Apocalypse Music co-founder Pia Rose Scattergood had the pleasure of sampling not one but TWO multi-venue festivals last month, documenting an eclectic mix of the hottest global artists to watch in 2023, all the while celebrating Pitchfork’s return to London & 30 years of the London Jazz Festival.
PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL LONDON 2022
As Pitchfork’s European festival concept expands to London for only the second time in history, I reflect on the intimacy and inclusivity of my experience …
WEDS 9 NOV – PITCHFORK FESTIVAL LONDON X ITALIANS DO IT BETTER @ FABRIC
Independent record label Italians Do It Better have a diverse and impressive output dating back to 2006. Glamour and camp theatrics were a pleasing throughline in this showcase, with artists referencing a long legacy of femme synth-pop icons including Madonna and Kylie Minogue.
Fabric, in all its sci-fi subterrane, provided the perfect playground for label mates Glüme and Desire, who gave the audience a masterclass in dream pop for the brokenhearted. The black, latex-cladded musicians of Canadian electronic band Desire have an enviable magnetism, as does the self-styled ‘Walmart Marilyn Monroe’ with devil horned crown, Glüme. In synergy with the epic reveal of Desire’s fourth bandmate, a janky (almost) lifesize skeleton, their combined presentation was a beautiful hangover from Halloween, with all the gothic, spacey grooves to match. During their more tender ballads, empathy and warmth radiated from the stage, and I can’t remember the last time I felt as at home within a venue as a solo reveller.
Sadly, opening act Club Intl did not manage to generate the same buzz from the audience and paled in comparison both sonically and sartorially to what would otherwise have been an electric double bill.
SAT 12 NOV – I.JORDAN, LCY @ 60 DOCK ROAD
Newly announced as the home of Tottenham-born establishment The Cause, 60 Dock Road plays host to a brutalist maze of glass and concrete. But it offers something unique to other industrial venues. The low ceilings and absence of a raised stage, coupled with a relatively low production value, transported me to a previous more lowkey era of secret underground rave where people go to dance rather than be seen.
Having also reviewed multiple events this year, it is so pleasing to finally see majority queer line-ups of producer-DJs emerging in festival circuits, with rising techno giants I.Jordan and LCY (below) keeping the energy high up all the way through to 6am.
With thanks to Stay Golden PR
EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL 2022
Since moving to London three Autumns ago, the London Jazz festival has been a highlight of my calendar whether working, volunteering or performing. This was perhaps my favourite instalment yet …
FRI 11 NOV – ISHMAEL ENSEMBLE @ KING’S PLACE
Tapping into Ishmael Ensemble’s oeuvre of records leads to an incredibly intimate and transcendental listening experience and what struck me as most commendable was their ability to translate so many of their epic, highly produced tracks with such life, clarity and detailed precision in a live space. I could not think of a better and more accessible introduction to the Bristolian jazz scene.
Top tune: Holly’s voice on ‘Feather’ is both haunting and enchanting ~ I simply can’t stop listening to this track! The ensemble’s latest single ‘The Rebuke’ was also added to BBC Radio 6’s B-List earlier this week.
WEDS 16 NOV – NADINE KHOURI ALBUM LAUNCH @ RICH MIX
Nadine’s debut album Another Life is a tour-de-force which tackles issues of the heart, the psyche and the socio-political systems that govern us in a nuanced musical language that references an eclectic range of artists from Nick Cave and Joni Mitchell to Joy Crookes and Nina Simone. The real magic of Nadine’s music is her ability to underscore serious subject matter with such delicate, dream-like textures, such as the Beirut explosion of 2020, surveillance capitalism, and the rules and ramifications of partying in a contemporary Arab world.
The musical direction behind each carefully mediated loop or sample was so polished and the revelation that this group of musicians were performing together live for only the first time was met with a shocked gasp from the audience who demanded more even after the final encore.
Top tune: I have a lot of fondness for the utterly unique use of synths in ‘Briefly Here’, but honestly just give the whole album a listen ~ you won’t regret it!
FRI 18 NOV – WINNIE FOR BEL COBAIN @ ROUND CHAPEL, HACKNEY
Hackney’s Round Chapel is a stunning space full of atmosphere, and naturally attracted a young and diverse crowd. Beneath a fog of soft purple haze and candyfloss elf bar vapour, viral sensation Winnie performed a collection of chill songs with stripped back, minimal piano accompaniment which were warmly received and well judged for the space.
Top tune: Winnie (@musicbywinnie) is yet to release any music, but will be performing with women/non binary house band Peng Femme Jam at The Shacklewell Arms on Sun 4 Dec.
In the one hour lead up to Bel Cobain, the space became increasingly hyped with audience members up in the balcony taking full advantage of being in the round by initiating multiple Mexican waves. With tunes that fuse Latin, afrobeat, neosoul and psychedelic overtones, Bel’s setlist was the perfect addition to an uber relaxed evening of moonlight serenades.
Top tune: You can boogie to the incredibly catchy grooves in ‘Leader’ during pres, and recover with ‘Introverted Stoner’ the next morning.
Words by Pia Rose Scattergood
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