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by Gem Wheeler

25 May 2011

The influence of Alan McGee’s Creation Records on the course of mid-‘90s British music can’t be ignored. The label actually made its name in the burgeoning indie scene of the previous decade, with a roster of bands that included My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. As Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie puts it, McGee specialised in the signing of “outsiders, chancers, lunatics…” whose behaviour made them, and their label’s boss, notorious.

During the label’s ‘90s heyday, Oasis’ public feud with mockney rivals Blur made headlines in Britain even as their album What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? came to represent the mod-referencing, self-consciously retro spirit of its times. McGee, meanwhile, was courted by the Labour party before they came to power in 1997, in a bid to keep the younger elements of the electorate on side by playing up to a “Cool Britannia” ethos. Just two years later, however, as McGee’s dissatisfaction with the music business grew, Creation closed. Upside Down: The Creation Records Story tells the label’s riotous tale. It’s now available on DVD in the UK, with worldwide release dates yet to be confirmed.

by PopMatters Staff

24 May 2011

Photo: Ian Witlen

Ki:Theory, known in real life as Joel Burleson, blends electronics and indie rock into catchy pop tunes like “Holiday Heart”. He’s a recording artist in his own right, as well as producing remixes for luminaries like Daft Punk, Ladytron, and Queens of the Stone Age. Today is the official release of his latest single, “Holiday Heart”, which we have the pleasure of premiering. The B-side features Ki:Theory’s remixing talents as he partners with Holy Fuck to rethink UNKLE’s “Natural Selection”. Ki:Theory’s profile will rise ever higher as he scored a remix on the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack.

by Cynthia Fuchs

24 May 2011

Frontline: Wikisecrets, can offer no interviews with its primary subject, Spc. Bradley Manning, as he’s currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Still, the program, premiering Tuesday night and now available online, provides a seemingly detailed portrait of the young American soldier accused of passing restricted information to Wikileaks: among other things, he was frustrated and dismayed by his treatment by his military colleagues and the institution per se, at least in part because he’s gay. More provocatively, the program presents stories from other players in the case, including a hacker named Adrian Lamo (who appears in a rumpled trench coat and offers his personal observations of Manning’s state of mind, whom he met via email), as well as onetime Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg (who has his own observations to make about the way Wikileaks operates).

Julian Assange also speaks, if only to insist that “protecting our sources” remains a priority—this even as Manning has reportedly been tortured, or at least held many months held in isolation, as he awaits trial. The program constructs a timeline for events (with locations ranging from New York to London to Iraq to Oslo) and hints at motives and coverups. If, as Assange and other argue, Wikileaks’ exposures of illegal or otherwise shady exploits might transform the world (and perhaps stop warfare), the show raises questions as to costs, for individuals more than governments and organizations, which tend to go on. Asked to measure effects, Domscheit-Berg says, “I mean, it’s a very hard distinction you have to take. What is more important? Bringing the truth to the light or protecting one person?”

by John Bergstrom

24 May 2011

On June 7, Depeche Mode will release Remixes 2: 81-11, a sequel to Remixes 81-04.

Like its predecessor, the new compilation will feature “classic” previously-released remixes of hits, as well as exclusive all-new mixes. Also like its predecessor, it will be available in single and multiple-disc versions. The selling point of the latter is new mixes by former Depeche members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder.

Here via FACT is a free download of a new bastardization, erm, mix that doesn’t appear on Remixes 2, “Master and Servant (RSS Remix)”.

by PopMatters Staff

23 May 2011

The UK’s White Belt Yellow Tag are a young band on the rise, with their year-old British debut LP being favorably compared by NME and others to stellar bands such as Elbow and Doves. Their brand new US EP, You’re Not Invincible, has just been released and we have the pleasure of presenting you with the premiere of “Postcards”. Fans of the aforementioned groups, as well as the Verve should dig this tune. Keeping with the postcards theme, White Belt Yellow Tag was good enough to share with us some photos from their recent trip to China along with their thoughts on the trip in their words. Check out the full photoessay after the jump.

//Mixed media

How Röyksopp's 'Melody A.M.' Brought Electronica Into the Mainstream

// Sound Affects

"With their debut, the Norwegian duo essentially provided the everyman's guide to electronic music.

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