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TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Electronic and DJ UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2013 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

We here at TGTF have already brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list and the follow-up addendum, plus last week’s rock, metal and punk acts list. What I had envisioned this guide to be was simply a handy resource if you were wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But even if you’re not attending the big event, I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music. And that isn’t limited to one place or one event. You can find new music anywhere.

This week? Part three of the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 continues today with electronic and electronic-based acts and DJs. This kind of music is very near and dear to my heart; when I was younger it was dance music, music with a good beat that you could dance and forget the terrible things I was dealing with in my life. It was weirdly appropriate reading an interview with Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires many years later, explaining their music as escapist. I never looked at electronic music was that black and white; just like any other music, you get out of it something different than the next person. But electronic music in particular has a way of making me feel alive in a way that many other types don’t. Below is a listing of all the UK acts I’ve classed as electronic or electronic-based, or are straight DJs.

Electronic / electronic-related bands

The Adamski Kid – is it a commentary of our reliance on electronics these days that there are so many bands now that are only ‘bands’ in the live sense? In the case of The Adamski Kid, the act is Adam Karayiannis, mashing up dance and rock in crazy fashion, the way Talking Heads were crazy. Already a fave of Tom Robinson and Chris Hawkins on 6music and BBC Introducing on Radio1 with Jen and Ally, he’ll probably become a fixture in the UK soon.

Sounds like: the product if Django Django and Darwin Deez had a love child and then spray painted his face so he’d look like King Tut.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pO_7AahdqY[/youtube]

CHVRCHES – if you never thought the words ‘Scottish’ and ‘electropop’ should be in the same sentence like I did, think again. Having landed in the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist, been voted to the top of Generator’s Tipping Point Top of the Tips 2012, and receiving praise from Pitchfork, my opinion doesn’t count for much. But personally, it sounds too cartoony to me to be serious.

Sounds like: bubblegum pop’s wash put through a synth wringer

Alex Clare – 2012 was a big year in America for Alex Clare, and he has Microsoft to thank for that: the computer giant used the East Londoner’s song ‘Too Close’ on their Internet Explorer 9 adverts, firmly embedding the slow-burning, soulful love song with wub wub wubs into the American consciousness and leading to a sold out tour of North America in autumn 2012. While it’s virtually guaranteed that all of Clare’s appearances at SXSW will be rammed, for sure he won’t be playing after sundown Friday until Saturday evening: he’s an Orthodox Jew.

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYXjLbMZFmo[/youtube]

Chad Valley (added 10/01/13) – Oxford chillwave at its finest.

Dauwd – In an interview with the Ableton Web site, Dauwd Al Hilali describes his musical process as “[finding] a groove in something that perhaps you wouldn’t expect, for example maybe a recording of an object falling and rolling on the ground. There would be an infinite amount of detail in this, where you could isolate any part and work with the ‘natural groove/rhythm’ it creates. This would be impossible to recreate through MIDI alone, and gives a really organic sound.” Hmmm. Electronic, with a difference?

Duologue – electronic bedroom experimentalists that turned themselves into a full-fledged band playing an interesting mix of electronic and guitar rock.

Catch all of our previous coverage on Duologue here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpAPvrQs4y8[/youtube]

Eaux – this London trio – formed from the remnants of the Sian Alice Group – make music that’s too dark to be called dream pop, but nevertheless captures your imagination like snowflakes in the deepest, darkest night.

Sounds like: the xx, but more subversive; the Hundred in the Hands, but less dance; Bjork, but less oddball

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0rQoLqih_A[/youtube]

Fenech-Soler (added 10/01/13) – Originally from Kings Cliffe, the synth-loving foursome that made ‘Stop and Stare’ a massive radio hit in 2010 are ready for their SXSW close-up. They’ve already made a huge stir with new single ‘All I Know’, having landed at #6 on our 10 for 2013 readers’ poll.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWrBP6ttlBQ[/youtube]

Read all of our previous coverage of Fenech-Soler here.

The Ghosts – wonder what happened to the other members of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool after the untimely death of their singer at Pukkelpop 2010? Ex-Ou Est… member Alex Starling is the frontman for this electronic outfit also starring New York trained jazz drummer Ian Palmer and Canadian keyboardist / violin player Rayna Ferner.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIC-bOdZmA4[/youtube]

K.I.D.S. – Can anyone out there give me some more info on this band? Besides a pretty anonymous Soundcloud, there’s not much else on the net.

Little Boots – Victoria Hesketh’s most recent single releases, spring 2012’s ‘Headphones’ and ‘Every Time I Say a Prayer’, sees the former La Roux sparring partner head into a more dance – and less pop – direction for her new album, out later this year.

All of our previous posts on Little Boots are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJaH2GqT220[/youtube]

Man Without Country – Southern Welsh electronic duo with an unusual writing style: you see, Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf met in university but now live in different cities, requiring long-distance collaboration. Live, they bring in drummer Mike Monaghan, adding an extra element to the duo’s already rich-sounding soundscapes. They’ve already opened for Mute labelmate M83, so all signs are good for them to be well received at SXSW.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3shX5CuyTs0[/youtube]

Read our live coverage of the duo here.

Modestep – a live dubstep (yes, those wub wub wubs) and electronic band from London. Are they really necessary? I guess we will find out, with their debut album ‘Evolution Theory’ out on the 14th of January 2013 on A&M.

The 1975 – a band from Manchester blending synth into rock? You don’t say! (I readily admit to being completely sceptical about another band from the city that gave us the legendary New Order.) Us here at TGTF actually like The 1975 a lot, especially after they ditched their old name The Big Sleep to avoid confusion with another band from New York of the same name. A number gives you uniqueness, character…something that also describes their music.

Read all of our previous coverage on The 1975 here.

NO CEREMONY/// – you may recall this mysterious Manchester act (why does it feel like I’ve been typing that phrase out umpteenth times?) by the remixes they’ve done for The Good Natured, Zulu Winter, and more recently, their fellow Mancunians the 1975. It’s not clear what those three backslashes are for – maybe they stand for three band members? – but until I physically see any of them live, I’m assuming it’s three skinny English blokes in front of synths and sequencers that together weigh more than they do. Paul Lester wants it to be Natalie Curtis channelling her late father, but I don’t have such fanciful notions…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtNL3Ic30Rc[/youtube]

NZCA/LINES – “A beautiful electronic ode to dislocation.”

Reverend and the Makers – Jon McClure and his merry band from Sheffield will be bringing their high energy, electro-tinged rock to SXSW and not a moment too soon. I was gutted when they pulled out of their Brighton Dome slot at last year’s Great Escape, so it’ll be cool to see them in an entirely different environment.

Read all our previous coverage on the Rev here.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjq2kiuSikw[/youtube]

Tropics (added 10/01/13) – a Southampton version of Caribou – chillwave, polyrhythmic, Afrobeat-ish.

Young Fathers – “Ol’ Dirty chose his moniker because there was no father to his bastard style. Young Fathers earn theirs by making something so fresh it doesn’t yet have a name. These are three fellas from Edinburgh who’ve been working together since they were 14, who have an elastic mind meld that mimics their fused sensibility of sound, who one day locked themselves in a dingy Scottish basement and came out with something that’d never been done — a fearless combination of beat, rap and song that smells not only of its dark and dank birthplace, but of discovery and of communion.”

Grab a free mp3 of ‘Deadline’, from their release ‘Tape One’, fom this previous MP3 of the Day post.

DJs

Bonobo – named after and not actually a chimpanzee (that much I figured, but you know how my boffin mind works…) London musician, DJ and producer who have already blown minds around the world, so expect the same in Austin.

DELS – The fastest growing genre at SXSW in recent years has been urban / hip hop, though Londoner Kieren Dickens can be described not just in hip hop terms but also on the experimental scene, mixing his loves of garage, electro, and dance. His Facebook says live he tours with three other bandmates but it remains to be seen if they will be brought over for this year’s SXSW.

DJ Abrantee – he’s the host of Choice FM’s drive time show Monday through Saturday and its Popular and Trending Afrobeats show each Saturday night, has his own Sky TV programme (since 2009, and is an actor. Afrobeats are celebratory, and I’m sure he’ll be bringing his carnival to wherever he’s dropping beats during SXSW.

DJ Edu – Kenyan-born, London-based DJ Edu should be familiar to regular BBC 1Xtra listeners, presenting the Destination Africa show, described on the BBC’s Web site as “bringing the sound of the African underground to the speakers of the UK and the world.” Anticipate the best and latest Afrobeats to be dropped.

DJ Yoda – hip hop meets turntables. FACT Magazine describes his music as “technicolour boom-bap and plenty of notable guest spots.” Make of that what you will.

Girl Unit – neither a girl, nor a unit – it’s one man, Philip Gamble, a dubstep musician and producer. Groan. His 2012 EP ‘Club Rez’ has already been reviewed – and favourably – on Pitchfork, so I think it’s not much of a guess that his SXSW appearances will be rammed.

Jackmaster – Glasgow’s Jack Revill has been DJaying now for a decade, but he’s kept himself fresh by puttin<a hrefg his hand in four labels, a club night, and a day job, besides his DJ gigs. Having DJayed all over the world and having made an appearance late last year at Manchester’s Warehouse Project, he’s more than ready for his close-up at SXSW.

Jam City – identity unknown, but he (?) is on Night Slugs with Girl Unit and interviewed him for this Hyponik feature, so my guess is that their vibes are similar. Just a random guess though.

L-Vis 1990 – James Connolly is the co-founder of Night Slugs, whose roster includes previously discussed DJ acts Girl Unit and Jam City and whose origin arose from a monthly club night he and another London DJ Bok Bok hosted. Though he’s found fame as a remixer for Orbital (grab the remix of ‘New France’ here), Passion Pit, Frankmusik and Crystal Fighters, my guess is he’ll be bringing his blend of Chicago house, drum and bass, grime and Baltimore club to Austin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2sCjO4UeBo[/youtube]

Mista Silva – is Boomboomtah you new religion? Then you’ve already heard of Mista Silva. For everyone else though, I was seriously amused by this bit from his official Web site: “Being of Ghanaian origin, Kwame Amponsa was brought up around the sounds of hi-life and its modern form hip-life where artists rapped and sung in their native tongue over hard hitting and melodic beats. Mista Silva later adapted this to Funky House and became known for blending catchy bars inhis native language with common club chants[,] e.g.[,] the crowd enticing “Kelebom, go down low!” Keen to pay full homage to his roots, Silva made the swift transition from Funky House to Afrobeats.“ And that’s all she wrote.

Redinho – London producer Tom Calvert’s formative years in America could be to blame for what he’s doing now: elevating turntablism to an art form, and mixing hip hop and electronic into his sound. He appeared at last year’s Isle of Wight and will appear at Barcelona’s Razzmatazz right before heading over to Austin, so his name, style and reputation should precede him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV1oJOB1nqE[/youtube]

Sophie – I’ve no idea what he (?) sounds like, as all I’m seeing online are remixes. But he’s signed to Huntley and Palmers’ label and keeps having shows with other London DJs, he must be doing something right.

Southern Hospitality DJs – DJs Rob Breezy and Superix founded the now infamous Hip Hop Karaoke London, the first of its kind in the UK and an event that has been a road-block every single month at the Social in central London. Recognised for this and many other dance nights their group put on by tonnes of tv and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets in Britain, they’ve become a DJ force to be reckoned with and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Just shut up and dance!

Sticky – one of the UK’s leading club music producers in the height of the UK Garage scene. His distinctive sound not only made his music unavoidable in the clubs during this era, but also launched the careers of a number of the UK’s leading talents including the 2002 Mercury Prize-winning Ms. Dynamite.

TCTS – Manchester DJ and producer Sam O’Neill offers “futuristic garage with echoes of neo soul and soft whispers of classic Chicago house”.

Toddla T – and speaking of repeat nod surprises, Toddla T gets another nod from SXSW 2 years in a row too, leading me to believe that he’ll again be asked to preside over the dancey DJayed end of some night of British Music Embassy programming at Latitude 30 again. Not really my thing but if that’s what they’re looking for…

Previous coverage of Toddla T are here.

Next week here on TGTF we’ll be bringing the fourth and final genre chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013. On Tuesday, we bring the singer/songwriters and folk artistes. Catch us then!

 

SXSW 2012: Day 5 – Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012

 
By on Friday, 6th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

In an unusual bit of SXSW programming, Dutch Uncles was due to open the next British Music Embassy showcase at Latitude 30 after closing out the Northern Day showcase just 2 hours earlier. This evening showcase was being sponsored by UK Trade and Investment and was curated by Radio1 presenter Huw Stephens, who appeared playing some plinky plonky chords to introduce Dutch Uncles. Despite having just played 2 hours ago, the band were still in fine form, starting first with ‘X-O’ (see video below). Wallis quipped, “for the asbestos crowd, this is a toe-tapper” to preface ‘Orval’. Humour and a lot of energy wrapped around great songs? Just about perfect.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP03l2YAA6U[/youtube]

The next band was London’s Clock Opera. Before they performed, I couldn’t put my finger on what they sounded like. To be honest, I’d first heard of them through all the remixes they’ve done for other people (such as the Clock Opera remix of Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’). So this was the first time I’d really see them perform in their own right. Maximized beard owner and lead singer Guy Connelly – who I was introduced to later that evening over drinks and who I coincidentally discovered we’d eaten at the same restaurant, Roaring Fork, the night before – led his band through a set that included – very surprisingly – a moment where it looks liked they’d raided their mums’ kitchens and started banging on pots, pans and trays. Friends had told me they were similar to Friendly Fires, but even Friendly Fires can’t match the whimsy of this band from London. They were excellent.

I missed Django Django to get pizza and sweet tea iced lollies while visiting my new friends Fiction, people I’d not met before but I had seen perform in Manchester in December. They had discovered a shy Jimi Hendrix-themed busker playing in an alley. Bless. When we returned to Latitude 30, I was surprised to see D/R/U/G/S onstage; Maverick Sabre was unable to perform, I’m not sure what happened, but D/R/U/G/S stepped in to fill the gap. (Read my description of his PRS brunch performance here.)

Slow Club followed, with Rebecca Taylor wearing royal blue Sheffield kit and drawing the ire of the non-Sheffield fans in the house when she yelled, “Sheffield, whoooo!” Guessing that outburst might have worked better at Northern Day? I thought back to Valentine’s Day about a month before in DC, when I’d seen them live in Washington. She was poorly then; her voice now sounded better than ever, with the now rammed Latitude 30 buzzing, mostly filled with their fans.

I later spotted Django Django huddled around a table, for sure having celebratory drinks all around after their last performance at SXSW, the same kind of farewell drinks many of my bands friends, new and old, and I were having. “Hold on / to where you’re from / it’s where the heart goes / when you’re done” shouted Taylor in a bluesy and brassy voice for ‘Two Cousins’ to finish out their set. I could feel myself growing sadder by the moment. The longer the night wore on, the closer we were getting to the end of SXSW.

Though we stayed for part of Toddla T’s shuffling and snuffling through electronic genres, finally we all had to say our goodbyes and I wished some very good friends safe travels back across the pond. It might sound odd that as a UK blog editor I had embraced the music coming from Britain the most from all my time in Austin. I might be an American born and bred, but I have an English heart. As I look forward to May and to my return to England for the Great Escape (the Southern England answer to SXSW) and Liverpool Sound City (the Northern England answer to SXSW), I feel energised by all the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on this trip. And I truly believe, on the strengths of the bands that wowed and made proud at SXSW, that good music is everywhere. You just need to be open to it, to let down your guard, leave your prejudices at the door. You don’t need to be at SXSW or another music festival – good music is out there, waiting for you to find it.

There is not enough space in a TGTF blog post to thank all the people I spent quality time with: bands, bands’ management, people working for the festival, blog people, radio people and just plain ol’ fans either local to Austin or who traveled all kinds of crazy distances to experience SXSW just like I did. From the bottom of my heart, cheers everyone.

More high-res photos from the Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase can be viewed on my Flickr.

 

Preview: Evolution Festival 2012

 
By on Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 9:30 am
 

Evolution Festival, held between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, has, appropriately enough, evolved considerably since it was first held as a free, 1-day event in 2005. Now in its eighth year, the event boasts a 2-day, two-stage line-up, held in the stunning location of the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides. The event is no longer free, but at a mere £35 for the weekend, it represents fantastic, inflation-busting value. This year the event is held over the Sunday and Monday of the June Bank Holiday weekend 3-4 June: there surely can be no finer way to celebrate the 60th year of a monarch’s reign than going out and hearing some fantastic music with one’s fellow mankind. Here we break down the acts on the Spiller’s Wharf stage, just to prove what a delicious prospect awaits:

Sunday 3rd June
Kicking things off are the Lake Poets, the slightly confusingly-named solo project of Martin Longstaff of local favourites B>E>A>K. Amazing Radio favourites Theme Park offer intriguing ‘80s-style tunes with shades of Talking Heads. The local influence continues with Lulu James, a freshly-minted South Shields soul-step diva with huge potential; if her material stands the test she could go far. Melodic Nottingham indie five-piece Dog is Dead bring bits of summery Beach Boys vying with Arcade Fire-style bombast, which should go down well if the sun shines.

Next up are two chalk-and-cheese acts: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, limp-wristed posh-boy singer-songwriter who needs plenty of balls to win over the fickle Newcastle crowd, followed by Devlin – fresh from the streets of Dagenham, grime hits the big time with superstar MC Devlin and his hard-hitting flow. The real, undiluted deal. Good mate and collaborator with Alex Turner, Miles Kane brings his Mod-influenced solo material to Evolution. Take two measures Arctic Monkeys, add a twist of Paul Weller, and dilute to taste with the Coral. Can Kane carve a niche for himself at Evo?

Local lads and “very special guests” Maximo Park make their long-awaited comeback with new material and a new look. This set should give us a sneak preview of their new songs for 2012. And to wrap up the Sunday evening we have the one and only Dizzee Rascal: in between his own headline tour and masterminding the careers of several new urban artists via his own Dirtee Stank label, lovable urban pop scamp Dizzee is somehow finding the time to support the Red Hot Chili Peppers and play countless UK and international festivals this year, including several headline slots. This will be his third appearance at Evolution, making him the most popular act ever to grace the Evo stage. Let’s hope this festival holds as fond a place in his heart as it does for him, and that in return the audience are treated to new material from the forthcoming album on Island records. Given the Bank Holiday scheduling, chance of trance-pop anthem Holiday making an appearance? 97.6%.

Monday 4th June
Sore heads from the night before will be soothed by Mausi, Newcastle newcomers whose recent sunny single ‘Sol’ is brightening days across the land; and the Milk – party like it’s 1967 with their brand of big band soul and funk… Craig Charles, eat your heart out. Jessie Ware, urban vocalist and SBTRKT collaborator gets her own set; but with only two singles to her name, and SBTRKT with his own headline DJ set later on, what chance is there for him turning up to run some backing tracks for Ware?

In the middle of the undercard, we have widescreen synth-led bombast from hotly-tipped London quintet Spector; Luke Temple updates ’60s American pastoral psychedelia for the new millennium like a mini-Flaming Lips with Here We Go Magic, and Band Of Skulls bring some heft to a Bank Holiday Monday – sweat ‘n’ beer ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll trio BoS will leave no ears unbled. Fans of De La Soul, Arrested Development and Madness will love cheeky Brighton hip-pop chappies Rizzle Kicks… who bring us to Noah and the Whale. After an astonishingly successful 2011, NatW richly deserve to be the last band on at Evolution 2012. Their album ‘Last Night On Earth’ (#1 on editor Mary’s Top Albums of 2011) is chock full of classic songs, surely most of which will make an appearance here. Expect crowd singalongs and lighter-in-the-air moments galore.

As a finale, there’s nobody better than deadmau5 (pictured at top). His atmospheric, dubstep-influenced dance music and enormous mouse head will surely wrap up Evolution 2012 in fine style. I’m anticipating a wild light show, deep, deep bass, and a massive crowd, paying tribute to the fine music which has passed over the previous 2 days – by dancing like mad into the small hours.

Phew. Not only that, but a full, separate dedicated dance music stage with a strong drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep influence (notably DJ Fresh, Jack Beats, Shy Fx, Toddla T, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, SBTRKT), an as-yet-unreleased but undoubtedly superb Americana strand from local promoters Jumpin’ Hot Club, and not to mention the chance to see the big names of tomorrow at the Evolution Emerging shows on the preceding Friday. This is an event that any city would be proud to hold, and it stands as the jewel in the crown of the North East’s popular music diary. Get your ticket now (from the official Evolution Web site)!

 

Preview: Camden Crawl 2011

 
By on Friday, 25th February 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Camden Crawl 2011 will be taking place right smack dab up against the royal nuptials, but judging from the line-up, the organisers are taking this in their stride. The initial evening line-up announcement was made earlier this week, with St. Etienne, Toddla T, Hadouken, the Kings Blues and Villagers (pictured above) revealed as headliners. Bands championed by TGTF including Frankie and the Heartstrings, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Johnny Foreigner, Little Comets, cocknbullkid and Dinosaur Pile-Up are also scheduled to appear.

Early bird and VIP weekend tickets are now sold out, but a weekend ticket is available for £63.50 not including booking and transaction fees and Saturday or Sunday single tickets are £39.50 not including booking and transaction fees. They can be purchased online here or at selected HMV stores around the UK, more details here.

For a full listing of the line-up announced so far, click under the cut.
Continue reading Preview: Camden Crawl 2011

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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