The Libera Awards highlight the indie music scene, and two British artists are leading the way this year.
The nominations for the fourth annual Libera Awards have been announced, and two British artists are among the leading contenders. FKA Twigs and Aphex Twin have been given four and three nominations respectively.
Critically acclaimed singer FKA twigs, real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett and currently engaged to actor Robert Pattinson, is nominated for four awards, including both Album of the Year categories for her debut record LP1, Best Sync Usage in an advert or film, and Video of the Year for ‘Two Weeks’.
FKA twigs is up for four 'LIBBY' Awards this June
Continue reading: FKA Twigs And Aphex Twin Lead Libera Awards Nominations
Aphex Twin and (Ambient Works 85–92) - I am both, a musician called Lone Taxidermist and a make up artist, so Record store Day seemed like a good way of merging both of my passions. One of the reasons why I love vinyl is because of its true long playing physical format. I decided to listen to each album in full from start to end over and over again until the face was complete. Every time the album finished I would have a glass of wine! But I was getting too drunk especially after Human League!" - London, United Kingdom - Friday 24th April 2015
Jim Pusey's Top Albums of 2014
I'm still unsure what this decade will be seen as in years to come with regard to music, 2014 despite offering up some seriously great records has done little to cement a trend that will define the musical landscape in the public consciousness. Yes, artists continued to experiment with how to release their material, but there doesn't seem to be an alternative model that has been entirely successful. Thom Yorke's second solo album Life's Modern Boxes employed an innovative BitTorrent release three months ago, but for the most part failed to make a real impact. It's an ok record, nothing more, but suffers mainly because it doesn't feel like it's pushing the sonic envelope in the same way as the Atoms For Peace record did. Meanwhile U2 decided to drop an album out of nowhere to everybody with an Apple account. Self-aggrandising or an altruistic gesture to fans? Whatever your view the column inches it generated won't have hurt the band, even if Songs Of Innocence wasn't quite the re-invention that many were hoping for. To my ear it's a record with some redeeming qualities and some good song writing, but the handful of tracks that may be a welcome addition to the quartets body of work are outnumbered by filler.
Elsewhere it's been a strong year for Pop, Lily Allen and Katy B continued to produce interesting albums. However Taylor Swift's 1989 was a particular highlight, although in the same way as recent offerings from TV On The Radio (Seeds) and The Smashing Pumpkins (Monuments To An Elegy), I haven't lived with those records long enough for them to make my top ten of the year. I'd also have liked to have seen mainstream Hip Hop recover from a lull in 2013, but aside from Run The Jewels second record (Run The Jewels 2) and The Roots concept album (.And Then They Shoot Your Cousin), nothing really jumped out at me.
Continue reading: Jim Pusey's Top Albums of 2014
10) Illum Sphere - Ghosts of Then & Now
Former occasional turntablist for those funky divas Radiohead, Ryan Hunn created a record that blended jazz, drum & bass, hip-hop and soul amongst many others, channelling his famous live sets into an always fascinating whole.
9) Downliners Sekt - Silent Ascent
Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé echoed everyone and no-one on this, their third album. Others made comparisons to Autechre, Burial and Booka Shade, but the reality was the duo were obsessively working their own deeply underground but still magical groove.
8) Objekt - Flatland
I'm not even sure we know definitively what "Dark Techno" is, but this second album for TJ Hertz under the Objekt banner proved to be far less dystopian than some anticipated. Flatland in truth was just as indebted to Detroit as Berlin, but it's sleek, clear lines were a lesson in intelligent design.
Continue reading: Andy Peterson's Picks Of The Year 2014
If you're even remotely into electronic music, then you are more than likely to know who Aphex Twin is. After becoming a key pioneer in the genre during the 90s, Aphex Twin went quiet for over a decade following the release of 2001's 'Drukqs', releasing next to nothing and playing only a handful of shows. But as of late, Richard D. James has returned to his famous moniker with a new album entitled 'Syro', and it's made many an electronic music fan excited to see the master back. So does it live up to expectations?
'Syro' gets off to a very promising start with 'minipops 67 [120.2] (source field mix)' which feels like a throwback to Aphex Twin's first album 'Selected Ambient Works 85-92', but at the same time, it feels fresh with a minimal beat that flicks back and forth playfully, and plenty of subtle changes in direction to keep things interesting. There's even vocals on this song, which feels like a rare treat, modulated by a vocoder and becoming more organic towards the end.
We then go into 'XMAS_EVET10  (thanaton3 mix)', beginning with warm extended synth tones before malfunctioning into erratic discord. The rest of this ten minute opus continues this combination of long dreamy notes and contrasting jerky rhythms. Roughly three quarters of the way through the song, things brighten up with technicolour notes and a sample of a child speaking, but the effect is soon cancelled out as it ends with a series of distorted blasts. It seems Aphex Twin still knows how to keep things unpredictable.
Continue reading: Aphex Twin - Syro Album Review
Aphex Twin has released the first track from his first album in 13 years, Syro.
Finally it's here - the first new music for Aphex Twin in 13 years. The track 'minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]' from album Syro rolled out on YouTube on Thursday night before being played on Lauren Laverne's BBC6 Music show on Friday.
Aphex Twin returns with 'Syro'
The melodic features a scattered, driving beat and what appears to be vocals, heavily distorted.
'Selected Ambient Works Volume II' is a peculiar addition to the 33 1/3 catalogue. The ongoing series of travel-sized books that focus on a particular album has previously featured meditations on albums that have a cult fanbase (Slint's 'Spiderland') and ones that are the work of retreating artists (Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea'), but Aphex Twin's critically-acclaimed ambient opus is far less penetrable than the subjects that have preceded it in the collection, and this is an obstacle that the book's author struggles to overcome.
Marc Weidenbaum is a very good writer in the academic sense, and an incredibly well-read one. He is not, however, a writer that excites or intrigues, and nor is he one that gives any indication of, or indeed focus to, the primordial emotions experienced when listening to music. Where Kim Cooper's issue on Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea' made up for the lack of input from the artist by dealing in euphoria, sorrow and wonderment, Marc Weidenbaum's offering is studious and slow-paced.
The opening passages are a particularly difficult read in which the meaning of the word 'beatless' is de-constructed over several pages and the word itself is repeated umpteen times. Marc's analysis is very well-researched and references a number of relevant and respected sources, but as an introduction to both the album and indeed to the book itself, it is far too po-faced and cyclical in its form.
Aphex Twin was only trying to help...
Aphex Twin is about to release his first album in 13 years, SYRO, on September 23 and thanks to a lengthy publicity interview with Pitchfork, we've got a juicy anecdote about Kanye West apparently trying to rip off the electronic musician.
Aphex Twin releases his new album next month
Kanye sampled Aphex Twin's 'Avril 14th' on the track 'Blame Game' from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, however, things didn't exactly run smoothy. Aphex Twin, real name Richard D. James, said he was dismayed after hearing the sample's quality and even offered to re-do it for the rapper. However, Kanye's people not only failed to take up the offer but also claimed ownership of the sample.
Continue reading: Aphex Twin Tears Into Kanye West, "He Tried to Rip Me Off"
Aphex blimp = new Aphex album?
A green blimp emblazoned with the Aphex Twin logo and ‘2014’ has been seen flying over London, suggesting that Richard D. James is set to release something this year. The blimp, which was seen hovering over London’s Oval Space, Hackney, was unmistakable, and lead to news of Twin’s impending project spreading like wildfire over social media.
Neither Warp Records or James have confirmed anything yet, but fans are looking at the iconic label’s upcoming 25th anniversary as a possible date for either a full release or some new information surrounding the enigmatic blimp.
Continue reading: Aphex Twin Blimp Appears Over London to Excite Fans