blu. But not wanting to be put in a box, Clark took a cue from Chesnutt’s The Headphone Masterpiece and set out to record and self-produce a wide-ranging yet personal album from his own perspective. The result, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, sees Clark bridging the gap between genres while creating his own thing. Top Billin' After a couple of his singles blew up, nineteen-year-old singersongwriter Raury flipped that success into an ambitious desire to create profound and impactful art. As he headlines his own festivals, and his anxiously anticipated finally debut drops, Raury now leads a pack of young artists aiming to start a movement to take the music industry in a new, positive direction. Also: Blue-eyed-soul man Boz Scaggs, Motown songwriter Marilyn McLeod, classic rock producer John Simon, saxophonist and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Kamasi Washington, soul singer throwback Leon Bridges, French beatmaker Onra, Stones Throw producer Knxwledge, and underground sound manipulator Norvis Jr.
Cover Stories Magma: The monumental music of the fabled French ensemble has been pouring from the mind of its leader Christian Vander for more than four decades. Keith Moliné travels to north east France for an audience with the man behind the mythos Heather Leigh: The former Charalambides member is recasting the pedal steel as a means to warp the fabric of space, time and the human voice. By Stewart Smith Kamasi Washington + Thundercat: The Flying Lotus associates are applying their virtuosity to develop a strain of cosmic fusion that’s accessible to all. By Joseph Stannard Invisible Jukebox: Jam City DJ and producer Jack Latham lays aside his earthly cares to face The Wire’s mystery record selection. Tested by Dan Barrow Bites Rabit: The Texan producer casts a post-industrial hex on the dancefloor. By Joe Muggs Seth Cooke: Ex-Hunting Lodge drummer takes a hands-off approach. By Andy Hamilton Elaine Mitchener: Intimate moves underpin the work of the London singer. By Philip Clark Global Ear - Austin: Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten has galvanised the Texan capital’s underground scene. By Christopher Brown The Inner Sleeve: Bridget Hayden on Can’s Tago Mago Epiphanies: Jon Savage has a gut feeling about Devo Print Run: New music books: free music in London, Kristin Hersh on Vic Chesnutt, the legacy of John Peel, Alvin Curran in annotated sound, and the final years of Lee Hazlewood On Screen: New films and DVDs: Laurie Anderson’s Heart OfADog On Site: Recent exhibitions: Brion Gysin in London, Kaffe Matthews in Coventry, and Hanna Tuulikki in Edinburgh On Location: Recent festivals, gigs and clubs: San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Space- Time: The Multiverse, Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival, and New York Vision Festival Soundcheck: Animal Collective, Anthony Child, Clay Rendering, Ian William Craig, Creeping Pink’s Future Acid Family, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Tashi Dorji/Marisa Anderson, Marco Eneid Streamin’ 4, James Ferraro, Masayoshi Fujita, John Foxx, Charles Gayle Trio, Russell Haswell, CM von Hausswolff & Leslie Winer, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Hieroglyphic Being & The JITU Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, Philip Jeck, JME, Jason Kahn, Pak Yan Lau, Levantis, George Lyle & Fritz Welch, Kode9, Drayco McCoy, Michael Morley, Qasim Naqvi, The Necks, Joanna Newsom, Oneohtrix Point Never, Rich Osborn, Elle Osborne, Primitive Motion, PUR Collective, Quantum Trio, Skepta, Special Request, Ghédalia Tazartès, John Tilbury & Keith Rowe, United Bible Studies, Mark Van Hoen, Christina Vantzou, VI, Byron Westbrook, Wolf Eyes, Zomby The Columns Size Matters The Boomerang: Abominable Putridity, John Coltrane, Patrick Cowley, Harmonia, Laraaji, Lucifer, Evan Parker, Sun Ra And His Arkestra, Various Chekhov’s Band: Eastern European Klezmer Music From The EMI Archives 1908–1913 63 Various Folksongs Of Another America: Field Recordings From The Upper Midwest, 1937–1946, Various Ola Belle Reed And Southern Mountain Music On The Mason-Dixon Line, Various The Incredibly Strange Music Box: 60 Songs From The Cramps’ Crazy Collection, Link Wray
Iconic computer composer Giorgio Moroder got his start writing and producing pop music in Germany. But a chance encounter with American session singer Donna Summer would change the course of his career. A string of hits together would make Summer an R&B and disco superstar and Moroder a wanted musical asset in the States, and their proto-techno, all-synthesizer dance track “I Feel Love” set the tone for the future of music. As Moroder embraced the Moog synthesizer and continued to revolutionize dance music, he transferred this electronic sentiment to multiple soundtracks, including the now-classics Midnight Express and Scarface. After a cameo on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, the seventy-five-year-old composer now returns to the scene with a new album, Déjà Vu. When fellow college alums Mike Stroud and Evan Mast ran into each other in Brooklyn and decided to jam together, they realized they had a penchant for making catchy yet cerebral instrumentals.Their newly formed band, Ratatat, featured smart interplay between guitar, synthesizers, and crisp beats. Four albums later—and collaborations with Kid Cudi and Jay Z along the way— the multi-instrumentalists return with their fifth LP, Magnifique. With Chic, Nile Rodgers and partner Bernard Edwards created sophisticated dance music draped in mystery and anchored in the unison singing of a rotating cast of female vocalists—Norma Jean Wright, Luci Martin, Alfa Anderson, Robin Clark, Diva Gray, Michelle Cobbs, and newcomers Folami Ankoanda-Thompson and Kimberly Davis. In the 1970s, Ohio’s blue-collar cities started churning out the hardest-working musicians in the business. Dayton native Steve Arrington came up watching the Ohio Players in the spotlight, spurring him to grind. As the drummer for the R&B band Slave, he quickly rose to take over as lead singer, which led to a successful solo career. But when he found a new calling in the Lord, he dropped out of the business altogether. After decades away, Steve is dipping his toes into the musical waters once again.
Inspired by the artwork of world-renowned street artist Chor Boogie, and created by Jack McKain, Modern Hieroglyphics is an exploration into art, music, fashion, and culture from all over the world. The premier issue contains 156 pages of artwork and conversations with visual artists from three different continents, all with their own unique influences, stories, and backgrounds. Limited edition print issues of Modern Hieroglyphics will be released biannually.
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Featuring a very special double cover of 2Pac and De La Soul, issue 10 also sees a change to a larger format. Our '90s rap special is an ode to the decade that went from the Golden Era to being independent as f*ck. Embracing the aesthetic of the 90s, issue 10 features a dual cover; the front an iconic shot of 2Pac in all his provocative glory, the back De La Soul dwarfed by a backdrop of the Big Apple.
Paid in Full: Fred Wesley did his second stint with the James Brown Band during the Godfather of Soul’s rebirth in the 1970s. Here, Wesley reminisces about their seminal and best-selling record, The Payback, which can be seen as a hard and cold metaphor for social justice. The Message: The Impressions were up and down on the charts for a decade, depending on the creative inspiration of its songwriter and lead vocalist Curtis Mayfield. The final three increasingly sociopolitical charttoppers he wrote for the group—“We’re a Winner,” “This Is My Country,” and “Choice of Colors”—would lean more towards Black Power, alienating some fans and radio stations, but would set the tone for his incredibly important solo work to come. Golden Child: After releasing his first mixtape, 2012’s Nehruvia, at only sixteen, New York phenom Bishop Nehru arrived as a fresh voice laced with erudite wordplay and a penchant for classic beats. With his EP strictlyFLOWz the following year, he grabbed the attention of MF DOOM, resulting in their recent collaboration, 2014’s NehruvianDOOM. As he prepares his solo album, with Nas on board as executive producer, the old-soul poet is poised to help bring the art form back to New York. The Champ: In an arena where MCs seldom have extended careers, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah has increasingly improved through two decades after his 1996 solo debut, Ironman. His use of cryptic slang and his gift for spinning complex tales leaves an unmatched legacy—one that’s still growing.
Longtime contributing editor Andrew “Monk” Mason interviews Blondie cofounders Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and chronicles the band’s rise from New York’s DIY art-rock downtown scene to worldwide airwaves with the disco hits “Heart of Glass” and the Giorgio Moroder–produced “Call Me.” But perhaps their real legacy is tied to the then burgeoning hip-hop movement; after meeting “Fab 5” Freddy, Blondie would record “Rapture”—the first pop song to incorporate a rap—and help bring the nascent artform to a larger global audience. SZA feels like she’s an anomaly in the music game, an outcast. But she’s not trying to be anyone but herself. As she creates her highly anticipated sophomore album, SZA is finding her voice and learning to actualize her own vision. While he’s known as a ’60s counterculture icon for his raunchy yet brilliant comics, illustrator Robert Crumb’s heart lies in the ’20s and ’30s. His love of old 78s and the songs of the original blues men, rural string bands, and obscure jazz musicians makes Crumb one of the leading experts on early American music. During the golden era of hip-hop, Onyx, a group of bald-headed, angry youth from Queens, attacked the music industry like a pack of vicious pit bulls with the hip-hop anthem “Slam,” inspired by the slam-dancing video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” During the first series of solo Wu-Tang Clan releases, Raekwon the Chef, with the help of his childhood pal and Wu cohort Ghostface Killah, created 1995’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, an album rife with crime narratives taken from real-life experiences growing up in Staten Island as well as gangster films like Scarface and The Killer.
Mass Appeal was born from a rich, creative street culture during a mythical era of New York City’s history. Founded as a humble graffiti ‘zine we have evolved into a publication crafted by and for opinion leaders, trendsetters, risk takers and rule breakers. Via the publication’s rich heritage, Mass Appeal honors the cultures past while exposing what’s next and bridging all of the gaps that live in-between. Our content reflects the never-ending cultural zeitgeist that emanates from the streets, and disseminates movement(s) around the world.Mass Appeal is a premium, collectible quarterly publication celebrating creative instigation.The Fall 2014 edition will romance the adventure of getting out there and pushing new boundaries.Featuring Eric Andre and Tyler the Creator on the front cover as well as artwork form Jose Parla covering the back, Mass Appeal Issue 55 will showcase Pimp C’s life through photo archives, Watch x Witness on their Gumball trip across Europe and other original content including: Jamaican Gun Culture, Run The Jewels, Kool AD’s Art Collection, Blade Graffiti and more. With over 140 pages of provocative perspective, Mass Appeal looks, feels and reads like an art book.
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Bonafide’s ninth issue with a feature cover story on Madlib, Interrupted by DOOM, which marks the first time in almost 10 years that the Madvillain duo have given an interview. Jeff Jank, art director of Stones Throw Records, has worked his magic on our cover inking in Lord Quas.
It’s not about giving the middle finger and saying, “Whatever.” It’s about real talk. As Cee Lo says in our cover story, “I despise the notion of ‘whatever.’ ” Mr. Green has something to say. He’s not the character he portrays on TV. And he’s not superficially enamored with an industry run by “atheists”—so he must find a balance of being a superstar in the spotlight and a human being in the shadows of introspection.Up-and-coming rapper Action Bronson doesn’t front about his occupation, doesn’t try to sugarcoat his story. The former chef is just a regular guy with a knack for rhyme and storytelling. He doesn’t hesitate to tell us that he’s thankful and that music is something he takes very seriously.While the music industry has always been filled with big personalities, it’s especially refreshing to hear from outspoken artists who, as big man Aaron Neville said, tell it like it is. In the 1970s, Ron Isley and his band of brothers weren’t afraid to put a fist in the air and scream, “Fight the power!”—while Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron used their music and words to speak the truth in turbulent times. As two soul artists without a f**king filter, Millie Jackson and Swamp Dogg have made their living putting their uncut thoughts to tape. And Philly soul architect Thom Bell opens up about his weighty contributions to a genre and a business, and Detroit singer Freda Payne shares her personal feelings about her own twists of fate. Finally, Queens rapper Kool G Rap is never afraid to state that he influenced every great rapper of our generation. Don’t fear the truth.