Convergence Festival is returning to London this month (10-20 March) bringing together music, art and technology through a series of events at venues across the UK capital. Full details can be found at Convergence-london.com, but organiser Glenn Max is here to guide you through the "the sound of Convergence" with a helpful playlist.
Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood And The Rajasthan Express – Allah Elohim "Nothing short of ground-breaking, this continent-spanning collaboration beautifully illustrates the possibilities of a cultural convergence when placed in the sensitive hands of visionary artists such as Jonny Greenwood and Shye Ben Tzur, Nigel Goodrich and some of Rajithani's finest musicians. Crafty minimalist strategies, Indian Marching band brass, Qawwali singing, Shye Ben Tzur's mellifluous exaltations and Greenwood's own guitar and Ondes Martinet leads us through a journey that is at once authentic and inventive."
Gil Scott-Heron – New York Is Killing Me (Chris Cunningham Remix) "Electronic music is too often content with itself, void of narrative content and disconnected from the encroaching realities of global survival. Often this issue-free zone is exactly where ravers want to be. But take a look at the state of world art and you can recognise the need for a music in which a sharp critique is inseparable from the sonic intentions. Gil Scott Heron, who set in motion hip hop and much of the Bristoilan invention of the 90's was a master of this. We pay tribute to him 13 March at the Roundhouse with Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah, Dave Okumu, Kwabs and more. In this clip his genius intermingles with the genius of Chris Cunningham."
Dan Deacon – When I Was Done Dying (Live On KCRW) "American innovator, recycler of sounds, and post-minimalist composer Dan Deacon densely-layered music is a kind of maximalism that continues to amaze all those paying attention to his extraordinary career arc. Having gained notoriety for this ecstatic participation-based live shows, Deacon holds a profound position as someone who articulates the very intentions and impulses of the experimental artist."
Lamb – We Fall in Love (pictured) "While Convergence best serves the obsessive culture of the new, we continually ensure that innovators of the past are not overlooked-- as we did with George Clinton's and Gary Numan's inclusion last year. In the context of Convergence, Lamb's inclusion is meant to remind audiences to recognise that for 20 years Lou Rhodes and Andy Barlow have carved their own independent path with little regard to trends and with a keenly advanced unique approach to song-writing and production."
Anna von Hausswolff – Evocation "Anna Von Hasswolf's powerfully evocative music draws on the historical as its spiritual core, It is as dark and dense as the Swedish Forest in which she recorded her new album, The Miraculous. Embracing horror, mystery and wonder, Von Hauswolf seems to span centuries past present and future, with her sensual otherworldly obsessions."
Colin Stetson – To See More Light "With a list of collaborators that include Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio, David Byrne, LCD Soundsystem and Anthony Braxton, Colin Stetson is a one-man orchestra of sonic invention. Performing on a bass saxophone Stetson weaves complex, repetitive lines around each other as a rope maker weaves twine into more dense twine until a powerful rope is formed. His circular patterns enabled by his circular breathing, finger-pad clicking and chanting/moaning/singing creates a wall of sound that is recalls the best work of Reich, Glass and Branca and produces a perfect 'how does he do that' moment."
Omar Souleyman – Warni Warni "Unless your Nostradamus you probably couldn't have predicted that a Syrian wedding singer could have become the coolest thing on wheels in the electronic music scene. Reverse cultural appropriation is a titillating concept for those who love Turkish Psych Rock and Tuvan Disco, but there's something more authentic and compelling with Omar Souleyman. Frankly I'm still trying to it out... while dancing, of course. With Clap Clap! and Symbiosi, possibly the funnest night in our line-up."
Dromos - An immersive performance by Fraction & Maotik "Some people wanna blow their minds. And I include myself amongst them. That's why, although he's not very well-known, Maotik is an essential addition to this line-up. His piece Dromos is is real-time image-making synchronised with his alien soundscapes all designed to provoke 'generative accidents'. Every minute of his work you are confronted with images and sounds to savour for a lifetime. Its something that just has to be seen. Maotik has his UK debut at The Troxy 17 March or the Canada House event about VR on 16 March."
The Gaslamp Killer – In The Dark "At some point in our twisted tale, Hiphop decided it didn't needs words. With the muscularity of its rhythm insistence pounding at us, it adorned itself with the very best from film soundtracks, arabic music, old Blue Note records, and just about everything else obscure it could get its hands on. One of the worlds leading practitioners of this approach is the Gaslamp Killer who's live shows are thrilling. And we're lucky enough to have him in two distinct musical settings: with his band the Experience and dong what he's know for, big bouncy club nights. Come see the wild man of Southern California shine."
Ah! Kosmos - And Finally We're Glacier (live) Kara-lis Coverdale, Nik Void of Factory Floor, Kaitlin Aurelia Smith, Karen Gwyer Myriam Bleu, Laura Cannell are just some of the incredible women artists laced throughout this year's Convergence programme. This is not so much an intentional mission, but a response to the great work they have done. Ultimately these gender distinctions are boring. But curators are under scrutiny these days about the balance of programming. The environment has never been healthier or more competitive for female artist. Just try programming Julia Holter, FKA Twigs or Holly Herndon in your festival-- you could lose your hand. Ah! Kosmos is Başak Günak born in Istanbul. As support for Junun 11 March and !!! on March 10, she creates new seductive sounds that resist any of the above definitions."
Nurse With Wound – Space Music "Nurse with Wound's persistence of vision, determined quest for sound undefinable, and dedication to shrouded mystery is a triumph of the weird. Since 1978, There may be genre-specific names you can hurl at Steve Stapleton's mythic sonic adventures but all of them become deflected by his unique humour, compositional sensibility and sonic restlessness."
For the full line-up and latest ticket news head to Convergence-london.com.