Lockdown has entrenched the skills gap – but this is

It seems to almost miss the point to suggest that lockdown has merely inflamed, rather than caused, the problems of the last nine months. To view the relative epidemics of domestic abuse and upward-crawling mental health complaints as being solely indicative of pre-lockdown structural problems lets current decision-makers off the hook. Al Jazeera has already alluded […]Read More

Blast From The Past: Up the Bracket // The Libertines

Headlines today look cynically upon Argentina, having swaddled itself in economic crisis in a stagnant trend of overspending dating back seventy years. Coverage has frequently pointed to reckless policy and the acquisition of debt behind its shortcomings. “Argentina seems trapped by its own history,” said Argentine economist Daniel Marx this year. As matters are exacerbated […]Read More

Album Review: Host // Cults

The old proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss” has a unique significance in music. The 1950 Muddy Waters arrangement ‘Rollin’ Stone’ would spawn inspiration in Bob Dylan and the eponymous rock band before reaching the magazine, and within twenty years a two-thousand-year-old saying had found its unlikely home in rock ‘n’ roll. A propensity […]Read More

Album Review: Lindé // Afel Bocoum

It has been twenty-one years since the release of Alkibar, Afel Bocoum’s wandering debut so titled to mean ‘messenger of the great river’. Those two decades have seen Bocoum’s Mali transform from a fledgeling democracy into a warzone and back. And now, as of summer 2020, the country awaits the resolution of its recent coup, […]Read More

Track Review: Spanish Bombs // Hinds

As temperatures rose to the low 40s in Spain, the four Madrileñas chose the last day of July to release their jangly rendition of Clash favourite ‘Spanish Bombs’.  The song was first released four years after the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and reflects on similarities between the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and violence […]Read More

Britain’s Treatment of Spain is Reactive and Irresponsible

On Saturday 25 July, the UK government announced that those returning from Spain would face a 14 day self-isolation period, effective from Monday 27 July. This comes after reports of spikes across the country, particularly in the cities of Barcelona, Zaragoza and Madrid. But the story has stayed in the minds of many as a […]Read More

Album Review: Telas // Nicolás Jaar

It has been a busy year for Nicolás Jaar. The producer returned to his roots with a mid-tempo industrial noise album in February, before turning that on its head with Cenizas in March. This had always been a part of the plan, it seems. The gloomy latter piece was rendered a detox of negativity – […]Read More

Male Silence and the Under-Reporting of Sexual Violence

Warning: This piece contains material about sexual assault that may be upsetting to some readers. I’m having breakfast with a friend and he says to me, a little offhand: “I was sexually assaulted once, I suppose,” and it sounds like the beginning of a joke.  “I was at a party and have got a little […]Read More

EP Review: Feel Good // Polo & Pan

And it was all a dream.  The United Kingdom formally entered lockdown on 23 March, making a near-perfect three-month gap through spring and into early summer in which almost exactly nothing happened. The music industry, like many others, staged a deliberate bluff in the face of uncertainty before eventually conceding the need to postpone and […]Read More

Album Review: The Prettiest Curse // Hinds

Hinds have always been a couple of years ahead of their time. It is nine years since the original ‘Deers’ duo formed in Madrid and six since ‘Bamboo’ made its ripple. The eventual foursome that would become ‘Hinds’ had found two years in between to perfect their brand of garage rock, latching onto trends laid […]Read More

Moral Posturing in the Internet Age

Six months into 2020, hope for the new decade has all but withered away. In January, the United States tried to juggle the Israel-Palestine conflict with a messy impeachment trial, all the while managing tensions in Iran with a diplomatic mission that would make even Jimmy Carter blush. Bushfires raged across Australia, and Britain made […]Read More

Album Review: The New Abnormal // The Strokes

The philosopher Antonio Gramsci once characterised crisis as the interregnum between the death of old and the birth of new. In 2001, I sat on the edge of a bed in a small Greek hotel room and watched the screen on the wall tell me about a country called Afghanistan. I had no sense that […]Read More

Track Review: Love Altercation // Abyss X

Crete-born Abyss X – real name Evangelia Lachianina – has spent the last few years carving out a niche amid good company. Appearing alongside SOPHIE and Grimes at the Bio Haque show in Miami last year, the artist has established a space in flamboyant industrial music and is set to release her second full-length album […]Read More

Blast from the Past: Brothers in Arms // Dire Straits

On 26 April 1986, the Brothers in Arms World Tour concluded at Australia’s Sydney Entertainment Centre. Dire Straits’ fifth studio album had propelled them up the charts all across the world, and while the critical reception was mixed, something had landed well with the international audience. In Australia alone, the album sat on top of […]Read More