A Look Back On 2023 – Robin Webb | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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So… how was your 2023?
I had a rather busy year not only in my day job involving lots of animating in the community and all around the North East but also with my alter ego Von Heuser releasing experimental electronic twiddly music in Germany and also here at home via the wonderful local label Waxing Crescent and on several other labels throughout the year culminating in 2 tracks on the incredible alternative soundtrack to the Tarkovsky film Stalker called God’s Fool, imagine a rock star at my age! With more releases coming in the new year, you never know I may pluck up the courage to do it live in front of real people.
What was your best moment?
Celebrating 20 years of involvement with the Animex International Festival of Animation, VFX & Games at Teesside University as part of its outreach strategy Animexperience & Animex Academy where we try to raise the aspirations of local children so they can use their natural talents and consider animation as a possible future career.
And your worst moment?
Dealing with bereavement can be soul-destroying but knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Who was your favourite band/artist this year?
Goat, magnificent, tribal, pagan, dancing joy.
Your favourite song of the year?
Forwards by Zyggurat on Clay Pipe Music
Recommended album?
Field Lines Cartographer – Phases Of This And Other Moons on Castles In Space
Favourite TV show of the year?
Loki – bonkers, it messed with my head, timelines ‘n’ tha’.
Your favourite film?
The Killer, ice cold drama on Netflix
Best book you read?
How High We Go In The Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, came out last year but I very rarely read anything other than stuff to do with animation or music.
Favourite new word that you learned?
Generative (as in AI)
Best podcast?
50 Years of Shit Robots – a super irreverent but knowledgable look into the world of cinematic robots and how they’re all shit in the years between the film Metropolis (1927) and Star Wars (1977).
Favourite venue that you visited?
Cobalt Studios for having sofas to sit in.
What was your favourite gig/show of the year?
Goat at the Boiler Shop or Heavy Lungs at Cluny 2, I can’t decide which so I’ll also add in the Castles In Space festival Levitation in Whitby for a delectable triple whammy!
Any up-and-coming artists/acts we should keep an eye out for in 2024?
Cafe Magrana – cracking bedroom-based shenanigans, get those pyjamas ready for the world domination they threaten.
Any predictions for next year?
Unprecedented election results, if there’s any justice in the world.

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