Ex Machina looks to be the coolest sci-fi movie of 2015, with dazzling visual effects and a compelling storyline. It features Star Wars Episode 7 cast mates Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson in the strangest and most compelling love triangle we’ve ever seen teased… “To erase the line between man and machine is to obscure the line between men and gods,” warns the trailer.
Ex Machina tells the story of a wealthy, completely reclusive (read weird) ‘Search Engine CEO’ played by Oscar Isaac who invites the winner of a company competition (Domhnall Gleeson) to his remote estate to participate in tests for his new artificial intelligence creation, the adorable Ava (Alicia Vikander). Of course, things go wrong and by the looks of the trailer, they go really, really wrong.
The amazing robot was designed by renowned British comic book illustrator Jock and the creepy score was composed by Geoff Barrow from British trip hop act Portishead. This film just gets better and better.
Directed by Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine) the movie comes out in the UK in January but stateside sci-fi fans will have a little longer to wait, until April 10.
This group needs little introduction because the music really speaks for itself. A beautiful 5-piece indie/pop band made in Norway and wowing audiences across the globe. You won’t want to overlook this Gem.
Norway’s Highasakite make an adventurous brand of indie pop that is full of contrasts. Their melodies and instrumentation are bold yet sometimes understated, the ebbing of one allowing the other to flourish; whether it’s otherworldly vocals or the dynamic combination of synthesizers, brass and percussion. Following on from numerous international festival appearances, a tour with London Grammar and the EP ‘In And Out Of Weeks’, the quintet released their US debut album, ‘Silent Treatment’ in February this year (Nº1 on the Norweigan charts).
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NPR music writes: “The song titles on their 2014 album Silent Treatment seem more like chapter headings in a crime novel.” This sounds pretty cool to us, but what’s your take on this review? Was this the type of impression intended? I don’t think we intended it to be like that, but it is kind of cool. The music is written as music and the titles referring to the music, but I like the fact that people interpret the music and lyrics their own way!
Speaking of names, you chose an intriguing one for your debut album. How exactly did you come to calling it Silent Treatment? It was the subject of a longer discussion and we had many thoughts about titles. But Silent Treatment refers a lot to the lyrics and mood of the album.
Exciting stuff happening at the minute, you are going to be officially performing back in the US as of November 4th, starting with New York. What’s the atmosphere like at the moment within the band? Also, have you developed any quirky must-dos before heading out on stage? (Be it a handshake, prayer, group hug or is it just prep, prep, prep and GO?) We’re a bit tired right now, it’s been a busy year for us touring since January, but we’re so excited about going back to the US. It’s one of our absolute favourite spots to tour and New York is always amazing! We have a small hand shakey thing we do just before we go on stage. Trond and I also have to brush our teeth before each show, it’s been a thing for 9 years now!
Have you noticed any differences in the audiences you perform to in your homeland of Norway versus audiences overseas? Well, of course the Norwegian audience know us and our songs a lot better, but we’ve been really lucky with the audiences overseas. Especially in Australia and Asia. Japanese audiences are a lot more quiet and the American audiences are more direct with their response.
Can you tell us a bit about the creating process when composing an original track… Is there a main influence? Who does what? Ingrid (vocals) writes the main parts of the songs and brings it to the band. Then we work together, bringing all of our influences into each song. It’s a lot of hard work being five individual people with a lot of ideas and opinions, but it’s also a really good period in which the band strengthens.
What was it like touring alongside London Grammar earlier this year? Touring with LG was amazing. Great people, great crew and great venues. It really opened a lot of doors for us and was great seeing LG every night for two weeks!
Do you have a particular show or performance so far that really stands out? If so, what was particularly memorable about this one? There has been so many this year, but maybe our release show at Rockefeller in Oslo, the first show in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and a couple of the shows at the LG. All of them stand out because of the audience, the venue and the vibe in the band.
Okay, spill the beans, who’s the cheekiest in the group? We’re not spilling beans 🙂
A lot of people can be found raving about Kristoffe’s amazing horn-playing. They want to know if it’s going to be used more in your future songs and performances. After watching a clip of your Tiny Desk Concert we can see what they’re referring to. So, more horn playing to come? First off, thank you for the kind words. Second off, of course there will be more horn playing!
The more we learn about your band, the more impressed we become. So tell us, collectively, how many instruments can you guys play? Haha, well we all play a bit since we’re all jazz educated musicians. But let’s not count, let’s rather surprise people when more instruments appear on stage.
What’s the hardest part about all this traveling that you do? As well as the greatest part. Hardest part is being a way from loved ones. That’s difficult, but a part of the job. The fun part is of course seeing new places, playing for new people, meeting new people and eating good food!
If you could pick one word to describe your sound, what would it be? Rich.
Finally, we have found, the profound yet tingling sensation of music emitted by Highasakite, has in fact left us, the listener, feeling high as a kite. In the best way. What does it mean to you when you discover people are experiencing your sound in this way? It means a lot to us. We’re just so happy that people experience things with our music and that they come to us and say it!
To celebrate All Hallows’ Eve we have compiled a list of YouTube videos where you can witness unsuspecting people getting the bejeezus scared out of them. Ever been so suddenly terrified that you thought you were going to have a heart attack? How about just soil yourself? If you have experienced this, it probably wasn’t very pleasant at the time, but it’s all in the name of good thrills to these prank masters.
Most of these are seriously funny, others are kind of shocking, and others… well, they just went downright wrong.
It’s that trick-or-treating, apple-bobbing time of the year again that involves overdosing on sugar, carving pumpkins, attending costume parties, playing pranks, visiting haunted houses, telling scary stories, watching horror films and what-not. So here’s our list of the Halloween Top Thirteen (unlucky for some) classic scary movies that will certainly get you spooked.
This horrifying tale of a regular all-American middle class family being haunted by a poltergeist in their new suburban home is a consistently scary classic horror movie. It may not get you hiding behind the sofa but there are so many nail biting, shocking and eerie moments in this film you’ll definitely get your terror on. The young daughter of the family, Carol Anne, is taken by the Poltergeist via a gateway in the television. There are creepy trees that try to attack the kids, clowns that come to life and a lot of supernatural furniture moving. Their lives are totally turned upside down and almost taken at some points due to this supernatural presence. It’s definitely one for the Halloween hall of fame.
“Here’s Johnny”…this is a chilling tale of a man’s struggle with his inner self and a bucket load of unnatural goings on in an old hotel in the middle of nowhere. Jack Torrance (impeccably portrayed by Jack Nicholson) and his family take-over said hotel and everything goes from bad to worse, demonic presence overwhelms him and sends him totally mad by the end of the film. This is a must-see terror-tale with creepy children, old ladies in baths and symmetrical camera work (thanks to the mastery of director Stanley Kubrick) assisting in adding to the scare factor in this 1980 classic.
This 2002 remake, starring Noemi Watts, of the original Ringu is a dark and monstrous tale revolving around a video tape. If you watch this tape you are subsequently haunted by the most freakish little girl (Watts) with hair covering her face as she drips all over your front room having climbed out of the television. It sounds bizarre and almost comical but in fact it is shudderingly scary and gets under your skin, staying with you long after the movie ends.
This chilling tale, set in the time of World War II, depicts a woman (Nicole Kidman) taking care of her children alone whilst waiting and hoping her husband returns from the war. They stay in an old Victorian mansion in the meantime and very creepy goings on start to occur, including communication with beings from beyond the grave. Be warned, there are lots of jumpy and ‘face behind cushion’ moments.
This was an instant classic depicting ‘that’ mask and a bunch of high school American kids in this teen slasher movie. Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox, David Arquett, Skeet Ulrich, Neve Campbell, Rose McGowan, Live Schreiber, Matthew Lillard, star in Wes Craven’s (of Nightmare on Elm Street fame) 1996 who-dunnit style thriller where the best way for the characters to outsmart the killer is to have watched plenty of scary movies and know their horror trivia.
Three young students go out into the forest to film a documentary about a lengendary witch who lives in these parts. The three teenagers go missing mysteriously and after a year of not being found the footage was retrieved from the woods and cut into this very true to life film. The home video method of filming in this adds authenticity and depth to the realistic feel of this docu-style film. The actors don’t appear to be acting and the whole thing seems like an actual event right up until the concluding scenes. The fear depicted by the actors is very convincing and creates a sense of dread, panic and terror within us that this could actually be happening.
This has to be the ultimate classic scary film despite the genre crossing between comedy and horror. The make-up precedes its time delivering some horrifying effects. The story goes that a young traveling American gets bitten by a werewolf on his trip to London and subsequently becomes one himself. The film follows his gory transformations and attacks as he makes his journey through the city.
You may have to end up doing the full 5 movie marathon once you start with this one. It isn’t the scariest of films but it’s the most recent blockbuster hit that has to be worth a mention. There are elements of creepiness once we learn the nature of many of the lead characters, albeit disguised under a veil of a love story and lot of teen drama. But then there’s the cast, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and all the other beautiful wolves and vampires that come on screen that make this a worthy contender for the Halloween top thirteen.
This has to be the ultimate horrifying tale of a young girl who is possessed by the devil. This is truly a terrifying horror story about a priest who takes it upon himself to save this poor twelve year old girl. The effects are excellent for the time it was made, it is extremely eerie and probably one of the scariest movies of all time.
This is a masterpiece of a thriller with twists and turns, a young boy with a “gift”, a serious acting role by Bruce Willis, a sharp performance by Toni Collette and a spectacular delivery by a very young Haley Joel Osment. This has to be one of the best supernatural thrillers to date; a definite winner for a Halloween screening.
This seriously stylish thriller was a box office smash hit in 1995 and has doubtfully been beaten since for originality, casting and impending doom! Kevin Spacey is impeccable as ever, Brad Pitt plays a very convincing rookie homicide detective under the patient and experienced wing of his new partner Morgan Freeman. The horrific murders and twisted psychopathic plot, based on the seven deadly sins, is one to be rivaled in genius and hideousness. It is probably one of the best thriller movies of all time.
This wouldn’t be a classic scary movie list without the one and only Freddy Krueger. If you haven’t seen the Nightmare On Elm Street films, of which there are many, then you have some catching up to do. Freddy appears in people’s nightmares, he has gloves with blades for fingers and an extremely scarred and hideous face. Freddy accesses his victims through their dreams, loads of slashing and killing, blood and gore later and these poor innocents wake up dead. It’s gruesome and not for the faint hearted, definitely a classic blood spiller.
This 1984 film has to have a mention, it is an all time classic movie which transcends time and genres but does have its fair share of scary bits, with a haunting performance by Sigourney Weaver and the comedy genius of Bill Murray. A team of guys start their own business, well, busting Ghosts basically. They invent some very funky suits with backpacks and traps that hold these ghosts that are terrorizing the city. And who can forget the car? It’s almost a scary movie, almost a comedy, almost a kids’ film and continues to remain a very popular Halloween choice.
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TulisaContostavlos prepares to re-enter the world of music with her comeback single Living Without You, her first release in two years. Directed by Life Garland (Rihanna, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Tyga) the video portrays what it’s like to deal with fame – the constant flashing cameras and the vogue like status everything takes on.
The former X factor judge has had a year of public scrutiny after her sex tape got leaked and the unfortunate I-know-a-man-that-can-get-you-some-drugs-thing blew up in her face. Now she is back and prepares to re-enter the world of music and entertainment with this new single. The 26-year-old is determined to win back the affection of the British public with her new music and put the dark days behind her.
Speaking to KISS breakfast presenters Rockie, Melvin and Charlie last week she said: “I’m so happy. I’m trying to convince people, I cannot express how happy I am. I’m in such a good place. People forget I was 23 when I started X-Factor alone and 17 when I got my first recognition through N-Dubz. So it’s been a crazy whirlwind of a journey and a career, but I do feel now it’s the time when I’m most confident.’
The video features a brief appearance from Tulisa’s N-Dubz bandmate Richard Rawson (Fazer), who can be seen playing the piano at the beginning of the video.
Living Without You will be officially released on December 7.
Marvel has just released another teaser clip which was shown alongside the trailer during Agents of SHIELD on ABC last night (October 28). Watch the Avengers try to lift Thor’s hammer in Age of Ultron – unfortunately, the ‘lift-Thor’s-hammer’ party gets rudely interrupted by Ultron.
In the clip the Avengers are having a quiet drink and attempting (unsuccessfully) to lift Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) hammer. But the party is cut short when Ultron (James Spader) arrives calling the group – “unworthy” and “puppets”.
Marvel released a trailer last week and it broke all records with 34.3 million views in the first 24 hours! We can look forward to a ‘marvel-lous’ 2015 with plenty of super hero action on the cards:
Avengers Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
Captain America: Civil War – May 5, 2015
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017
Black Panther – November 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018
Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018
The Inhumans – November 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019
Lord Of The Rings & Hobbit screen legend Sir Ian McKellen appears in George Ezra’s video for his new single Listen To The Man. With some pretty brilliant lip-synching and excellent dialogue, this video is absolutely charming. It doesn’t notice at all, but George was really nervous performing next to Sir Ian McKellen, “It was nerve-racking trying to act beside him. I’m not an actor, and he’s phenomenal.”
Sir Ian keeps muscling in when George is trying to sing and halfway through the video they have a little disagreement – as far as George is concerned the Hobbit star is hogging the limelight. “He just keeps butting in and p***ing me off. And stealing the camera. In real life, I hate being on camera but in the video, that frustrates me.” After a little negotiating though, they sort it out and end up the best of friends.
According to a press release, George invited his new mate to see him performing in Shepherd’s Bush – to which the East London-dwelling Sir Ian said “Is there any chance you can play closer to Limehouse?”
George’s world tour continues until March 14 next year – he’s playing all over Europe, Australia and the US. Catch him in Paris on November 20, Madrid on February 14, London on February 20 and New York on March 16.
Listen to the Man is the 5th single to be taken from George’s debut Nº1 album Wanted On Voyage that was released in June 2014 and follows the other singles Did You Hear the Rain?, Budapest, Cassy O and Blame It on Me. The album received positive reviews from music critics with Neil McCormick of The Telegraph stating “Playing guitar, bass and keyboards, Ezra delivers structurally simple songs with enormous gusto, suggesting an uncynical, joyous release in the very act of making music.” Have to agree with that wholeheartedly.
OK Go have released an incredible music video – well, spectacle, for their single I Won’t Let You Down. They are riding the Uni-Cub, a self-balancing unicycle and they actually dance in formation with it! Shot in one take – it’s absolutely mind blowing! The video was filmed in Japan, in a huge warehouse outside Tokyo, with a lot of help from Honda. One comment on YouTube said “That’s the Japan 2020 Olympics opening ceremony already sorted.” And you will see how appropriate that comment is when you’ve watched the video.
In just one day the video has manage to notch up over 2.5 million views! OK Go have always been pioneering in their approach to videos but this one takes things to the next level. The four band members glide around the shot amongst dancers with umbrellas and some brilliant aerial videography. As well as the Uni-Cubs, Honda also contributed a “multi-copter” camera that was used to shoot the video.
Frontman Damian Kulash chose the director, Morihiro Harano, who then linked the band with Honda’s Ad Agency and Japanese choreographer Airman. Kulash said that the dancers were incredible to behold – “they were like automatons. One of [Airman’s] deputies would shout something to this whole battalion of Japanese schoolgirls, and they’d run like they were in military school, and nail it every time. It was a real treat to behold.”
Although the video was done in one shot it took 60 tries to get it right! It was filmed in double-time evoking Hollywood choreographer Busby Berkeley’s signature style. For the final scene, filmed in a parking lot, Harano cleverly set up huge speakers playing the song at half speed which “allowed for more precise movements even with the complicated choreography,” he said.
The single is from the bands 4th album – Hungry Ghosts which was released on October 14 via OK Go’s own label. Available for pre-order in the UK via iTunes and Amazon.
We’re loving the new, tongue-in-cheek music video for Tiga’s single Bugatti – it’s like a Wes Anderson movie on acid! In collaboration with Helmi and Division Paris the Turbo Recordings founder has made a suitably quirky video full of 80’s nostalgia with a dash existentialism and a sprinkling of the bizarre – it’ll will certainly be the most entertaining 3 minutes you’ll watch today. (Look out for the Pink Floyd reference at the end).
Tiga, Montreal dance producer and one of dance music’s biggest and best loved stars, never seems to lose his enthusiasm, he is always reinventing and innovating and up for anything. Back in 2009 he described his occupation perfectly in an online interview, “I see it as my job to descend from above and sprinkle the crowd with unimaginable spices.” Bugatti was released last year on his own Turbo label and recently signed to Universal.
Bugatti was the result of “a couple of hours in the studio being a little bit stupid. The times I take myself the least seriously are the best. I’ve fought hard with myself to keep that childlike attitude..It’s my favourite thing in the world when you make something weird with absolutely no calculation and people love it anyway.”
Bugatti is released via Virgin EMI on December 8 and is available for pre-order now. The single comes packaged with remixes from Eats Everything, Amine Edge & DANCE, Life Sim, and Doorly. A vocal version featuring Pusha T is also available.
Next year we can look forward to a new studio album from Tiga – the follow-up to Ciao (2009)
(Just for the record, Tiga doesn’t drive or even own a Bugatti – he has a BMW 750i.)
Congratulations to Fuse ODG who has just scored his 4th Top 10 hit on the UK charts with TINA, featuring R&B singer Angel and produced by the legendary Killbeatz. The song is named after his debut album T.I.N.A which was released in June this year and stands for This Is New Africa. Fuse is passionate about raising the profile of Africa and Africans and TINA, the movement he founded, urges Africans to rebuild communities and present a positive image of Africa to the rest of the world.
Fuse’s real name is Nana Richard Abiona and he is of Ghanian descent, born and raised in London. His stage name came about from the fusion of diverse musical styles, Afro-pop, hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock – and ODG stands for ‘Off Da Ground’. Fuse brought Afrobeats to the mainstream – note the plural, because Afrobeat was the analogue African funk style made famous by Fela Kuti. Afrobeats is the contemporary take – a combination of digital rhythms, synths and big hooks that has been the standard sound of the youth in Ghana and Nigeria for quite a while. Now, the new generation of black British kids are re-mixing it so it sounds like an urban street party.
This 4th Top 10 was preceded by Antenna, that peaked at Nº7 on the UK singles chart, Azonto (Nº 30), Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad) (Nº5) and Dangerous Love (Nº3).
As well as his TINA mission, Fuse ODG uses his talents as a musician to help young people. He works with young offenders and has pioneered a group called Escape which promotes creativity as a way of keeping kids off the streets and therefore away from crime.