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      Daymé Arocena: Alkemi review – propulsive Cuban folk-pop

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 16:00 · 1 minute

    (Brownswood Recordings)
    The singer trades acoustic improvisation for intricate, infectious hooks, with flavours of bossa nova, neo-soul and doo-wop

    Since the release of her 2015 debut album Nueva Era , Cuban singer Daymé Arocena has established herself as one of her country’s most expressive voices. Encompassing everything from nimble jazz scatting to luscious orchestrations and breathy phrases that soar over bata drums and Santería folk rhythms, Arocena’s four albums have explored the joyous range of Afro Cuban music. Her latest record is a departure. Where Arocena has previously made music rooted in acoustic improvisation, Alkemi veers into Latin pop with 10 tracks of earworming hooks, synth melody and snapping electronic percussion.

    Opener Que Se Lo Lleve el Mar sets the tone, establishing stacked harmonies of Arocena’s husky voice over minimal synth stabs before erupting into an infectious double-time shuffle. The propulsive feel continues, from Por Ti’s bossa nova horn fanfares to the languorous neo-soul of Suave y Pegao and sultry doo-wop stylings of Como Vivir Por El. These aren’t pristine arena-fillers, but intricate and emotive tracks full of subtle touches. The album could benefit from a moment where the full force of Arocena’s voice is unleashed, but this is the sound of a singer poised for crossover success.

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      On my radar: James Smith of Yard Act’s cultural highlights

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 15:00

    The singer on the power of trespassing, a life-changing film, and the one item of clothing he never takes off

    The lead singer of post-punk quartet Yard Act , James Smith was born in 1990 and grew up outside Warrington. He moved to Leeds for university and plugged away on the local music scene for years, working as a music teacher and support carer. In 2019 he co-founded Yard Act with bassist Ryan Needham; the band became a lockdown sensation with early singles such as Fixer Upper . Their 2022 debut album, The Overload , nominated for a Mercury prize, was described by the Observer as “raucous and fun, incisive and… profoundly heartfelt”. The follow-up, Where’s My Utopia? , is released by Island Records on 1 March. Smith lives in Leeds with his wife and child.

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      Raye review – the sweet sound of revenge

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 14:00 · 1 minute

    O2 Academy Bristol
    Ahead of this week’s Brits, where she’s up for a record seven gongs, the singer-songwriter draws on her famously hardwon debut album in a show poised between raw truths and joyous bangers

    Raye glides her voice up an octave or two a cappella, then rattles off a melisma almost as an afterthought. The south London singer-songwriter holds a note for what seems an impossibly long time. Soon after, she fusses about her hair and explains how if she’s fiddling around under her skirt, she’s just adjusting a sweaty mic pack. Raye asks the crowd for clemency if a nipple pops out of her corset dress. “There are some great photo-editing apps,” she jokes.

    The night’s theme is, apparently, honesty, and Rachel Keen is the kind of glamorous pop star who, like Adele before her, shrinks the room by gassing about nerdy detail or confiding secrets of the trade. She is particularly delighted with the power she wields over Matt Brooks, her drummer, who is obliged to bring percussion crashing down every time she raises and lowers an arm. “I could be scratching my head! Or doing ballet!” she notes, hand above her head. “Pauly’s so patient with me,” she adds, about guitarist Paul Murray, the band leader. She gestures, and down come the entire band, dramatically and on point.

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      The week in classical: Cavalleria rusticana/Aleko; Bath BachFest review – passion and penitence

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 13:00 · 1 minute

    Grand theatre, Leeds; St Mary’s Bathwick; Guildhall, Bath
    Opera North pairs Mascagni’s masterpiece with teenage Rachmaninov in a potent double bill. Plus, well-tuned extremes from Tenebrae and a blizzard of notes with Mahan Esfahani

    Whether in the shadow of the cross or in the lawless freedom of an itinerant community, the upshot is the same. Love turns sour, reason is shattered, emotions run amok. In each of the one-act works in Opera North’s latest double bill – Pietro Mascagni’s popular Cavalleria rusticana (1890) and Sergei Rachmaninov’s rarely staged Aleko (1893) – crimes of passion result. This operatic pairing does not offer comfort, but its grip, thanks to a superb cast, chorus and orchestra conducted by Antony Hermus, is vice-like and dumbfounding.

    The Mascagni is a revival from 2017, the Rachmaninov a new staging. Both are directed by Karolina Sofulak , who draws parallels between the works, written by young composers and premiered three years apart. Mascagni, 27, would never again have a success to match his enduring masterpiece, which he was still conducting in his 70s. For Rachmaninov, his student work, written at speed at the age of 19, praised by Tchaikovsky but now nearly forgotten, was only the start of a glittering compositional career.

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      One to watch: New York

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 12:30 · 1 minute

    The London-based duo with a background in visual arts are making their mark with an addictive mix of cool electronica, reggaeton beats and filthy lyrics

    New York’s name may be totally un-Googleable, but their sound is bracing and completely distinct from the rest of the experimental pop scene. The London-based duo – American Coumba Samba and Estonian Gretchen Lawrence – make unnerving electronic music that’s anchored by deadpan, uncannily processed vocals. Their debut album, No Sleep Till NY , was one of 2022’s best discoveries: a record that synthesised icy electro, body-shaking reggaeton beats and brazenly filthy lyrics into one addictive package. Its highlight, LA , sounds like an urbano classic covered by stereotypical US sorority girls, while the pulsating Makeout is 11 minutes of tense industrial dance music cut with a droll spoken-word hook: “I hate myself/ I hate myself/ You should see how much I can’t stand myself/ Because I’m a lazy bitch.”

    Lawrence and Samba, both in their 20s, are visual artists first and foremost, and have shown at London galleries Arcadia Missa, Galerina and Emalin among others. Their live show is revealing of this pedigree. At a show supporting buzzy Matador signees Bar Italia last year, the pair performed in a lone spotlight in the middle of the crowd, singing and dancing next to an open laptop and a bottle of water. Since No Sleep Till NY they have released one single, Night N Day, which turns the hook of Ladytron’s 2000s electroclash classic Seventeen into a throbbing, aqueous dub track. Between this and Skinny Jeans , from No Sleep Till NY , it would be easy to position Samba and Lawrence as part of the much debated “indie sleaze” revival that’s supposedly going on – but New York are far smarter and more slippery than to slot easily into the zeitgeist like that.

    New York play Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London, on 1 March

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      Ricky Wilson looks back: ‘The Kaiser Chiefs fixated on success. I wish I still had that in me. We weren’t even that good’

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 12:00

    The singer on stage fright, being starstruck, and the weirdness of tabloid intrusion

    Born in West Yorkshire in 1978, Ricky Wilson is a musician and broadcaster. With a master’s in graphic design, he taught at Leeds College of Art and Design, and in 2000 formed Parva, which became Kaiser Chiefs . By the mid-noughties, hits including I Predict a Riot, Everyday I Love You Less and Less and Ruby had turned them into a chart-topping, stadium-headlining band. Ricky was a judge on The Voice from 2013 to 2016, and hosts Virgin Radio UK’s drivetime show. Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album is released on 1 March. Ricky lives in London with his wife, the stylist Grace Zito, and their twins.

    This photo was taken on New Year’s Eve in 2001 at my house. The popped party popper suggests it was after midnight, and me and my friends would have walked the streets of Leeds after. Great fun. The army hat was a gift from my mate Tim. I like putting things on my head. Always have done.

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      ‘I’m journalling, just like Taylor Swift’: Kim Gordon on TikTok, motherhood and her revealing new album

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 11:55

    The alt rock pioneer has earned social media adoration for her trap-infused new song Bye Bye. Now she’s following it up with a ‘realistic’ new record , as well as a collection of her late brother’s writing

    The Daft Hunks are two twentysomething YouTube influencers who don’t review music so much as react to it (their most-watched videos see them listening to Olivia Rodrigo and Lana Del Rey in real time). On their latest video they check out the new single from Kim Gordon. “She’s 70 years old and still doing it,” says one of the Hunks. “That’s crazy,” says the other.

    They begin playing Gordon’s new single, Bye Bye, its dread-inducing hip-hop beats scraping against each other as Gordon intones a scribbled to-do list. “Buy a suitcase, pants to the cleaner,” Gordon raps threateningly. “Call the vet, call the groomer.”

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      ‘Am I surprised Pete Doherty is still alive? No, he’s too smart to die’: the Libertines on feuds, friendship – and their unlikely sober reunion

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 08:00 · 1 minute

    It’s 20 years since they topped the charts – then fought, stagnated and imploded. But now Pete Doherty and Carl Barât are back. Was it easy recording together again? Depends who you ask …

    I have done battle with the Libertines three times over the past 19 years. Only I haven’t, not really. Two of the interviews were with Pete Doherty for projects away from the band that made him famous: Babyshambles and the Puta Madres . The first was in a mangy London hotel bedroom in 2005 – he was sitting on a motorbike, revving it up, when he was awake. Much of the time he was asleep. He was 26, surrounded by drugs paraphernalia, and had daubed “ROUGH TRADE” on the wall in his own blood. Last time we met, four years ago, he was in better nick and more sociable. That said, he was still smoking crack, threw a punch that just missed me, kissed my forehead by way of apology, and took me to his wreck of a house where he tried to flog me his possessions. He still had something about him: a wasted brilliance and surprising charm that he failed to hide, despite his best efforts.

    As for his soul brother and sparring partner Carl Barât, I met him in 2006 when he was also recovering from the Libertines. Barât had just formed Dirty Pretty Things and the band was releasing its first album. He was quiet, likable, and profoundly depressed. Barât talked a lot about “Evil Carl”, the self-destructive side of him that had a downer on life. In a different way, you worried as much for the future of Barât as for Doherty.

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      Patricia Kopatchinskaja/Aurora Orchestra review – ferocious evocation of humanity’s reckoning

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Yesterday - 18:56 · 1 minute

    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    The violinist leads an unsparing assault of pieces from Biber’s dissonant Battalia à 10 to Ustvolskaya’s Composition No 2 as sirens bellow and metronomes tick down our existence

    ‘This piece of theatre without a plot is designed as an assault on our senses,” violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja writes of Dies Irae, a complex multimedia piece of her own devising, part concert, part installation, that aims to combine a ferocious enactment of the day of judgment with fierce invective against war and the climate crisis as instruments of our own potential self-destruction. It was first heard at the Lucerne festival in 2017. Kopatchinskaja has performed it with multiple ensembles since, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in Glasgow, during Cop26 in 2021. For the London premiere her collaborators were the Aurora Orchestra and Aurora Voices, whose intensity match Kopatchinskaja’s uncompromising vision and the almost dogged commitment of her playing.

    It’s unsparing stuff. We walk into the venue to the unnerving sound of Giacinto Scelsi’s Okanagon with its rhythmic thuds and clanging gongs. We hear the tramp of marching feet as Kopatchinskaja leads on a small group of players for Heinrich Biber’s Battalia à 10, written in 1673, its movements interwoven with extracts from George Crumb’s Black Angels for amplified string quartet, composed in protest at the Vietnam war. The effect is unnerving as Biber’s strident dissonance, remarkable for the 17th century, collapse and morph into Crumb’s bitter musical aphorisms.

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