Some people seem destined to lead a double life – Jamie Smith is one of those men. Having risen to fame thanks to his work as the mastermind behind the sultry sound of The XX, he began doing DJ sets and remixes under his Jamie XX moniker, before eventually moving on to creating his own floor-fillers, becoming one of the most sought after producers of our time.
Jamie XX – Far Nearer on YouTube
Among the many names after his sound, Drake created his worldwide hit Take Care (featuring Rihanna) with the skeleton of the already-hugely-popular remix Jamie did of a Gil Scott Heron track for their collaboration album We’re New Here. Since the completion of that project, Smith moved back to crafting the dark and light of his band’s second album Coexist. Now, as The XX play various spaces for Manchester International Festival, Jamie XX brings along Illum Sphere for an all-too-rare solo set at Gorilla.
Tickets are £14 and available through http://www.skiddle.com/
Despite the glut of fawning over them only starting recently, Merchandise have been around for a good few years now. Taking time to develop their sound – their first documented release was in 2009 – the band have got weirder and more brilliant with age, building up to the great anti-pop dissonance of their latest two releases, Children of Desire and Totale Nite.
Merchandise – Become What You Are via Youtube
Borne out of the hardcore scene, their work is filled with the emotion associated with punk, but expressed with a richness and emotional complexity, all luscious, expansive soundscapes and deep sonic texture. Pitchfork have repeatedly given them best new track and best new music, NME Radar can’t stop going on about them and new blog posts pour in every day of someone else falling in love with their favourite new band. Most of their music is available to download for free from their website – though the links keep breaking, as mediafire thinks that anything getting that amount of traffic must be illegal. This is their first ever Manchester show.
Tickets cost £8 and are available from http://www.seetickets.com/
Wesley Eisold is a riddle of a man. He’s been published in journals, runs his own printing press, and has performed in the Guggenheim. He’s also been in post-hardcord and noise bands like Ye Olde Maids, Some Girls and XO Skeletons, and he has writing credits on the first Fall Out Boy album somehow, too. Cold Cave is the brutally singular vision of Eisold, acting as a form of creative rebirth – backed by musicians he knows and trusts, the sound they create is a dark, synth pop.
Cold Cave – Love Comes Close video
Based out of New York, Cold Cave’s critically acclaimed self-released debut Love Comes Close was so spectacular – and gloriously bleak in places – that it convinced Matador Records to sign the band and do a re-pressing themselves. Follow up Cherish The Light Years garnered even stronger reviews – though Eisold has since taken his time to release another full-length, instead reverting back to being self-reliant, putting out a series of limited run 7″‘s as he further tests his creativity. This will be the first Cold Cave show in Manchester since 2011, and the final night of their select-date European tour.
Tickets are £8, available through http://www.skiddle.com/
On 10th April Now Wave will host a show from Steve Mason (The Beta Band, King Biscuit Time, Black Affair) at Gorilla. The singer will be performing in support of his new solo album ‘Monkey Minds in the Devils Time’ which is set for release on March 11th.
Heavily focused on the current political climate Mason’s new album questions the seemingly lack of dissenting voices in music and popular culture today. All of the songs on the album were written by the singer with some tracks featuring a collaboration from London MC Maestro. Tickets for the show are available from See Tickets or instore at Piccadilly Records, Oldham Street.
In recent years Manchester’s Future Everything has continued to deliver an exciting and esoteric festival experience showcasing the latest developments in art, media, idea’s and technology. It offers it’s attendees the opportunity to see some of the most unique and exciting projects happening in the world today – a philosophy extended to its music program which Now Wave is very pleased to be a part of again this year, hosting two events throughout the festival.
Brandt, Brauer and Frick – Bop
The first event is on Wednesday 20th march and is the Official Future Everything opening party at Islington Mill in Salford. Heading the bill is Brandt Brauer Frick featuring Om’mas Keith – a Berlin ensemble dedicated to exploring the ground that lies between classical music and techno – deep, complex, minimal and most essentially acoustic they are one of the most talked about new artists in experimental music.
Lapalux – Forgetting and Learning Again
They will be joined on the night by recent Brainfeeder signing Lapaplux who’s 2012 EP ‘When You’re Gone’ saw his popularity grow whilst maintaing a wide critical acclaim with Pitchfork sighting ‘stunning beauty within its small moments’. The evening will also see a DJ set from Sheffield’s post-rock stalwarts 65 Days of Static.
Holy Other – Held
As well as the opening party we have also curated Thursday nights showcase at Islington Mill ‘A Celebration of the Sombre’ featuring Triangle Records’ Holy Other and Wife who will be joined by Bearcubs and Tourist.
Wife – Trails
Tickets are £10 and £9.50 respectively – available from Ticketline, Eastern Bloc, and Picadilly Records. For more information on the event or any other happenings at the festival visit www.futureeverything.org.