Archive for October, 2013

The Dan Bejar-Antonio Luque Connection

destroyer

The admiration New Pornographer Dan Bejar has for the work of Spanish songwriter Antonio Luque, better known as Sr. Chinarro, has paid off well. Destroyer‘s new EP ‘Five Spanish Songs’ spawns our loop’s top track this week thanks to to standout moment ‘El Rito’.

Danny Brown brings the highest debut, next to other notable offerings by Cut Copy; Wooden Shjips; Jef Barbara plus another highlight from Arcade Fire‘s’s just released fourth album ‘Reflektor’.

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Kelela’ Enemy Cut 4 The Loop

Kelela

From Washington D.C., the latest female singer making waves in the R&B world, Kelela, thanks to her cutting edge choice of collaborators and the great tunes in her presentation mixtape ‘Cut 4 Me’ is this week’s number one with the excellent ‘Enemy’.

Magick Markers are the strongest debut, followed by new offerings from the likes of Telegram; Pusha T; Prefab Sprout and the much talked-about remix James Murphy has made of one of David Bowie‘s comeback album standouts.

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Dismemberment Plan Dancer Heads The Loop

Dismemberment Plan

Washington D.C. indie faves The Dismemberment Plan celebrate their two decades in music with the fifth Studio album “Uncanney Valley” which has spawned their biggest hit to date in our chart, the contagious ‘Daddy was a real good dancer’.

New Pornographer Dan Bejar under his Destroyer alter ego is the biggest new entry with a standout from his new EP covering songs of Spanish artist Sr. Chinarro. Anna Calvi; Yo La Tengo and some representatives of grunge’s new revival such as Turbo Lightning or Perfect Pussy‘are among the strongest debuts

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Awards Season: Early Birds And Long Shots

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After a tiresome blockbuster summer, the autumn began and with it the official kick-start to the most palatable time of the year for cinema lovers, the awards Season. From now until March our screens will be packed with prestige titles, whose commercial fortune would depend on how they shape their campaigns to reap the multiple rewards and accolades offered by festivals, critics and industry associations around the globe, building up their case in search of the golden goal: the Academy’s Oscars.

Audiences can look forward to be spoilt for choice by a terribly crowed release schedule, with over 150 films being released in the UK up to the end of the year. Despite this figure including films for all tastes and niche markets, it is still and unbelievable high number which will condemn many worthy titles to oblivion, hidden among the big promotional campaigns of the strongest.

If you follow the news, the holy trinity of pre-season festivals (Venice-Toronto-Telluride) seem to have already fulfilled their gatekeeping role by giving the thumbs up to a small group of contenders. (Gravity; 12 Years A Slave; Captain Phillips ;The Coens’ Inside Lewellyn Davis and Philomena seem to be this year’s victors) and thawing the chances of others (August: Osage Country or Labor Day were received with mixed reviews).

Moreover, the most competitive Oscar race ever, as harvey Weinstein recently declared it, has already claimed a few victims, “Foxcatcher’ and ‘Grace Of Monaco’ being moved to 2014, with growing rumours about Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ despite being postponed a few weeks, not being ready for the Christmas deadline. Among the few already launched, ‘Diana’ was drowned in a sea of terrible reviews.

But Diana aside, mere mortals are just starting to watch the titles that will compete to grab their attention. We’ll be monitoring the ups and downs of the season with an improvised Contenders’ Top 40 –check below- as we get to watch them. We begin with an countdown of those films released earlier in the year that may have a chance in one or more categories, as well as other long shots that will not have enough fuel to cross the finishing line, but may collect some smaller honours in the way.

The first two solid contenders, already earning raves in our screens, are Woody Allen’s best film in two decades, ‘Blue Jasmine’ ★★★★★, whose story of a financial fraudster’s widow forced to downgrade her NY upper class lifestyle to a humbler San Francisco’s working class one as she move to live with her sister trying to rebuild her life, surprises in many levels. We suspect that if Woody could make it to the Best picture shortlist with something fluffier like ‘Midnight In Paris’, he may have a strong chance to repeat, if not better, the achievement this time. Cate Blanchett has shaped herself as the one to beat in the best actress race and the whole cast shines, particularly Sally Hawkins’ good natured foster sister. The veteran author’s screenplay is also his sharpest and more fine-tuned to reality in decades.

The second contender is Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ ★★★★,a director profusely rewarded by the Academy who has made his best film to date about the legendary Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt and Nicki Lauda; its biopic shortcomings are amply balanced by the top-notch cinematography and production. The camerawork places you in the middle of the races, whereas the escalating rivalry is told at vertiginous pace. As well of a bunch of technical nominations, German actor Daniel Bruhl could earn a place in the supporting category; despise his role being as prominent as Chris Hemsworth’s. In a smaller, but not less important area, among the competition for the Foreign Language gong, Italy’s choice ‘The Great Beauty’★★★★★, sadly left empty-handed at Cannes, will enjoy a lot of critical support. Paolo Sorrentino’s social radiography of contemporary Rome honours its title as one of the most beautiful films of the year.

In a couple of weeks, the London Film Festival will bring some of the most talked-about films of the season to our screens and from that moment on, a big weekly shake-up is to be expected. Check the race’s early birds and long shots Top 40 here. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Loop Goes To White Sea

white sea

Female singer-songwriters from LA keep on taking over our loops. Last week it was Banks and this edition is M83 collaborator White Sea, whose epic debut single ‘They Don’t Know’ reaches peak position.

Making shock waves in R&B circles with her new mixtape, Kelela heads a batch of new entries that also feature new songs by The Juan MacLean; Swearin’; Connan Mockasin and the first track after being released from jail by ex-Fugee star Lauryn Hill, who returns in abrassive form with a fierce attack on ‘Consumerism’.

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No More Waiting For LA Artist Banks

banks

LA singer Banks joins this week the already long list of female artists who have topped our loop. The promising new vocalist heads our chart with the suggestive standout moment from her London EP, ‘Waiting Game.’

The surprise collaboration between TrentemØller & Low is the highest entry, followed by new offerings by the likes of The Dismemberment Plan; Charli XCS; Drake and the return of hip-hop heroes Deltron 3030, delivering the second unexpected collaboration of the week by teaming up with Rage Against The Machine frontman Zach De La Rocha.

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