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Updated: 2018-03-06T09:31:00+00:00


DiS Partners With Float for Piano Day 2018

2018-03-08T20:54:23+00:002018-03-06 09:31:00 +0000

We're delighted to be involved once again in the annual celebration of the humble piano

DiS is proud to announce that, once again, we'll be Official Media Partners of Float Presents Piano Day in 2018. This year's event will take place on 29 March in the De Montford Suite at The Town Hall Hotel, and will be an evening of piano, percussion, and dance.

Joining the line-up is a solo piano set from David Moore of Bing & Ruth, while Andrea Belfi will combine drums/percussion and electronics alongside the piano sounds of pianist and composer Sebastian Plano for a very special one-off collaboration. There will also be an exclusive performance by Mikey Ureta, a member of ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, who will improvise dance to piano music.

Float, the London based label run by Sofia Ilyas, marks its first year anniversary with this Piano Day show.

About Piano Day

Piano Day was created by Nils Frahm in 2015 as a day to celebrate all things piano. Taking place on the 88th day of the year (the number of keys on a standard piano, 29th March), it's an open opportunity for people around the world to celebrate the instrument.

"Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.” – Nils Frahm

For more information about Float Presents Piano Day 2018 and to buy tickets, please click here.


Outlands Tour Announcement

2018-02-07T13:39:36+00:002018-02-07 13:39:36 +0000

Matana Roberts & Kelly Janes Jones will embark on a live collaboration & tour as part of a new experimental touring network Scan the pages of any publication with regards to the state of art’s funding in recent years and the headlines paint a pretty grim picture. Arts Council England reported that: “According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, there was a 20 percent reduction in spending by local authorities in England between 2009/10 and 2014/15.” With small independent venues closing at an alarming rate and pitiful streaming revenues putting a strain on artists’ ability to exist as just that, a culture has been created that makes it especially hard on regional scenes and non-mainstream music. In response to this exponential struggle, a new project has been conceived as a means to support innovative, genre-defying music. Outlands has developed a national experimental touring network that aims to tap into existing resources to promote diversity and improve accessibility to marginalised music. Outlands’ partners are comprised of music and visual arts organisations, creative producers, and independent venues across eight regions for the initial phase of the project. These partners will commission and tour six brand new productions over a two year period beginning in 2018. And they’re kicking off with a stunning line-up. Outlands’ inaugural tour features Matana Roberts & Kelly Jane Jones for a live collaboration. Perhaps best known for Coin Coin, her multi-album work-in-progress, Chicago’s experimental saxophonist Roberts has made some of the most powerful work of recent memory while Jones is a sound artist who has had commissions for Tate Modern and ICA London, as well as residencies at Arnolfini in Bristol UK and Kunstalle Bergen, Norway. The prospect of a collaboration between the two is an exciting one to say the least, and their disparate backgrounds reflect everything that the project stands for. Roberts’ perhaps best sums up the spirit of Outlands: “At my artistic core, I am firmly dedicated to creating a unique and very personal experiential body of sound work that speaks to, and reminds people of all walks of life to reach, stand up, give voice, regardless of difference, created from mere labels of intellectual classification. In my ideal world the idea of 'difference', is an illusion designed only for the purpose of modern economic division and elitist intellectual hierarchy. Through my life's work, I stand creatively in defiance.” style="border: 0; width: 350px; height: 470px;" src="" seamless>Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile by Matana Roberts In the spirit of inclusivity, the project will extend its reach from the traditional tour concept to include workshops, Q&As, and live rehearsals in an effort to open up the process of creating experimental music. As an often underground phenomenon, and given the current economic climate, the organisers hope to underline the importance of non-mainstream music to creating a diverse and rich cultural environment. John Stevens, from one of the projects partners Qu Junktions, Bristol explained what they are aiming to achieve: "The idea is that the tour will see them explore these meeting points almost in real time, their work together breathing and evolving over the course of the dates, starting with a three day residency at The Cube Cinema in Bristol that will serve as the jump-off for the collaboration.” As well as supporting artists, new work, and promoting an inclusive environment, the project also intends to tackle London’s cultural monopoly with the tour taking in a number of regional location to redress the imbalance towards the capital. Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, explained: “Outlands is a great project that will do just that for experimental music whilst also establishing a stronger touring infrastruc[...]

Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018: The DiS Preview + 50 Song Playlist

2018-01-15T13:22:12+00:002018-01-15 13:22:12 +0000

Here's the 10 acts we're most excited about seeing at this year's Eurosonic Noorderslag This week Drowned In Sound is heading to the Dutch city of Groningen for the 32nd edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag. Rightly heralded as Europe's most prestigious event for breaking new acts, this year's festival will once again provide maximum exposure to around 400 artists from across the continent over the course of its four days. As with previous years, the festival will also host the European Border Breakers (EBBA) alongside the European Festival Awards. With so many acts to choose from, DiS is unsurprisingly spoiled for choice but having intensely studied the line-up, here's 10 acts we're particularly excited about seeing. --- Blackberries (Wednesday 17th, All Round Poolcentrum @ 20:45) Hailing from the city of Solingen in Germany, Blackberries make elegant psychedelic rock that fluctuates between melodic pop and freeform jams, often in the same pieces of music. Second album Greenwich Mean Time came out in 2016 and despite forming in 2009, they're still relatively unknown outside of their native city. We suspect that will change very soon. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Canshaker Pi (Thursday 18th, Heerenhuis @ 23:20) This time last year Canshaker Pi proved to be one of the highlights of Eurosonic Noorderslag. Having already enraptured none other than Stephen Malkmus who produced their debut album, they've gradually established themselves as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the Dutch underground in years. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> D/Troit (Friday 19th, Huize Maas Main Hall @ 01:15) One of the most consistently prolific independent labels on the circuit right now are Copenhagen's Crunchy Frog, and this soulful five-piece are among many exciting acts on their roster as it stands. Influenced by the classic sounds of Motown, Atlantic, and Stax Records, D/Troit aren't afraid to go back in time in order to create a sonic palette for the future. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Hater (Thursday 18th, Huis De Beurs @ 20:00) Malmö is becoming something of an indie rock hotbed having first unearthed Fews a couple of years ago. Following hot on their heels are Hater, a four-piece led by the inimitable Caroline Landahl whose vocal stylings fall somewhere in between Molly Rankin of Alvvays and Annelotte De Graaf, better known as the brains behind Amber Arcades. Their Red Blinders EP brightened up a somewhat cold December and we're expecting the band's live show here to make a similar impact. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Housewives (Thursday 18th, Vera @ 22:15) Arguably one of the most left field bands to grace the Eurosonic Noorderslag bill in a long while, this South London outfit create music that's beyond genre categorisation and as a result, stand out as one of this year's unmissable acts. Last year's FF061116 long player heralded them as uncompromising experimentalists in a similar vein to Steve Reich, Einsturzende Neubaten, or more recently, Factory Floor. Prepare to be mesmerized. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Iceage (Wednesday 17th, Vera @ 23:45) This Copenhagen four-piece should need no introduction having released two of the decade's finest long players in 2011's debut New Brigade and 2014's third offering Plowing Into The Field Of Love. With a new album said to be imminent, this opportunity to hear some of those songs alongside the[...]

Rockaway Beach 2018: The DiS Preview

2018-01-08T12:31:48+00:002018-01-08 12:31:48 +0000

Here's the 10 acts we're most looking forward to seeing at this weekend's Rockaway Beach Festival season may be over for one year but the new festival season is just around the corner. Gone are the days when music festivals only existed in the summertime while providing an excuse to go camping with your friends. Nowadays there's something happening somewhere every weekend of the year, and 2018's festival season kicks off on Friday with Rockaway Beach. Now in its third year, Rockaway Beach takes place from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January at Butlin's in Bognor Regis. Spread across three stages featuring over 30 live artists and DJs as well as quizzes, artist Q&As and a selection of classic films from the archives. Its relocation to January, having previously taken place in October, may have raised a few eyebrows, but for just £85, including accommodation, there's more than enough going on here to entice punters out of winter hibernation. DiS will be there spinning records all 3 days (come say hi!), and here's 10 acts we're particularly looking forward to seeing. --- British Sea Power (Saturday 13th, Centre @ 21:30) Soon to be approaching their 20th anniversary - which probably makes most of us feel even older than we already are. British Sea Power are something of a national institution and one of the few bands who can still boast a rabid bunch of fanatics that follow them around the UK and abroad. They also boast one of the finest back catalogues around which should provide the perfect soundtrack to Saturday night. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Crosa Rosa (Friday 12th, Reds @ 15:30) This Nottingham three-piece have been making a name for themselves with their explosive live show, not least because literally anything could happen while they're on stage. A recent venture to South Korea introduced them to a new legion of fans and with shows alongside Baba Naga, Sleaford Mods and Spring King already in the pipeline over the coming weeks, 2018 looks like it could very well be their year. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Desperate Journalist (Saturday 13th, Reds @ 18:15) Sometimes keeping it simple works best, and in the case of Desperate Journalist sums them up perfectly. Influenced by the new wave element of post punk and the classier side of Britpop, they make spritely effervescent tunes that have seen them compared to Elastica, The Organ, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and The Only Ones, which I'm sure you'll agree is no bad thing. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Eyre Llew (Sunday 14th, Reds @ 15:45) This experimental but largely ambient three-piece finished 2017 on a high having released their excellent debut Atelo in October then spending the next two months touring it all around Europe. Having wowed those that witnessed their set at the last Rockaway Beach event in October 2016 it should come as little surprise they've been invited back a second time, and their soothing Sunday afternoon take on all things post-rock and beyond should provide a perfect antidote to the previous evening's hangover. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen> Helen Love (Sunday 14th, Reds @ 18:15) Helen Love live shows are about as rare as sunshine in January these days so why not put the two together here to provide a gleaming burst of summery pop. Having been ridiculously prolific in the late nineties with her hyperactive brand of Ramones-inspired indiepop, Swansea's most celebrated lo-fi act will be bringing some fizz for one night only to the sleepy seaside to[...]

DiS Announces Media Partnership With SpaceFest!

2017-11-15T10:31:22+00:002017-11-15 10:31:22 +0000

DiS has teamed up with Poland's SpaceFest! Here's what to expect over the first weekend in December DiS is proud to announce that we'll be one of the media partners for SpaceFest! this year. Taking place at Klub B90 in the Polish city of Gdansk on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December, SpaceFest! artistic director Anna Szynwelska describes it as "a festival of psychedelia celebrating guitar distortions, noise drones, and all other weird sounds created under the influence of mysterious energy from space." The 2017 edition represents the seventh since its inaugural event back in 2011. SpaceFest! is a truly international affair featuring eleven acts from around the globe over its two days including the highly revered Pure Phase Ensemble which was created especially for this festival. An ever-changing line-up of musicians that has seen Ride's Mark Gardener, Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier, and Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre curate at past events, this year's ensemble has been put together by Maciej Cieślak of Polish psychedelic outfit Ścianka, their largely improvised set having only been rehearsed over the five days prior to the festival at the city's Laznia 2 Centre For Contemporary Art. As with previous Pure Phase Ensemble performances at SpaceFest!, the show will be recorded and released on CD in the early part of 2018. Weekend and day tickets are still available for the festival priced at 75 and 40 Polish Zloty (approximately £16 and £9 respectively) if purchased in advance, or 45 Polish Zloty per day on the day. In the meantime, here's our guide to who's playing and when... Friday 1st December New Candys This Italian outfit have long been favourites of Drowned In Sound's Some Velvet Mixtape column. Hailing from Venice, they put out third long player Bleeding Magenta earlier this year and their brooding, reverb-drenched psychedelia is sure to be a winner at SpaceFest! width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen> 10,000 Russos 10,000 Russos fuse all variants of the psychedelic spectrum under one umbrella to create a unique sound all of their own. Based in Porto, they've been creating a storm on the psych rock scene since releasing their self-titled debut three years ago and long-awaited follow-up Distress Distress caused a similar stir when it came out in April. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen> Wilcze Jagody Polish trio Wilcze Jagody will be a new name to many having only put out their first EP this summer. Brought together by a shared love of 80s synth pop and shoegaze, their dreamy soundscapes provide a subtle diversion from SpaceFest!'s heavier moments. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen> Dead Rabbits One of two UK acts on this year's line-up, Southampton based five-piece Dead Rabbits have been archetypal members of the burgeoning psych scene for a while now, having initially signed to highly respected label Fuzz Club back in 2013. Third album Everything Is A Lie came out last year and is arguably their finest collection to date. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen> Blind Butcher Described as "an abstract duo that will give us a stage explosion of space rock, glam rock, glitter, lycra and sequins", Switzerland's Blind Butcher are something of an anomaly among the rest of SpaceFest!'s line-up. Originally from the town of Lucerne, they've released two albums thus far, the latest of which ALAWALAWA has been compared to Sigur Ros, Devo, and Can. Blimey. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen> Saturday 2nd December Pure Phase Ensem[...]

Ritual Union 2017: The DiS Preview

2017-10-20T14:44:55+01:002017-10-20 14:44:55 +0100

DiS heads off to Ritual Union in Oxford this weekend. Here's the 10 acts we're most looking forward to seeing. DiS heads to Oxford this weekend for the first Ritual Union all dayer. Taking place on Saturday 21st October, the event features over 30 acts spread across five venues on and around the city's Cowley Road area - The Bullingdon, O2 Academy, O2 Academy 2, The Library and Truckstore. Bands start at midday through til 11pm with an afterparty in The Bullingdon until 3am. DiS will also be in attendance spinning a few tunes throughout the day. In the meantime, here's the 10 acts we're most looking forward to seeing... --- Baby In Vain (17:55-18:25 @ The Library) This Copenhagen based trio have been honing their sound for a good few years culminating in August's debut LP More Nothing. Be prepared for acerbic lyrics, riffs galore and one of the most mesmerising half hours of the weekend. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Bo Ningen (21:50-22:35 @ O2 Academy 2) Hard to believe as it may be, Bo Ningen have been terrorising audiences for a decade now with their confrontational noise rock and if September's show stopping performance at Manchester Psych Fest is anything to go by Ritual Union is in for a treat. But you already knew that, right? width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Eyre Llew (17:00-17:45 @ Truckstore) It's a big week for Eyre Llew having also put out their long awaited debut Atelo on Thursday. Having just returned from a hugely rewarding tour of Korea, this teatime show at the Truckstore will be the band's last festival appearance of 2017. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Flamingods (18:30-19:00 @ The Bullingdon) This five-piece have probably played more shows than most of their contemporaries since debut album Sun landed unsuspectingly four years ago. During that time the Bahrainian outfit have established themselves as one of the most innovative not to mention captivating live acts on the circuit. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation (19:30-20:15 @ The Bullingdon) It's been a great 2017 so far for Josefin Öhrn having won the Swedish Composer of the Year award in February while going on to wow audiences across the globe throughout the year. Now based in London, their set at last month's Beyond The Tracks event was one of that weekend's highlights and their early evening slot in The Bullingdon promises more of the same. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Melt Dunes (12:30-13:00 @ The Bullingdon) Southampton's finest experimental noise rockers have been making a name for themselves on their local live circuit for a while now. Come see what all the fuss is about as they open up The Bullingdon stage just after midday. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Pinkshinyultrablast (20:45-21:30 @ The Bullingdon) With Ritual Union being one of only two scheduled UK shows this year, this rare opportunity to witness Pinkshinyultrablast at their sonically challenging best should not be missed. Currently in the process of finishing their as-yet untitled third long player, expect to hear a few unreleased songs as well as a selection of highlights from Blaster, Everything Else Matters and Grand Feathered. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Swedish Death Candy (14:40-15:10 @ The Library) Based in London and featuring members from places as far afield as Korea and Sweden (obviously) as well as the UK.[...]

Liverpool Psych Fest 2017: The DiS Preview

2017-09-21T10:40:35+01:002017-09-20 09:30:00 +0100

DiS heads to Liverpool this weekend for the 6th International Festival of Psychedelia The International Festival of Psychedelia or Liverpool Psych Fest as its come to be known returns to the city this weekend. Now in its sixth year, the 2017 edition will see over 80 artists perform over the course of its two days. Taking place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September across four stages - Furnace, Camp, Blade Factory, and District - alongside numerous other features such as the Pzyk Colony's late-night installation Furnace 2.0, The Pzyk Cinema's 'Psychedelia In Film', and Saturday afternoon's [Musings In Drone] chatshow programme including Drowned In Sound in conversation with headliners The Black Angels. Having once again curated a stellar line-up, here are the 10 acts we're most excited about seeing. --- A Place To Bury Strangers (Saturday 23rd. Furnace. 2020) This Brooklyn trio have been pushing sonic boundaries for over a decade now having formed back in 2003. Essentially the brainchild of Oliver Ackermann who also makes effects pedals under the moniker Death By Audio, A Place To Bury Strangers fourth and most recent long player Transfixiation came out in 2015 and while they've been relatively quiet on the recording front recently, their live show is still one of the most captivating on the planet today. Currently on tour with The Black Angels, their first visit to Liverpool Psych Fest is already one of the most eagerly anticipated sets in the festival's history. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> CaStLeS (Saturday 23rd. District. 1615) This Welsh trio fuse all manners of styles and genres into their mind-melting sonic frenzy. Expect an amalgamation of krautrock, abstract folk, math rock and tripped out psychedelia that's drawn comparisons with Can, Super Furry Animals, and Don Caballero among others. Debut album Fforesteering came out last year to a wave of critical acclaim while their largely improvised live set is a joy to behold in itself. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Krautwerk (Saturday 23rd. Pryzm + Cinema. 0000) Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann can count Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel, and Neu! among the bands they've played with individually but until last year, they'd never actually performed together. Having met at a festival last year they decided to collaborate on an album Krautwerk, which came out earlier this summer. Their midnight set on Saturday promises to be a highlight of the weekend not to mention providing a rare opportunity to see two genuine musical innovators at work. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Magic Shoppe (Friday 22nd. Blade Factory. 1710) This Boston outfit have been creating tripped out aural blizzards since hitting the ground running in 2010 with the excellent Reverb EP. Veering between classic mid-sixties psychedelia and the garage inspired paisley sound of bands like The Long Ryders and The Othermothers two decades later, their long-awaited debut at Liverpool Psych Fest is not to be missed. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Mass Datura (Friday 22nd. Blade Factory. 1600) This London-based five-piece have been gaining a reputation as one of the most original bands to emerge from the UK psychedelic scene since forming in 2014. Debut long player Sentimental Meltdown comes out next month while in the meantime, they've bagged a couple of support slots with The Black Angels and White Manna into the bargain. Make sure you arrive early Friday to see what all the fuss is about. We guarantee you won't be disappointed. width="540" height="304" src="[...]

Hannah Peel's Guide to Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia

2017-09-18T09:59:29+01:002017-09-18 08:03:00 +0100

Hannah Peel gives us some insights into her new project Hannah Peel gives us some insights into her new project Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia. width="540" height="304" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> --- 4th Sept 2017 Barnsley, S. Yorkshire Dear DiS, It’s been a dazzling mission of a year here, apologies for my delay in writing to you. I have been helping Mary prepare for her journey on 22nd Sept, navigating the many highs and lows, fixing mistakes and learning the ropes of releasing records and space travel. Plus many more hours thinking about what to write - how to fluently communicate the deluge of ideas over actually doing the task has added to the postponement. The brief from you was "tell us something about the new album". I have mulled this over for a long time and as I sit here now in Mary’s garden shed surrounded by musical patch cables, soldering irons, telescopes, scientific notes and drawings of the brain, I wonder what elements we should cover first. The live recording of synths and the 29-piece colliery brass band in Barnsley was really out of this world for us all. It is hard to describe in words the overwhelming force of the music as it embraces the air around you. It’s as if the atmosphere is pulsing. The sonorous breath and power of 29 players mixed with the sub-bass on the Moog, resonates on your chest and plunges deep into your innards - propelling you into another realm. The journey to Cassiopeia becomes real and almost touchable. My part in this story all began in 2016 after a visit to a science lab in London around the time of my last album Awake But Always Dreaming. I had been to visit Alzheimer’s Research UK Senior Research Scientist Selina Wray and her extraordinary petri dishes: skin cells, converted to stem cells, converted to brain neurons. What was really incredible though, was that when I saw the neurons, it looked like our own moon or even more, like a star constellation from our universe – all down a microscope! A reminder we are all made of stardust. A picture relating to this is on one of Mary’s notes. [See Fig.01] I am reminded of a memory with my own grandmother. A story about her World War 2 letters she kept in the back of her kitchen cupboard. It happened nearly 11 years ago, when I realised things were never to be the same again. Speak soon Hannah x October 26th 2006 “Granny, you know the letters that Grandad wrote to you?” She nods. “Do you have the ones you wrote to him?” She shakes her head and continues to stare into the TV. “I think they would make a beautiful story. Maybe I could pass them onto a romantic novelist… Would you be up for that?” No answer. “How long were you apart for during the war, Granny?” She turns, her memory teetering on the brink of forgetfulness. A tear breaks loose in her right eye. “I’m sorry dear, I don’t remember” She sinks her body back into her chair. I rise and offer a cup of tea. Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia is out on 22 September via My Own Pleasure. For more information about the project, including forthcoming tour dates, please visit her official website. ![105103]( [...]

The Neptune Music Prize 2017 - Vote Now

2017-09-18T21:10:47+01:002017-09-14 13:56:00 +0100

Time for our annual alternative to the Mercury Music Prize

It’s time again for our annual alternative to the Mercury Prize, The Neptune Music Prize 2017! We want to highlight some really special records that we love and have a public vote to see which one you love the most.

There were so many great albums to choose from that once again, we decided to extend the list to break with Mercury tradition and feature 20 albums. As per previous years, we’ve used the same eligibility criteria (albums by UK & Ireland acts released in the July-July time period) and haven’t included anyone who’s up for the Mercury Prize.

The whole idea of this is to shine a light on some of the albums which missed out on this year's Mercury Prize list, perhaps due to the fact they couldn't afford to enter, or possibly because they don't quite have the profile or infrastructure behind them. Or whatever.

Each of these albums is special to members of our team and offers a unique spin on the modern world. The discovery of something you might have missed is the whole point of this 'list', so we hope that you take the time to explore or revisit as many of the nominees as possible before casting your vote.

So, have a look at the list, treat your ears, and get voting.


The Neptune Prize 2017

Actress - ADZ

Blanck Mass - World Eater

Clark - Death Peak

Forest Swords - Compassion

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

IDLES - Brutalism

Jane Weaver - Moderm Cosmology

Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

Laura Marling - Semper Femina

Laurel Halo - Dust

Marika Hackman - I'm Not Your Man

Meursault - I Will Kill Again

Mura Masa - Mura Masa

Ride - Weather Diaries

Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular

Sacred Paws - Strike A Match

Sleaford Mods - English Tapas

Slowdive - Slowdive

The Moonlandingz - Interplanetary Class Classics

Wiley - Godfather

Sign up to our forums and vote here. Voting closes at midday on Sunday 17 September, with the winner announced early next week.



The Ice Kream Van Kometh: The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu Return

2017-08-24T10:31:14+01:002017-08-24 10:31:14 +0100

Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty have returned, exactly when they promised they would When was the last time you celebrated the time 00:00:23? Hundreds of us are gathered outside Liverpool’s fabulous News From Nowhere book shop tonight under the cloak of night, united by a combination of intrigue and excitement. We all anxiously glance at our watches, waiting for this most ludicrous of time stamps. It’s absurd on the surface, but far stranger once you know why. Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty have been planning this hyper-accurate shindig for exactly 23 years. On 23 August 1994, they famously took to the Scottish isle of Jura to burn one million pounds sterling of the money raised by their era-defining, groundbreaking art-rave-pop project The KLF. It was to be their departing act, a final middle finger in a career that refused to acknowledge the rules. That day, Drummond declared that in 23 years’ time, they would return to explain why they were doing it. Lo and behold, here we are. So much of the iconography and philosophy of The KLF derives from ‘The Illuminatus! Trilogy’ by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, a 1975 postmodern dystopian trilogy that messes with the conventions of conspiracy theories. Amongst the most influential ideas to emanate from the trilogy is that of ‘discordianism’, the paradigm that argues that by blurring the line between fact and fiction, it can become impossible to control the flow of truth. Anyone who saw Adam Curtis’ ‘Hypernormalisation’ will remember his terrifying argument that this so-called ‘Operation Mindfuck’ strategy is one to which the current Russian regime is in thrall. Perhaps they were just KLF fans. Numerology is central to the Illuminati stories too. The 23 enigma is now well established all over modern literature and culture, with William S. Burroughs often credited as its dastardly originator. So much of The KLF’s career map has the number written all over it, and so, 23 years to the second after the 23rd day of August 1994, at 23 seconds after midnight, they are staging the most elaborate, gloriously pretentious and most KLF of all pop music comebacks. Sensationally on time, their appearance is briefly preceded by the sound of an oncoming ice cream van, their chosen mode of transport back in the day (well, ever since discarding the Ford Timelord that was central to their first hit, ‘Doctorin’ The Tardis’). The chimes ring out to the sound of an unlikely mashup of ‘O Sole Mio’ and ‘3AM Eternal’ as the sizeable queue erupts into a cheer that conveys nearly as much relief that we haven’t fallen for an elaborate prank as it does genuine excitement to see such an iconic duo resurrected. The state of Drummond and Cauty is significantly better weathered than that of the van, it must be said, which is creaking and crumbling. It appears to have a coffin in its back too, but nothing seems that weird anymore. Beforehand, we had been handed a poster of rules of engagement for their arrival – “Kissing is tolerated but strictly no tongues” and “Do not attempt to take a selfie with any of the JAMs or with anyone else ever again” being just two of them. In truth, the assembled crowd is unlikely to cause trouble, just eager to get their hands on the first new KLF material in nearly a quarter of a century. The new material is not, however, music. It is – what would you know – a dystopian trilogy, an “end of days story” we are told. It goes by the name of ‘2023: A Trilogy’ and it is now available to the world via Faber & Faber. The race to decode its dense allegories is on, and the headstart is with those of us in attendance tonight. Drummond and Cauty are on hand to stamp – not sign – these first editions, nestled in the rear end of the store, unassuming pre[...]