Adrian Corker The Have-Nots review

A Closer Listen reviewed Adrian Corker's score for The Have - Nots. 

Are soundtracks getting better, or are we just enjoying them more?  It’s hard to tell.  Either way, 2016 has been an especially good year for creative scores, the latest example being Adrian Corker‘s The Have-Nots.  Our measuring stick is simple: to succeed, a score must stand on its own, which eliminates many mainstream entries, hampered by repetition, the lack of memorable minor themes, and an overload of incidental music.  Not so the score for The Have-Nots, which needs no visuals to make a visual impression.  Even a 46-second track such as violinist Aisha Orazbayeva’s “Faustina” makes an indentation on the ear.

But this is Corker’s show, and he catches the attention from the very start with a locked groove ~ not the way one typically begins a soundtrack, but a swift way to distinguish it from competition.  Assembling a quartet of violin, viola da gamba, cello and double bass, Corker establishes that this will not be business as usual; one leans in to hear what the musicians will have to say.  Experimenting with the degradation of acetate, Corker also plays music that by nature can never again be played, save for echoes caught in loops.  The ephemeral nature of such sounds reflects the dissociative tendencies of the characters in the film: the memories degrade, the impact fades.

The opening notes of the trailer (from Laurence Crane’s lovely piano piece “Andrew Renton Becomes an International Art Critic”, also on the soundtrack) provide little indication of the danger ahead.  But wait until 1:37 of the trailer for a snippet of the distorted drone “Index”, recorded with Lucy Railton, and one can sense the wheel beginning to turn.  A girl scolds the camera:  “Bad, bad, bad!”  It’s clear that something is amiss.  The contrast provides the album with a welcome tension that tries to hide beneath the skin but is all-too-quickly exposed.  The dissonant tones of “Supermarket” form a bracket around “Renton”; no matter how one attempts to keep one’s loved ones safe, it’s often to no avail.

From this point forward the score is pointedly dark, colors fading like the palette of the film.  The finale, an a cappella John Cage cover with words by e.e. cummings, seems intended for the end credits, but instead of comforting, it continues on an unsettling trajectory, less suited for popcorn than for an after-film drink.  Whatever the merits of the movie, the score is a winner.  (Richard Allen)

Release date:  5 November

Listen to a track and pre-order the LP here: http://bit.ly/thehavenots

Beth Orton's album Kidsticks released

When musicians talk about getting back to their roots, it’s usually an excuse to pull out a battered old acoustic to create some bare bones music. In Beth Orton’s case, going back to her roots meant something very different. 

Having relocated to California a couple of years ago, Beth began experimenting with a series of electronic loops that would eventually come together as her career-redefining new album; a record inspired both by the wide-open nature of Los Angeles and the spirit of Beth’s earliest recordings (electronic work with producers like William Orbit, Andrew Weatherall and Kieran Hebden as well as groove-based music with Red Snapper). 

When musicians talk about getting back to their roots, it’s usually an excuse to pull out a battered old acoustic to create some bare bones music. In Beth Orton’s case, going back to her roots meant something very different. 

Having relocated to California a couple of years ago, Beth began experimenting with a series of electronic loops that would eventually come together as her career-redefining new album; a record inspired both by the wide-open nature of Los Angeles and the spirit of Beth’s earliest recordings (electronic work with producers like William Orbit, Andrew Weatherall and Kieran Hebden as well as groove-based music with Red Snapper). 

Herbert: Guardian interview + Meltdown show

‘I can make music out of a banana or David Cameron or Belgium’

Matthew Herbert spoke to The Guardian about using music as a political weapon, sampling everything from the sound of bullets to pigs and his music from 90's raves to his new album The Shakes and everything in between. 

“I don’t like the idea of an average listener...You and I might not know what bullets sound like but there are plenty of people who do. There are people out there who know what a protest march sounds like. We’re so used to being handed things on a plate, whereas I’m interested in the journey one might make to find out what those sounds are. I don’t expect everyone to get every nuance of every sound – it’s about layers and layers and layers of meaning."

Read the full article here

Political music playlist

Herbert put together a political music playlist for The Guardian, including Tom Waits, Moby and Charlie Puth.

Listen to Matthew Herbert's political music playlist here

David Byrne's Meltdown

Today Matthew joined David Byrne on Lauren Laverne's 6 Music show live from the Southbank, ahead of his performance at Meltdown Festival this Sunday, get tickets for the show here. He also previewed an exclusive track, "Something At The Door", created from the doors of the Southbank centre called made in a Japanese hotel room. 

Listen to the interview and track here

Matthew Herbert: The Music - a new album, that's a book.

Matthew Herbert talks about his next album, The Music; 

"For my next record, I will write a description of the record rather than make the music itself. It will be divided into chapters in the same way that an album is separated in to tracks. This is that book.

Each chapter will describe in precise detail what sounds to use, how they should be organised and occasionally an approximation of what the net result should sound like. Crucially it must be able to be recorded for real given enough time, access and resources. However, I will never make the record. It will always just be a description of the music itself.

Somewhere buried in the last 100 years between the invention of the microphone, the tape machine, the sampler and the computer, music has undergone a formidable and profound revolution. Instead of making music with specifically designed instruments, we can now make music out of anything (whether it is intrinsically musical or not). Why use a violin when you can use a lawnmower? Why use a lawnmower when you can use the explosion of a bomb in Libya? This fundamentally changes the basic structures and assumptions of music as we move (painfully slowly) from a form of impression to a form of documentary

I would like this book then to be a kind of manifesto for sound that makes this shift explicit. In that way there will be no musical instruments or lyrics described in the piece. Instead, we may read about the sound of Samantha Cameron rubbing suncream into David Cameron’s back on holiday in Ibiza, mixed in to the sound of 21,000 taxi drivers turning off their engines at exactly the same time. It hopes to challenge how we think about music, sound and of course, how we hear the world itself."

Support the album and watch Matthew's video about the project here

Underworld live at Hollywood Bowl, LA

On Sunday 21st June Underworld returned to the iconic Hollywood Bowl to celebrate 20 years since their album dubnobasswithmyheadman. 

'This is Underworld at their best, a helter-skelter zigzag into the future. They don’t need 3D-mapped LED sculptures because the super-dimensionality promised by EDM is inside the band itself, their history, their musicianship, their ideas.’ LA Weekly 

‘The group hasn’t lost any of that energy, and delivered as it was in its natural habitat — under the stars, lost in its own universe — it still felt vital.’ LA Times 

‘…Pretty much the entirety of the venue was on their feet and the faster “Pearl’s Girl” brought the best of Smith and Hyde’s dynamic to bear; Hyde using his voice as an angular repetitious melody all its own while Smith mutated the song from fast sequenced synths into breakbeats and bass drops by the ending.’ MXDWN.COM

Delivering pure classic Underworld… had thousands letting lose under the stars with flying glow sticks up in the air.’ HMV 

 

Photo credit: Chris Mølina

Underworld play Hollywood Bowl

On 21st June 2015 Underworld return the LA’s Hollywood Bowl to celebrates the 20th anniversary of their album dubnobasswithmyheadman performed along with their landmark hits as part of KCRW’s World Festival series.

TICKETS HERE

Underworld’s dubnobass.. show at Primavera was described by Stereogum as;


“One of the more overwhelming live experiences I’ve had in recent memory… It felt like a small, internalized, intense club show rather than standing in a massive crowd of people”

Support acts on the night include Jungle, returning to the US hot on the heels of their acclaimed Coachella show earlier this year.

 

 

HERBERT: The Shakes - Out Now

The pioneering electronic musician Matthew Herbert releases “The Shakes”, his first new dance record for nine years, on 1st June. 

In the run up to the release one track with an accompanying film each week. Directed by Matthew himself, working with fine artist and cinematographer Margaret Salmon, each shot is a made up of a single shot, filmed in one take and set up as a moving equivalent of a still life.  

“The Shakes” is Matthew Herbert’s first album under the name HERBERT since 2006’s dark orchestral disco fantasy ‘Scale’ (K7!). The album deals with intensely personal issues such as raising young children against a backdrop of an increasingly unstable world and, amongst other things, utilizes the sound of used bullets and shells from eBay as part of its soundscape. Herbert suggests that the record can be seen as a treatise on how “music helps to motivate, provide respite and divert us from the challenges of the everyday” and that it is “electronic music for the soul.” 

Track 1: Battle

Track 2: The Middle

Track 3: Strong

Track 4: Smart 

Track 5: Stop

Track 6: Ones

Track 7: BED

Track 8: Even

Track 9: Safety

Track 10: Silence

Track 11: Warm

Track 12: Peak

The Shakes is out now.

Available instore and online:
iTunes: http://po.st/TheShakesiTunes 
CD and Vinyl from Herbert's store: http://po.st/HerbertStore 
Amazon: http://po.st/HerbertAmazon 
Spotify: http://po.st/TheShakesPlaylist

matthewherbert.com 

Underworld live at Primavera Sound, Barcelona

Last Saturday Underworld kicked off their summer festival season at Primavera Sound, Barcelona - dubbed by LA Times as Europe’s Coachella.

“One of the more overwhelming live experiences I've had in recent memory… It felt like a small, internalized, intense club show rather than standing in a massive crowd of people” Stereogum: http://goo.gl/g7LbBb

CLICK here for info on all Underworld’s summer festivals: http://www.underworldlive.com/events

In celebration of Frankie Knuckles life and music;

and to mark the 1-year anniversary of his passing, two of Junior Boys Owncornerstone acts – Underworld and Heller & Farley – have joined forces for the first time to record a version of the Chicago classic “Baby Wants To Ride” 

Download Digitally & Order the 12″ Vinyl at www.babywantstoride.com

The Guardian interviewed Elton John, Terry Farley & Karl Hyde about Frankie and working on Baby Wants To Ride:

Sir Elton John: “Frankie’s music when it hit the club scene in Chicago was just unlike anything that had come before. That mixture of disco classics, indie-label soul and European synth disco was just fantastic. He mixed all kinds of stuff together in a way that hadn’t been done before, and I’m always excited by new ways of doing things, new ideas, so this was great to me. And here was an openly gay man packing out clubs, giving people such joy just dancing to his music. That felt very liberating.”

Terry Farley: “There are certain ideals that people in the house community hold dear, and Frankie embodied them. He wasn’t just respected, he was loved, for the person he was and for what he stood for. The house community, worldwide, lost its leading light. Without a doubt”

Karl Hyde: “In the early days of Underworld, Darren Emerson used to bring in Knuckles tracks when we were writing, for reference, or if him and Rick were making a mix, there would always be Frankie tracks in the pile of 12ins they were using.”

Read the full interview here

Underworld vs The Misterons

”Underworld vs the Misterons, whose jittery take on ‘Baby Wants to Ride’, a Knuckles classic, pulses with a suppressed euphoria that gets under your skin” NM

Junior Boys Own love Frankie playlist

Junior Boys Own’s Steve Hall has created a Spotify playlist “Junior Boys Own love Frankie” to celebrate Frankie’s music.

Listen to it here: Junior Boys Own love Frankie

The Frankie Knuckles Fund

The Frankie Knuckles Fund was established by Defmix and the Elton John AIDS Foundation in Knuckles’ memory, following his passing on 31st March 2014.

“Knowing that the Elton John Aids Foundation had established the official Frankie Knuckles Fund in collaboration with Frankie’s estate and Defmix, they offered to gift all royalties from the single to the foundation, which was great. Everyone who worked on the track did so for free, which just shows the respect people had for Frankie.” Sir Elton John

The fund receives donations for the charity’s work with men at high risk of HIV in Africa as well as African communities in the UK, and African American communities in the U.S.A. For more information on the work the charity does click here.

Matthew Herbert on 'bringing down the government'

Emily Jupp, The Independent, 13th March 2014

Matthew Herbert’s children still struggle to understand what daddy does for a living, he tells me. The other day he was rattling a stick against the wall of his home in Whitstable, trying to disturb a mouse. His son looked up and asked: “What are you doing, Dad? Are you making music?”

It’s not surprising that his seven-year-old can’t fathom what he does when Herbert’s genre-defying projects involve rather a lot of musique concrète – using sampled natural sounds as the basis for his work, which confuses even his adult listeners – it’s definitely music but is it informative, or for fun? He’s probably the creator of some of the most inventive dance music that doesn’t get played in clubs and the most experimental jazz that you can still dance to.

Also known as Herbert, Doctor Rockit, Radio Boy and Mr Vertigo, Matthew Herbert has been making music for 25 years and made 30 albums, collaborating with all sorts of people, from Heston Blumenthal to Björk and remixing for Moloko, Dizzee Rascal, Ennio Morricone and REM.

We’re sat on a big, pink, comfy sofa in one of London’s private members’ clubs, discussing his new album, his philosophy of music and a lot of things that are wrong with capitalism. He talks slowly, thoughtfully, in a gentle cadence littered with “you knows” and rehashing of syntax; saying different iterations of the same sentence until he’s happy with the phrase. I imagine the production process for his music is similar, with each sampled sound moved around and manipulated until its in exactly the right place. Considering he can take three or four years to make one album, this is probably the case.

His new album, The Shakes, his first dance album since 2006’s Scale, is full of lively, arresting sounds. The Shakes is named after, “that moment that’s halfway between excitement and terror, because that’s what it feels like to be alive.”

Read full article here

Junior Boys Own to release a tribute to Frankie Knuckles, the undisputed Godfather of house, on 31st March, the 1-year anniversary of his passing

In celebration of Knuckles’ life and music, two of the label’s cornerstone acts - Underworld and Heller & Farley - have joined forces for the first time to record a version of the Chicago classic “Baby Wants To Ride”. 

“Baby Wants To Ride” will be released digitally and on limited edition 12” vinyl by Junior Boys Own/Caroline International. All proceeds of the record will go to the Frankie Knuckles Fund (part of the Elton John AIDS Foundation). 

On the continued influence of Frankie Knuckles: 

‘My relationship with Frankie goes back a long way. Twenty-five years ago, Frankie championed the early music Pete Heller and I made and many of the first releases on Junior Boys Own. He helped turn a group of suburban London music fans into DJs and producers who could travel the world, simply by his patronage.’
Terry Farley

‘As the creator of house music we owe Frankie a huge debt. Karl and I have always seen Frankie as the source and, as Underworld, we’re always swimming in his river.’
Rick Smith (Underworld)

‘When difficult decisions had to be made at the label, I’d often ask myself, “What would Frankie do?’ This meant we should approach the problem with love and respect for the music as our first concern.”
Steven Hall (Junior Boys Own)

"It's fabulous. I have always LOVED Underworld. This is a great track and tribute to Frankie. Thanks to everyone involved from me and everyone at the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”
Sir Elton John  (Elton John AIDS Foundation)


Iconic dance label Junior Boy’s Own is one of the most consistently successful UK dance labels. They have previously released records by – among many others – the Chemical Brothers, X-Press 2, the Ballistic Brothers and Black Science Orchestra. Underworld and Farley & Heller were among the first acts signed to the label in the early ’90s. 

The Frankie Knuckles Fund was established by Defmix and the Elton John AIDS Foundation in Knuckles’ memory, following his passing on 31st March 2014. The fund receives donations for the charity’s work with men at high risk of HIV in Africa as well as African communities in the UK, and African American communities in the U.S.A.

The digital and 12” releases will be available to buy or pre-order from 13.00 GMT 12th February 2015 at www.babywantstoride.com. By ordering direct, you ensure that the proceeds go direct to the charity, without any retailer margin deductions. The limited edition of 1,000 vinyl 12”s and the digital bundle are available at babywantstoride.com as “Pay What You Want” (subject to a minimum of £12 plus shipping for the vinyl and £3 for the digital bundle).

The “Baby Wants To Ride” release has been supported by a team all of whom have given their time and services for free, including: 9PR, Abbey Road Mastering, Beatink Inc., Caroline International, Hub II Studio, Magnum PR, Mark James Works, Swan Turton, Townsend Music, Turner Hall, Viaduct Promotions, Vinyl Factory and Your Army.

www.babywantstoride.com

 

Frankie Knuckles Fund for the Elton John AIDS Foundation

If you'd like to donate to the Frankie Knuckles Fund for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s HIV programs serving African communities around the globe, please visit: www.ejaf.org/london/campaigns/frankie-knuckles-fund/

About Elton John AIDS Foundation

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the largest private funding institutions for AIDS in the world.  In the last 21 years, it has raised over £193m ($300m) to support more than 1,200 projects across four continents.  Funding has helped leverage a further £228m ($355m) for programme partners, enabling them to reach millions of people infected, affected or at risk of HIV.

To find out more please go to www.ejaf.org/london

A Message from Mars: Britain's first ever sci-fi feature film, with a score by Matthew Herbert and the New Radiophonic Workshop

BBC Arts has partnered with the BFI to release a newly restored version of Britain’s first full-length science fiction film, A Message from Mars, with a specially commissioned soundtrack from Matthew Herbert.

Watch it here.

Babylon series kicks off tomorrow on Channel 4, with music by Rick Smith

Razor-sharp comedy drama that takes a wry look at the people and politics of London's police force. With James Nesbitt and Brit Marling and Music by Rick Smith.

Read more about the series and catch-up on episodes here on 4OD.

Underworld review – deep and impressively profound ***** (Ian Gittings, The Guardian)

Photograph: Victor Frankowski

Photograph: Victor Frankowski

Royal Festival Hall, London
It’s a testament to Underworld’s enduring appeal that not one member of the audience of fortysomethings appears to contemplate sitting down all night.

Read the full review here.

Underworld’s classic 1994 album of art-rock techno was inspired by Charles Bukowski, Lou Reed and Romford. But it almost never happened. (Dorian Lynskey in The Guardian, 9th Oct 2014)

Photograph: Neil Stevenson

Photograph: Neil Stevenson

A great piece by Dorian Lynskey in The Guardian get's under the skin of Underworld's 1994 classic dubnobasswithmyheadman.

Read the full article here.

Matthew Herbert "The Recording". An album created in front of and with a live audience at Deutsche Oper Berlin

In an age in which anyone can presume to be a composer and an unfath- omable amount of music is produced every twenty-four hours, Matthew Herbert asks are we still connected to what we hear? The internationally acclaimed artist well-known for his uncompromising attitude towards music and its making invites the audience and special guests - musicians, theorists and politicians - to take part in a unique creative process.

For seven days he and his band will be in residency in the Tischlerei, which will be turned into a functioning recording studio. Their goal: to compose, record, and mix an album from scratch in one week’s time.

The Recording – the process of recording as well as the final album itself – will be a unique collaboration with both the audience and the opera house. Together they will delve into the role music plays in our lives, both as enter- tainment and the often-dismissed idea of it as an agent for genuine social and political change and try to answer, in both a rhetorical and practical way, the increasingly relevant question: what can music do anymore?.

Deutsche Oper Berlin website

ENO · HYDE "High Life" - Out Now

The new album by Underworld's Karl Hyde and Brian Eno is out now.

"A startling and inspiring record"
Pitchfork (Best New Music, 8.4)

**** 
The Times / Evening Standard / Financial Times / Mail On Sunday

"Eno and Hyde sound energized and make 45 minutes fly by ... rejecting the standard order yet admitting pleasure"
The New Yorker

"An essential work ... mesmerizing"
LA Times

"Together these complimentary records present contrasting views - one refined, the other largely unrestrained - of matured renegades revisiting earlier oblique strategies with renewed vigor ... neither argues retirement"
SPIN

www.enohyde.com

Underworld to re-issue their classic 1994 dubnobasswithmyheadman album with unique live performance at Royal Festival Hall.

Art by Tomato

Art by Tomato

Thunder, thunder, lighting ahead...
In January ‘94, Rick Smith, Darren Emerson & Karl Hyde released their debut album – Dubnobasswithmyheadman – on independent label Junior Boy’s Own. Up to that point, the three-piece were seen as something of a square peg. They crafted songs from transcendent dance music. They were clearly a band – complete with frontman/guitarist – yet they made records where the constituent parts and players were often indefinable. Musically, they took elements from the European techno underground & Balearic clubs and fused them with spliced up beat poetry and strung out ambient sounds. Really, they just weren’t like anyone else.

Read more here.