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Tag Archives | Red Bull Music Academy

Disco Now Disco Then

Daft Punk are sitting pretty at the top of the UK singles chart for the first time. The track in question, ‘Get Lucky’, taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Random Access Memories’, came as something of a surprise, for instead of hitching itself to the current EDM juggernaut that’s sweeping America, the French duo have completely bucked the trend by drawing their influence from Disco, featuring its most celebrated guitarist, the great Nile Rodgers of the Chic Organisation (as well as R&B vocalist, Pharrell Williams). A media sensation, it’s everywhere at the moment – on the radio, on the TV, in the clubs and, of course, all over the internet, becoming the most streamed new release in Spotify history. It’s already been re-edited by a whole host of DJs and is pretty much nailed on to be the single of the summer.

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Return Of The Prodigal – DJ Harvey

DJ Harvey (aka Harvey Bassett) makes his long awaited UK return tonight at Oval Space in London (followed by a Manchester date, at The Warehouse Project, next Thursday). It’s his first UK appearance since 2002 when he re-located to the USA, and where visa problems conspired to restrict his movements, meaning that it was almost a decade before he was able to leave the country.

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Festival Anthems

As I mentioned in my last post, Detroit Hustles Harder, festival season is very much upon us. Next month’s Vintage is my first full-on UK festival of the summer (a weekend event, rather than a one day gathering, as with Love Saves The Day in Bristol earlier this month – a big success despite the lousy weather), which has found a new home within the scenic grounds of Northamptonshire’s Boughton House. Looking forward to seeing Chic there, with the great Nile Rodgers  – I’d intended to check them out at Playground in Australia last March, but the festival, as I’ve mentioned here previously, was cancelled due to flooding (when it rains over there it really rains).  Aloe Blacc is also on the bill – his progress has been of particular interest to me as he was one of the participants at the Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne (2006), who was in the audience when I gave my lecture there. I met him the following afternoon when we were sat at the same table having lunch, and he really made a big impression on me – you could sense that this was someone who was destined to go places, someone who was down to earth, but with a strong sense of himself. I remember doing an interview when I came back to the UK, where I tipped him as ‘one to watch’, so it’s good to see that my instincts were correct. It wasn’t his music, which I hadn’t heard at the time, that had marked him out for me, but his unique DJ approach. The previous night I’d headed along to Revolver, the club where I was making my Australia debut that weekend, and was struck by a DJ who was, in an impressively understated manner, rapping and even singing along with the tracks he was playing – this turned out to be Aloe.

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Slowing Down Time

I started writing this before I headed off on my travels to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and back to Australia again (concluded on my return home, having made notes along the way). I’ve been very preoccupied with time, or, to be more precise, the lack of it – this is where my head was at:

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Passing It On

Before I headed off on tour I pulled out my recently acquired copy of Bob Dylan’s autobiography ‘Chronicles: Volume One’ (2004), which I’d specifically earmarked for this trip. However, on my connecting flight from Manchester to London I realised that rather than packing it in my hand baggage, as intended, I must have put it in my suitcase, so, with my luggage checked through to Hong Kong, when I arrived at Heathrow I went into WH Smith to see if I could find something else to read on the journey. I was really looking forward to the Dylan book, so, when I saw it on the shelf I decided to get another copy, and pass the spare one on somewhere along the way.

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