All in Wonderland

This October, 243 films will be screened from 67 countries, at 15 cinemas across the capital for the 2017 BFI London Film Festival. Bringing together a vibrant mix of homegrown and international talent, this year’s festival explores themes of social division, disability, immigration, gender equality and LGBTQ rights. We’ve pulled together a few of our favourites from this year’s line-up.

To mark the 50 year anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, we’ve shortlisted some of our favourite LGBT films, from an iPhone only tour through Tinseltown, to the rules of realness as defined by the mothers of New York’s greatest houses. 

Growing up in Nesoddtangen, a peninsula just outside of Oslo, Kaya Wilkins’ first foray into music was guided by her older, black-metal-obsessed brother. Now though, those early playful sessions spent crashing around in the basement with guitars have metamorphosed into a style defined by Kaya’s somber subject matter and uniquely delicate vocals.

Debuting to the world on Zane Lowe’s Beats show in September last year, London five-piece Pumarosa have gone from strength-to-strength since the release of their first single, Priestess. A hypnotic, almost psychedelic seven minute reverie, Priestess is as bold as it is bewitching.

Recently signed to XL Records after a brilliant debut on Escho, Danish four-piece Liss produce fresh, soulful tracks that are fast making a name for Aarhus natives as the new sound of pop. Having caught the attention of King Krule and The XX producer Rodaidh McDonald at one of their live shows, Søren, Villads, Vilhelm and Tobias are set to release their first full length EP ‘Fresh’ on 20th May.

Darren Williams, better known by his celestial moniker Star Slinger, first shot to notoriety when he released his debut album Volume 1 for free in 2010. Since then he’s made a name for himself with a string of top-notch remixes for the Avalanches, Toro Y Moi, Buraka Som Sistema, Childish Gambino, Washed Out and Gold Panda amongst others.

Named after Oaklander’s mid-1980s essay on Xeno’s pre-Socratic paradoxes, Xeno & Oaklander craft chilly, catchy electronica using a raft of 70s and 80s synths. On Topiary, their latest album, the duo mimic organic sounds, welcoming you into a self made world where art and nature intertwine. With an exclusive stream of Palms, we spoke to Liz Wendelbo to find out more about garden mazes, an abandoned laboratory and FM synthesis.

Over 25 billion tracks have been sold during iTunes’ lifetime. That works out at roughly 7 million tunes downloaded each and every day. Forgetting about Spotify streams, YouTube plays and Soundcloud mixes, this year alone we’ll have got through about 2.5 billion songs. To save you the 42 billion hours you’d need to listen to all that music we’ve shortlisted our favourite tracks of 2015 from Kelela to Kendrick Lamar, in no particular order. Enjoy.

It’s been three years since Welsh duo, Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf, broke onto the scene with their debut album Foe. Recorded, produced and mixed entirely by the band in their home studios in South Wales, their latest release Maximum Entrophy mixes a dark 80s inspired synthpop with lush melancholic electronica. 

Born and raised in Hackney, Szjerdene (pronounced J’er-deen) is a name you might not have come across before. Her voice, however, is another story. Having penned collaborations with Lapalux, Robin Hannibal, Slugabed and Bonobo amongst others she’s begun to carve out a space for herself releasing Find Me on her own imprint at the end of last month.

Bleak and grey though London’s weather seems to insist on remaining as we advance slowly into spring London based, Brittany born producer Xavier Thomas, otherwise known as Débruit, is bringing summer to Shoreditch early with a live set at the Book Club this Thursday.

When discussing Drew Lustman’s forthcoming album The Crystal Cowboy it’s difficult to work out whether you’re speaking to a musician or an artist in the more traditional sense. The New York based producer, better known by his former moniker FaltyDL, is as abstract, conceptual and expressive as any designer or painter - a symptom of the all encompassing passion he has for music and the fact that some of his closest friends in the Big Apple are sculptors.

A fortuitous happenstance – a chance meeting that brings about something beautiful – exactly the kind of moment that spawned Sylvan Esso which brings together Megafaun’s Nick Sanborn and Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath.

Having released his debut EP last year through PMR’s Beat Club imprint, picking up praise from Annie Mac, Skream and Tensnake in the process, Polish producer Klaves’ sun-drenched floor fillers are fast establishing him as a household name in dance music. 

Stockholm born, New York based singer, songwriter, producer, DJ and muse Tina Asplund – otherwise known as Kissey – began making electronic music in earnest back in 2000 when she joined the Red Bull Music academy as their youngest admission. Since then she’s performed and collaborated with the likes of Little Dragon, Machinedrum and The Roots amongst others

Jonna Lee, better known by her peculiarly metaphysical moniker iamamiwhoami, is not your average YouTube star. When the Swedish musician released Prelude 699130082.451322-5.4.21.3.1.20.9.15.14.1.12 nearly five years ago watchers were greeted, not with some shaky view of a teen bedroom, but with a tangled mass of tree branches shot in an eerily saturated light.

Hailing from Hamilton, a busy industrial town situated on the south-western corner of Lake Ontario, Jessy Lanza is the singer, songwriter and producer crafting sultry, synthpop that’s rich with emotion and fraught with longing.

There’s remote, and then there’s the sleepy fishing village of Oban in North West Scotland, not exactly the first place that springs to mind when you think of rich, textured house. One man working single-handedly to change that however is Argyll local Colin Bailey, better known by his slightly spooky moniker Drums of Death.