The idea of setting the human against the robotic has provided electronic pop with a rich seam of inspiration ever since Yazoo. In recent years, few acts have carried it off with greater style than this Swedish-Japanese quartet.
The Fall was sneak-released to fan-club members on Christmas Day, just nine months after Plastic Beach, but is only now getting a wider physical release to the slowcoaches of the general populace.
Blur will "definitely" get back together this year.
Awards season is upon us but forget Colin Firth's Golden Globe-nominated stutter, the year's most prestigious prize has already gone to Albert Clark, a jowly, velvet-skinned star who doesn't utter a word in his film debut. This week, Albert scooped the Best in World award at the Fidos (For Incredible Dogs on Screen) for his turn in Tamara Drewe. The boxer dog played Boss, a role that required him to ride in Dominic Cooper's Porsche, look wearily upon Gemma Arterton's romantic entanglements and, at the film's climax, spark off a deadly stampede of cattle. "Albert's performance was particularly emotive," explains Toby Rose, the founder of the Fidos. "With expressive close-ups, comic timing and all-action chases – it's a performance with range." On the day, Albert was unwell so his understudy Blue collected the prize – a bone-shaped dog tag by Tatty Devine – on his behalf. Other winners included the stars of Due Date (Best Comedy Canine), Robin Hood (Blockbuster Bowser) and Hachiko: a Dog's Story (Historical Hound).
Despite the fact that most summer festivals take place outdoors, in a field somewhere in the middle of the countryside, they are very rarely thought of as being at one with nature. But, this year, they really are. For the first time at Glastonbury, which starts on Wednesday, the National Trust will have an Outside Inn, where people can swap the sound of ear-splitting music for soothing birdsong or gentle rolling waves.
There is, it has to be said, a certain similarity in the synthesised melody of "Time Warp" to that of Gorillaz's "Stylo". But singer Eddy Grant's request for full credit for the song is pushing it, since in every other respect the two tracks are very different. "Time Warp", which originally appeared in 1982 as a double-A side with Grant's No 1 hit "Electric Avenue", is a quietly mesmerising piece supported by a single, immutable disco beat that itself owes a debt to the dance-floor supremo Giorgio Moroder.
Reggae star demands full credit and apology from Damon Albarn's band
Burton hops between musical collaborations the way other people change shoes, but this new venture with the Shins' James Mercer is, he tells us, a keeper.
Damon Albarn has emerged as a leading contender to be the artistic director for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.
After the patchy response duly bestowed upon the patchy Empire, Kasabian have wisely made a few changes for this much-improved follow-up.
A documentary about Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band has premiered on an internet and mobile phone website. James Mottram watches the future, and wonders if Hollywood is scared
Martina Topley Bird's CV of former collaborators is one of the more impressively varied in modern pop: since she was discovered by Tricky way back in the mid-Nineties, her vocals have appeared on records by David Holmes, Mark Lanegan, Primus, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Gorillaz, to name but a few.