In 2000, recovering from cancer and heartbreak, Merrill Nisker bought a synth, renamed herself Peaches and made a scorching album that became a feminist classic. In this extract from our Start podcast, she relives the sex, pain and pillow talk that fuelled The Teaches of Peaches
I had no idea I would become a musician; I fell into it. First, I had a band called Fancypants Hoodlum. It was quite expressive in terms of how I performed. I had good musicians with me and was learning to play electric guitar – to nobody other than myself.
Related: Peaches on the song that defined her new sound – The Start podcast
Magnetic Fields, a three-day festival in the Rajasthan desert, saw the country’s burgeoning dance scene go overground. But there are concerns that clubbing is a corporatised ‘rich person’s game’
‘Before this, there was Bollywood, and everything else was deep underground.” These are the words of producer Karsh Kale, describing India’s music scene as recently as 10 years ago. It is telling of just how much has changed that Kale is saying this by a fireplace in the middle of a desert in Rajasthan, where an electronic music festival is taking place.
Now in its fifth year, with a capacity of more than 3,000 (having started at less than 500), Magnetic Fields is one of many events catering to a burgeoning underground music scene in India. Sets from Four Tet and Ben UFO that go on until 8am in the grounds of a magical 17th-century palace are remarkable in themselves (as are surreal moments such as a local hip-hop DJ dropping Big Shaq’s Man’s Not Hot under the stars), but what is especially noteworthy is the number of Indian acts and attendees.
From girls with attitude on screen to new grime debuts, from Steve McQueen’s return to Tacita Dean’s London takeover, Observer writers on what to look forward to in the coming year
Something special is happening in UK publishing. After the success of The Good Immigrant (edited by Nikesh Shukla) and titles like Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, there has been a renewed push to rectify the problems of an industry that has too long ignored narratives outside the white experience. Out of the thousands of titles published in 2016, a Bookseller study found that fewer than 100 books were published by non-white Brits.