Unloved win BAFTA Craft Award for Killing Eve Soundtrack
Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock for the last six months, you’ve likely heard of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the British actor and writer whose television worksKilling Eve and Fleabag have been lauded by critics and the viewing public alike.
The majority of the music featured in Killing Evewas created by Unloved: a trio comprised of Belfast-based musician David Holmes, composer Keefus Ciancia, and vocalist Jade Vincent. Although it was made years before the series, the band’s material fit the theme and flow of the program like a glove. Now, the Holmes, Ciancia and Vincent’s efforts have been recognised with a BAFTA craft award, awarded ahead of the BAFTA ceremony on 12th May.
‘That is the beauty of cinema and music’Holmes told Lauren Laverne in a recent 6Music interview, referring the incredible fit their music was for the series. ‘A lot of those tracks we made seven or eight years ago, then someone writes a TV series, they’ve never even heard of Unloved… the whole thing’s cut together, and then they approach me about doing the music…it was almost as if Jade’s lyrics and our music were just written for this TV show.’
Watch Holmes’ and Ciancia’s acceptance speeches below and catch Unloved performing live at Band on the Wall on 12th May, supported by White Flowers and Liz Lawrence.
How Don Was Got the Blue Note Gig
During a backstage interview at this week’s Jazz FM awards, Blue Note records president Don Was told a fantastic story about how he was offered the coveted gig. The producer and label-head was in attendance to collect the PPL Lifetime achievement award on behalf of the label, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and shared the details of his recruitment with interviewer Nigel Williams.
It turns out that while Was was in New York producing John Mayer’s Born and Raised LP, he took an evening break to go and see Gregory Porter perform at a little club named Smoke up near Harlem. The following morning, over breakfast, he told a friend with ties to Capitol records about the show he had seen, and enquired as to whether Blue Note was still a sub-label of Capitol, recommending that they sign Porter if so. Little did he know that Blue Note’s then president Bruce Lundvall was retiring, and that the future of the company was uncertain. Was suggests that his friend told him, “no, you should sign him,” effectively handing over custodianship of the label to Was on the spot.
Under Was’ leadership, Blue Note have made good their pledge to re-release the label catalogue on high quality vinyl. They’ve also launched the Blue Note review, a subscription box set that gives fans access to archival music, merchandise and collectables not available elsewhere. Hear Was discuss Blue Note and how he landed the role in the interview below.
The Repeat Listen: Ishmael Ensemble – A State of Flow
Bonobo – Black Sands, Yazz Ahmed – La Saboteuse, Floating Points –Eleania, Low Leaf – PRiMiTiVA, Joe Armon Jones & Maxwell Owin – Idiom
Pete Cunningham, the saxophonist, composer and producer behind Ishmael Ensemble, is an artist enamoured by the musical and geographical identity of his native Bristol. His independent label Severn Songstakes its name from the famous river and estuary of the region, while his ensemble’s sound is one that references the trip-hop and jazz-infused downtempo music to have emerged from the region in recent decades.
Cunningham’s first notes on his group’s debut full length are long, airborne harmonies, soaring over a shimmering watercourse of arpeggiated synths and tape echo strings, evoking the soothing aerial imagery we see in the drone-shot river Severn footage of the group’s video for The River. The atmospheric opener springs to life with the entrance of Rory O’Gorman’s drums, before swooping into atmospherics once more, as it leads off for second cut, Full Circle. Here, we hear the soft, neo-soul tones of Holysseus Fly for the first time — her left-and-right-panned harmonies a subtle callback to the presentation of Cunningham’s opening sax lines the cut before. Its off-kilter beat and subtle production call to mind the work of Bonobo, but it’s more of a Roni Size vibe that arises from following cut, Siren! Its killer upright bass lick, bomb-blast drum break and menacing chords encapsulate the gritty beauty and countercultural energy of early Drum ‘n’ Bass – albeit with a lively and psychedelic The Comet is Coming-style approach to its execution.
By the album’s midpoint, a loop-based electroacoustic cut featuring vocals from Yama Warashi’s Yoshino Shigihara, it’s clear that the ensembles sound is one defying easy categorisation, yet that never feels like a self-aware effort to win over the listener. Instead, the way Ishmael subtly layer elements that reference contemporary jazz, electronica and breakbeat feels wholly coherent, their electroacoustic sound succeeding through its warmth of tone and lightness of arrangement.
Yazz Ahmed’s melodies bring cinematic drama to the synth-heavy cut The River, whileFirst Light captures a totally different mood with almost identical instrumentation — the sign of a diverse and visionary band without a doubt. Ishmael Ensemble’s debut feels very much like a record for landscapes: a collection of recordings that would marry beautifully with images of stark countryside, or evoke those pictures in absence of them. It’s an evocative work that thanks to strong production, well-executed performances and shrewd writing, leaves its mark without great fervour or force.
New Sounds and Visuals
Tobias’ rework of Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras’ You Laugh at my Face finds the Berlin-based producer subdividing the languid groove of the original cut with a fizzy lo-fi beat. He subtly manipulates synth and vocal parts on his rough and ready extension, which keeps the simple beauty of its source material intact. B-side Watch The Flashby Half Hawaii is a minimal disco-not-disco cut, perfectly accompanying the pace and vibe of the A-side. Essential work from the Foom label here!
Bonafide magazine premiered a new remix from Abstract Orchestra’s Madvillainy project yesterday. The epic large ensemble take on the work of Doom and Madlib has taken the band to new heights, and this remix is testament to the excellence of the project. Check it out below and be sure to check out the full interview too!
Fans of Debruit and experimental Afro-house will certainly dig Baloji’s L’hiver Indienfeaturing Gael Faye. Though initially released on his 137 Avenue Kaniama, Baloji envisioned the track a part of a flowing one-track mixtape, so is to be reissued by Bella Union according to his preference. Standing along or within a mix, it’s a vibrant and beautifully-produced track that encapsulates Baloji’s style.