All published work

Looking for the sum total of the Blaise Radley writing career till now? Then look no further. Ignoring my earlier student writing career, and a select few print-only pieces this is everything I've had published since graduation. You can even use the filter to navigate by publication.

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Interview: Terre Thaemlitz

As a musician, digital streaming platforms and marketplaces typically don't allow for much contextual specificity. Releases may be hosted in date order, but there's little control over who engages, and on what basis, with an album as likely to be sought out directly by a user as suggested to them by algorithms. For electroacoustic music producer, DJ, writer, and lecturer Terre Thaemlitz, AKA DJ Sprinkles, that lack of control actively stunts the sociopolitical discourse driving her work.

Album review: Squid - Bright Green Field

Brighton five-piece Squid may have built their brand on post-punk belters, but with their debut album, ‘Bright Green Fields’, they’re trying their hands as architects. “This album has created an imaginary cityscape,” explains drummer and singer Ollie Judge, “A kind of dystopian British cityscape.” Only around 5% of the UK is urbanised, but in the hyperreality of modern Britain, most of us are more likely to see the rolling green hills of a Windows background than we are that other 95%.

Feature: How capitalism breeds blue-collar burnout in Thief

In his 1981 debut narrative feature, director Michael Mann scrutinises the American Dream as it is sold to blue-collar workers. Played with an apathetic swagger by James Caan, Frank is the logical end point of a capitalist society that exploits manual labourers, selling them a white picket-fence fantasy they’re ultimately excluded from. It’s telling that the annihilation of the house’s picture-perfect facade is the film’s climactic sequence, Mann shooting each cathartic explosion from multiple angles.

EP review: Nilüfer Yanya - Feeling Lucky?

Riding high off her excellent full-length debut, 2019's 'Miss Universe', Nilüfer Yanya returns with a smaller, more focused EP that's no less accomplished, and all the more potent for its brevity. At just three tracks long, this is more of a moreish taster, something to tide us over till the next project proper, but in answer to the titular question, 'Feeling Lucky?', it's hard to imagine anyone saying no (well, at least in the context of new Nilüfer Yanya material).

Feature: The Social Currency of Smoking Pot in 'Dazed & Confused'

Few eras of cinema fetishised “cool” more than the independent movement in the early ‘90s, and few eras were more fetishised for being cool than the ‘70s, a decade of suburban apathy and directionless rebellion. Pot smoking had shifted from being a symbol of hedonic liberation in the ‘60s to a signifier of popularity, a blasé form of recreation for jocks and burnouts alike—assuming you were high enough up the social ladder.

Album review: Jimothy Lacoste - The Safeway

Jimothy Lacoste is clearly having a laugh. Everything about his persona, from his obsession for high fashion that feeds into his flexing stage name, to his insistence on sticking "Getting" on the front of every song title on his debut album, feels like the result of a popstar experiment gone wrong. And yet, it works. Jimothy's ability to play this charade totally straight elevates 'The Safeway' from curiosity to curiously compelling.

Feature: Cornish gentrification and dubbing in Bait

Seeing may be believing, but passive knowledge requires a few more senses to solidify. When you know a place—really know a place—it soaks into your subconscious, a series of sense memories that you’d never think twice about. It’s the smell of your neighbour’s hedge trimmings; the feel of uneven tarmac from a poorly bodged pothole. It’s the exact sound your front door makes as it clips against the wonky latch. You don’t process these things as significant, but, on a long enough time scale, our homes end up taking residence inside us as well.

Album review: Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song

Kelly Lee Owens is many things—dream pop crooner, techno fuser, vinyl enthuser—but more than anything else, she’s a mood landscaper. Nestled somewhere between bedroom pop and dancefloor bop, her endlessly evocative electronic music charts the emotional throughlines that tie the night out to the morning after. Owens’ sophomore record, Inner Song, finds her searching tirelessly for emotional catharsis, and for meaning between the lines, but she’s forever haunted by the rhythmic pace of last night’

Film review: She Dies Tomorrow

All of us, at some point, must come to terms with the fact that everyone we have ever known will die, and that we ourselves will die. On an instinctive level we know this already; it’s what informs our aversions to the dark, or to sudden noises and creepy crawlies, but when that rational realisation crystallises, it’s hard to process. Death is too abstract a concept to truly comprehend, and so our fears instead seed into other aspects of our life, the areas where we can take control. In that way, grounded concerns distort into paranoia.

Feature: Good Time and the contradiction of compassion

Two months on from considering how Daniel Lopatin undercut the anxious energy of Uncut Gems (2020), it seemed fitting to analyse his work on Good Time (2017). While both films feature abrasive scores by Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, the purpose of that abrasion is distinct. Where Uncut Gems is giddy, Good Time is dour, and where Uncut Gems saw Lopatin twist anxiety into cosmic purpose, in Good Time he’s far more in tune with the minute-to-minute seat-of-your-pants propulsion. Subservient, however, he is not.

Interview: Crack Cloud

Crack Cloud are a far cry from your typical band. When the Canadian group first started gaining buzz in 2018 off the back of two supremely vital EPs there was a clear seven-person configuration at their core, but a lot's changed since then. Not only is their debut record, 'Pain Olympics' primed and ready, but they've cast an even wider net for collaborators, drawing in a wildly diverse array of artists with little concern for medium or geographical location. It's perhaps no surprise then that Crack Cloud have also been described as a cult.
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