Ivor Novello Awards 2017

Last year’s Ivor Novello Awards took place on Thursday 18th May at Grosvenor House in London, and were hosted by Paul Gambaccini.

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man in a White World
  • Laura Mvula feat. Nile Rodgers – Overcome
  • Mystery Jets – Telomere

Winner: Michael Kiwanuka

Best Contemporary Song

Nominees:

  • Mura Masa feat. A$AP Rocky – Love$ick
  • Skepta – Man
  • NEIKED feat. Dyo – Sexual

Winner: Skepta

Album Award

Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

Winner: Laura Mvula

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

Nominees:

  • Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime
  • Coldplay – Hymn for the Weekend
  • Adele – When We Were Young

 

Winner: Coldplay, for Hymn for the Weekend

Best Original Film Score

Nominees:

  • Clint Mansell – High-Rise
  • Dario Marianelli – Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Dan Jones – My Scientology Movie

Winner: Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Television Soundtrack

Nominees:

  • Dominik Scherrer – The Collection
  • Paul Englishby – The Witness for the Prosecution
  • Martin Phipps – War and Peace

Winner: War and Peace

International Achievement

Winner: Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Nitin Sawhney

Outstanding Song Collection

Winner: Pulp

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music

Winner: Anne Dudley

PRS for Music Special International Award

Winner: Bill Withers

Songwriter of the Year

Winner: Skepta

The Ivors Jazz Award

Winner: John Surman

The Ivors Inspiration Award

Winner: Gary Numan

 

More here and here.

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Random jukebox – Apparat

I don’t honestly remember how I came across Apparat, but this is a brilliant single from way back in the early days of this blog, Candil de la Calle:

 

Komputer – The World of Tomorrow

“Underwater cities / giant hovercraft / automated factories / trips to the stars”. There’s something about The World of Tomorrow that feels a bit like reading a space annual from the 1970s. And that’s the joke, really – Komputer brilliantly harnessed that combination of naïve futurism and scientific potential and married it with the slightly out-of-time electronic sounds of Kraftwerk to create something witty, ever-contemporary, and utterly fantastic.

Released two decades ago in the UK, as much time has passed between Kraftwerk‘s original career and this as has passed between its release and the present day. It really should sound a bit more dated than it does, but the huge swells of electronic rain that punctuate the opening title track somehow sound every bit as current now as they did all those years ago.

More Automation is gentler and less dramatic – definitely an album track, but a very good one nonetheless. What’s incredible in a way is just how natural this feels – just three years earlier, Komputer were Fortran 5, and were pulling together their third and final eccentric rave album. A decade before that, they were I Start Counting, making slightly wacky 1980s synthpop.

The common theme seems to have always been approaching their music with a slightly daft sense of humour, and so Bill Gates is entirely daft, with the Microsoft CEO’s name sung by a computer in a variety of keys and speeds to clean electronic backing. Valentina is less daft, and a very fitting tribute to Valentina Tereshkova, set against a beautiful electronic backdrop, although it does manage to entirely mispronounce her surname, which seems a bit unfair on her.

Next is the brilliant single Looking Down on London, which takes us on an auditory journey across the UK capital, including a brief pitstop in a pub, with some brilliantly authentic sound effects as accompaniment. This is absolutely excellent, and there’s no other way of looking at it.

Then comes Terminus Interminus, the centrepiece of the album, later released as a single as just Terminus. It’s an epic eight-minute electronic pop song about transport interchanges, with echoes of It’s More Fun to Compute. Which just makes Metroland‘s later It’s More Fun to Commute even more appropriate.

If you break it down, several of the songs here are just built around one or two phrases, and so Singapore really is just “Singapore / hear the tiger roar”, and while it really bears pretty much no resemblance to the island, it’s still a pretty good piece of electronic pop in the tradition of Neon Lights.

But whatever the slight flaws of some tracks might be, The Perfect Pop Band is pure perfection. The line “our songs are quite minimal” is entirely apposite, and there are plenty of other examples. It mixes into Komputer Pop, a similar track in many ways, but also another entirely brilliant one.

The lengthy instrumental Motopia rounds things out, before a short version of We Are Komputer right at the end. It’s another slightly existential track about who Komputer are, but it’s also a great album closer for a great album.

There may be little new on The World of Tomorrow, but what it does, it does exquisitely and with a wry sense of humour, and we really need more music like this in the world.

You can still find The World of Tomorrow at all major retailers.

Preview – The Future Sound of London

I feel as though new material from The Future Sound of London might be exactly what the world needs right now. While most of their last couple of decades have involved looking into the past in some form, they tend to do it exceptionally, with Papua New Guinea Translations comfortably up there among their finest albums.

So it was with much excitement that I found out about their latest release, My Kingdom Reimagined, which builds off their 1996 hit to produce such excellent tracks as this, Collapsed Structures:

Chart for stowaways – 21 April 2018

Here are the week’s top albums:

  1. Sparks – Hippopotamus
  2. Tracey Thorn – Record
  3. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  4. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury
  5. Kylie Minogue – Golden
  6. David Bowie – Legacy
  7. David Bowie – Changestwobowie
  8. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
  9. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène 3
  10. Goldfrapp – Tales of Us

Ivor Novello Awards 2016

The 2016 Ivor Novello Awards occurred on Thursday 19th May at Grosvenor House, in London.

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

  • James Bay – Hold Back The River
  • Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
  • Years & Years – King

Winner: James Bay

Best Television Soundtrack

  • Stuart Earl – And Then There Were None
  • Edmund Butt – From Darkness
  • Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes – London Spy

Winner: London Spy

The Ivors Classical Music Award

Winner: Oliver Knussen

International Achievement

Winner: Wayne Hector

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

  • Ed Sheeran and Rudimental – Bloodstream
  • Wolf Alice – Bros
  • Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That

Winner: Jamie Lawson

The Ivors Inspiration Award

Winner: Happy Mondays

Album Award

Nominees:

  • Villagers – Darling Arithmetic
  • Jamie xx – In Colour
  • Gaz Coombes – Matador

Winner: Villagers

Songwriter of the Year

Winner: Adele

Best Original Film Score

  • Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury – Ex_Machina
  • John Powell – Pan
  • Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira – The Duke of Burgundy

Winner: Ex_Machina

Best Contemporary Song

  • Snakehips feat. Tinashe & Chance the Rapper – All My Friends
  • Roots Manuva – Cargo
  • Skepta – Shutdown

Winner: Snakehips feat. Tinashe & Chance the Rapper

Outstanding Song Collection

Winner: Simple Minds

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music

Winner: Portishead

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Damon Albarn

PRS for Music Special International Award

Winner: Bryan Adams

More here and here.

Random jukebox – Leftfield Halliday

The one and only rule of the random jukebox is that we can’t have the same artist more than once every two years, and since it’s now two years since we last had Leftfield, we’re now allowed another selection from them. I couldn’t find the video for this online, but let’s enjoy this great (if woefully short) performance from Top of the Pops: