The Wire


Artists pull out of Pop-Kultur over Israeli Embassy partnership

Richard Dawson and UK group Shopping withdraw from Berlin festival supported by Botschaft des Staates Israel

Artists have withdrawn from the line-up of Berlin festival Pop-Kultur amid controversy at the Israeli Embassy in the city contributing to travel and accommodation costs associated with the event. Newcastle singer-songwriter Richard Dawson has followed UK band Shopping in issuing a statement announcing they are now boycotting the event.

“In response to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel's call for artists to boycott the upcoming Pop-Kultur festival in Berlin… I regret to inform we've decided to cancel our performance,” ran Dawson’s statement on 17 May. “The killings on Monday of protesters in Gaza by Israeli government forces is the latest in a long string of atrocities acted upon the Palestinian people. Even if performing at Pop-Kultur meant I was endorsing such a government in only the very slightest of ways, I cannot in good conscience lend my music or my name to this.”

The festival meanwhile has issued a statement to clarify the involvement of the Israeli Embassy (Botschaft des Staates Israel) in Pop-Kultur. “Our 2018 lineup includes three Israeli artists. We will receive a total travel and accommodation contribution of €1,200 from the embassy,” the statement reads. “Currently the Israeli embassy is one of three festival partners contributing artist and travel support,” it continues, detailing other contributions from the British Council and the French Bureau Export.

The festival was also affected by artist boycotts in 2017, when Islam Chipsy & EEK were one of eight groups to pull out of the event. In recent years the festival has been criticised by figures including Thurston Moore and, this month, Brian Eno for its partnerships with the Israeli embassy.

“If there are artists who don’t want to perform at our festival because we receive travel and accommodation support from the Israeli embassy in Berlin, we very much regret that,” states the festival. “However, the boycott, the refusal to perform, is not our decision. We are always open to engaging in constructive dialogue.” The Boycott Pop-Kultur Festival organisation that has been agitating against artists performing at the event is part of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which aims to put political pressure on Israel to change its policies over the Palestinian occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

SOU festival initiates campaign of solidarity for Youth Movement and LGBTQ+ community of Georgia

Following Saturday's raid at Bassiani and Café Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, SOU festival releases a statement of support

Following the armed police raids in the early hours of Saturday 12 May at club Bassiani and Café Gallery – both key spots in the Tbilisi dance music scene, with Bassiani home to the largest LGBT+ parties in Georgia – and the proceeding protests across the city, Tbilisi's SOU festival has released a statement of solidarity.

“SOU festival has initiated a campaign of solidarity for youth movement and LGBT+ community of Georgia,” founder and artistic director Sandro Lominashvili tells us. “Basically this campaign and statement is an act of support from [the] cultural sector.”

Support has already come from ICAS network, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Ilia State University, Georgian Philharmonic and many more cultural institutions, and artists including Christopher Tignor, Jacob Kirkegaard, and Bjork.

“In these days, Georgian youth has responded to gross violence and restrictions of freedom of expression with love. Have a look at a small episode of the demonstration, which took place on May 12th and best reflects the content of the current events.

“Lay your love on me – according to the title of the song by Swedish pop group Abba, Sou festival initiates campaign for solidarity and equality.”

The joint statement reads:

“Recent special “anti drug” operation, that was carried out by police forces in the clubs Bassiani and Café Gallery resulted in an unprecedented protest of the thousands, mostly the young people, who took to the streets of Tbilisi. They reacted not only to the specific acts of violence but a long-term irresponsible attitude of the system, which instead of caring for people opted for their oppression as well. Content of the protest expanded beyond the issue of drug policy and united individuals under the umbrella of the most frequently articulated value of the recent days – the freedom: demand for justice and equality, longing for changes and diversity in life. The established situation revealed an existing crisis that operates on different levels and demonstrated inevitability of changes, for which fight continues.

“May 17 is an international day against homophobia and trans-phobia. Exactly five years ago a small group of people who gathered in Tbilisi to celebrate it, was attacked and became a victim of violence from the side of representatives of religious community. According to the statement of the LGBT+ community, today they decided to bear responsibility for avoidance of a civil conflict. They are forced to cancel the gathering in response to a threat of physical violence and attacks from the side of right-wing, neo-Nazi and religious conservative groups that besieged youth demonstration in front of the parliament several days ago. Unfortunately, in Georgia LGBT+ community still faces the violence and discrimination on an everyday basis. Prevailing negative attitudes towards these people hinder them from exercising the most important human rights, including the rights to equality, freedom of expression, peaceful gathering, education, employment, healthcare etc.

“SOU festival gives support and solidarity towards the youth movement, representatives of the sexual minorities and activists who fight for a better future on a daily basis and sometimes even jeopardizing their lives.

“We would like to address the representatives of the musical, artistic and academic fields who we did not have had time and opportunity to contact, to join the solidarity action through dissemination of this statement or by any other means.”

Sound Photography project has launched covering 34 countries and six continents

Multimedia project poses the question“what is the connection between sound and photography?”

Oxford based sound project Cities and Memory are back with a new digital multimedia platform featuring collaborations between 166 photographers and sound artists. Last year saw the launch of their online database mapping sound bites of protests across the globe, and in 2016 they launched a sound map of the London underground network. This time, however, the new project approaches the question “what is the connection between sound and photography?”. Musicians responded to the images by using elements from them as a musicia notation, with the outcome a collection of over 100 sound pieces composed as a response to photographs taken in some 34 countries.

The collection can be viewed and listened to in full on the Cities and Memory website, with locations including Tiananmen Square, the Empire State Building and Copacabana Beach.

Unsound festival announces its theme for 2018 and an open call to artists

Taking place in Krakow between 7 and 14 October, this year's new theme is Presence

Presence is the theme for Unsound Krakow 2018. Carrying on from focal topics of Flower Power and Future Shock, the aim, they say, is to encourage people to live in the now by thinking about ways in which they listen. “What does it mean to be present in a world of media saturation, where reality can be virtual or augmented, intelligence made artificial?” Asks the brief. “How should we exist in an age of self display, anxiety, cryptocurrencies, robotic technologies, data harvesting, algorithms, disinformation, social media bots and conspiracy theories? How does one understand nature, when it exists as a place to be visited rather than lived in? How are communities formed and broken via social media? How do we engage deeply in a world of surfaces? And, when necessary, how do we disengage?” They wish to make clear, however, that this isn't about nostalgia, it is about forging something progressive out of the current situation.

The line-up is yet to be announced, but they do promise a daytime discourse and film screening programme that delves into the topic, as well as new commissions in music, sound, and visual arts.

As well as that, Unsound 2018 has launched an open call for musicians, visual and sound artists, writers and academics to submit proposals related to its theme. “We encourage you to think deeply about the many and different potential meanings, asking for one A4 page outlining an existing or proposed work, including links to support material.” Proposals can be submitted by email. Deadline is 11 June.

RP Boo shares “Back From The Future” from his first LP of new material

The Footwork veteran will release I'll Tell You What! on Planet Mu on 6 July

Chicagoan footwork producer RP Boo is set to release his first full length of contemporary material in June. A veteran on the scene, historically much of his production had come in the form of white labels and self-released mixtapes, until two archival releases on Planet Mu – Legacy in 2013 and Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints in 2015 – bought his work to the ears of an international audience.

The new release, he says, has him share new stories with the listener, and his experience of leaving Chicago to tour internationally some five years ago.

I'll Tell You What! is released by Planet Mu on 6 July. You can listen to an edit of the lead track "Back From The Future" below:

Digital arts festival Mira returns to Barcelona

Tangerine Dream, Aïsha Devi and Christoph De Babalon are among those set to perform

Barcelona's digital arts festival Mira has set the dates for its eighth edition. Taking place from 8–10 November at Fabra i Coats – a refurbished factory-cum-cultural space, the event sets its eyes on visual artists, musicians, producers and VJs that they describe as championing new digital trends.

Headlining the show are Tangerine Dream who will perform their audio visual show Quantum Of Electronic Evolution, making its Spanish debut with visuals from Patrick Dunno, as well as a retrospective journey through past tracks. Also on the bill are AÏsha Devi with her new AV show featuring visuals from Emile Barret, Rival Consoles, El Sueño De Hyparco deconstructing their album Ambientes Hormonales and with visuals from Alba G Corral, Christoph De Babalon, Tapan, Wolf Müller & Niklas Wand, Malka Tuti, VARG with a live 3D sound set, Marta Verde, and Carla dal Forno with visuals from Ludovic Sauvage.

More acts are still to be announced. Early bird tickets are on sale now for €50.

Terraforma 2018 reveals final line-up with an exclusive mix from Paquita Gordon and Ece Duzgit

New names added to Milan's sustainable music festival include Marco Shuttle, Caterina Barbieri and Daniele De Santis

Italy's sustainable music festival has announced the full programme for its 2018 edition. Returning to its regular spot in the woods of Villa Arconati just outside Milan, the Terraforma line-up includes Batu, Byetone, Konrad Sprenger, Paquita Gordon, Valentino Mora, Vladimir Ivkovic, Jeff Mills, Lanark Artefax, PLO Man, Powder, Rabih Beaini, Plaid & Felix’s Machines, Imaginary Softwoods, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Donato Dozzy, Don’t DJ, and Nkisi. Recently added to the bill are Marco Shuttle, Caterina Barbieri, Daniele De Santis, VIPRA and Mino Luchena. Also of note, a temporary onsite planetarium has been installed in collaboration with BUKA – it will house Barbieri's sound installation. Plus the usual mass of workshops, talks and food huts to complete the festival experience.

Terraforma runs from 29 June–1 July. Tickets including accommodation at the pop up hotel have already sold out; however camping is still available, with passes starting from €25. You can check out Gordon and Duzgit's mix below.

Subscribers to The Wire can also download a special festival compilation featuring live recordings from previous years by artists including Laraaji, Hamid Drake, Donato Dozzy and Suzanne Ciani.

Soundwalk Collective granted access to the Jean-Luc Godard archives

The audio visual artists release their interpretations of the filmmaker's personal collection

NYC and Berlin based group Soundwalk Collective are set to release two records interpreting the works of French director Jean-Luc Godard. The audio visual collective were invited to aurally explore the archive, drawing on Godard’s personal collection of shot film, reel-to-reels and historical ephemera, documenting stage directions, rehearsals, false starts and outtakes. The outcome of which is one full length titled What We Leave Behind and a remix EP featuring reworks from Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu.

“There are boxes filled with sounds, words, chaos, and also silence,” explains Stephan Crasneanscki of the Soundwalk Collective. “For Godard sound is a musical composition and when I began listening to the tapes and heard his voice between takes, it was like little bits of life...each sound has its own value. It has always been part of our working practice to venture into untapped sonic territories, discover the poetics behind them, and explore how we (as humans) relate to it, it is part of a larger discourse.”

The releases, out on 18 and 25 May respectively, arrive 50 years after Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Claude Lelouche famously closed the Cannes Film Festival 1968 edition in solidarity with workers and students protesting across the country.

The LP features an interview between Crasneanscki and Jean-Luc Godard’s sound engineer François Musy, while both LP and EP include photos taken from the archive. Check out their Bandcamp page, and Facebook to see footage of the corresponding installation that took place at the opening of The Long Now on 24 March at Kraftwerk Berlin.

El-P to compose original score for Al Capone biopic Fonzo

The Run The Jewels MC/producer will write an original score for the new film by Josh Trank

Producer and rapper El-P aka Jaime Meline will score the soundtrack for Al Capone bio-pic Fonzo. Written and directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) the film follows the story of the infamous gangster who developed dementia during imprisonment. The cast includes Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Academy Award, Matt Dillon and Kyle MacLachlan.

"Since I was fourteen years old, El-P's music has been one of the most important creative influences in my life. There's literally no greater honor for me than to collaborate with him today and bear witness to this next stage of his artistic journey," says Trank.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of this movie," says Meline, who recently shared his rejected demo for the soundtrack of Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049.

El-P appeared with Killer Mike on the cover of The Wire 396, with Run The Jewels's Run The Jewels 3 released on 24 December 2016. Listen to “Talk To Me”.

Lucrecia Dalt shares video for “Edge”

Charlotte Collin and Jonathan Martin’s video is revealed the day before the release of new album Anticlines

Lucrecia Dalt's forthcoming album Anticlines is out tomorrow on RVNG Intl, and to mark the occasion she's released the video to the track “Edge”. A former geotechnical engineer from Colombia now residing in Berlin, Dalt explains to Emily Bick in The Wire 411 that “in an anticline, you have the old strata on the bottom and the new strata on the top, and when an anticline happens, because of the compression on both sides, the strata that is the oldest is coming to the centre and sometimes it can be revealed. I read somewhere that consciousness is the result of matter that has been folded multiple times until interior becomes exterior. So that’s sort of how these ideas get together for me.”

Released on 4 May, Anticlines is Dalt’s sixth album, and her debut on RVNG Intl. The video is by Charlotte Collin and Jonathan Martin, and you can watch it below.

Subscribers can read Emily Bick's article on Dalt via Exact Editions.