Coming soon: Bloc Weekender 2008

Less than a month away, the final details of Bloc Weekender 2008 have been revealed — including details of the previously secret headliner and what sounds like one of the most madcap final days to a festival imaginable. Read on to find out more…

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2007 in Review

A few of us over at zap! bang! thought we’d discuss what we particularly enamoured with in 2007, so here’s some lists of our individual favourites.

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BLOC Weekend 2008

Dance fans who like their music fresh and away from the glare of mainstream gloss should set aside a long weekend in their diary for 2008: March 14th to 16th for the second BLOC Weekend. Its mix of underground electronic dance music is one of the newst to the UK’s growing number of fesitvals at holiday parks and after a highly-rated first event, this year’s promises to be even bigger.

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Zaum

The anomaly here though which stretches the label’s scope far wider is with the experimental sounds of improvisational jazz outfit Zaum. Led by drummer/percussionist Steve Harris, Zaum originally came together in 2002 and have put together several records, most notably Above Our Heads The Sky Splits Open (Slam, 2004), which received high acclaim in The Penguin Guide to Jazz, as well as the new record I Hope You Never Love Anything As Much As I Love You, released last month on Amazon, and described by the Wire as “…quite simply the best British improvised record in more than a decade”.

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FREE City Slang Label Sampler

Following on from the success of DigiSlang 1, City Slang have taken the next logical step to release the sequel.

The new City Slang digital sampler is not only FREE but it has tracks from the latest and greatest City Slang offerings.

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Mark Ronson Competition

Mark Ronson is playing London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 25th and we’re able to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets for the show plus a stay at the prestigious K West hotel (in association with Columbia).

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The Changes to release debut album

Chicago band The Changes is promising to dispel any thoughts their music can be pinned down to a blueprint when their debut album is released on Monday, September 17th — by claiming to make it impossible to compare them to anyone.

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2007 Mercury Music Prize Nominations

All awards ceremonies are flawed: hailing one album better than all others across genres is ridiculous and taste-specific (and as experienced as the judging panel is I’m sure they haven’t got any 16 year old grime kids on it), but the Mercury Music Prize is still an improvement on most. Better than the glossy industry back-slap/sales-boost of the Brits, better than the bizarre categories of the Grammy’s (“Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” anyone?) and better than the admittedly fun, but narrow-focussed NME Awards. M-People apart it has rewarded some great records in the past, like Screamadelica, Dummy and Different Class.

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TDK Cross Central 2007 Preview

The August Bank Holiday Weekend is always packed full of fantastic music events, but it just wouldn’t be the same without an annual dose of the highly acclaimed TDK Cross Central. Slap bang in the centre of London at an urban Victorian Goods Yard dating back 150 years and incorporating three of the capital’s finest late night spots, the two-day festival of cutting edge sounds should be on everyone’s hitlist for either Saturday, August 25th or Sunday August 26th — or even both for the party animals.

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A Christmas Presents to You: Free Stuff!

We here at zap! bang! sincerely wish you all a very happy festive season. Get out there and savour the local Christmas ales, then do some Christmas shopping (it’s easier that way round) and then when you are done, get back home and help yourself to a present or two from us at zap! bang! and some of our many friends. Check them out, Santa’s bag is indeed a mixed one this year!

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Reflexive Blubbering in the Face of the New Reality of Entertainment: Run Amok at BE THE RIOTTT!!! Music Festival

I was sent on behalf of zap! bang! Magazine to the BE THE RIOTTT! (Sic) festival, which took place in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on November 11th, 2006. In brooding over how to begin composing this text I found myself debating if some questions should even be asked. That is to say that upon entering the auditorium – or even further back, in my ascent from the city’s underbelly parking garage to street level — I was by degree overcome by an awed understanding and scaling disgust for the situation laid before me.

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Groundbreaking digital music show From the Basement

Top artists will take centre stage of new digital download music programme From the Basement. With no host and no studio audience, it aims to bring you pure, intimate and unadulterated performances launching with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

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Idlewild Free Download

Idlewild are back after almost two years away with an exclusive new track to coincide with their sold out UK tour. The band will be previewing material from their latest album Make Another World (Sequel) released in February 2007 on six dates, but if you did not get a ticket you can still get an early listen to one of the tracks.

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Fuck Yeah Fest 3

This was the third installment of the yearly music festival, and again the Fuck Yeah Fest transformed Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, Los Angeles, into the likeness of an east coast style block party. Hundreds filled the streets waiting to see the over fifty bands, plus local comedians and art exhibits.

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MAKE ROADS SAFE Campaign

The Make Roads Safe campaign has scheduled another gig to raise awareness of the dangers of the roads, to be held this Wednesday — with Dirty Pretty Things and Metro Riots playing. The gig is now sold out, with 400 tickets having been won in a competition run by the charity, and hopefully this will give a large audience to the cause’s message.

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Melua: Exactly, I mean it’s obviously not taking itself too seriously but it’s only because she can’t afford to. I mean, that’s part of the MySpace world — everyones frontin so you never get caught out because you never divulge your true personality.

Digital: I know what you mean. But Lily Allen despite this, does seems to have this charismatic personality on record and off that seems to attract people — even if it isn’t a very original one.

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Star Chamber

Star Chamber are hoping 2006 will be a major year in its long yet history after the band took some time out to concentrate on new material and recording. Now the indie-rock band are on the road again with gigs lined up in London and a new EP under their belt. Will it be their break through year?

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Malcfest 2005

Four years ago, a man named Malcolm had a vision — that he could put on a festival in his Catford flat, with all his mates’ bands playing in his living room. Now in its fourth year, Malcfest continued to grow, surpassing all previous expectations.

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Ashton Court Festival

The giants of Bristol’s recent musical past have all played here, but Kosheen are shit, Massive Attack have become shit and Portishead and Tricky have just gone. How will the city’s new breed live up to their (mostly) glorious history?

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