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22 декабря 2017, 15:23

Last Christmas we lost George Michael. Now he’s an unlikely beacon of hope | Simon Hattenstone

After the singer’s death, the world waited for the sordid tabloid exposés. Instead we got stories about his extraordinary generosityThere was always a poignancy to the song Last Christmas, but George Michael could have never imagined just how poignant it was to become. On Christmas Day, it will be a year since Michael died; 25 December 2016 was not only his last Christmas – it was his last day on Earth.There is no song that sums up the contradictions of Michael so beautifully as Last Christmas. It is cheap, schmaltzy and reeks of artifice (think of the dodgy electronic drum and plonky synth). Yet it is also a melancholy masterpiece (that anguished voice soaring in the final “I gave you my heart”). It may be based on a lie (Michael is distraught because he has been dumped by the woman he loves – Last Christmas was released in 1984, 14 years before he came out as gay) but it could not be more emotionally honest. Continue reading...

12 декабря 2017, 09:00

The best albums of 2017, No 9: Kelela – Take Me Apart

Alternative R&B found its emotional side in this striking study of a breakup, from separation to reconciliation to renunciation• More on the best albums of 2017• More on the best culture of 2017The term alternative R&B has always been a weird one. Most straightforwardly it is used to describe R&B artists who adopt unconventional vocal stylings, or incorporate other genres into their music. Perhaps without meaning to it has also acquired another sense; of a style that is cool and icy, of a genre suitable for fashion shows and shorn of anything as icky as emotion.Kelela has been placed in the bracket of alternative R&B since her debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, was released in 2013. A collaboration with producers from the labels Fade to Mind and London’s Night Slugs, it was full of synth washes, discordant motifs and deep, deep bass. Kelela’s vocals were clipped, constrained and locked in an ethereally high register. Her lyrics were also minimalist, but they were working with emotional themes, from the propulsion of lust to the fear of rejection. Continue reading...

09 декабря 2017, 10:00

Pharrell Williams: ‘It rains and they shoot black people’

N.E.R.D are back with a politically charged new album featuring Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran and cosmic synthsPharrell Williams is in a conference room at the London HQ of his record label, Sony. He’s here to play music from the new album by his alt-rap band N.E.R.D, the group he fronts alongside schoolfriends Chad Hugo and Shay Haley, who subverted the face of hip-hop with their punk-infused riffs in the early-00s. “I don’t know if you’ve seen the news or who’s running my country but it’s a real fucking shit show,” Pharrell says while introducing the record. “I’ve never seen such desperation in my life.” Related: Pharrell Williams 'takes a knee' in Charlottesville protest Continue reading...

05 декабря 2017, 20:08

TONIGHT WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1982: A Band Without a No. 1 Hit Is Outselling Bruno Mars and Ed…

TONIGHT WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1982: A Band Without a No. 1 Hit Is Outselling Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Depeche Mode, the British synth-pop group formed in 1980, is having one of the most remarkable tours in modern music and its most-successful concert run ever. The band sold 1.27 million tickets through the […]

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03 декабря 2017, 11:00

Nabihah Iqbal: Weighing of the Heart review – a thoughtful, immersive debut

(Ninja Tune)Discarding the ambiguity of former moniker Throwing Shade, London alt-pop artist Nabihah Iqbal’s first full-length release deals in thoughtful, expansive soundscapes. This is a more laid-back affair than her earlier work, though it’s just as immersive. With airy, propulsive percussion, languid curls of grungey guitar, 1980s-sheen synths and hazy vocals, tracks such as Saw U Twice and In Visions are disarmingly straightforward lo-fi pop songs, while the glimmering subtlety of Alone Together and dreamy rave euphoria of Untitled Friday are especially invigorating. An album that improves with each listen, with an accomplished, ornate warmth. Continue reading...

02 декабря 2017, 19:00

This Disturbing North Korean Morning Routine Shows How Creepy Life Is in Pyongyang

From what they do in the morning to other odd routines, we're betting your life looks a lot different than a typical North Korean's.

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17 ноября 2017, 13:00

Nuns on the drums! The bizarre world of 'superniche' cover bands

Elvis has his share of impersonators. Obscure 60s garage rockers and neo-Nazi punks, less so. We meet the weirdest tribute acts on the circuit – from an all-women Fall to a heavy metal Bee Gees You wouldn’t say the place was packed. There are, perhaps, 20 people in the back room of the Unicorn pub in north London watching the first band on tonight’s bill. They seem wary at first, keeping their distance from the stage, but slowly they begin to follow the heavy, stoned groove of the music and their heads begin to nod, then shake, then finally bang.There are several unusual things about this performance. First, although this is a metal band playing a metal show in a metal pub, there isn’t a guitar on the stage: three synthesiser players flank a drummer. Second, the musicians are only playing covers. Third, they are only playing covers of one band’s songs. This is the debut gig by Electronica Wizard, whose performances are devoted to recreating, on synths, the work of the doom metal band Electric Wizard. Continue reading...

07 ноября 2017, 18:34

Niger Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Niger decreased to 3.60 percent in September from 3.70 percent in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Niger averaged 3.87 percent from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 22.70 percent in January of 2014 and a record low of 1 percent in November of 2014. In Niger, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Niger ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

07 ноября 2017, 18:33

Ivory Coast Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Ivory Coast decreased to 5.60 percent in September from 5.70 percent in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Ivory Coast averaged 4.24 percent from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 5.80 percent in March of 2017 and a record low of 0.10 percent in February of 2015. In Ivory Coast, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Ivory Coast ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

07 ноября 2017, 18:33

Mali Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Mali increased to 3 in September from 2.90 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Mali averaged 1.51 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 5.20 in February of 2015 and a record low of -13.80 in December of 2012. In Mali, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Mali ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

07 ноября 2017, 18:29

Guinea Bissau Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Guinea Bissau decreased to 0.70 in September from 0.90 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Guinea Bissau averaged 0.97 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 3.50 in December of 2013 and a record low of -15.90 in January of 2014. In Guinea Bissau, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Guinea Bissau ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

07 ноября 2017, 18:28

Burkina Faso Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Burkina Faso increased to 2.80 in September from 2.70 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Burkina Faso averaged 4.19 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 41.30 in January of 2014 and a record low of -4.50 in June of 2014. In Burkina Faso, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Burkina Faso ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

07 ноября 2017, 18:27

Benin Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Benin increased to 0.80 in September from 0.70 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Benin averaged 0.77 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 3.10 in November of 2013 and a record low of -3 in December of 2012. In Benin, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Benin ISC- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

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03 ноября 2017, 18:00

Fever Ray’s To The Moon and Back: a kinky slice of squelchy synth-pop

Also this week: Franz Ferdinand get lost without Nick McCarthy and Morrissey brings weaponised lonelinessTRACK OF THE WEEK Continue reading...

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29 октября 2017, 11:00

John Maus: Screen Memories review – nihilistic synth pop

(Domino)Apparently John Maus has spent some of the six years since his last album finishing his doctorate in political philosophy. Perhaps he should have taken a degree in common sense, given his worrying assignations with the “alt-right”, and daft assertions such as “the notion of the homosexual is really an invention of the 19th and 20th centuries”. Luckily, Screen Memories isn’t particularly political, and all the better for its lack of lyrical ambition. Instead, it’s the teenage nihilism of songs such as The Combine, its muffled vocal presumably due to the presence of both feet in his mouth, that proves the perfect subject for Maus’s gothic synth pop. Continue reading...

28 октября 2017, 15:28

10 Best Halloween Movies of All Time

Whether or not they're set on October 31, these Halloween movies perfectly embody the all the fear and fun associated with this horrific holiday.

25 октября 2017, 19:30

Togo Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Togo decreased to 0.50 in September from 0.70 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Togo averaged 0.80 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 5.10 in November of 2013 and a record low of -4.50 in December of 2012. In Togo, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Togo Leading Economic Index- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

23 октября 2017, 17:50

Senegal Business Survey Indicator

Leading Economic Index in Senegal increased to 3.60 in September from 3.50 in August of 2017. Leading Economic Index in Senegal averaged 3.38 from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 11 in October of 2013 and a record low of 0.10 in February of 2014. In Senegal, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Senegal Leading Economic Index- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

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13 октября 2017, 00:00

St Vincent: Masseduction review – abrasive, nuanced pop

(Loma Vista/Caroline International)Mechanical beats and abrasive synths underpinned by producer Jack Antonoff’s feedback-pocked soundbed-of-nails: Annie Clark’s sixth album as St Vincent is not immediately inviting. But it is fascinating, sometimes grimly so, with Clark relating scenes from a relationship with a drugged-up Young Lover. But the frank confessions – of transgressive desire, pathological anxiety and romantic rejection – that pepper Masseduction transcend gossipy intrigue. (Inevitably, people will assume some of the material is inspired by her breakup with ex-girlfriend Cara Delevingne.) Sonically, the record gradually unfurls into something similarly captivating though, as Clark ditches the guitar rock for pop that is rich, nuanced and constantly surprising. Single songs journey across genres – Pills, for example, begins resembling a bass-heavy remix of a nursery rhyme and ends up a big ballad with a Kamasi Washington sax section – while bizarrely amusing ingredients are continually added to the pot, from parodically funky synth lines to shrill vocal gymnastics that would have Mariah Carey cowering on her chaise lounge. Continue reading...

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24 сентября 2017, 11:00

LCD Soundsystem review – dream band back from the dead

Glasgow BarrowlandsSix years after their ‘farewell’ show, James Murphy’s dance-punk magpies have returned, bigger and bolder than everBefore a snare is hit, before LCD Soundsystem supremo James Murphy starts gesticulating at the monitor sound desk, there is a charge in the air. It telegraphs the delight that, to paraphrase one of LCD Soundsystem’s album titles, this is actually happening.A gig that should not have been, this second night in Glasgow promotes a fourth LCD album – the recently released American Dream – that should not have been, either. Lairy gratitude informs the dancing that erupts with the first keyboard blobs of Get Innocuous!, LCD’s perfect set-opening gambit. Second only to Oasis as a lauded pilferer of others’ catalogues, Murphy grafts the vocals of David Bowie on to the synth lines of Kraftwerk, somehow making it sound all LCD. (A fab graphic rendition online illustrates the track’s structure.) Continue reading...