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UNCUT July 2020 #278

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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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United Kingdom
Bandlab UK Limited
$8.40(Incl. tax)
$63.95(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
super human being florian schneider | 1 2720

WITH a broad smile and neatly parted hair, Schneider’s appearance embodied the droll outward normality with which Kraftwerk presented their high-concept electronic pop to the world. However behind his inscrutable humour, it was Schneider’s radical musical outlook that was a determining factor in their direction. Born Florian Schneider-Esleben, he grew up in Düsseldorf and studied flute at the city’s Robert Schumann Hochschule. Schneider’s first proper band was the protoindustrial Pissoff with future Kraftwerk live bassist Eberhard Kranemann. “His father was a very famous and rich architect and he had big rooms where we could play music,” Kranemann recalls. “He could feel some new thing happening here. This was the beginning of Kraftwerk.” On meeting architecture student Ralf Hütter at a jazz improvisation course, the pair began a definitive musical collaboration. “We talked…

3 min.
he’d like to come and meet us…

LEGEND would like us to believe that Ziggy Stardust beamed to Earth fully formed from some pansexual kabuki mothership. In forthcoming Bowie film Stardust, however, writer/director Gabriel Range proffers a very different Ziggy origin story. Here, rock culture’s defining extraterrestrial was born out of fear, insecurity, failure and encroaching madness on a disastrous US tour in 1971. A trip, he suggests, when Bowie realised that being himself might not be enough. “At this time in his life, Bowie was desperately insecure”JOHNNY FLYNN “We’re used to thinking about him as the star he became – a godlike, alien presence,” says Range. “Even in his perfectly choreographed death, he didn’t seem like a regular human being. But rather than make a biopic, or a spin through his greatest hits, the idea was to make…

3 min.
“we’re taking off!”

SHORTLY after the Grateful Dead’s motorcade of station wagons pulled up in front of their Cambridge, Massachusetts, motel in May 1970, Jerry Garcia could be seen running around loudly proclaiming: “I’ve found the guy! I’ve found the guy!” That guy was Ned Lagin, a student at nearby MIT. A scientist as well as a musician, Lagin had written to Garcia earlier that year telling him about the electronic music he had composed. While in town, the Dead played a free concert, a ticketed show, and observed a Lagin tape recorder performance at MIT’s windowless round chapel. “People are studying in their dorm rooms with their doors open – and the Grateful Dead walks by,” Lagin chuckles today from his California home. “At the end of the concert that I gave,…

3 min.
stick ’em up!

LOVINGLY compiled by collector Andrew Krivine, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die is a new book that makes a strong case for posters being the visual medium that best captured the vibrancy and immediacy of punk. The handsome coffee-table tome covers everything from the CBGB’s scene to Peter Saville’s Factory graphics, but with the emphasis on what was stuck on the walls, rather than the more familiar designs that came wrapped around the vinyl. “At the outset punk was a very localised and very hands-on movement, so posters and handbills were extremely important for communicating with these new communities,” says Malcolm Garrett, custodian of Buzzcocks’ striking visual identity. Sebastian Conran, who created a number of early designs for The Clash, reckons that posters helped “established a gritty street presence” for…

2 min.
“he had his own rhythm” tony allen | 1940-2020

“Tony was one of the few complete drummers in the world”SEUN KUTI BORN in Lagos in 1940, Tony Allen was schooled in the jazz drumming of Art Blakey and Max Roach as well as local highlife sounds. In 1964 he joined Fela Kuti’s band Koola Lobitos, which morphed into Africa ’70, the outfit who helped Kuti realise his vision of a new, powerful, politicised sound – Afrobeat – predicated on Allen’s ability to play complex polyrhythms over a funk pulse, giving the illusion of constant, easy motion. Tiring of the turbulence surrounding Kuti, Allen quit in 1978 and moved to Europe six years later, settling in Paris, although heroin addiction stalled his career. He rallied in the late ’90s, becoming ever more prolific and forging an alliance with Damon Albarn in supergroups…

1 min.
a quick one

Uncut has joined the virtual gig revolution, in partnership with the consistently excellent Paradise Of Bachelors label. Four of their artists – Itasca, Jake Xerxes Fussell, James Elkington and Michael Chapman – have recorded exclusive ‘at home’ sessions, dropping weekly over at uncut.co.uk… Just as we were going to press, Bob Dylan announced his first album of new material in eight years. Rough And Rowdy Ways includes recent singles “Murder Most Foul”, “I Contain Multitudes” and “False Prophet” and will be released by Columbia on June 19… The Doc’N Roll op festival has launched an on-demand streaming service to help you through lockdown. Among the launch titles are films on Conny Plank, Robbie Basho, Sun Ra, Betty Davis and Twisted Sister… If Neil Young can curate an extensive online archive, why not Arab…