Sound

As a term for classifying popular music by genre, “dub” dates back to the late 1960s. In both this regard and others, its history intertwines with that of “punk.” Although casual listeners might struggle to detect any sonic similarity between your average “dub” track and the stereotypical three-chord fury of The Ramones, The Stooges and The Sex Pistols, the more one knows about the two genres, the more apparent it becomes that they represent opposite sides of a coin minted in an era of abandoned dreams. (More…)

‘It doesn’t cohere’. That was my first thought on hearing Chthonic’s new album Battlefields of Asura. In fact, it’s been my first thought on hearing all of their work. Taiwan – and Asia’s – biggest metal band don’t quite make sense. (More…)

Usually, if I walk in on a concert in progress, it takes me a while to pay full attention. I’ll go buy a drink, look for people I know, size up the crowd. This past Monday was different. Although I’d never heard of the band Lié before that moment, I knew I’d never stop wanting to hear them. (More…)

It is both easy and difficult to label The 1975. Easy, in that they are a pop band; hard because of the hyphenates that attach themselves to the band’s sound (alternative-pop, indie, post-punk-pop). (More…)

It’s no secret that Kanye West has been stirring up controversy again. Pushing buttons with the aplomb of Donald Trump – with whom he remains friendly –West has given every indication that he is positioning himself for future punditry in the right-wing media, if not a political career. (More…)

The thing about punk in Israel is that it’s basically just like punk everywhere else: kind of boring, mostly apolitical, and more often than not sung in English. Conversations about the root causes of (sub)cultural hegemony aside, I feel like that sort of thing is especially glaring in a place that is as … Israel, as Israel is. (More…)

Seeing this poster in Tel Aviv for a Don McLean concert, you might think, “I didn’t even know he was still alive,” then ponder the afterlives of music careers, how even one-hit wonders make good money playing resorts and fairs. Or you might think, “How incongruous!” and marvel at the strange feats of decontextualisation that the intersection of capitalism and culture makes possible. (More…)

The first time I saw The Fall live was also the last. I was under tremendous pressure, both at work and at home. The band was late. The club was hot. I tried to distract myself by drinking, but that only made matters worse. I wanted to leave, but knew I couldn’t drive home. It was my birthday. I was depressed. Conditions were perfect. (More…)

When I walked into the Giant Sand show on Boxing Day, midway into the band’s first number, I was taken aback. Howe Gelb, the group’s sole permanent member, is a man of many moods, with performances that vary accordingly. But this time he seemed more interested in playing guitar than in playing himself. The music was still languid, but ferociously so. (More…)

Few dub imprints make an aesthetic difference like ZamZam. Reconstituting the reggae-derived idiom in its own image, Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog spoke to the Portland label about keeping the genre alive and on schedule. (More…)

Year end lists aren’t what they used to be. Once a staple of newspaper writing, particularly alternative weeklies in the US, they’ve since faded in importance. Not only because the publications they once featured in have largely disappeared. More importantly, because popular culture no longer holds the same importance it had for young people until the War on Terror. (More…)

One of the most important and prolific electronic music producers working today, AGF (Antye Greie) spoke to Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog about her extensive work in sound, language and social activism. (More…)