Monday, 22 November 2010

Baths @ Deaf Institute, Friday 19th November

Just a day before Kieran Hebden took to the WHP with a Jurassic line-up of brooding glo-fi, Warp-esque hand-picked acts, Will Wiesenfeld aka Baths was showcasing his altogether more fragile, West Coast development of the ethereal (yeah, I know, can we think of a more clichéd word?) glitch movement in Manchester. Refreshingly lacking the self-awareness of much of the house/glitch-step direction that UK acts seem to be taking, Baths is even a mercurial breath of fresh air to the west-coast glitch-hop Low End Theory scene.

It was Daedelus who introduced Baths to Anticon and Low End Theory, and for all Wiesenfeld's stunning tinkles and rushing beats – and hefty facial chops, check – that keep his brand of heavy romanticism from straying into ambience, you can see why. But Baths is a wreck on stage. Being grounded in hip-hop, it’s great to be totally taken by surprise by a supercute and cuddly little bear on stage, as openly gay as Quentin Crisp.

Introducing himself to Man-chest-hair is a good way to go down [yuppers, sniggers intended]. But after this quick pre-thought intro his falsetto vocal delights are accompanied by uncontrollable body flapping, throwing himself into the passions of giddy childhood dance. ‘Animals’ is even given extra delight by paw lashes, scampering across stage. It’s a real shame he hasn’t invested in some decent live effects kit though, because if you know how special and individual the cuts and jilted pitches are on each of his tracks, the endless tampering with the same filters and phasers really kind of ruined it for me. Hell, though, when you finish with a touching dedication to Hugh Jackman, who cares?

Compared to Saturday, which was sold out in its thousands months earlier, Wiesenfeld played to just over a hundred people. WHP really missed out here, and I can’t help but think they only did it because Baths just wouldn’t fit in to all that macho posturing. Perhaps he’s actually more man than any of them to just go out and radiate his essence.

Words: Sam Bass
Picture: Laurent Du Bus

Friday, 19 November 2010

Tame Impala @ Ruby Lounge, Wednesday 27th October 2010

Decent antipode rockers have been at a premium of late, which could go part way to explaining the sell-out crowd here tonight at this, Tame Impala’s second trip to Manchester.

After a quick test on the delay trigger, the Perth four piece drift in with debut album InnerSpeaker’s adagio opener, ‘It Is Not Meant to Be’. The slow, woozy intro may make little early impact, but the first single to be lifted from that album, ‘Solitude is Bliss’, soon moves through the gears; room-filling effects eagles swoop overhead, their talons turning attentions stagewards.

The bombast of another single, ‘Lucidity’, keeps up the tempo, but between songs there’s an ever-present temptation to play around with palm-muted strums that is the downfall of many an effects pedal embracer. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of musicians who, to their credit, wield artificial oscillation masterfully; Tame Impala are one such band. Indeed, since its popularisation in the late 1960s, many balance non-stop on a wah-wah pedal, but the inter-tune fidgeting can detract and grate.

Nevertheless, when used in composing melody the array of sound warpers is a definite plus point. Where ‘Expectation’ ends on a combination of fuzz and delayed chorus flange, there’s an interlude during which retro sci-fi special effects permeate recalcitrant bassline scuzzes, which relax into a soothing chillout before upping the tempo to its finale.

Desire Be Desire Go’ cranks into screaming guitars to signal the end to newer material with a closing medley of older tunes to look forward to. First there’s the poppier ‘Remember Me’ with its pout-worthy stomper of a riff, then ‘Skeleton Tiger’ emerges through pounding heartbeat drums, breaking down to jam mode and seamlessly reviving the original rhythm, to the crowd’s obvious appreciation. Finally, a Krautrocky steadiness akin to Neu! closes the show with ‘Half Full Glass of Wine’; not so much half-full of wine as of Cream – namely their song, ‘Sunshine of Your Love’.

True to their word, an earlier insistence that they don’t do encores is upheld and we’re left with a psyche racket simmering in our ears.

Words & Images: Ian Pennington

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Arts, Music & Events Preview November 2010 (Part Two)

It doesn’t seem long since the last one, but the time is right for another of our bi-monthly preview write-ups. There’s not a lot of preamble I can think of to introduce the second half of November, so we may as well dive straight in.

Continuing that vaguely aquatic theme are Red Tides, whose folky ballads are due an appearance at the Night’N’Day Café, Tuesday 16th. On the same evening there’s a Manchester Friends of the Earth initiative hosted by Nexus Art Café under the exclamatory moniker of Swap It! Stitch It! Style It! Bring at least three items of clothing to throw into the mix and leave with something brand new and unique. What’s more, you’ll feel far cleaner than you would do if you’d spent the time rushing around Primark before filling their filthy coffers.

Wednesday 17th sees a couple of gigs worth tossing a coin between. Heads says The Phantom Band @ Deaf Institute (Now Wave); tails and you go to Holy Fuck (with Buck 65) @ Academy 3 (High Voltage). Both have released sterling sophomore LPs this year.

Keep that coin handy because you’ll need it again the following night. Different kettles of fish this time, so that might ease the Thursday 18th decision. Firstly there’s local songsmith Jim Noir at Ruby Lounge, who gained infamy a couple of years ago for a pair of TV advert spots with his debut album jangles ‘My Patch’ and ‘Eanie Meany’. If that’s not for you there’s a photographic display launch night at The Art Corner. Delphine Ettinger, aka Ashes57, is showcasing her snaps of dubstep’s rise to prominence while Jehst (DJ) and the Format residents will provide some musical accompaniment. The exhibition remains viewable until mid-December.

Hip US record label Anticon have sent their signee Baths out on tour. The Manchester leg is at Deaf Institute on Friday 19th, courtesy of High Voltage. Fans of Bibio, Animal Collective and the like should make the effort. Or you could keep it local that night by visiting Fuel in Withington for a Red Deer Club conducted event, which includes Sophie’s Pigeons, Christopher Eatough and Stone Butch And The Bear.

Forget your coin for the next decision – you’ll need something closer to dice. Unless, of course, you’re better at making decisions than I am when spoilt for choice, which is quite likely. Anyway, for those who fancy leaving it to chance, roll a one and you could try getting a ticket to my pick of the Warehouse Project this season, the Kieran Hebden-invited bunch (Four Tet, Caribou, Theo Parrish, Mount Kimbie, Actress, Nathan Fake, James Holden – what a line-up that is!) Roll a two: stay at home and watch some shite ‘reality’ telly. No? Best avoiding that outcome then. Roll a three for a Friends of the Earth fundraiser at the Ram & Shackle in Fallowfield. Mount Fabric top the list of music.

Roll a four and find yourself at the 5th Carefully Planned all-dayer. They usually know their folk music so if the Castle Hotel’s walls have ears then it’ll be quite content with the nine acts from 4pm onwards. Roll a five (this is a little too Big Break now, isn’t it?) and a trip to catch the last day of Islington Mill’s current art exhibition, The Doers, The Drifters and The Dreamers. While you’re there you can sample the Contemporary Ceramic Art due to be adorning the Mill’s fresh first floor furnishings, which will have been open from Tuesday 16th. Finally, a sixth side to the die could be Golden Lab’s offerings at Fuel, which features Vibracathedral Orchestra pair Mick Flower and Neil Campbell, who’ve worked with seemingly poly-limbed percussionist Chris Corsano and Tom Greenwood of Jackie-O Motherfucker. A freak-out is on the cards at that one. All that in one day. Phew.

That’s a tough day to follow for choice, so I’ll narrow it down for Sunday 21st: Wotgodforgot have Sun Araw, Zun Zun Egui and Gnod all doing their various warped rock things under the same roof. Islington Mill’s roof to be precise.

Experimental electronic types Hoya:Hoya have kicked off as a record label. You may have already picked up their first compilation on vinyl, but if not then Monday 22nd is the day it’ll go digital.

When passing through Stretford the other day it was hard not to spot the Christmas lights proudly illuminating the night sky and my immediate thought was that they must just be getting their money’s worth. But, to be fair, that festive consumption period is looming ever closer and the folks at Islington Mill have spotted the proximity as well. Their annual crafts fair takes place on Thursday 25th.

Also on Thursday 25th in a Christmassy arts theme, Mooch N4 launches its next Street Art exhibition, Lump of Coal and a Satsuma. Otherwise, there’s music on the same night from northern noiseniks 65daysofstatic at the Academy. Support comes in the form of From The Kites Of San Quentin.

On the final long weekend of the month and Content have a tech-funk disco in store for Friday 26th at The Attic. Recloose’s name is the one commanding the entry fee with a promised melange of chilled grooves and minimal beats. Fast forward another 24 hours and you should look to Now Wave’s double portion of Ratatat. Saturday 27th at Deaf Institute sees a live set followed by the DJ guise under the ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ heading of An Evening With Ratatat.

Still want more for your month? How about harmony addled indie poppers Best Coast at Ruby Lounge on Monday 29th? Sorted.

On a related note, if you’d like to review local events like those previewed, or even just have something to say that you feel is worth publishing on subjects from politics to the arts via local issues, initiatives and good causes, then don’t hesitate to drop an email to ian [at] nowthenmagazine [dot] com.

Words: Ian Pennington

Thursday, 11 November 2010

ITC 2010 @ Band On The Wall, Thursday 14th October

If my impression of In The City is one of numerous musicians clamouring in a small dingy venue for the attentions of a solitary big league A&R who, a) has been bothered to leave their hotel room/bar, and b) actually has any budget for any negotiation of a loan destined to end in some tricky repayments, then at least the Band On The Wall venue itself differs from part of that preconception. As for A&R folk, who knows? But, as hinted at with this preamble, it might be worth aspiring recording artists avoiding the allure of such Sirens when their promised paradise floats so close to the rocks these days.

Having said all that, Anthony H Wilson’s lasting legacy wouldn’t have foreseen the industry’s 21st Century devolution, however the original premise of bringing London-centric major label players up north does now strike as a little outdated given the countless other options available to musicians in this era of technological mores.

Of this year’s fledglings, Now Wave have cherry-picked some of the brighter prospects around, with a running theme of two-guys-and-some-gadgets.

First on are worriedaboutsatan, a duo who’ve been around for a few years now (in fact, it’d be wrong to assume that any of those performing either at official or fringe ITC events have formed only a fortnight prior, but then it depends on whether your definition of ‘new’ is more closely aligned to that stated in the dictionary or by Edith Bowman). Facing each other with laptops primed, this time the set-up is one of a divided stage; as if competing in online Battleships. That is to compare it to the audience-facing Futuresonic appearance in 2007; an early slice of recognition for the pair. Since then worriedaboutsatan have also developed their sound, from post-rocky soundscapes to the more electronica-flecked, pulsing layers of clicks with flickering, flinching waves of guitar-infused echoes.

There are thicker, more muscular bass accompaniments in sections, such as those acting as foundations for the sample of Scuba’s ‘So You Think You’re Special’, but it’s the downtempo elements that resonate longest. Imagery conjured for the finale brings the sound of umpteen lonely drips amplified together for a steady shuffle along an underground rail track; slowly but naturally ceasing to a standstill.

Local two-piece D/R/U/G/S make their mark by shunting the tempo up a few notches courtesy of tectonic thumps and a smattering of ivory twinkles. Never ones to dwell on a beat for too long, the underlays bypass some Caribou and Four Tet’s ‘Plastic People’ in semblance, but always with a more imposing bassline artillery; up there on a par with tech trance bpms.

D/R/U/G/S, although due to appear on at least two other occasions during the ITC gigging window, have a buzz band appeal that attracts a roomful of wristband holders and, consequently, Walls’ audience is a whimper by contrast.

But Walls’ set is far more calculated, controlled and significantly less ADD than that of D/R/U/G/S, and although it’s not worthwhile comparing the two duos too far beyond the obvious personnel similarity, it’s hard to avoid linking the acts with only a short break separating them on the night. Signed to German electronic label Kompakt, Walls can command a certain respect, but also carry a certain expectation. Indeed their eponymous debut and its plaudits add to such anticipation in the diminished crowd, and it takes a while for the mellower tones to settle in with D/R/U/G/S’ rave-sparkers still ringing in your ears. But the slow-building static and cosmic iron lungs are a more fulfilling entity; Walls know where the speed dial can take them, but work themselves up to that level via restrained strata of vibrating pings and squashed minimal squeaks. When you reach the pinnacle it’s all the more rewarding than their predecessors’ musical Tourette’s.

Gaberdine’ exemplifies their steadiness, but there’s also the fuzzy Fuck Buttons-esque wake-up call of ‘Burnt Sienna’, erupting like the yawn of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Mount Kimbie are last on and attract some of the floating voter venue surfers back onto BOTW’s recently-pristine, now-blotched carpet. They drop initial beats akin to a low bouncing ball, which progresses as if thrown into a pond to ripple outwards; shivering the floorboards and forcing movement from the intrigued gathering.

This performance is not without its hitches, though. First of all, Kai Campos manages a wry smile at the first instance of unintentional silence, brought about due to guitar connection issues. Mildly chagrin expressions from Campos’s band-mate Dominic Maker illustrate the long pause later on while the aforementioned guitar DI is remedied; a ten-minute lull in proceedings that he jokes will be made available to buy on CD after the show. It’s nice to know they aren’t taking it quite as seriously as those who don’t stay to give them a second chance.

Despite the mishaps, the pair persevere with a modified set including Maker’s looped samples solo and a concluding effects-pedal-less version of ‘Field’ that sees a cleaner guitar join the echoing tongue clacks. The helium-voiced ‘Mayor’ is a standout with its live-specific builds, while the pitch-descending chimes leading into ‘Before I Move Off’ are met with appreciation from more than one animated audience member.

All of which can neither enhance nor damage the growing reputation of a duo who’ve become the namedrop of choice for many a post-dubstep commentator. And, as previously stated, ITC isn’t going to make-or-break your musical adventure, particularly when you’ve already released one of the albums of the year (Crooks & Lovers) via Scuba’s Hotflush record label.

Words: Ian Pennington
Images: Simon Bray

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Electronic Exchange: Live Review & Interview

There’s an irony in the venue name for this packed Mind On Fire promotion. Every nook and cranny is spoken for in the Chorlton bar by the time aptly named inter-European duo The Electronic Exchange take their positions in the makeshift stage area tucked into the corner of the room. That the visuals show is then projected on the opposite wall is indicative of, depending on how you see it, the awkwardness or uniqueness of the space.

The minimal glitches and wall-shaking bassline rumbles filling The Nook are born from a very 21st century musical model. Najia Bagi (vocals) and Tullis Rennie (production/electronics) are a pair who rarely find themselves in the same room together, yet have released a debut EP consisting of four tracks intertwining ideas from them both. Nevertheless, they agree that the distance between them – Manchester to Barcelona – often acted as an advantage.

Najia: “There was lots of correspondence between us – both audio files and emails, but that’s one of the things that was brilliant about it. For me as a vocalist, it was really great to have the space to write one melody then, whilst falling asleep the following week, write another one and be able to use them both!”

Tullis: “It was a new experience for us both but the working process certainly has its benefits. We never felt restricted by time in order to be creative, as you might in a studio session. I think we really felt liberated to pursue our own ideas when recording, but then always had feedback and comments from the other about those ideas. The perfect mix, I’d say! Being remote from each other certainly wasn’t a drawback in our case...”

Even given this detached synchronicity, there might be a tendency to relax with no deadlines breathing down your neck, but the collaborative element served to urge a steady creativity, with emails the catalyst.

Tullis: “I’ve never met anyone who can write so many emails in one day! It was great; we really developed a working relationship and a buzz between us about the tracks. I tend to procrastinate when I’m producing, and then work in flurries of activity, so with someone to bounce off and occasionally chivvy me into finishing something, but also having that time and space, is the perfect combo.”

Najia: “I think Tullis described the process accurately when after our gigs in the UK and before he flew back to Barcelona, he said, ‘OK, so I’ll email you, and I’ll expect eight emails back from you!’ But for me, the process gave me the space to write vocal melodies that I might not if there was a band surrounding me playing loud instruments – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but because I work well when there’s more time and less pressure.”

Another side to the project was the mystery of songs as a jigsaw puzzle where you only have sight of how half of the pieces are laid in place. During the show, this compositional mystery manifests itself through occasional reassuring glances shared between the pair, but the smorgasbord of sounds from electronic echoes to doomsaying drums affix homogenously with softly looped vocal tones.

Najia: “Tullis started the ball rolling each time and, when he received the first set of vocals, he would tweak it, sometimes with some guidance from me, and send it back and I'd get going again and so on and so on. In terms of technical process, I would send the track in its entirety to show where I felt that the vocals should be, and then the separate clean files for Tullis to play with. So very often, where I thought the vocal lines would be isn't where they would end up. And that is fantastic! Like magic...”

Tullis: “Like Najia mentioned, there was this 'magic' or 'surprise' element to the work – a track would turn up in your inbox and you'd have no idea how it had progressed.”

The music itself is also a step in a different direction for both musicians. Tullis is no stranger to samples and off-kilter electronica – the introductory rhythms are narrated by rehashed words of wisdom from an early champion of electronic music, Fred Judd – but The Electronic Exchange has taken him down a darker, more beats-driven path towards Portishead territory. Indeed the effect of Najia’s vocal delivery alongside these echoing clicks, clacks and thwacks is not too dissimilar to Beth Gibbons at her angsty best; a variation from her sound with the guitar-focused To Sophia.

Tullis: “Najia’s voice inspires me to try to write music I wouldn’t normally write. I’m not really a beat-maker, but I’ve always aspired to be one. Basically, I'm not cool enough for those guys. But in a way, I think that's what sets us apart a bit. Those kind of reference points – hip-hop, soul, current UK bass music... basically things to make people move – but coming at it from a different angle.”

“The stuff I've worked on before as a solo artist is much more abstract electronic soundscapes, or being a laptop musician in some free improv ensembles - so this is quite a departure for me. That's why we called it ‘toolshed dub’ in the press release – it’s like if your Dad takes up a bit of an embarrassing hobby, which really should be confined to the shed outside. I'm a hobbyist beat maker.”

Najia: “At risk of sounding gushy, I feel the same as Tullis – his music has inspired me to write vocal melodies, harmonies and even lyrics that I would never have had the courage to do previously. Because there is so much space in the music he writes, creating lead melodies, harmonies and other vocal lines has been really easy for me.”

“The first song we wrote, 'Noises', is a real indicator of how I felt at the beginning of the process, because I was playing it again and again in the kitchen while I was washing the dishes and suddenly I sang out ‘Wish I had the noises to make, but I don't.’ I didn't feel very confident at the beginning. But when I sent that riff to Tullis we were off! My favourite musical genres are Jazz, Soul and Motown really, as well as lots of other – always tuneful – music, so I'm coming at this from what I hope is an original angle. I don't really know any ‘cool’ music, apart from Flying Lotus, so I hope that makes what we write sound fresh!”

There are already plans to continue to embrace the internet’s global village.

Najia: “We’ve started to write already – we didn’t plan on writing an entire EP when we started; it was just an experiment, led by necessity, but it far exceeded my expectations. I hope we’ll continue to write like this while we live in different cities...”

Tullis: “I'm really excited by the direction of the latest tune we're working on. It’s going to broaden our sound. The working relationship is still progressing. I've started to suggest lyrics, which I would never have done in the past!”

The EP has been made available through netlabel Concrete Moniker and, as its co-founder, Tullis has some valid and intriguing insights into the successes and limitations of music predominantly heard through low-quality laptop sound-systems.

“I think the role of recorded music in people’s lives will continue to stay the same in terms of its sentimental value – people who have always valued it will continue to do so – but the monetary value of recorded music is in flux, and the way people consume music is changing rapidly.”

“In some ways that's OK; the easier it becomes to disseminate music via the internet with mp3s, the easier it becomes for more people to hear new music more easily. However, there are some things that sadden me, and that's literally the sound of recorded music as it moves into the future. I can just about tolerate 320kbps mp3, especially now as people are mastering productions separately to work as digital releases, but most people seem happy to listen to any old download, stream or low-grade Youtube rip of a song, and listen to it on their inbuilt laptop speakers. I'm someone who spends their life obsessing about sound quality and production, but that craftsmanship is getting lost.”

“Also, while I'm ranting, I feel that the generation of music fans that is developing right now has little or no attention span. When did someone last put an album on via their computer and then sit down and listen to it start to end...? Without skipping, shuffling or having Spotify ads interrupt it?”

Needless to say, unless you’ve just arrived from 1985 in a modified DeLorean, the goalposts have been well and truly moved on the music industry’s playing field. But before you slam the door back shut on this uncertain future and put your foot down ‘til 88 mph, be assured that there’s a whole World Wide Web of opportunity for those who, like Tullis, are willing to put in some time and effort.

“The role of the record label as it was historically, the 20th century model shall we say, is pretty much dead. Labels still have their part in terms of being respected taste-makers, but so do online magazines, blogs and web-based digital shops, so the illusion of ‘being signed’ to make a record has been lost. These days you can do it yourself, and you're nearly always the better for it. You have complete artistic control, any money made is your own, and the internet is the best marketing tool in the world.”

The marketing potential is key, and their netlabel is undoubtedly a benefit to those musicians whose recordings are made available through the website, but a balance tilted towards organic independence will always leave a certain glass ceiling. Launched in 2007 – shortly after Radiohead’s brief mainstream-pot-stirring pay-what-you-like digital download of In Rainbows – Concrete Moniker could never hope for the same fanfare to promote their releases as the aforementioned Oxfordians can freely muster. But they remain committed to the same ‘customer decides’ model of download payment, and this ethos is what provides a platform (if not a possible springboard) for music worthy of greater recognition.

Aside from lamenting listening ideals that are diminishing with every stride into the 21st century’s throwaway music-on-demand culture, Tullis is pragmatic but positive about the helping hand that his netlabel can offer its roster of leftfield experimenters, that also includes invention from Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra, The Splice Girls and Rennie’s own various collaborations.

“The cons are, of course, that you're starting out alone, and you have no clout, but the way we work with Concrete Moniker is that no-one is in a contractually binding agreement, so that if they got some interest at a higher level, they're free to take it. A bit like how Fierce Panda used to work in the 90s – that's what we're aiming for, but an electronic version.”

Words: Ian Pennington
Images (except images #2, #3 & #10): Jacob Russell
Images #2 & #3: Courtesy of The Nook / Mind On Fire
Image #10: Alex Rennie

Monday, 1 November 2010

Arts, Music & Events Preview, November 2010 (Part One)

Welcome to November; home of charitable moustache movements, money up in smoke and the onset of that one-hour shift in your daylight allocation. We’re now into ‘the darker half’ of the year, if you follow your Celtic tradition, and so malevolent spirits have moved on by; fooled by your Scream or Jigsaw masks.

Which conveniently (ish) leads me onto the beginnings of this month and the benevolence that remains. Today (Monday 1st), if you read this in time, there’s a forum in Hulme to discuss climate change solutions. Starting at 5pm, the Community Engagement and Climate Change forum is staged by Manchester Friends of the Earth and will feature proactive discussion and global case studies within the confines of St Wilfrid’s Enterprise Centre. Another from Manchester FoE the following day is Moving Manchester at Friends Meeting House, 7pm. Amongst others you’ll potentially hear from local public transport monopolists, Stagecoach, and the City Council about transport policy in the area.

If you’re after some intriguing music this evening and still have demons to exorcise then head to Islington Mill for a post-All Hallows Eve Zombie Zombie performance of John Carpenter’s enviable compositions.

Onto a theatrical slant, Contact Theatre has a new production under the moniker A Night on the Tiles. One for the board-game wordsmiths, it hinges on a high-stakes game of Scrabble and runs from Tuesday 2nd until the middle of the month. Also on the Tuesday, Ruby Lounge hosts James Yuill for an evening on poppy electronica.

For those who’re still living off Frank Zappa’s world-wise pearls of wisdom (eg “don’t eat the yellow snow”) and jazz-infused psyche weirdness, a sometime incarnation of his former backing band, The Grande Mothers Re Invented, promise a rehash of Zappa’s extensive back catalogue mixed in with blues numbers and their own ditties. Wednesday 3rd at Deaf Institute.

Thursday 4th sees a folky highlight at Silver Apples in West Didsbury. Folk Lore has lined up The Winter Journey and The Acoustic Conquistador for this month. Both are worth your time and free entry is always a bargain.

Steer clear of pyromania and the homage to Guy Fawkes by instead catching Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s farewell tour. The lo-fi twee maestro is another stopping at Deaf Institute, with Hey! Manchester providing directions this time on Friday 5th.

Dieter Moebius is an incredible coup for Mie Music. They’ve booked the cosmic synth operator and Cluster co-founder in for Sunday 7th at the ever-creative Islington Mill. Synonymous with Krautrock’s golden era in the 70s, Moebius also has past collaborations with Brian Eno and Neu!’s Michael Rother on his CV.

Visit the Anthony Burgess Foundation HQ on Thursday 11th and you’ll be treated to sets by local songwriters Gideon Conn & Josephine Oniyama in a special seated show.

There’s another birthday for a long-running Manchester clubnight this month. This time it’s Micron who’re celebrating and in doing so they’re planning to share a present of Danny Howells for a six-hour stint on the decks, stretching through the early hours from Friday 12th.

Blank Media Collective have set aside that whole weekend, from Friday 12th until Sunday 14th for their wide-reaching takeover of artistic attentions. Alongside some of their ongoing exhibitions, BlankWeekend promises poetry, arts workshops, music (courtesy of Day For Airstrikes, Go Lebanon and others) and general mischief. Best to visit the links for a detailed breakdown of events.

That’ll do for now, but there’s plenty to look forward to beyond the mid-month mark.

Words: Ian Pennington