Arts and Entertainment Techno wizards: Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD

Synth-pop pioneers OMD were one of most innovative bands of the Eighties. They're still on a quest for originality, they tell Elisa Bray

Dom Joly: Fat pay cheques and sweet nothings when David phones Posh

"Babes, it's me, David." "David... David the stylist?' "No babes... David... Fluffles...."

Caught on the Net: A killer track to Skream about

La Roux's rise was helped by a remix of "In for the Kill" from the dubstep producer Skream. Now the electro duo are returning to the remix fray, via Major Lazer's electro-dancehall stylings. Apparently put together while Diplo and Switch – the producers behind Major Lazer – were in Jamaica, 'Lazerproof' is a 14-track mixtape with reworkings of La Roux material, alongside new work. Drake and Gucci Mane have added vocals. Diplo is not new to such efforts, having put together, among others, mixtapes with Santogold in 2008 and MIA's era-defining 'Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1' from 2004. The latest is a free download from his label MadDecent at Maddecent.com.

La Roux, Brixton Academy, London

Through the haze of hairspray, the jungle of permed hair and the suffocating corsetry of ultra-tight jeans, it can be hard to remember that there were some good things about the Eighties.

Elly Jackson: 'It's not just being catchy'

On the eve of the Ivor Novello Awards, La Roux frontwoman Elly Jackson reflects on the mysterious, cathartic and collaborative art of songwriting

Coco Sumner - Every little thing Sting's daughter does is magic

Teenager Coco Sumner has a three-album deal with Island Records and has modelled with Agyness Deyn. She tells Charlotte Cripps she is enjoying making it on her own

Gabriella Cilmi: Who's that girl?

Her 'Sweet About Me' was the most-played song in the UK in 2009. But now Gabriella Cilmi has ditched the bluesy image and reinvented herself as a sexy electro-pop siren. Gillian Orr finds out what's behind the transformation

Liz Hoggard: Never a better time to be a wordsmith

Popular culture is the crucible where language is being newly minted

Dom Joly: It's hectic at the Ministry of Pointless Annoyance

As both the year and the decade draw to an end and we leave the terribly named "Noughties" for the "Teen" years, one is drawn to reflection on things past. One is mainly drawn to said reflection, because one is bloody busy trying to find some bloody dinosaur toy that is sold out all over the country. One is, therefore, going to give you a list of the things one has loved and hated this year.

Caught in the Net - Something in the Air

Recently in Arts & Books we profiled the next group of female musicians poised to follow in the footsteps of La Roux, Florence and the Machine, Little Boots et al.

Caught in the Net: Back to the other Charlotte

As if it wasn't a productive year already for Charlotte Gainsbourg, what with all that genital mutilation in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, she's also gone back into a recording studio to follow up her excellent 2006 album 5.55. The first song to emerge from it is "IRM", and it's available for free from charlottegainsbourg.com.

Eye of the storm: Will you dare to wear extreme make-up?

Thanks to Lady Gaga, La Roux and Lily Allen playing with experimental warpaint is catching on

La Roux, Scala, London

Cracks in a mask of confidence

Speech Debelle rises from streets of London to win Mercury Prize

Rap artist's gritty take on urban life scoops prestigious award despite selling only 3,000 albums

Album: Noah And The Whale, The First Days of Spring (Mercury)

Barely a week goes by these days without the appearance of yet another concept album about a failed love affair, with efforts from La Roux and Frankmusik followed here by Noah and the Whale's account of their frontman and songwriter Charlie Fink's break-up with Laura Marling.

Once of no fixed abode, rapper finds a place on Mercury Prize shortlist

Speech Debelle edges out former favourite Lily Allen to pick up nomination
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