Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Luke who's been writing (a lot of good stuff for the Quietus)

Not that it's anything particularly unusual, but there's been a glut of great content on the Quietus of late. Take Luke Turner's review of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Skeleton Tree, for instance - a sensitive and thoughtful appreciation of what "in a year of tough and weighty records ... is the heaviest of all", inevitably viewing it as a response to Cave's son's death but also deftly placing the album in the context of their back catalogue ("as sparse and experimental as they've ever been").

Turner has also offered some thoughts on the closure of Fabric and what it might signify: in a nutshell, the blandly stultifying (at best) and subtly repressive (at worst) influence of a "new puritanism". The article may be somewhat overegged, but it's nevertheless a stirring rallying cry to fight back against the forces that are killing club culture (and youth culture more generally).

Elsewhere, Turner has had the pleasure of talking to Mogwai about the recording process behind their soundtrack to Mark Cousins' documentary Atomic: Living In Dread & Promise, with Stuart Braithwaite emphasising the need to create something sensitive and sympathetic: "We were quite conscious not to be too bombastic because the subject matter and the images were genuinely shocking. To be honest, solemn grimness comes to us quite easily, it's our natural sound - the challenge was doing something good enough." And "something good enough" they certainly did - it's easily superior to their last LP proper, Rave Tapes.

And then there's Mogwai's old chums, the recently reformed (for a while, at least) Arab Strap, telling Nicola Meighan about the best songs in their back catalogue. It's nice to see 'Deeper' get a mention, though I'm surprised there's nothing from The Red Thread and there doesn't seem to be much love for 'The First Big Weekend' (even though they've just released a remix): "It's that age-old story of the shite song that was going to get fucked onto a B-side." I've never heard 'Rocket, Take Your Turn' and Monday At The Hug & Pint is another album to add to the must-buy list.

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