With the first Together Winter Music Festival touching down at Alexandra Palace in London at the end of November, we continue to find out more about the top acts with our second interview: this time with The Japanese Popstars. The Irish electro trio certainly aren’t Japanese but their pounding sound has won them an army of fans across the globe so they fit the “stars” part of their name at least! We found out what they’ve been up to this year and why they’re looking forward to the first Together WMF.
The legendary godmother of Japanese Electronica, Coppe’, a serial collaborator with the likes of Plaid, Red Snapper, The Orb, Kettel, Atom TM and Tipsy, teamed up with the the artists and associates of the UK label Bit-Phalanx, for a charity remix project that spawned an album and a UK tour with shows in Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham and London. While the album saw Bit-Phalanx acts remix her “Yogurt” tune from her 12th release Artificial Insemination, she took a new live show on the road and all proceeds from the collaboration have gone towards the victims of the 2011 Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami. We caught up with Coppe’ twice when she was in London to find out more.
The first Together Winter Music Festival touches down at Alexandra Palace in London for two nights on Friday November, 25th and Saturday, November 26th. Saturday sees Eric Prydz headline with top names from the house, techno and electro scenes including Vitalic, John Digweed, Pete Tong and Ed Banger’s SebastiAn. Swedish house producer and DJ John Dahlbäck will also be appearing, incorporating pure house through to electro, techno and progressive. We caught up with him to find out what he’s got planned for the Alexandra Palace show.
Two-day dance festival South West Four is just a week away. Clapham Common hosts the event over the August Bank Holiday weekend once more featuring headline sets from Pendulum and Underworld while Magnetic Man, Adam Beyer, Laurent Garnier and John Digweed will also perform. We caught up with Yasmin who will take to the main stage on the Sunday for her views on the festival, her latest material and how she came to get into hip hop.
South West Four is just two weeks away, ready to bring another dance music bonanza to Clapham Common over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. On the Sunday the three deck master Ben Sims will show off his skills in the Drumcode arena alongside Adam Beyer, Slam and Alan Fitzpatrick. We caught up with Ben to find out what he’s been up to this summer.
Jermaine Scott is better known as Wretch 32, a North London rapper who has found char success and with an album release just around the corner. He’s playing this year’s South West Four weekender on Clapham Common over the August bank holiday weekend and we caught up with him in the run up to the annual festival of big basslines.
Scotland’s finest techno export Slam, the Glaswgian duo of Stuart MacMillan and Orde Meikle who co-founded of Soma Quality Recordings. They’re playing in Adam Beyer’s Drumcode tent at South West Four on Clapham Common over the bank holiday weekend. In this week’s South West Four interview, we find out what the pair have been up to and what’s in store at this year’s festival.
Techno mastermind Adam Beyer brings his label to Clapham Common’s South West Four festival this summer, taking over a tent on Sunday, August 28th. He’ll be joined by acts including three-deck expert Ben Sims, duo Slam and Cirez D – aka Eric Prydz in a world exclusive appearance as his tough alter ego. For the latest installment in our SW4 interview series, we caught up with Adam Beyer himself to find out what he’s been up to and how hosting an arena at this year’s weekender is shaping up.
M.A.N.D.Y, aka Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer, have carved a unique niche in electronic music by consistently selecting productions that induce their audience into a somatic frenzy. On the platform of their aptly titled Get Physical label, M.A.N.D.Y. has achieved massive success in colluding to create music that makes bodies move. “Body Language”, a collaboration with Booka Shade, was the ubiquitous hit of 2005 and M.A.N.D.Y.’s Fabric Series three years later cemented their reputation as two of the most captivating selectors on the planet. They play Clapham Common’s South West Four on Saturday, August 27th – the first day of the weekender festival – and join us for the second in our series of interviews with acts from the dance music event.
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith aka Underworld are the undisputed heavyweights of the electronic world. Famed for their techno/rock fusion, their sound has been acclaimed in both commercial and underground domains for more than 20 years. “Born Slippy” smashed both, a marriage of house, techno, drum & bass and pop. Featured in the iconic film Trainspotting, the chords form arguably one of the best-known dance tracks ever. Such epic crossovers have been a sturdy platform for success, having released six monstrous albums – including the best selling Oblivion With Bells On and the most recent Barking. They’ve gone from selling 500 singles out of the back of a van to sound tracking summer after summer as festival headliners at the likes of Glastonbury, Glade and the Love Parade. They played to rocking stadium-sized crowds during last year’s sell out concerts in London, Manchester and Glasgow and they’ve been one of the most influential acts of the past three decades. Jetting into the capital for a huge homecoming at SW4, Underworld will round off their festival with a headline set on Saturday, August 27th.
As festival season approaches, acts are gearing up for their chance to perform live outside to thousands of their fans and music lovers once more. Dubstep duo Nero and rapper Example kick off their season heading to Scotland for RockNess over the weekend of June 10th to 12th while Nero also have to head south to London for LED Festival in Victoria Park on Saturday 11th. zap! bang! Magazine caught up with both to find out about their preparations.
Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40 is set to release his fourth solo album Great British Songs. Produced by Ali, with Sly & Robbie at the helm of the rhythm section, it is a collection of iconic British hits reinterpreted in a reggae style.
Beautiful Losers is the debut album from two men whose paths crossed and together created a wonderful testament to their prodigious musical heritage. Eddy Temple-Morris is XFM’s legendary trailblazer, DJ, producer, remixer and dance floor provocateur of the highest order is one half of Losers. The other is Tom Bellamy, a keyboard, FX pedal and guitarist whose chiseled cheekbones and wild techno-noise became an integral part of the progressive 1990s band The Cooper Temple Clause. Their legendary studio, ‘Bleak House’, became Tom’s domain when Coopers split and this Noughties British indie shrine in rural Berkshire was where Beautiful Losers was created. We caught up with Tom to find out what to expect from the album released next month.
Having been seen on tour recently with Frank Turner, acoustic king Ben Marwood is about to hit the festival circuit. Notably, he will be joining Frank Turner, The Subways, Metronomy and Bombay Bicycle Club at this year’s 2000Trees Festival. zap! bang! took a few minutes with Ben Marwood to see what he was most looking forward to.
Cats and Cats and Cats are one of the many upcoming acts to be performing alongisde The Subways, Metronomy and Frank Turner at Cheltenham’s 2000Trees festival. Designed as a showcase of the UK’s most exciting music talent, zap! bang! jumped at the chance to find out more…
In 1989 Sound Iration’s In Dub spearheaded a new age in homegrown British reggae, continuing a mission started by Nick Manasseh and Steve ‘Scruff’ Guilder which pioneered what became ‘UK steppers’. Since then Nick has been at the heart of London’s roots reggae scene as DJ, producer and radio presenter and on the eve of a re-release for In Dub, zap! bang! Magazine caught up with him to hear his thoughts about the current reggae scene.
Back at home in Canada, electro-popstar Lights is already a sensation. Having had her debut album The Listening crash into the Top 10, Lights was also rewarded with the Best New Artist gong at the Juno Awards – Canada’s answer to the Grammies. With the homeland captivated, Lights has decided to spread her magic further afield, with her herat set on scoring a chart hit on this side of the Atlantic. Her distinct flavour of electro-pop has been heard most recently alongside Owl City, whom she has supported on tour. zap! bang! managed to catch five minutes with Lights as she prepeares for the release of debut single “Ice”.
Having missed the UK Top 40 with their seasonal offering “Wishing You A Happy Christmas”, Boston quintet The Hush Now are far from dissapointed. Having their sights set firmly on British stardom, The Hush Now release their second album Constellations on February 22nd. With a new line-up and determined attitude, lead singer Noel Kelly seems optimistic about the future when he speaks to zap! bang!
The Scottish music scene has always been a notable affair. The country that has spawned the likes of Del Amitri, The Proclaimers and Franz Ferdinand is already proving that 2010 could be their year to reclaim the top of the charts. Alongside Twin Atlantic and The Frightened Rabbit are brother duo Oswald, who have asked their current fanbase to help them make some instrumental decisions. The public chose the tragic tale “Flying To The Ground” as the pair’s next single after an online vote. zap! bang! took a moment to talk to lead singer Tom McCreery about the impact of social networking on the band.
26-year jazz trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott is fast becoming one of the hottest properties on the contemporary jazz scene. Having already received much critical acclaim, his forthcoming duet with Scroobius Pip is only the latest in a long line a high profile collaborations. Previous projects have seen him pairing up with Prince, Jill Scott and Mos Def, so it is little surprise that Christian is opening up the jazz scene to a younger market. A lot has changed for Christian since his 2006 debut Rewind That, but on the dawn on his fourth solo venture You Said Yesterday Tomorrow Christian is facing a new challenge — the British market. With pop-jazz currently pleasing the public, can Christian entice the Brits into something slightly more authentic? zap! bang! took a moment to find out.
Having formed in 1988 as a quintet, Boyz II Men lost founding member Marc Nelson before even being signed. The remaining four, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris and Michael McCarry carried on undeterred. 1990 saw them sign to Motown Records and the rest as they say is history. With 60 million album sales under their belt and unforgettable hits including “End Of The Road”, I’ll Make Love To You and the massive Mariah Carey duet “ One Sweet Day”, it is little surprise that Boyz II Men want to celebrate their 20th anniversary in style. Now a trio, following the departure of Michael McCarry in 2003 due to chronic back problems, Boyz II Men have just released their ninth studio album Love and will be embarking on a tour of the UK in late 2010. Shawn Stockman took 15 minutes out to reminisce with zap! bang!
Electro maestro Vitalic, aka Pascal Arbez, released his second album Flashmob last year to widespread acclaim. The man behind dancefloor favourite “La Rock 01” is on the road touring an impressive new live show featuring two mirrored walls and mesmerising graphics. Ahead of his visits to the UK and Ireland, zap! bang! was granted an interview to find out how Pascal’s latest opus came about and get an indication of who to look out for in 2010.
“I know it sounds very diva-ish but I’ve just been speaking to the director of my music video.” Self-proclaimed ‘Soccer-Mum turned Rocker-Mum’ Stacey Jackson is having a hectic day. In the build up to the recording of the promotional video for her forthcoming single “I Hear A Symphony” lifted from her album Upside Down, Jackson has already had a costume fitting and a somewhat challenging meeting with her video’s director when zap! bang! get a moment to chat to the London based Canadian. “I wanted to find a way that I could include my own kids somehow in the video. And he’s all professional and not a big fan of having kids on board, I was like, “You know what, I want my kids involved somehow, so let’s just figure this out.” I have four children, so two of them are completely written into the script and that’s easy. The other two I am trying to find a way that I can even just have them in the video for a split second. I can’t have two kids and not the other two kids in the video because that’s not fair. We’re busy arguing about that.”
“Our music business is different from being a sportsman. Being a sportsman you peak when you are twentysomething. You are old when you are thirty, I have to laugh at that sometimes. A tennis player can be in his late twenties and they will talk about him as if he is 90, which I find quite sad. Or a footballer who is 29-years-old, well I suppose he only has a year or two left, I think how negative, the poor guy. If the poor guy was to really take that in, he’d probably go and top himself. In our business you can go on until you are, I don’t know.” Billy Ocean may turn 60 in January, but Trinidad’s finest is far from ready to retire. Having taken a break from the music industry to raise his family, Ocean decided to finally return to his passion. “Well, I’m getting accustomed to it again. I’ve been back out there since 2007 and I’m trying to make the most of it. Enjoy myself as much as I can. And the people, you know, they come to see me so I have to be the best that I can. On my best behaviour at all times, so I try to do that.”
“Sorry, I’m just laughing cos you said Zap! Bang! It sounds like a 60s superhero or something!” Ella Montclare is giggling, it is a good start to the interview. Trip-hops latest potential superstar isn’t really a newcomer to music industry. “Being background was really nice for me as it was the safe place to be,. They had all the pressure and I could just go ‘la la la’ behind.” Having spent years as a background for the likes of Babyface, Montclare was never sure about the spotlight. “I didn’t know if I wanted to be a front person, I wasn’t sure it was for me. But the turning point was when I did those songs for Steve Baughman in America, basically I came back to UK and put them on MySpace. Then, what happened was I got an incredible reaction. I had all these people writing to me asking about the album. I thought I was making music for myself and my friends and I don’t think without MySpace I would have ever got much further. The major turning point was the reaction. I thought I could make an album and people would buy it. It’s such a positive arena. Now being up front is great, it is a dream come true.”