Larry Ryan

Larry Ryan is Deputy Editor of The Independent Magazine. He has previously worked on the Home News desk and the website of The Independent and he writes the "Caught in the Net" music column for the paper's arts magazine, Radar.

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Sarah Neufeld, probably best known here for her work with Arcade Fire

Caught in the net: Tranquil tunes from joking Jeremiah

Warp's latest signing is the rapper/producer Jeremiah Jae. To mark the occasion, he's dropped a new mixtape which can be streamed/downloaded for free at snd.sc/1c6EBwH and ind.pn/163xb7p. The nine-track Bad Jokes mixtape trundles along in a haze of snippets, samples and Jae's tranquil, pop-culture-laden raps in one blunted, weed-infused sound, largely produced by the man himself. South Californian beat-scene influences abound throughout, as evinced by Flying Lotus showing up with production on one track.

Love’s labour’s lost: Richard Curtis; Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in ‘Love Actually’

Goodbye, actually? Richard Curtis, has announced that his next film will be his last. But directors have a nasty habit of retiring again and again

A while ago, I went to the cinema to see Side Effects, which several reviews had informed me was director Steven Soderbergh’s final film before retiring. “This clever pharma-thriller would be a fitting sign-off,” ran the subhead in The Observer’s review.

Richard Curtis initially made his name co-writing television comedies

Don't announce your retirement, Richard Curtis - it's far better to fade to black

All these smoke signals about retirement are tiresome. Is the whole of Britain meant to mount a campaign to make the director change his mind?

Colette wants to release her crowd-funded third album through her own label Candy Talk

Caught in the net: The man of the forest engraves his sound

It's rather hard to describe the sound of Forest Swords, as evinced by the new track from the Liverpool producer (aka Matthew Barnes). The piece, “The Weight of Gold”, comes from his August released album Engravings and is streaming through his Soundcloud and at forestswords.tumblr.com. It's a murky, dark and experimental affair, with snippets of guitar tones, beats rolling through, fragments of vocals and various sonic and electronic effects. Whatever which way one describes the thing, it's probably best to say it sounds great and is worth attention.

Hope Sandoval has co-written Mazzy Star's first new album in 17 years

Caught in the net: Fresh dose of Star quality

Mazzy Star release their first album in 17 years this September. Seasons of Your Day, co-written by Hope Sandoval (pictured) and David Roback, features performances by all the band's original members, including guests Colm O'Ciosoig of My Bloody Valentine and the late Bert Jansch. This week the band posted “California” on YouTube at tinyurl.com/os96qro. It's a gorgeous, affecting song, sure to please fans of their shoegaze dream-pop.

Julia Holter is etching out her own unique brand of experimental chamber pop

Caught in the net: Marvellous Archie Marshall aims for the stars

Eighteen-year-old Archie Marshall has been steadily garnering acclaim under his stage name, King Krule, for his hazy, dark melange of sounds: a touch of new wave guitar, some synths, a hint of dubstep, a bassy vocal growl. His self-titled 2011 EP was a particular standout. Now comes his debut album, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, out on 24 August, the occasion of young Marshall's 19th birthday. The record's opening track, “Easy Easy”, is streaming now at youtu.be/9i35KOGBYBo – and it's a fine, spare effort.

Pharrell Williams has already featured on the two big hits of the summer

Caught in the net: Hit-machine Pharrell Williams keeps them coming

Pharrell Williams (pictured) has already featured on the two big hits of the summer, Daft Punk's “Get Lucky” (you may have heard it once or twice) and Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines”, but he is certainly not stopping there. Next up, he's offered production duties (and occasional vocals) on the new single from southern rapper 2 Chainz. “Fedz Watching” is the particularly catchy and infectious turn from the pair; find it at 2chainz.com. Pharrell is also on a new track from Azealia Banks. A radio rip of “ATM Jam” is streaming – for now – on Soundcloud at azealiainfo/azealia- banks-atm-jam-feat.

No Age have unleashed a single of heavy percussion, buzzing guitar lines and shouted vocals

Caught in the net: No Age make noise – without a video

LA arthouse punks No Age (pictured) have unleashed a great new single full of heavy percussion, buzzing guitar lines and shouted vocals. The track “C'mon Stimmung” leads the charge for the duo's August-released fourth album An Object. Randy Randall and Dean Spunt also created a visual accompaniment which, though it's billed as “not the video”, is on YouTube. So make up your own mind. Either which way, the song is there at youtu.be/UcGacOmfBvQ. Play it loud.

'Greek Monsters’ installation by Beetroot at Belgrade Design Week

Belgrade Design Week: New ideas ripple by the Danube

Shortly before I left Belgrade a woman said to me. “If you write about us, don’t make us seem like savages.” For natives and blow-ins alike it can be hard not to conjure the dark days of war but I was in the capital for altogether more cheery reasons.

Caught in the net: Sparkling single says that Beck is back

Fresh from last year's Song Reader sheet-music project and five years after his last full album, Modern Guilt, Beck (below) is back with a wealth of new material. Recently he showcased a sparkling new single, “Defriended” – it's at youtu.be/pDSjOM42HZU. The song is an expansive ballad flitting between electronic sonics and more organic sounds with an undertow of Beck's usual melancholia. The track, not pegged to any LP release, is reportedly preceding another standalone single this summer followed by two new albums. The first, due in the autumn, is said to be a small acoustic effort, while the latter will be a more varied affair.

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