Tuesday, 13 September 2011


At the beginning of 2010 Yuck seemingly came from nowhere to become the only indie band that anyone cares about in London within a few short months. That’s probably because, hiding behind a bracing combination of hazy reverb, feedback and lo-fidelity recording, lie the bones of perfectly executed songwriting, melodic hooks and memorable choruses. It is no coincidence that despite their relative youth as a band both Dinosaur Jr and Teenage Fanclub have requested Yuck to open shows for them.

Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, the bands core songwriting duo, may be London natives but Yuck’s rhythm section of Mariko Doi and Jonny Rogoff made it all the way from Hiroshima and New Jersey respectively to play with the band. If the reception the Yuck have been greeted with by both critics and audience alike is anything to go by then their journeys have been well worthwhile.

If you’ve been hiding under a big boulder, in a very dark cave, somewhere on a planet very far from Earth you may still be yet to hear Yuck but that’s OK. You can stay there because pretty soon everyone will be humming their songs all the way out there too.

The Creators Project: How did you guys meet? You are a pretty globally cosmopolitan band.
Daniel (voclas/guitars): Max and I have been friends since we were very young and we’ve played music together for years. I’d known Mariko for ages and I met Jonny in the dessert in Israel.

How did you end up together in the Israeli dessert?
Daniel: I was on holiday there for five days and I hitch hiked to this kibbutz out in the dessert as a few of my friends were living and working there. Jonny was just there.
Jonny: I was living there and his friends had told me he was in band and I had been in a band back in the States so despite the fact that we only hung out for about four hours we decided we should form a band together. I think we were both kind of joking but 6 months later I got this massive Facebook message from Daniel talking about all this music that we both liked and saying that we had to start the band.

So you cyber stalked him Daniel?
Daniel: Basically. I set up a Facebook account just to contact Jonny. Up until then it had just been myself and Max playing in Max’s room and it had become obvious that we needed a drummer.
Max: We had been watching all these YouTube videos of Jonny playing in his old band and it seemed like he was the right guy for the job. His old band was called Impossible Voyage and they were probably the best band in the world ever.
Jonny: I wouldn’t go that far. We played this kind of a progressive-space-shoegaze-metal and I loved to play with those guys but my taste was always a little less hardcore than theirs and when Daniel sent me the songs he’d been working on I was blown away. I realised that Daniel was offering me the choice to play in the kind of band I had always wanted to be in but had never had the opportunity to play in before.

So you just up and left the States?
Pretty much. I left university after having only been there for 6 weeks. I’d only really studied my bed and the girl next door who I’d fallen in love with.

That is a big commitment. What kind of music had you had all bonded over?
Daniel: Titus Andronicus, The Silver Jews, Pavement. That kind of stuff. We love the Silver Jews. I did a record with a guy in Nashville once who had worked on a bunch of Silver Jews and Bonnie “Prince” Billy records and I basically spent three weeks asking him Dave Berman and Will Oldham stories and not getting much done.

You can certainly hear echoes of those artists in your songs.
We just write songs and we write lots of them and what comes out comes out. You try and write the kind of music that you would want to listen to so I guess your tastes do end up being reflected in the music that you make.

One of the elements that makes your recordings unique is their low-fidelity which gives them a pretty distinct sound was it a conscious decision to record in that style?
In terms of the things we have released so far we just didn’t want to re-record anything. We were happy with the general sound of the tracks we demoed in Max’s room on his 8-track so we just released the ones that sounded most finished.
Max: We wouldn’t want the album or whatever we put out next to be a big leap in terms of sound from the demos and early releases so we will probably just continue recording in the same way, straight from a microphone in to an 8 track with maybe some drum tracks recorded in a studio.

You guys have had a lot of attention for a band that has been around for such a sort space of time, how do you feel about the Internet and web technology with regard to your music?
In terms of the actual music it is just boring in a way and kind of irrelevant. I think a lot of people just read about things and have opinions about them without actually listening to them. But in terms of getting our music out there and allowing people to listen to it and enjoy it it’s pretty amazing.
Max: Basically, all the attention and stuff makes no difference to what we do as a band or would make us stop doing what we do or change what we do in any way.
Daniel: Soon enough some new band will turn up and everyone will be talking about them instead. You just need to keep things in perspective and not let things like that affect your mind.

Do you look forward to a point when people don’t talk about you so much?
Daniel: If people are actually listening to the records and like them then that’s nice and it’s amazing that we can do this full time. That is probably the biggest benefit of the whole thing.
How does the writing process work for Yuck?
Daniel and I are just constantly writing songs and we’ll then take them to Mariko and Jonny and together we’ll finish them off with drums and bass.
Daniel: I try not to think about lyrics too much and just try to just get them down. Vocal melodies just sound nice in the context of the song. Sometimes the lyrics end up meaning something over time but I’ve never really listened to lyrics much aside from Silver Jews or Red House Painters songs.

You guys got to support Dinosaur Jr recently who sound like a big influence, how was that for you guys?
That was a pretty amazing night.
Max: Not only did we get to support Dinosaur Jr but we also met Kevin Shields backstage and it was the day before my birthday. The reason that I started making music was basically because of J Mascis and My Blood Valentine so it was ridiculous meeting them both in one night. The guy who did My Bloody Valentine’s sound actually did our sound when we played with Teenage Fanclub in Edinburgh.
Daniel: That show was probably even better than the Dinosaur Jr one. They were really cool as well.

So meeting your heroes doesn’t suck after all?
Daniel: Not for us so far.


Corsica Studios

Entering notorious South London rave enclave Corsica Studios to find the club resembling Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop on DMT hardly seemed a fitting backdrop for Philadelphia street-bass pioneer Starkey to make the live debut of his peerless debut long player Eat Drums And Black Holes.
Thankfully the B-Movie animatronics and visuals which had accompanied Brummie dubstepper Milanese’s live warm-up set were toned down to a minimum as Starkey took to the stage.
Mumbling that it was the first time he had played live in London for “a coupla years” and seeking refuge crouched low behind the comforting glow of his Mac and a pair of sequencers Starkey really need not have been so nervous.

From the first sub bass stab and synth swoop of LP opener “OK Luv” Strakey had the capacity crowd in the palm of his hand. While many would argue that dubstep and the fragmented axis of sounds that coalesce around the genre is best conveyed via the traditional DJ set Starkey makes a strong case to the contrary.

It doesn’t hurt that the material he is performing is so strong. Eat Drums And Black Holes is filled with riches: unique drum programming that swings and steps, Joker-esque saturated synths and of course deadly, deep sub bass that rattles the rib cage more than adequately.

While album tracks “Necksnap” and “Alienstyles” may have been dancefloor standouts for the raving crew it was the glacially tender “Spacecraft” which saw Starkey picking up the mic to recreate the track’s plaintive vocal refrain, truly melting hearts and taking the set from the special to the sublime.


Vice: Hello Shane. Napalm Death have been going for three whole decades now. That is a pretty long time. What has allowed Napalm to endure where so many others have whimpered off into obscurity?
Shane Embury (bass): We have always been fans of music so that helps. There have been many times of doubt but we have hung in there somehow. We are pretty close as friends but we’re also diverse as people and our influences reflect that. We also came from the old school way of doing things and although we keep an eye on what’s happening out there we just try and do our own thing. We’ve reached a point now where we feel very confident in our style but we equally feel like we can’t res on what we’ve done in the past so we try to move forward while keeping respect for what got us noticed in the first place.

Supersonic is a Birmingham metal festival. Do Napalm still feel like a Birmingham metal band?
We are a Birmingham band for sure even though we have two Americans in the band these days they’re probably more Brummie than we are. Birmingham is a strange city. I think it has a lot of layers that people overlook and a lot of great musicians as proved by the past and the present. Supersonic will feel like a homecoming I am sure.

What was in the water in Birmingham and the Midlands to cause so many bands like Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Doom, Heresy, Ripcord, Unseen Terror to pop up in the 80’s?
Well ENT were from Ipswich and Ripcord were Bristol based but still smallish cities nontheless, If you are into heavy music in Birmingham there has always been a thriving scene of kids who are eager to break out of where they are. If you go into Scruffy Murphys you will see punks and metal heads coming in after work and there still seems to be a fire in the eyes and a keenness to bond and reach out and create. I actually come from Shropshire near Ironbridge and moved to Birmingham many years ago. All I wanted to do was make music like my heroes: Black Sabbath. Judas Priest and Discharge and when I moved here I met people who wanted to do the same thing. Life can be oppressive sometimes and music helps you escape that plus Birmingham has a grey, dark side like most cities but look at it's track record. There have been so many great and musically different bands that have emerged over the years that there has to be something in the water. It all just depends on how you want to channel your energy really.

Who else are you excited to see play Supersonic this year?
Godflesh, Swans and no doubt some othe


Pruoro Instinct
ND @ 501

The Kaplan sisters may have traded in their former Pearl Harbour moniker but they have lost none of their effortlessly melodic ability to put a tune together while picking up a six piece band along the way.
Lead vocalist Piper had a conscientiously hip crowd eating out of the palm of her hand with a sassily energetic and reverb drenched display of showomanship redolent of a coquettish, young Debbie Harry.
Anchored by a faultless rhythm section younger sister Skylar (who’s all of sixteen) effortlessly poured out myriad snaking guitar lines simultaneously calling to mind McGuinn and Marr while providing each number with a lilting, escalating energy which has a habit of spilling in to moments of sheer, ecstatic joy not seen since the wiry psychedelic freakouts of Brian Jonestown Massacre at their best.
Puro Instinct’s debut LP proclaims them to be Headbangers in Ecstasy. As potential summer anthem “Stilyagi” rang out we couldn’t have put it better if we tried.


Thurston Moore
Demolished Thoughts

6 A bizarre sequence of total non-sequiturs which hang together only by dint of their shared oddness of both words and recording quality. But come on: anything less from a Thurston solo record produced by Beck would have been a total disappointment. Uncle Thurston even manages to squeeze in an ode to the semi-obscure early 20th century bohemian poet/actress/artist Mina Loy which, let’s face it, you aren’t going to get on the Brother record.

Ezra Found

Cape Dory
Carmen San Diego Records

5 All these husband & wife and girlfriend & boyfriend duos are getting pretty nauseating. Everyone thought it was gross when Mates Of State were airing their fey, indie affection for each other in public five years ago so what’s changed? There are more girl/boy duos knocking about this year than jangly indie bands with bad Paul Weller haircuts and this record is the final straw. I’m not taking it anymore. Who’s with me?

Jim Kinsella

Panda Bear
Paw Tracks

8 Sung Tongs seems a long time ago and I guess we just have to face the fact that, for better or worse, the early naughts class of Animal Gang Gang Markers are now part of the furniture and safe bets for end of year “Best Of” lists on just about ever lazy music aggregating website out there.  For all the grief this groundshift has garnered in some indier than thou quarters when records this good are being kicked out who cares whether it was released in a sandpaper sleeve limited to eleven copies or not? Stepping away from the total aural saturation of Person Pitch and presenting a more focussed sound mixed by ex-Spacemen 3 oddjob genius Sonic Boom has made for yet another record that should rightfully make the top end of all those lists. Here’s hoping he doesn’t make us wait another four years for another one.

Peter Shilton

Cass McCombs
Wit’s End
Domino Records

9 The saddest thing about a Cass McCombs record is not how beautifully bittersweet and perfectly executed his songs are but how few people seem to recognise how far ahead of anyone else he is at pouring his heart out over wistfully melancholy arrangements. Yet another heartbreaking work of staggering genius.

Waylon Jammings


Mob Rules
The Donor
Zandor/Grot Records

10 Ear perforating, malevolent misanthropy from Leeds’, nay the UK’s finest hardcore band. The fact that this sounds very little like a conventional hardcore band and a lot like a very angry Rorschach crashing into a very loud Bl’ast is nothing but a good thing. I’d like to see another UK ‘punk’ band come close to this long player but for me all bets are off, I’ll happily put my money on The Donor being my hardcore record of whatever we are calling this decade we are just about entering.

Clifford More-Dins

Sun Airway
Nocturne Of Exploded Crystal Chandelier
Dead Oceans

7 Ohkay so the saying the words “nocturne of exploded crystal chandelier” out loud in that particular order is only ever going to make you sound like a fifth rate Sal Paradise wannabe which is never desirable. That aside Philly duo Sun Airway have crafted ten warm, wafting tracks here that prove their able remix work for folks like Delorean and Here We Go Magic to be no fluke.

Seymour Butts

Sowberry Hagan
Riot Season

8 Riot Season have a fairly impeccable track record when it comes to putting out cacophonous albums of the doom-y persuasion. However, this LP may well be the first release on the label to contain both a soprano saxophone and a banjo without straying too far from the imprint’s tried and tested formula. Only a bunch of batshit crazy Belgians named after a ginormous penis could pull off a move so bold.

Billy Bunter

The Death Set
Michael Poiccard
Counter Records

7 The Death Set have played a few of our parties over the years and were never less than great live so it was with sadness that we learned of founder member Beau Velasco’s death by accidental overdose after many years fighting drug addiction. “Michael Poiccard” is a sprawling seventeen track tribute to Beau and testament to the band he helped build’s ability to conjure up day-glo ADD punk at the drop of a hat.

Perry Nutkins


7 Woah, if you thought you were in for a standard Kranky ambient-a-thon think again. Disappears play balls to the wall rock & roll so brawny it probably has muscles on its muscles.. Apparently they recorded this LP direct to tape over the recording of their first album Lux. You’d of thought Steve Shelley could afford some new tape with all of those Sonic Youth cheques rolling in but maybe not.

Balla Chada

En Form For Blå
9 Taken from three live performances in Norway in 2010 these seven tracks show that Æthenor’s unique, improvised and wholly engrossing meanderings suit a live setting just as well as they do the studio. The group’s core duo of Daniel O’Sullivan and Stephen O’Malley are joined here by latest full-time recruit, Ulver’s Kristofer Rygg and regular Derek Bailey collaborator Stephen Noble. A singular aural experience.

Peter Shilton

Heart Ache & Dethroned
Hydra Head

8 Now that all the excitement of the Godflesh reunion is over new Jesu material comes as a welcome departure from all that fearsome noise featuring as it does Justin K. Broadrick’s more ambient leanings. Don’t be fooled though, this is not an entirely new release, the Heart Ache part actually constitutes a re-release of Jesu’s first EP but stay tuned as the Dethroned material is brand new and as essential as ever.

Biff Tannen

Spritual Mental Physical
Drag City

8 The unearthing of Detroit proto-punk’s Death’s admittedly totally incredible 1974 LP …For The World To See was greeted like the second coming so I guess that makes these demo recordings from the mid-70s the third coming.

Bo Ridley

Geriatric Unit
Audit Of Enemies
Boss Tuneage

8 Weighing in at 23 odd minutes Geriatric Unit’s fifth release is actually their longest. Short, sharp blasts of to the point, pissed off punk rock featuring ex-members of Heresy, Hard To Swallow and Iron Monkey. If you’ve somehow managed to sleep on their previous releases this is not a bad place to wake up and get started.

Boss Keloid

Hype Williams
Find Out What Happens When People Stop Being Polite And Start Getting Reel
De Stjil

5 I may be missing something but didn’t DJ Screw do this about two decades ago?

Robert Davis


Gyratory System
New Harmoony
Angular Recordings

8 Another helping of Coltrane does Neubaten whilst wearing a creepy Aphex Twin mask from this bonkers London based trio. Allegedly the band’s mainstay, producer and trumpeter “Dr” Andrew Blick, is a constitutional historian who used to work at No. 10 while he wasn’t cutting records with everyone from Damo Suzuki to Grooverider. If you’ve never heard Gyratory System before that should give you some idea of what’s in store.

Brandenburg Kate

Crystal Stilts
In Love With Oblivion
Fortuna POP!

7 Crystal Stilts seem to be able to whack out shimmering, lo-fi post-punk gems on demand. That they manage this while somehow effortlessly cramming whistle-along hooks into the mix makes them the Stock, Aitken & Waterman of Brooklyn slacker pop for my money.

Jill Dando

Parts & Labour
Constant Future

8 If I was in a band that every single journalist in the world felt compelled to describe as “difficult” or “challenging” I’d make a whole record that sounded like Will.i.AM autotuning Cheryl Cole in a vocoder warehouse just to get a rise. This isn’t quite that but it’s about as compellingly accessible as Parts & Labour have sounded thus far.

Hadley Wood


June 22-26, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Glastonbury

Getting in may not be quite the labyrinthine task of near impossibleness it once was but Uncle Eavis’ annual shindig down on Worthy farm is sure to be full come opening day as 2012 sees the cows getting the run of the place while the partying takes a year off. Get past the shock and bore of U2 AND Coldplay both headlining and root around for the likes of techno’s new white hope Nicholas Jaar and the wonderful Omar Souleyman and come rain or shine it will be worth the trip. If there are any tickets left you can get hold of them and all other info at glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

October 21-23, The Custard Factory, Birmingham

Who said festivals had to be in the middle of August? The UK’s best avant-metal festival gives the plethora of summer festivals the bird and returns to the Custard Factory for another round of all things heavier than everything else in fittingly grim October. Dorset doom legends Electric Wizard head up the bill with the undercard proving typically strong and including a one off collaboration between David Tibet of Current93 and Italian trio Zu and the welcome return to these shores of Steve Moore’s Zombi project. Tickets, lineup and the rest at capsule.org.uk

Stop Making Sense
August 12-14, The Garden, Petrcane, Croatia

OK, so you could either go and drink warm Carling on a strip of mud just outside Reading one-way system and watch Muse and My Chemical Romance OR you could spend a weekend on a wooded peninsula on the Adriatic coast in a country where you can live for a week on what it costs to go to the cinema in Leicester Square. The fact that a smorgasbord of all that is currently good and exciting in electronic music, from Martyn to Floating Points via Chad Valley, will be playing is also not to be sniffed at. Tickets as well as travel and accommodation advice can be found at sms-2010.com

Hop Farm
July 1-2, Paddock Wood, Kent

Like some benign festival dictator Vince “I made Reading what it is today” Power insists on sticking his name above what has actually been a consistently great festival for the last few years as long as you were born between 1935 and 1955. Last year it was Dylan this year it’s The Eagles, Bryan Ferry, The Human League and some young whippersnapper called Brandon Flowers. Tickets are £130 for the weekend or £70 per day. Find out more at hopfarmfestival.com

July 14-17, Benicassim, Spain

Somehow Benicassim has sprawled into a being a marathon of a festival with four “official” days sandwiched between various pre and after parties. If six days in the sweltering Spanish sol doesn’t seem too big an ask then you get a valedictory performance from The Streets, a James Murphy solo show and Primal Scream doing Screamadelica while you’re at it. Tickets for the very long weekend are £177.50. Get those and all other info at fiberfib.com

Southwest Four Weekender
August 27-28, Clapham Common, London

For one weekend only one of London’s prime cruising spots ends up being filled with more dance music figureheads than the bar at the W hotel during the Miami Winter Music Conference. Everyone from the old order (Underworld, Digweed, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin) to the young pretenders (Magnetic Man, Joker) will be down there so if you are in to dancing to repetitive beats don’t sleep on it. Weekend tickets are £95, day tickets are £45 and you can get those and find out more at southwestfour.com

Get Loaded In The Park
June 12, Clapham Common, London

There are now so many festivals that the fact that a band are only playing one of the damn things in London is now seen as a major selling point. If you want to be sold Razorlight as that band then look no further! Get Loaded In The Park is your one-day piss up sent from on high. British Sea Power and Babeshadow make things seem a little less bleak. Tickets are £37.50. Get those and all information at getloadedinthepark.com

End Of The Road
September 2-4, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset

Along with Green Man and Latitude, the End Of The Road festival completes the triumvirate of boutique-festivals-aimed-at-Uncut-and-Mojo-subscribers-and-their-kids-wot-done-good. While it may be a whole lot bigger than years gone by End Of The Road can’t be faulted on lineup. From former Lift To Experience fella turned lonesome crooner Josh T. Pearson to Joanna Newsom to Mogwai via Wooden Shjips and a solo appearance from Gruff Rhys it’s basically good things at every turn. Weekend tickets are £145 and you can get those and find out more at endoftheroadfestival.com

The Secret Garden Party
July 21-24,
Near Huntington,

The not so Secret anymore Garden Party has cemented itself as one of the most popular festivals of the entire season particularly amongst people who like dressing up as ladybirds and discussing recycling as opposed to watching live music. If you do find yourself there and are so inclined you could do worse than watch Blondie or Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. Tickets are £155 and available from secretgardenparty.com

June 10-12, Donington Park, Midlands

Aside from Pendulum bizarrely being billed above Korn, this years Download is even more of a trip down metal-memory lane than usual. Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park headline and elsewhere The Cult, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister and Cheap Trick pretend the last 20 years didn’t happen. Dig deeper though and the bill yields a few gems: NOLA sludge supergroup Down make a rare UK appearance and rare doesn’t even cover a show by Danzig, which is probably worthy of admission alone. Weekend tickets are £155 and day tickets are £82.50. Get those and anything else you need to know at downloadfestival.co.uk


Hudson Mohawke is an enigma. His music runs the gamut from hip-hop, to garage, to funky, to house and back and again. A child of the 90’s he quietly absorbed the manifold dance influences of that decade and has consistently reconfigured, reworked and re-imagined them in new and wildly varied contexts.

As part of the Glasgow based Luck Me collective, 24 year old Hudson Mohawke (Ross Birchard to his mum) has been part of an emerging vanguard of young, talented and musically aware pioneers who have dictated where UK bass music is headed for the next decade.

As a DMC finalist at the tender age of 15 and one of the youngest signings to the prestigious Wrap Records label in its history his future is brighter than most. While the immediate reaction of the uninitiated Hudson Mohawke listener continues to be “what the fuck is this?” the contented converts simply ask, “where the fuck will this go next?”

The Creators Project Despite: Despite Ding and performing all over the world you continue to keep your roots in Glasgow.
Hudson Mohawke:
Yeah, I’ve lived there my whole life. My Dad was actually from LA weirdly but for whatever reason that remains unclear he moved all the way from LA to Glasgow.

Your music is near enough impossible to classify. What did you listen to as a kid?
The first thing I guess I really obsessed over was crappy chart pop music. This was when I was about 6 or 7 and I would religiously collect compilations of chart dance music.

When did you first encounter underground dance music that wasn’t Top 40 bound?
I got in to hard UK rave music when I was maybe 11. Things like rave-y gabba and hardcore by people like DJ Sy and Seduction and Scott Brown that you would listen to on tapes that came in these huge tape packs. There was a rave seen in Scotland at that point but I was so young that I had no knowledge of it even existing so I didn’t really have any context to place all this music in but I was just so in to the music and loved it so much that I didn’t really stop to think about things like that.

When did you start DJing?
By that point I’d got my first pair of crappy belt drive turntables and I was also buying 12” records so I started making mix tapes of all this rave music that I had been listening to and buying. I would then sell them at school.

Where did you buy records back then? Were there specialist rave music shops in Glasgow at that point?
Not that I knew of. I just used to buy records in the Glasgow HMV. It had this amazing vinyl floor that was almost like a separate shop that had great stock and was basically as good as an independent record shop. It’s gone now.  It was in that HMV actually where I saw my first DMC video.

Was that what led you down the turntablism road?
Totally. There had been some scratching in the rave music that I had been listening to but it was more for effect and really fast without much technique. Watching the guys who were battling in that DMC video was pretty amazing at that age. I’d never seen anything like that before. The video also happened to be of the year that A-Track won the DMC when he was only 15, which was the age I ended up qualifying for the UK final. I saw that he was young and doing it so that was motivating and I just got way into Turntabalism and hip hop from studying that tape over and over again.

How did you make the jump from Ding to production?
In about 1998 or 1999 I got a Playstation, which came with a program called Music, which was followed by Music2000. Using those programs was my first experience of experimenting with actually making music and production. Music2000 had this feature where you could put audio CD’s in to the Playstation and sample bits of audio tracks which was pretty amazing to me at the time. I’d be sampling little drum breaks and melody lines and making songs. I was still doing DJ battles at that point but the production began to become the focus. When my family got their first PC, in about 2001 it just used to be in the living room and I got a cracked version of Fruity Loops and that was that. 

What do you use to produce now?
I still use Fruity Loops! I have used Reason and Logic but I’ve never found a program as immediate and intuitive as Fruity Loops plus I’ve spent so many hours in front of it that I just know it so well.

When did you start playing your creations out?
Back when the PC was still just in my parents living room and I couldn’t use it all the time I’d go to this internet café about 15 minutes walk from my house to use the internet there. It was this weird sort of hippy-ish community centre place where people would hang out and they would stay open until 3am on a Friday night and there was a guy who would play records. I used to go down there with my Dad and he asked if I could play a record or two and I ended up playing out there regularly on a Friday night. That’s shut down now as well which is a shame.

How did you play your tunes out, were they cut to vinyl?
At that point I was getting a few DJ bookings but mainly off the back of the DMC stuff so I was kind of expected to play hip hop which restricted what I could play plus the technology wasn’t really there at that stage to play mp3 audio out. I used to record stuff from the PC to minidisc and then plug the minidisc straight into the mixer with an audio cable if I wanted to play any of my own stuff.  In about 2004 though I started to really focus on production in the same way that I had focused on Ding and turntabalism up until that point. Production just became this all-consuming thing. I’d get home from school and just be doing it all night.

Was there a scene in Glasgow at that point?
When I started making stuff there was no real scene and I used to post stuff online on forums and pretend not to be me and see what the reaction was. I’ve never really felt that I make particularly far out music but a lot of the reactions that I got then and even now have tended to be a bit like “what the fuck is this?” There were a lot of good club nights in Glasgow but everything was quite segregated. And we could not have played the stuff we were making at those kind of nights so a couple of guys called Dominic Flannigan and Martyn Flynn as well as myself and a few others started a night called Lucky Me at a tiny bar called Stereo that held about 60 people.

How did you come up with the name Hudson Mohawke?
When I started posting tracks up online I knew that I would really have to come up with a name so myself and a friend had a competition to try and send each other the most ridiculous name possible via text message and Hudson Mohawke was the stand out.

How did the Warp deal come about?
A few people in Glasgow had a few of my tunes early on and they’d been playing them at after parties and stuff and one of the guys that works at Warp is a Glaswegian. He’d heard the tunes and really liked them so took them into Steve Beckett at Warp and just hassled him about it and it went from there. It was a label I had a huge amount of respect for but it seemed like this huge beast of a pinnacle so far above anything that I could achieve that I had never even really considered being involved with it.

Is it weird being on a label with such a sense of dance music history?
I’m a huge Boards Of Canada fan so it was crazy being on the same label as them.  I was initially totally over the moon but after it settled the reality of the situation was filled with far more pressure and weight of expectation than the dream. I wasn’t sure that I could put myself up there next to all of those artists without doing something new and exciting and different but after all the panic I had a realisation that they had approached me because they wanted me to do what I wanted to do. If you look at any of the great albums in the Warp catalogue I am pretty sure that Aphex or Autechre didn’t sit there thinking “I’m going to make a classic album”, it’s just how it happens. You can’t over think things; it’s best to just do what you do. 


Hello Justin, what prompted the decision to re-convene Godflesh after all these years?
Hellfest were the catalyst for this reformation; they tried desperately for a number of years to get Godflesh to reform for that festival. It took some time for me to even consider it and go as far as asking Ben Green to do it. He responded so positively that it was inspiring and this prompted me to consider it too, and leave all the baggage behind.
What was it that made you specifically choose Hellfest and Supersonic as the scenes of Godflesh’s return?
They are two very exciting festivals, and Godflesh did not in its career, do that many festivals so they make for an interesting environment for Godflesh to play in. My only concern is volume levels these days are so controlled and minimal that it is impossible for GF to achieve the heights that it once did via suffocating volume, which could be possible all those years back.
Was the decision to play Supersionic a nod to your Birmingham heritage?
In some ways, yes. The organization begind the festival believe in Godflesh but the band only really played Birmingham frequently when it first formed. We barely played there after 1991!
Who else comprises the live lineup or is it just yourself and GC Green?
It is exactly as Godflesh was originally intended to be, and was for most of its existence: GC (Ben) Green, myself and machines.
How does it feel playing Godlesh material to audiences after almost a decade?
In some ways it has been bizarre. Largely we're playing to audiences who never saw Godflesh in the first place. That makes it all the more exciting though. It's hard now to say what Godflesh was after such a long break of almost 10 years. That is a longer period than Ben and I played together as Godflesh in the first place.
Is there any intention to record new Godlesh material?
There is some intention, but in practice it is a big question. I don't like expectation, since generally the larger the expectation the bigger the disappointment. I have new Godflesh riffs and ideas, but I have had for some time, even before the reformation. I am just unsure as to whether it should be considered seriously or not.
Will this reunion have any affect on the operations of jesu and your other ongoing projects?
No, not really. It's timely, due to the fact that I took some time off from releasing a lot with jesu at the rate I had been. There was a glut of jesu releases and eased back. For the last year or so I've been slowly writing the new jesu album, which is finally being recorded throughout this winter, aiming for a May 2011 release. So in some ways I have been able to let jesu take a back seat for now.
Has working on projects like Jesu and Final in the interim period affected how you approach the Godflesh material after all these years?
In some ways, yes. I haven't spent the last 8 years plus performing very aggressive or brutal material. Going back to the Godflesh sound required reaching back to those emotions, which was not in the slightest bit hard, it was just a case having to get to grips with performing in that context again. It took me some time to adjust to the way jesu would perform relative to Godflesh performances.
What can people expect from Godflesh’s show at Supersonic?
The Godflesh show that we always hoped to perform more often when we last existed; projections and minimal/maximal brutality. It should be every bit as claustrophobic as Godflesh was intended to be in a live environment.


“People need to stop listening to Gang Of fucking Four” intones Dan Devine, rail-thin, tousled hair street urchin ring leader of the most excitingly raw and visceral mess of a band currently plying their trade in London. “Half a decade of raping the same record? Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand came out five years ago and people still think it’s acceptable to trot out an angular guitar riff and a dance-y bass line with a disco beat. It makes me fucking sick..”

Dan may be more than a little opinionated but fortunately Flats deliver the goods to back up the bluster and they formed a few short months ago intent on remedying the musical ills of the last 5 years. “We couldn’t see a single band out there that represented the things we wanted from a band so we came up with a sort of manifesto that we haven’t deviated from. The songs have to be fast, short and heavy and the vocals have to involve me screaming as loud as I can.” 

Do Flats consider what the manifesto has produced punk rock in essence? “Someone asked me if what we play is three chord punk and I said: “nah mate, it’s six chord punk”. I was taking the piss but it’s not a bad description of what we do: punk with something extra” says guitarist Luke Tristram. “Basically” continues Dan, when me and Luke lived together we bonded over Swans and Arab On Radar and these girls we lived with were always throwing parties and all these emaciated male model freaks would turn up. We’d stick on some Arab On Radar and they’d all leave. I want Flats to be the musical of equivalent of sticking Arab On Radar on the hifi and clearing the room of all the cunts so only the people who get it are left. That actually happened the other day when we supported Mark Ronson.”

Sending Mark Ronson fans running from the hills aside Flats aren’t lacking in ambition: “By the time we release an LP I want us to have 40 original  tracks. I hate bands that re-release the same track 20 times then release it again on their album. Fuck that, just get it out. For all we know this could all be over this time next year but if I’ve put out six records by that point I’ll be happy”. Considering the calibre of what they have already produced so should you.


When cosmic drone-synth explorer Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) and ex-Tigercity bassist Joel Ford fulfilled a childhood dream late last year of forming a synth-pop duo the last thing they imagined would hamper the project would be a face-tatted ex-affiliate of 50 Cent.

However, the pair have had to loose the Games moniker that served them so well on last years exceptionally excellent That We Play EP on advice from their label. 

Mexican Summer, which is home to the pairs’ newly minted Software imprint, advised Ford and Lopatin that the Games alias could possibly kick up a stink with Interscope-signed thug rap aficionado The Game who has recently switched to being known as just plain old Game.

“We were told Game was a little too close for comfort,” bemoans Lopatin over the phone from his new studio HQ in the bowels of the Mexican Summer complex in Brooklyn, New York.  “It was kind of a pre-emptive strike to avoid the legal muscle of Interscope as opposed to us having the guy beat down our door yelling at us to cease and desist thank God. That would not have been good”.

With the Games alias cruelly swiped from their paws Ford and Lopatin have decided to become known as, well, Ford & Lopatin.

“We actually wanted to come up with another band name but nothing felt as comfortable as Games for me so we figured we might as well just be ourselves. We’re definitely more Kruder & Dorfmeister than Hall & Oates though”.

Channel Pressure, the highly anticipated Ford & Lopatin long player is due on the seventh of June and Daniel couldn’t be happier to be releasing it via the duo’s own imprint: “We see Software more as a production imprint than a label per se. Mexican Summer have some amazing studio facilities in Brooklyn that they have been kind enough to give us the run of to work on both our own material and with other bands. After the F&L LP and the next OPN LP we’ll initially be focusing on smaller 12” and EP releases for folks like Sleepover and Laurel Halo but if the right artists come along we’ll be looking to release LP’s as well in the future.”

Here’s hoping that release schedule is not cut short by enraged gangster rappers or major label lawsuits.


Computer Magic

Danielle Johnson may be a New York native but as Computer Magic her wistful and adorably endearing synth-pop may as well have been made for a woozy Austin afternoon a-top a breezy balcony to accompany slowly slipped margaritas in the sun.

Playing the White Iris Records party in support of her debut EP on the label Danielle took a rapt crowd through six mini-electro operas all of which could potentially be 2012’s synth anthems of love and loss.
While the Computer Magic material that has thus far been made freely available via Danz’s website has possessed a wonderful fragility at times bordering on glacial the songs took on a new life fleshed out live by a skilled band including dexterous drum accompaniment from Adam Green/Lightspeed Champion sticksman Chris Egan.

All eyes however could not help but be drawn to Danielle’s central performance, calmly eeking out melodic synth-lines from behind a petite organic while delivering powerfully understated vocals redolent of Kimya Dawson, another great observer of life’s little intricacies.

Beware Danielle’s deceptively coy and cute appearance, a monstrous talent lurks therein.