The artists taking over the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art for a special one-day festival on Saturday, December 7, don't share too many musical or conceptual styles. Only one of them, for example, employs dancers dressed as Jurassic-period dinos. But they do have one thing in common: they're all reliably ace.
On the bill for Istanbul's RBMA Radio Festival are US new-wave loverman Twin Shadow, Germany's soul-infused, wonky bassline-dropping Motor City Drum Ensemble, spaced-out, pop-remixing electro wiz Pilooski… and our five picks below.
Cumbria's finest purveyors of lascivious, emotionally-charged, falsetto-voiced indie rock – how many of them are there? – alerted the world to goings-on in the studio earlier this year and announced recently that their fourth album is due in early 2014. All of which means new material might be on the cards in Istanbul. Our money is on these four dreamers offering up something even loftier in ambition and scope than 2011's bewitching, electronics-grazed Smother. "We always try to make the last album look old against the newer one," said frontman Hayden Thorpe last year. Listen to Hayden pairing up with Jon Hopkins here.
Stockholm's Axel Willner has been dealing in dizzying, ecstatic, transcendental techno as The Field for four albums now, morphing micro-samples into minimal magic. His 2011 album Looping State Of Mind, and a following EP as Loops Of Your Heart, pointed to where Axel was going with his cyclical, Steve Reich-like hypnotism and he's continued in much the same vein on latest album Cupid's Heart – an hour-long slow-build to euphoria. "I could never be responsible for moving a dance floor," said Axel recently. Just close your eyes and sink in. Read more about his compositional technique here.
Hailing from the dance-music hotspot that is, ahem, Oxford, UK, Orlando Higginbottom has had quite a year. He released his playful debut LP, Trouble, on Joe Goddard's Greco-Roman label, remixed big hitters Disclosure and Foals, sang on Dillon Francis's Without You, toured the world with his Dino Dancers, and is now celebrating it all with a limited-edition 40-page fanzine cum journal. Grab it off his website from December 5 for £10. And listen to TEED's Rinse FM mix here.
One of nu-kuduro purveyors Buraka Som Sistema's chief dancefloor agitators, Branko has been making a name for himself as a DJ and producer in his own right recently. He's worked with Earthquake singer Dominique Young Unique, Brazilian hip-hop star Karol Conka, and has just been invited to participate in BBC Radio 1's In New DJs We Trust series. Here's the sort of thing (baile funk, trap, hip-hop, kuduro, you name it…) he played on the show. Watch out for news of Buraka Som Sistema's Off The Beaten Track film next week.
Representing their own Istanbul scenes are fuzzbox-loving psych-grunge trio Farfara as well as a diverse bunch of Red Bull Music Academy graduates. Wonderful Flying Lotus collaborator Ahu will be bringing along a blend of desert-heat frazzled beats and unnerving pop inspired by twisted lounge, global pop and other curiousities, while Kaan Düzarat will set off on deep sound explorations with a few funnybone-tickling noises chucked in for good measure.