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UNCUT April 2020 #275

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Published by BandLab UK Limited. Uncut is the essential magazine about rock music, written by people who love that music as much as you do. Every month, it features the most comprehensive and trustworthy album reviews section in the world. There are in-depth interviews with the finest musicians of the past five decades, and with the exciting new artists who are following in their great tradition. Insightful, informative, passionate about extraordinary music – that’s Uncut.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

THANKS, first of all, for the overwhelmingly positive response to Sounds Of The New West Volume 5 last month. We’re all acutely aware of the series’ legacy – how critical it has been, over the years, in helping develop a key part of Uncut’s aesthetic – and this latest instalment seems to have struck a significant chord. I promise we won’t leave it another four years until we compile Volume 6. As for this issue, if there’s a loose theme between all the features, it’s that they all capture artists during transitional states. For our cover star Robert Plant, it’s about the complex, digressive path he’s taken in the 40 years since Led Zeppelin. “I’m not asking anybody to get into the groove of what I do,” he tells us in…

3 min.
“nobody was like him” andy gill | 1956-2020

“I REMEMBER going into the rehearsal room that we shared with Gang Of Four, sometime in 1976,” remembers Kevin Lycett of the Mekons, who came up alongside them in the incendiary late-’70s Leeds post-punk scene. “I had no idea whatsoever how to process what they were doing. I had heard nothing like it, ever. It may as well have been from Venus.” “His playing was magical, unpredictable”HUGO BURNHAM Few guitarists have made such an impact on music as Andy Gill, whose fractured, staccato style and controlled feedback defined his band’s enormously influential jerky punk-funk sound. Artists paying tribute after his death from pneumonia on February 1, aged 64, ranged from Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello to Gary Numan, REM’s Mike Mills to Big Black’s Steve Albini, Blur’s Graham Coxon to the Red…

3 min.
play it koolie

DURING the protracted recording of Guerrilla at Real World studios in 1998, Super Furry Animals kept themselves amused by inventing a “parallel band” called Das Koolies. Initially, they existed largely to perform a spontaneous celebration jingle every time a goal was scored during that summer’s World Cup. This evolved into what has been described as a “pretty wild” instrumental album, Steelworks In Stone, which remains unreleased. Since then, Das Koolies have been blamed for all manner of Super Furries mischief, from recording a song about Princess Diana (later judiciously “vaporised”) to conducting a series of in-depth scientific experiments resulting in the removal of all pedal-steel parts from Dark Days/Light Years. Finally, they’ve made the leap from parallel to primary band with the release of a double A-side single, “It’s All About…

3 min.
totally wired

THE day after Kluster performed at the Fehmarn Love + Peace Festival – Germany’s answer to Woodstock – in September 1970, Hans-Joachim Roedelius stayed on to watch one of his heroes in action. Jimi Hendrix won over a restless crowd, but his all-action show was a letdown for the ambient pioneer. “It made me very sad to see him doing the same thing again, smashing his guitar,” Roedelius tells Uncut. “He was so tired and seemed to be much bored by the situation. Always doing the same – that’s deadly boring of course. And about a week later he died.” “Always doing the same – that’s deadly boring” Now 85, Roedelius’s long life at the outer limits of pop may owe something to avoiding repetition. His new memoir-cum-philosophical-tract, The Book, details his…

1 min.
a quick one

Who’s next? Well, yes they are. Ahead of their UK arena tour next month, our latest deluxe edition Ultimate Music Guide focuses on the music of The Who – now fully-updated to account for their late-career resurgence with remarkable new album, Who . You can find it in shops now, or order online via the Uncut website… Also coming on February 28 is the latest in our Ultimate Record Collection series: the first instalment of our timeline guide to the music of David Bowie. Reviews! Eyewitness accounts! Attractive sleeve variations! It’s the full story, as it happened, by the people who were there… Festival frenzy! This year’s Green Man in the Brecon Beacons (Aug 20-23) has snagged Michael Kiwanuka, Caribou, Mac DeMarco Lucinda Williams and Gruff Rhys; Massive Attack are the latest…

3 min.
“it’s a magical place”

WHEN Justin Vernon was contemplating where to record Bon Iver’s 2019 album i,i, one name kept coming up: Sonic Ranch. “It’s one of those places you’ve heard about for years and years and years, from different engineers, from people in all sorts of different corners of music,” he says. “The whole setting, the West Texas thing in general – it was such a good place for us to go, just to gain new perspective.” It was the same story for Big Thief, who decamped to Sonic Ranch to record Two Hands, their second LP of 2019 and strongly influenced by the studio’s desert location on the Mexican border. “Sonic Ranch is a magical place,” says John Dwyer of Oh Sees, who have made several albums there, including last year’s Face Stabber.…