Rena Niamh Smith

Music Roundup

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art

RTJ4 Album by Run the Jewels
The fourth album by Run The Jewels, namely rapper Killer Mike and rapper-producer El-P, is a timely release. RTJ4 hits hard at the rotten, racist police system in the heart of capitalism, with songs such as ‘Walking in the Snow’. The chilling last words of Eric Garner and George Floyd appear in ‘I Can’t Breathe’.

Rag trade is fraying at the edges

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The pandemic has driven the fashion industry into in a deep crisis, leading to an in-depth questioning not only of the incredible waste involved, but its actual role in society

While the effects of the global pandemic become apparent, restrictions on daily living have caused an existential crisis for the fashion industry.

“This is the largest crisis that the modern industry has ever faced,” declared Imran Amed, founding editor of BusinessofFashion.com.

“We’re going to see a wave of insolvencies and bankruptcies as the year continues.” With shops and factories shuttered, the BBC reported that from generating an annual £2.02 trillion in global revenues, the industry saw sales plummet by 34 percent in March.

Misbehaviour

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Sashaying in the footsteps of Made in Dagenham, Battle of the Sexes and Hidden Figures to sprinkle Hollywood dust on milestones of the fight for gender equality, Misbehaviour offers a post-millennial viewpoint on the women’s liberation protests at the 1970 Miss World pageant.

With over 100 million viewers, the beauty contest was then the most-watched television programme on the globe – or as the show’s compere tells us on screen, more than the moon landings or the World Cup final.

Bubba

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Despite the digital art form, Bubba is brimming with old-fashioned musical ability. The second full-length release from Haitian-Canadian producer Louis Kevin Celestin has an ever-evolving sound of swung, syncopated rhythms, hip hop beats and woozy house grooves.

Kaytranada’s music is constructed drums-first with complex patterns in percussion that twist and turn, layering synths and vocals with intricate brushstrokes. Each track takes the listener in a totally new direction, from the beat-switching “10%” to 80s-inspired “Midsection” to sultry house number “What You Need”.

Waiting Game

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“Break down the walls til patriarchy falls” goes the line in “The Anthem” on Waiting Game, the new album by Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, a collaboration with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens. On No Justice (For Political Prisoners), the words of activists, newsreaders and prisoners echo.

Since becoming the youngest union card holder in Boston aged 10, Carrington has been politically engaged for all of her 40-year career in music, as drummer, producer and educator.

Extinction Rebellion calls time on fashion

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have announced plans to shut down London Fashion Week (LFW) this month to raise awareness for climate change caused by the fashion industry. On 26 July XR delivered a letter to the British Fashion Council (BFC) calling for the cancellation of LFW, co-signed with Maria Chenworth, CEO of clothing reuse and international development charity Traid, and Safia Minney, founder of eco fashion label People Tree.

Mary Quant

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For their latest exhibition, the V&A invites the viewer to “discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street”. The R-word features heavily throughout, used to describe everything from her use of coloured tights to a prescient view of the sweeping social change which characterised the 1960s.

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