D-Block Europe’s signature “rap wave” sound, basically pornographic lyrics slathered over languid tropical trap, floats nicely alongside Chip’s melodic flow on breezy tracks such as Golden Brown. Skepta brings all his cheeky, chest-puffing energy to every verse to balance Adz’s enervated, adenoidal Auto-Tune croon. The trio’s appetite for drugs, women and money never wavers from first to last track. Yet the more introspective songs, such as the spectral Traumatised and thoughtful High Road, tell powerful stories about their journey to success, and prove that D-Block Europe’s imperial phase is far from its end. … [Read more...] about Skepta x Chip x Young Adz: Insomnia review – languid tracks with chest-puffing attitude
KE: As for describing the music, which is, as you say, the very hardest thing, I think you want to identify aspects of the music that your reader will find pertinent, rather than go on and on floridly about what old NME writers might call “cathedrals of sound”. Similarly to you with the pop acts, I struggled with knowing whether the French horns were having a bad night or whether the oboe was on point. I particularly enjoyed the mezzo soprano, but I just personally like that bit of the sung spectrum. I think in both our fields, we rely on context, whether biographical, or historical, or some stated artistic aim, to frame the discussion of raw sound. … [Read more...] about Mahler versus Slowthai! – what happened when our pop and classical critics traded jobs?
This combination would serve him well both at this period and later. Indeed, just as the highly expressive, sometimes programmatically charged, approach of other early works such as Polymorphia for 48 strings (1961), with its thunderously concluding C-major chord, or the Dies Irae for three vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra (1967), which commemorates the dead of Auschwitz, was subsequently carried over into the more conventional sound-world of Penderecki’s output from the 70s onwards, so the potentially incompatible range of musical materials to be found in some of his 60s compositions can sometimes be detected in his output too. … [Read more...] about Krzysztof Penderecki obituary
His sympathy for 20th-century music was considerable: he gave American premieres of works by Bartok, Hindemith, William Schuman, Peter Maxwell Davies, George Rochberg, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Bernstein and Henri Dutilleux, and championed the concertos of Prokofiev, Berg and Stravinsky in conservative America. All his tastes, in fact, were influenced by musicianly considerations; works that were merely vehicles for virtuoso display interested him little. "What gives me happiness and satisfaction is to play the kind of music that solves all human problems: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven," he said. … [Read more...] about Isaac Stern