Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Antoni Maiovvi - Interview and free download

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of "Spaghetti Dance"

Five years ago Italo-Disco enjoyed a double revival. Crate diggers re-discovered its influence on House. Hipsters squealed at its camp machismo and lost-in-translation lyrics. The movement’s pioneers started coming out of the woodwork, among them Torino legend Antoni Maiovvi, whose limited edition comeback album Maiovvi Vice sold out so quickly that nobody's quite sure it ever existed.

Since then, Maiovvi’s worked at an impressive rate - hooking up with style icon Fortuna for a series of live PAs, before releasing solo sets Electro Muscle Cult, Shadow Of The Bloodstained Kiss and The Thorns Of Love. Maiovvi’s mature sound revisits the aching synths and 4/4 kicks of his 80s cuts, adding low budget cinematics, deadpan Euroticisms and the occasional agonised croon. The results are compellingly eccentric; curiously beautiful.

Antoni Maiovvi is also the alter ego of Anton Maiof - the prolific experimentalist of My Ambulance Is On Fire and howling anchorman of Geisha.

BRS: You recently left England for Germany. Is it going well for you over there?

AM: It's been interesting. I'm not sure of the sense in moving to a country where I don't speak the language. But it's been good. There is a nice community of weirdos making excellent work, you can always get a drink and life is cheap...and the girls, man, the girls.

BRS: You’re not the only producer connecting Berlin with Bristol. Pinch, Appleblim et al have forged links with German techno. Digital Hardcore was an inspiration for the anti-establishment breakcore of Death$ucker. Do the cities have something in common?

AM: There's a similarity in the pace of life. Berlin is pretty laid back for a capital city. Not much closes and you can party all night. People are in less of a rush. There are social problems because of that, of course - there are a lot of burned out people. Bristol and Berlin are both transient towns - both have big universities and people will come here to study and have a good time and then leave to go get a job somewhere else leaving music scenes to get glossed over. Techno is king here - most other things get ignored.

BRS: Who is Antoni Maiovvi? What’s the idea behind the alias?

AM: Antoni Maiovvi is a composite character - equal parts Harold Faltermeyer, Giorgio Moroder, Philip Glass, Maurizio Merli, Jeffrey Dahmer and David Duchovny. With hindsight I should have thought of something easier to spell.

BRS: A lot of your work with Geisha and My Ambulance Is On Fire was dark and nihilistic. The Maiovvi project is inspired by Italo-Disco, a naïve, hedonistic sound. Pure escapism on your part?

AM: Some Italo stuff could fit in a horror movie I think, some stuff is just agressively gay, some of it is so cheesy and bad it's like a bad joke. The amazing tracks are truly amazing; psychedelic and sexy - just like Whitehouse.

BRS: There's another aspect to Maiovvi - a sort of diseased longing, thinly disguised by the plastic heroics. Are you a hopeless romantic?

AM: There's this theory about the writer Philip K Dick. His twin sister died after they were born prematurely. He went through his life knowing that there was another part of him that was gone forever. I can understand that - I've no idea what the other part is but I miss it. In short, yes.

BRS: What’s happening with your other projects? Are the rumours of new Geisha material true?

AM: Everything is still going. Geisha will never die until one of us does. Circumstance has been the bane of that band, but we're going to keep going in whatever form just to spite it. Also we like working together.

BRS: What I've heard of the new Geisha material is very different from anything you've done before. Did you leave your guitar in Bristol?

AM: Well, it was time to experiment but I did leave the Geisha guitar in Bristol, yes. I have a guitar here but it's not the same. We keep losing drummers is the short answer to the change. I've a general disgust for most rock music these days.

BRS: The Russians are coming and the train leaves for Paris in an hour. There’s enough space in your luggage for two records and two films. Which do you choose?

AM: Movies are easy. The Thing and Robocop. For the records it would probably be more useful to get some lathe vinyl that has been sharpened for ninja dj know, just in case.

Antoni Maiovvi's 'The Thorns Of Love' is out now on Caravan Records.

Free Download! Antoni Maiovvi, Live at the Italo Elite club, Amsterdam.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Finesse - Summer Bass Mix Vol. 1

Here’s fun. Bristol’s DJ Finesse is best known as a champion of the liquid tendency in drum & bass but he’s certainly no one trick pony.

Summer Bass Vol. 1 sees him immersed in the deep end of dubstep and future garage, dropping selections from local legends like Forsaken, Headhunter and Komonazmuk and recent classics from Joy Orbison, Martyn and El-B.

It’s the perfect soundtrack to a dyspeptic crawl along the A38, as the weekend glows seductively from the eyeholes of Monday’s burkha.

Finesse – Summer Bass Vol. 1 [download]
1. Martyn – Broken (Revolve:R)
2. Ramadanman - Humber (Apple Pips)
3. Hyetal - Neon Speech (Soul Motive)
4. Claude Vonstroke & J Phlip - California, Julio Bashmore Remix (Dirty Bird)
5. Addison Groove - Footcrab (Swamp 81)
6. El-B - Son De Cali (Soul Motive)
7. Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo (Hotflush)
8. Headhunter - Prototype (Modeselektor Rmx) (Tempa)
9. Kouros Ft. DRS - Tears (Estate)
10. Komonazmuk - Miss Her (Hench)
11. Forsaken Ft. Joker & Ben Blackmore - Last Saloon Swagger (Soul Motive)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Labour leadership candidates - Who are they and what do they want?

As a card-carrying Labourite, I'm in the enviable position of helping to choose the next leader of the opposition.

Many will assume this is a pointless exercise; that whoever wins can only become Prime Minister by tugging a forelock at the markets and Mail. I take a less cynical view, of course. Politics without optimism is like a pub with no bogs.

So who are these brave souls, selflessly gambling their reputations on a shot at greatness? More importantly, who is likely to win?

David Miliband: The former Foreign Secretary and "heir to Blair" is distinguished by an unshakeable faith in his own genius. Miliband isn't completely self-obsessed, though - he famously took one for the team when he gave Hillary Clinton a good seeing to on a diplomatic trip to Helmand. Leadership potential 8/10.

Ed Miliband: With his mild manners and puppydog eyes, Ed looks more like a history teacher than the future of socialism. Don't judge a book by its cover, though. Wrestling his own brother for the party leadership shows a contempt for the natural order that could kill a Tory at twenty paces. Leadership potential 8/10.

Ed Balls: The Phil Mitchell of the centre-left, the former Education Secretary is a balloon-faced psychopath who shits 24 hour tribal politics and cites Suge Knight and Cardinal Torquemada as heroes. Balls allegedly convinced Yvette Cooper not to stand for the leadership by threatening to cut her face. Leadership potential 4/10.

Diane Abbott: A lifelong contrarian, Abbott’s early onset Alzheimer’s has led her to believe she’s still fighting the battles of the '80s. The Hackney MP can often be seen wandering aimlessly around Greenham Common, or chanting “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Out, Out, Out!” on late night discussion shows. Leadership potential 3/10.

Andy Burnham: A diehard party loyalist who looks like George from Rainbow, Burnham joined Labour after reading an NME interview in which Noel Gallagher referred to Thatcher as a "Tory twat". He claims the current clamour for constitutional reform is "a sideshow for people who read books”, and that David Cameron and Nick Clegg are, “toffee-nosed Southern ponces, up to their arses in rugby and croissants.” Leadership potential Nil.

I'm still not quite sure to vote for to be honest. Anyone got any advice?

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Workers' champion Clegg squares up to the markets

Here's what our esteemed Deputy PM had to say about public sector cuts back in March (conveniently, some months before he had a say in the matter). It's from an answer given at the Yorkshire Post Question Time.

The decisions about how we govern this country shouldn’t be decided by fear of what markets want. Let’s say there was a Conservative Government and they announced, in a macho way: ‘We’re gonna slash public spending, slash this, slash that. We’re gonna do it tomorrow because we have to take early tough action.

Just imagine the reaction of my constituents in south-west Sheffield. I represent a constituency that has more public servants as a proportion of those working than any other constituency in the country – lots of people working in universities, hospitals and so on. They have no Conservative councillors and no Conservative MPs as far as the eye can see in South Yorkshire.

People like that are going to say: ‘Who are these people telling us they are suddenly taking our jobs away? What mandate do they have? I didn’t vote for them; no-one round here votes for them.

If you want to check Clegg's man of the people act out for yourself you can enjoy the speech in all its retrospectively surreal glory here.

At least he didn't mention Forgemasters. Poor Sheffield.

Thanks to Teacher Talks for the link.