Little Mix’s ‘Touch’ won last night’s 2017 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize! Here’s what happened…

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Congratulations to Little Mix! A combination of ‘Touch’, sixty judges and a large amount of booze means that the band’s prize of twenty quid (cash) will be on its way to Kensington High Street later today.

How did it all happen?

WELL. Last night in a London pub this year’s twelve shortlisted songs…

…went head to head. In most rounds two songs were picked at random, their relative merits were ‘debated’, it then went to a vote and, finally, the losing song went out. We do this at every year’s Twenty Quid judging — it’s unfair, unpredictable and basically very funny.

Judges had each received a special (not very special) judging pack.

Each table of judges was also named after a former Twenty Quid winner, which was supposed to be a significant element in terms of how one of the rounds would work, but we forgot to do that in the end.

Also, for the first time, each shortlisted song was represented in real life by a t-shirt-wearing judge whose job it was to speak up when needed.

ANYWAY.

The first step was for the judges to vote for the last year’s worst British pop single (a good way to provide context for the rest of the night) and, as is traditional at the Twenty Quid prize night, to boot off one shortlisted song without any debate or discussion.

Let’s just say it wasn’t a great start for Ed Sheeran.

Moving on, in last night’s second round the randomly selected pair of songs presented a very early upset.

(Earlier this week, each of the judges submitted their favourite song in a secret email poll — in that poll both ‘Touch’ and ‘Rockabye’ were really popular choices, so there was a lot of shouting when it turned out one of them would go out early.)

As the evening continued we discussed pop from almost every angle…

…although some criteria seemed more valid than others.

To organise our thoughts, pros and cons were listed on massive sheets of high quality foam board.

During the course of the evening, judges also found a winner for the inaugural Carly Rae Jepsen International Pop Single Of The Year award, the year’s best non-British pop single. Judges were asked to choose one of the three most popular songs from an earlier open poll.

The Carly Rae Jepsen International Pop Single Of The Year award went to Lorde’s ‘Green Light’.

At one point, the room was split into three sections using hazard tape due to a poorly-thought-through ‘mechanic’.

There was also a moment when one portion of the room decided to stage a coup and campaign for the last-minute inclusion of Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’, which let’s face it should have been on the shortlist but there we go.

This whole debacle was overruled because the Twenty Quid Music Prize is no place for anarchy. The good news is that Dua Lipa is a talented artist with a long career, and plenty of future Twenty Quid nominations, ahead of her.

One by one songs fell away from the shortlist, leading to an extremely lively three chair challenge segment best described, in the cold light of day, as total carnage. But it brought us to the final vote.

Little Mix won by a significant margin, loads of confetti cannons went off, some people cheered, and the evening came to an end. It was a good result for Little Mix, of course, but most people seemed to agree that second place for Steps was, in 2017, something of a victory in itself.

THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH to all the judges who came along last night and made the event such a brilliant shambles, and well done to Little Mix. But also well done to everyone who was on the shortlist — even Ed Sheeran — because they all made great singles. And great singles is what pop’s all about, really, isn’t it?

The post Little Mix’s ‘Touch’ won last night’s 2017 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize! Here’s what happened… appeared first on Popjustice.

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

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Twin Peaks ended this week, for the second time, and I have no idea whether I liked it or not. Certain scenes were utterly spellbinding; others were so boring that I wanted to chew my own fingers off. It may or may not make sense, ultimately, and I’m not sure I care whether it did … More »

Watch: Danny L Harle – “Me4U” (starring Kim Chi)

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Top customer review

I love this song!
By Carrie Page · September 6, 2017

THIS SONG IS SO COOL. My daughter listens and listens to “Me4U,” and even her adult siblings have been drawn to it when they come visit. The track is soft and pliable, but can be molded and will hold shape. It will separate, but will also stay together. I haven’t listened to anything quite like this before; it kind of reminds me of the science projects we used to do as children where we mixed corn starch and water and you would get a unique consistency/texture. It’d be like a liquid, but if you tried to pick it up, it’d run through your fingers, then act like a solid if you slapped its surface. I can see that there is a therapeutic quality about listening to a song like this, kind of how it feels when working in the garden and moving your hands through the earth.


Customer questions & answers

Q: What happens if the song gets wet?

Answer: Depends on how wet. We live in a dry climate and my wife actually adds a bit of water to the song every other week or so because it starts to dry out a bit. If you think it’s too wet, then just leave it out on a tray in the sun to dry it out. Just make sure a cat can’t get to it. That wouldn’t be fun.

Q: does it come with a “play mat” of some sort?

Answer: No.

Q: do you consider the song to be edible?

Answer: No. While I do not believe it is poisonous (the primary ingredients in the song are notes and some form of baby oil), I would not recommend allowing or encouraging children to eat it, or listening to it with children who tend to put things in their mouths.

Q: is it good quality??

Answer: yes.


Danny L Harle’s 1UL EP is out now on PC Music.

Interview: Danny L Harle

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Danny L Harle is one of the most celebrated artists on the PC Music label, based on a string of deadly singles and collaborations with everyone from Panda Bear and Tinashe to Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. His first single, “Broken Flowers,” was what he called an attempt at writing a “completely conventional song,” but the SHAPE-affiliated artist has since branched out stylistically. Harle has said his latest EP, 1UL, is all about “making sad music that people can dance to.”

Lucia Udvardyova spoke to Harle about his label’s new MAJOR status, “pop,” the conceptual strategies of his music, and, of course, arpeggios.


What fascinates you about pop music and its structure?

I used to be solely interested in contemporary classical music, especially pieces that experimented with extremes of sound. Toward the end of my masters degree I started playing electronic music at club nights and soon realised that you can play around with extremes of sound with complete freedom in electronic music in a much more interesting performance context. After being enlightened to electronic music in this way I became interested in certain types of pop, as it had all the extremes of music that I was interested in during my classical phase (extremes of simplicity, complexity, loudness) but also had the added benefit of being super-fun.

I also like music with a ‘mechanical’ element. I’ve always loved instruments like the harpsichord, hurdy-gurdy, and player piano, as I find a kind of profundity in a sound made by a mechanical or robotic instrument that evokes a human emotion. My interest in the ‘industrial’ side of pop music is related to this — I am fascinated by music studios which have managed to design a mechanical formula for making pop music, such as always writing at the same BPM, using the same instruments, using modular but consistent structures etc. Examples of this are SAW, Motown, and (my favorite) Cherion studios.

Pop music has become once again the norm/normative. It’s omnipresent, the same way indie-rock used to be. Do you see it imploding and where do you see pop going in the future?

Pop music is always the norm by definition, the only thing that changes is the audience’s perception of whether they are listening to ‘manufactured’ music or ‘real’ music — the difference between which is pretty much illusory when it reaches the charts. I really like how the pop music culture in Japan and Korea allows for an acceptance and an embrace of the fake rather than a search for the real. The South Korean band ‘Exo’ are marketed to have supernatural powers that control the elements, and that is often incorporated into their videos, and J-pop has acts such as Kyari and Hatsune Miku. I would love to see that mentality reflected in Western pop music.

Can you talk about your association with PC Music — the label, the genre, the aesthetic as such? Has the public and media perception of it influenced you in any way?

I hadn’t heard of all these media outlets before PC started making an impact. I never read them before and I don’t read them now. I’ve never really needed journalists to help me find music, as I do my own research. I obviously read reviews of my stuff out of curiosity, but as I never read reviews about anything else, I tend to find it quite nice if they like my stuff and hilarious if they don’t.

What is your stance regarding the major vs. independent music scene (considering PC Music — the label — is now part of Columbia and yours was the first release of this partnership) — is this dichotomy still relevant nowadays?

No, it’s largely an illusion, and I love illusions!

When you make music, do you approach it from a conceptual aspect?

I was a real ‘Johnny Concept’ when I was at music school, but now I tend to do what strikes me as fun or emotionally evocative. I don’t know how much of my old conceptual self still exists in my subconscious though.

Can you talk about how you make music from the perspective of form/content/idea?

I wrote some music recently by transcribing a sequence I liked in a Bruckner motet and then introducing some interesting modulations to it. It sounded completely different after a bit of experimentation. I tend to write melodies and chords first because that is what I am obsessed with. I usually write them into a ‘super saw’ sound with a low cutoff.

pullquote:

Your music is euphoric, the listener awaits an apex, a sonic culmination. Can you talk about euphoria and how you structure your music in general?

HUGE DROP!!!!!!

You’ve recently recorded an album with Pawel Siwczak entitled Harpsichord Sessions, with a subtitle “the Oldest Newest Old New Music.” Can you talk about it?

Baroque music uses arpeggios all the time because of the nature of the instruments; the same can be said for chiptune music. This limitation produced a way of expressing music that I find particularly emotional, and even though I live in an age where I don’t have to write an arpeggio to express a sustained chord, I choose to stick to arpeggios as I have fallen in love with the sound.

What is “new” in sound nowadays, what innovations can producers bring about? Is “newness” important for a musician/music as such?

Arbitrarily pursuing the ‘new’ is nearly always a bad idea, newness comes as a result of having a thing to say which current technology (or combinations of technology) can’t express.

What is important to you personally about music-making (the effect on the listener, your own feelings from it, its socio-political ramifications, etc)?

The best music for me is emotionally involving and also interesting to listen to. The feeling I most search for in music is euphoric melancholy. I don’t like thinking about the effect on the listener, as it seems to inhibit my creativity. I am a firm believer in Quincy Jones’ saying, “If it really turns you on, there is a chance that it will turn someone else on too.”

Can you talk about your latest projects & plans?

These days I’m interested in making chilled bangers, experimental euphoric music, and HUGE BANGERS. Also video game development and Kids TV shows.

Music Review: Danny L Harle – 1UL

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Danny L Harle

1UL

[PC Music; 2017]

Rating: 3.5/5

What’s the last thing you remember?

It’s late. You have to wake up early tomorrow. We’ll rise again, then, and drag out our morning haze, “Is this some beginning or the beginning of the end?” We’ll beg to make meaning of sleep’s screens in dawn’s dissonance. In the strain of waking, we’ll reverberate back into our selves from out of sleep. The hallway back to consciousness is lined with grey shapes and weird echoes. Only in dreams we see what it means; only awake do we wonder what it is. We are shaped in systems of sleeping, dreaming, and waking. We are destabilized and recovered, rested and deprived rest. In-consciousness: what language will you dream in tonight?

We call the matter we can’t express thoughts, the unwieldy masses weighty enough to warrant expression. So we talk and sing and sow language, the expression of the cranial intangible chemical fluidities. But for all our efforts to communicate the abstracts (love and hate, wonder, terror), stuff gets lost in our languages. And so we close our eyes and head inward. “In a minute I will wake up/ And learn to live with myself.

But right now, it’s late. And soon it’ll be early. Lives are determined in such terms. Moments mean now then, shifts breaking re-ending like Danny’s old “Forever,” like “We are here right now/ I need you to know.” After our dawn alarms, we’ll say to each other, I dreamed what does it mean and we’ll look at each other and pull on our feet stuff, dot brows. Already those dreams slip and wilt like flowers. Colors run. Wilting flowers are not broken things; they still shit oxygen, aggravate lungs into fullness, stand for systems of life. The fading of dreams into mornings and days into sleeps is not a death. That curtained highway separating sleeping and waking is memory imagining remembering projected, resignation (“I guess I’ll see you in my dreams, together”) and sigh (“Some dreams just fade away like yesterdays sunset.”)

There’s always time to remind us what we’ll forget. The forgotten stuff, ignored and relegated behind walls way back of the eyelids, is the dream space. Dreams recall re-imagining, and in their embrace, we twist selves, meet desires, stare at terrors. Too bright too fast too big, the dream space is the root of our most bombastic art, flitting from the fantasy factory of Hollywood’s wild heart spectacles to the rhapsodizing words of free verse and pop music, apocalypse road aqua cola for feeding our streams of (un)consciousness. Art as dreams is flowers breaking and re-mending, investigation and respiration of our histories and memories in a single synthesized space. In art, like Lynch and Woolf, like Mad Max: Fury Road and Broken Flowers, we confront convention to shake selves into the inexpressible space. By entering the cultural artifact into the dream space (close to us and far away; an un-home), we achieve clarity through distance: we see what is distorted by could be and if, maybe and unless.

Dreams fall like mallet on marimba; they ping and snap, “I’m here whenever you want,” the voice urges. In dreams, we remind us what we can’t remember wanting.

What’s the last thing you remember wanting?

I want ears to hear Danny L Harle and limbs to spin 1UL, a perfect document of pop music in the dream space, everything dialed way up past WAY UP, Technicolors and throbbing tempos ameliorating and ignoring all our memories. And I want all our dreams to sound like this. I want to move in a sweat like Euclid at the club, cooing “You’re the only one that I belong to/ Every part of me is a part of you.” The title track cascades lazer synth buzzed up over marimba con mustard and bottoms out in the sharpest neon discotheque in your head. Eyes spin, all parts moving; in Danny’s dreams, all limbs are created equal in motion. If you break the flower, it bleeds dreams, the stuff that stands for all our systems of life. In dreams as in pop music, we celebrate the joys we can’t remember and the melancholy we’re not ready for.

Because all our unresolved sadnesses leak through the sounds, like in dreams, like in life. Its creator called 1UL “an expression of melancholic euphoria.”

“Happy All the Time” is immaculate percussion, the whistles and basses at work obliviating sadnesses that nibble until that word happy conquers its accompanying feeling. “Happy All the Time” sees dreams, declines and buys concussion. “1UL” makes sure to separate hearts and bodies and heads, smacks of what mocks with “as if I could ever be the one you love.1UL is not a mocking art, but it is a critical one. It strives to separate head from heart from body. (You can’t make this EP if you don’t know how to dance. You can’t make this EP if you haven’t watched the dancefloor from the corner of the room, even a little.) Danny’s art is an exacting knife and anatomizing absorbing, observing the possibilities of dreams/pop music and rendering them in translation, inner-terpretation. (“I’m interested in the idea of like, translation through listening. Like trying to reflect what the listening process feels like.”) It’s there on 2015’s Broken Flowers where “Awake For Hours” is a remixed imagining of “Broken Flowers.” It’s a product of the pop song dreaming, perfect and incisive. Pop songs and dreams patrol crags between desire and humans. Somewhere in the distancing mechanism of pop dreams, we get to stretch from points of familiarity to unaddressed possibilities. We transform and re-find our selves. On 1UL, distance is achieved by separating the dreamer from the dream, making it about the producer. It is mechanism, not matter, and sometimes it chills.

What if you wake up someone else?

These questions that we ask each other (and our artists and their albums) before sleeping and after waking struggle to mine meaning from lives and loves. We want to remember, before waking, what we wanted before sleeping. We document and interpret, talk our dreams out to each other, scratch for meaning in image and in sound, sound alarms over moments. A text like 1UL (and a text like Frank Falisi, a text like you) is the dream and the document, the over-the-top pop of convention that urges to supplant bombast in service of dissembling. 1UL makes meaning of participating. It’s ill-conventional. 1UL sounds good. Remember, “I want our dreams to sound like this.” Remember, in dreams, many things at the same time.

Re-writing the dream is criticizing the inexpressible and manifests as pop music detailing pop music, not people. Dream interpretation is useful and transcendent and cold. The promise of the inexpressible, as dream or as pop, details overleaping history/memory to reflect the world as it is (simultaneously ugly and joyful) and propose a better better one. It’s where we get cheesy untact, ham-fisted earnestness. It’s the heart and furnace that drives the best work of dreamers like Carly and Charli. On 1UL, the (mostly anonymous) female voices don’t grit and grain like E•MO•TION or Number 1 Angel or even Laurel Halo’s Dust. The voice is the expressionless expressing the inexpressible. Pop songs engage engaging; the hook is crush and love and fuck rendered in music, as dream. 1ULrenders dreams in such saturated producted tones and some moments chill where they crave heat. Too much of too much is not enough grain, an unlatching where nightmares convene.

1UL seeks out the conventions, the *NSYNC boppery that haunts Danny L Harle and this review (and this writer). But 1UL also seeks to document the dream, to distance the dreamer from the dream stuff. Pop music as an exercise in perfection (like the producer machines that made the future-90s blurbly tracks for *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys and Britney to hip-pop over) is too sheeny, too compacted and cut off from the anyspace that dreams thrive in. But the blurblies all had Justin Timberlakes, furnaces that keyed into us as we keyed into them. That key is in distances and highways and how they’re collapsed; spaces between realities and dreams, perfections and humanities. There is the sweat and haphazard engagement, and there is the bombast of dismissal; there is the way a body feels waking up from both.

1UL is all we see or seem, and it’s all the better for it. These songs occur before and after the malign world of the Manchester bombing (“It was supposed to be a dream, not a nightmare”) and the London Bridge attack. Dreams will twist us if we let them. An EP review is no place for spinning politic or ceaseless re-characterizing of current events. The world is not a metaphor and it and its art should not be written off as such. And a pop song is no place for a world. “Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams Walter Gilman did not know,” Lovecraft reminds us, “an expression of melancholic euphoria.” Danny and Walter and I walk in the same early mornings, hold heads against similar pillows. The horrors don’t precede hopes. The horrors are the hopes, and the dream splits the difference. 1UL knows how dreams sound. And it hopes for its self and the way it hopes ears will get it. I want every dream to sound like Danny’s. He remembers what he wants. I want every moment of 1UL to be reconciled with hopes for the world we’re in, not the one we can’t get to, the one of apocalypse pop, sheen and not sweat. I want to be the one you love. I know I won’t be, not always. Just like the dreams can’t ever always anything. But to admit in the motion and communing of dreams means that we love the conventions that drive humanity and seek embrace over autopsy. We ground and transcend. We break and flower.

It’s late now. Tomorrow is early. Remember how we sound; remember wanting to dream.

Danny Sunshine – “Never Thought”

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Today’s the last day of PC Music’s Month Of Mayhem, and the (seemingly) final entry in the series is “Never Thought,” a sweet, shuffling, and buoyant pop song attributed to one Danny Sunshine, aka Danny L Harle. It’s a track that’s popped up in a few mixes and has been passed around in bootleg … More »

Danny L Harle – “Happy All The Time”

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Danny L Harle’s new 1UL EP is out today as part of PC Music’s Month Of Mayhem, and we’ve heard the title track and “Me4U” in advance. It features two other tracks: “Heavy Eyelids” and “Happy All The Time.” The latter was co-written by Carly Rae Jepsen, and we heard a previewMore »

♫ Listen: Danny L Harle feat. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Super Natural (felicita remix)”

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As we reported   15   day(s) ago, PC Music will be releasing something new every day for the month of May. Today, for “Month of Mayhem” release #  17  , we get a new [song/video/album/EP/mix/other] from   felicita   titled   “Super Natural (felicita remix),” a track originally by Danny L Harle feat. Carly Rae Jepsen  . It’s a really   I HATE MAD LIBS KILL ME   and   DO IT NOW   [song/video/album/EP/mix/other]. A person on social media said   “This is where I decided to mute this and put on some N SYNC”  !

  “Super Natural (felicita remix),” a track originally by Danny L Harle feat. Carly Rae Jepsen   follows   felicita  ’s last release, which was   “ecce homo”  . That one was very   I HATE MAD LIBS KILL ME   too, but also   FIND ME AND PLEASE MURDER ME. I AM READY TO DIE  .

Experience   “Super Natural (felicita remix),” a track originally by Danny L Harle feat. Carly Rae Jepsen   by   felicita   [above/below], check out the previous Month of Mayhem release right here, and don’t forget to   KILL ME!! (and also read a “conversation” between felicita and Danny L Harle below)  .

See you tomorrow!

DLH:
OK so this remix is complete nonsense, what are you even trying to do?

felicita:
To quote something you said in a recent interview, which I liked and agree with: ‘the way in which music is performed is largely uninteresting, just as long as it SOUNDS amazing…’

I decided at the outset of felicita that I would only do remixes if they were very occasional, for ‘big’ or ‘mainstream’ artists, and then only if I could take them wherever I feel like.

DLH:
Why does your music never settle into a regular rhythm or anything? I can’t follow it.

felicita:
I’m gonna answer this question with a series of questions:

Why is your music so painfully generic?

Is it born of a blinkered and pre-failed attempt at a kind of ‘cultural universalism’, which you pursue through your patrician notion of ‘Pop’ music?

Do you regard difference and formal invention as anathema to ‘the mainstream’, which you pledge allegiance to, albeit to an outdated version, which you are desperately trying to force back to life, like trying to administer CPR to a 3310, in the hope that your music actually becomes ‘Pop’ music, though you know it never will, cannot be, because no-one listens to or cares about N Sync anymore?

DLH:
My five year old niece could your make music tbh?

felicita:
I’d like to see him try.

DLH:
Do you feel guilty about anything and do you ever harbour secrets?

felicita:
Both, all the time. Secrets are Sexy.

DLH:
Why are you signed to PC Music ?

felicita:
Good question. Because I believe in Pop music..

DLH:
Do you like stand-up comedy? Because your music is a joke.

felicita:
I don’t need stand-up comedy…..people are funny enough already.

DLH:
Do you like Miley Cyrus single ‘Malibu’? What would you say to her about it?

felicita:
Three thousand ninety Li farther southeast, then northeast, stands Departing Doves Mountain.

On its heights are many mulberry trees.

There is a bird dwelling here whose form resembles a crow, with a patterned head, white beak, and red feet.

It is called Jingwei and makes a sound like its name.

Jingwei was once a human named Nüwa.

Nüwa was swimming in the Eastern Sea when she was unable to return to shore and drowned.

She transformed into the Spirit-Guardian Jingwei.

All day she collects twigs and stones from the Western Mountains, and carries them in her beak, to fill up the Eastern Sea.

The Zhang River emanates from here and flows eastward into the Yellow River.

Tinashe – “Superlove (Danny L Harle Remix)”

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artworks-000199375391-31y6ix-t500x500In addition to his sparkling solo material, PC Music’s Danny L Harle has become a reliably great remix producer, most recently evidenced by his take on Charli XCX’s “After The Afterparty.” Today, he’s shared a frenetic and bouncy remix of Tinashe’s “Superlove,” a single from earlier this year that didn’t show up on her … More »

Chastity Belt, Ovlov, Molly Nilsson Explain How Their Music Ended Up In White Supremacist’s Adult Swim Show

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Chastity Belt, Ovlov, Molly Nilsson Explain How Their Music Ended Up In Adult Swim Show Associated With White NationalismAdult Swim’s Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace was recently cancelled after one season following vocal criticism that its creator, Sam Hyde, was espousing ideals of racism, sexism, and bigotry through the show due to his identification as a member of the “alt-right,” an extremist movement predicated on white nationalism. More »