K IS FOR KRAKOW
Not many corners of the world have experienced as much rapid change in the past 20 years as Eastern Europe.
What you’ll find is far from the Borat-esque villages and decrepit Commie cities where you fear your jeans might be ripped from your backside and sold on the black market, scenarios often imagined by our parents’ generation (or by that God-awful American film, Euro Trip).
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the younger generations have embraced Western culture and, in this century, all the so-called economic perks of being part of the European Union. And in the past decade it’s lost a lot of its mystery.
"Music is a form of therapy and what kind of therapist would I be if I told my patients to jump in the lake…"
They say things come in threes and this certainly applies to Nick Littlemore’s life right now.
He has just moved to New York City, has a new girlfriend, and this week his long-term dance-pop project, Pnau, drop their fourth album, Soft Universe.
“It’s all coming up trumps, ” he says on the phone from London.
“(The stabbing) just happened because LA is such a melting pot of different people.”
“I know it’s all been done before, and it will all be done again,” sings Chad Elliott on the Funeral Party single, New York City Moves to the Sounds of LA.
Given a lot of artists seem to constantly proclaim their work as original no matter how derivative it may actually be, conceding to the recycled nature of most music nowadays is a startlingly honest statement from the US four-piece.
“I don’t want to be in a two-year album cycle; I don’t think it’s necessary and it doesn’t suit me…”
If you care for top album lists — and let’s be frank, the music world is obsessed with them right now — one album topping all 2011 album lists so far is James Blake’s self-titled debut.
Praised for adding real emotion and soul to dubstep and rising above the genre with gospel chords and more traditional song structures, his album has resonated with people the world over and turned this young, intelligent guy from London into an overnight sensation.
Young Turks/ Remote Control
The debut album from SBTRKT is first and foremost compellingly beautiful and moving. Genre classification comes as an afterthought.
There’s a strong portrayal of the human condition that flows through, with all but one of the tracks featuring vocals.