letter from the editor
Nothing has proved more powerful and enduring in popular culture than the streets. What goes on in this urban playground of ours, at street level, continues to inform every creative outlet you can think of – from art to skateboarding, from the music we listen to and the clubs we go to, to the way we speak and the way we dress. If you look closely you will see that the street’s cultural footprint is stamped all over these areas and more. But what is it that really makes the street so enduring an influence? For starters, it’s because what happens out on the streets is real, what grows and develops there is free of marketing and spin, and that is something that turns it into gold; such originality and uniqueness is priceless. It’s no wonder that fashion designers make it a priority to go and hang out on the streets and go to underground clubs, to check out what kids are wearing, to memorise what trends seem to be developing and what colours are hot. Then they scurry back to their grand houses and create hugely expensive collections, often inspired by something street. That is one of the greatest ironies of street culture: the ‘real’ streets are poor, the people don’t have money, they just have great ideas. When other people then use those ideas or perhaps their own experiences of the streets and end up getting rich - that then distances them totally from all the realities of daily street life. However, because the streets are such a golden currency, people will continue to milk their influence and their connection to the street for the entirety of their careers. Hence numerous street artists who now earn millions working for major brands yet still claim to be street. Or of course rappers, who go on and on about ‘still belonging to the streets’ or ‘still being gangsta’ but of course they are not at all. They wouldn’t ever want to leave their mansions and go back to the life they led on the street, but they know that be-
cause they lived it, they can always lay claim to a certain amount of respect, (even though in some cases this spell of street experience gets grossly exaggerated – P Diddy went to private school you know). But less of the negatives now, I just wanted to say that the ironies are not lost on us. What we have focused on in this issue is the positive and powerful creative force that the streets exert in the popular psyche and in the various things that people are putting their energy into. We have some great in-depth articles and I hope that you get a kick out of reading them. We have focused on street art and the many avenues that are flowing off this today – from advertising to fashion design – ask yourself what you think of Boris Hoppek’s the C.M.O.N.S or whether Banksy selling his work for thousands of pounds is a sell-out or not. It’s a complex argument; on one hand, how are they really ‘street’ anymore? And on the other, why should they have to fulfill the ‘starving artist’ cliché? Can you be rich and be street? It’s something that Christian Hundertmark discusses in the opening to an insightful photo essay highlighting some of the best works taken from his book ‘The Art Of Rebellion’ where he travelled the world photographing street art. Moving on, find out about underground music trend Dubstep: you will be hearing a lot more of this in the future. Club-nights like the brilliant Forward at Plastic People in London’s east end are pushing this to the next level – the roof is always on fire in there! There’s much more too, including a New York City Guide – the ultimate home of street culture. So, if all the world’s a playground, and we are all just players, then play on, player. Enjoy this issue and keep it peaceful on the streets. Liz McGrath Editor-in-Chief
Liz McGrath is from London and studied English at Cambridge. She has freelanced for The Independent, Zembla, I Magazine, The Face, Sleazenation, Touch, The International Herald Tribune, Style and the Family Tunes and is a freelance creative consultant for marketing company The Fish Can Sing. Liz is the Editor of electronic beats magazine.
Serena Kutchinsky studied History at Oxford University. She has written for Conde Nast Traveller, Marmalade and i-D, but has recently become something of a web mistress, working first for Ramp Industry and is now Managing Editor at Timeout.com.
VIKTORIA PELLES is Swedish/ English, grew up in Germany and is the newest addition to the electronic beats team. She’s got an English/German degree, loves fashion and grammatics. After falling in love with the city on a short visit, Viktoria left the Pacific shores of Sydney and now lives, works and dances in Berlin.
DAVID FISCHER left America for Berlin around 2001 in the beginning stages of a “promissing” career as a conceptual fashion photographer to explore a less pretentious approach to picture taking in a less established environment. Today David enjoys himself in Stockholm, Sweden.
C100 is Christian Hundertmark’s artist pseudonym. Starting out with graffiti in 89 he got into graphic design studies and back into street art in 1999. He runs the C100 design studio and published two books about street art “The Art of Rebellion 1 + 2”.
Johannes Bonke (24) is the owner of the press agency d:press and is one of the youngest international interviewers working at present. In the past six years, he has made around 700 interviews with A list stars, musicians, producers and directors, for over one hundred magazines, newspapers and online sites from five countries.
SeMIR chouaibi is the Online Editor of electronic beats. He majors in Islamic and North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and is editor of FoMP magazine.
TICA is the collaboration of Christine Fiedler and Caroline Pitzke. The two young Berlin photographers are specialising in music, people and fashion photography. No matter whether the setting is authentic or imaginary, they want to tell stories with their pictures. www.christinefiedler.de www.carolinepitzke.de
Laura Dunkelmann is a certified fashion journalist, but is also specialised in electronic music, contemporary and urban art, design and food. She works as lifestyleeditor at Gala, nightlife-author at Hamburg-based magazine Szene, and has freelanced as a fashion stylist for various productions before.
NEALE LYTOLLIS studied Journalism and Film History and moved to Berlin in summer 2005. He writes for Vice, Electronic Beats and Persona Non Grata as well as regularly contributing gig reviews and interviews for Vice Online. He is also the Personal Assistant to musician, Planningtorock.
Alex de BrabanT Born in Montreal, Canada, Alex de Brabant is a young emerging photographer. He started by assisting top fashion photographers such as Geoff Barrenger and Max Abadian. Now working in his own right, Alex has shot celebrities such as Morgan Freeman, Joss Stone and Anthony Hopkins.
CLAUDIA JONAS As project manager Claudia is responsible for the community program electronic beats. She has been working for several companies (T-Mobile, Motorola, Universal Music) in PR and Marketing, especially in the field of music-, lifestyle-, product- and artists. Claudia holds a Master in Cultural and Media Administration.
Peyman Farahani is studying Journalism and French at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is passionate about music and loves to share it. Sometimes he DJs, but most of his time is taken up with listening to loads of records for electronic beats magazine and online.
EMMA WARREN writes for the Observer Music Monthly, Marmalade, Dummy and fanzines including Hey Ladies. She has been a judge on the Mercury Music Prize on four occasions.
Rowan Chernin edits the web based magazine www.full-circleuk.com and is the director of ChairmanoftheBoard-uk.com, the company behind live surf film and music events.
LARS BORGES is living as a freelance photographer in Berlin. He studied Visual Communication and is now working in the fields of portraiture and documentary photography. Last year he was voted the best German up-and-coming photographer by the "Sony Talent Trophy".
ALICE ROSS is a Londoner who is currently living in Barcelona. She is editor of Barcelona Metropolitan, and writes on a freelance basis for other city publications including LeCool.
Jasper Greig is a writer and musician from Sydney, Australia. Currently residing in Berlin, he has contributed to many magazines including Ojo De Pez, VICE and Deutsch. He is also the organiser of the GALAOSHOTS short film festival.
SANDRA LIERMANN was the Fashion Editor of Deutsch and Doinfine before becoming the Fashion & Style Editor of electronic beats magazine. She lives and works in Berlin.
LISA SCHIBEL After working two years for Vasava Artworks in Barcelona Lisa returned to Berlin and immediately joined electronic beats to work as an art director and designer for the electronic beats publications, first of all the eb magazine. She also works as a freelance designer and illustrator for different clients and magazines.
Stefan Bogner Started as a keyboard player, completed his design studies with the design of the ultimate synthesiser, opened his own design studio fpm in 1994 and has since then created countless artworks and visuals for different labels and artists. Today as an AD he directs the visual style of eb magazine.
Electronic Beats Team:
Fashion and style editor:
associate Art direction
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urban playground 6 - 23 TUNE IN
24 - 53 FOCUS
54 - 59 Get DRESSED
60 - 63 features
............................................................. the time is now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 barometer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 ones to watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A WORD FROM THE WISE . . . . . . . . 18 TOUGH AT THE TOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 nokia all dressed up . . . . . . . 20
............................................................. BARCELONA STREET SPIRIT . . . . . 26 WHEN ADVERTISING MEETS ART 29 NAME YOUR PRICE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 HOW TO FAKE THAT STREET FEELING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 STREET LIFE AT SUNDANCE . . . . . 34 HERE COME THE DUBSTEPPAHS . 38 HYPER HYPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 BASSLINES IN THE U-BAHN . . . . . . 42 THE BEST MOVE WINS! . . . . . . . . . . . 44 DADA A LA STRADA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 THE ART OF REBELLION . . . . . . . . . 48
............................................................. GOODBYE WINTER HELLO YOU . . 54
............................................................. COME ON IN the sick girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
64 - 73 interviews
74 - 79 most wanted
80 - 89 jet setting
90 - 98 hear this
............................................................. eric d. clark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 a touch of class . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 jurassic 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
............................................................. mauerpark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
............................................................. New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
............................................................. The Collector’s Guide . . . . . . 92 reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 STREET ART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 my music moment: princess superstar . . . . . . . . . 98
hty ! The mig nic music eky chapo tr c le e f ch e e world o talented t us inside gs on in th the stunningly le in o ls g ir t s G e h as is e hott e Sick d with th e a Ones To Watc earances and th that! e e p s to e ar app t up .... 14 r all e brough Robots in Disguis obilee all make much wiser afte .............. 15 b .. .. to .. .. e r .. a .. so ..... ...... Prep ental from M e feeling .......................... .......................... slightly m o, Ralf Kollman ou will b .. .. Y .... 16 .. .. . .. .. .. e and just .. .. .. In m .. .. .. n o .. .. .. r O .. .. .. T. Ch Come .......... .......... .......... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 17 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. py, Jamie apar tments for .......... .. .......... .......... .......... eir .............. .......................... .......................... .......................... ........... 18 .. .. .. .. one of th .. .. .. e is now .............. .............. .............. .............. 9 the tim r...................... uise ...... .......................... .......................... ...................... 1 disg e t in .. .. .. e .. .. .. .. 0 .. .. .. 2 .. .. ots .. . .. .. rom .. b .. .. .. a .. .. .. b ro ...... ........ ........ .......... watch: . ............ .............. .......................... .......................... .. .. .. .. .. ones to atch: jamie t o .. .. e w chrom .............. .............. ones to e wise: n............ .......................... rom th rene kollma .. f ........ a word the top: .............. at .............. p u d e tough ll dress nokia a
PLAYHOUSE! Merchandise, a word that sounds awful to your ears if you happen to be afraid of pseudo-funny, over-sized written slogans on one-size shirts. But Playhouse products are different. Would the people responsible for re-leasing such great music do something tasteless? Hello, artists like MyMy, Carsten Jost, Roman Flügel and Villalobos publish music here! Of course, all Playhouse-products are far away from any usual branded fluff. They already have a collection of charming graphic and word shirts – but the latest edition to the Playhouse empire is a jewellery collection called “AND”. All pieces of this unisex collection are made of silver that suit party girls’ necks and clubbers arms and compliment classic, casual or ultra fashionable outfits equally. Of course, the necklaces and bracelets
with their charms don’t hide the music affection and the origin of their designers, Playhouse boss Ata and his girlfriend. Still, it is cool enough that it is not too obvious and behind the shiny jewellery is a message: each pendant hides a secret meaning. Cassette tape? Easy to understand. A Flash? Stands for New Wave and Blitz Club London. But why the dog pendant? “Dachshund!” explains Ata of the one non-music symbol, who is rarely seen without his beloved Dorle. “That charm is for our favourite dog Dorle and the absolute love for each dachshund.” The interpretation of the love-pill charm might vary on personal experiences then.... By Laura Dunkelmann
DIRTY BEAUTIFUL THE
PHOTOGRAPHY OF DIANA SCHEUNEMANN By Jasper GrEig
At 32 years old, Diana Scheunemann has achieved more than your average girl on the street. The German-born, London-based photographer garnered much controversy last year upon the release of her first self-titled book of works. The images in the book are unsettling perhaps not so much for their sexually graphic nature, (although they don’t leave much to the imagination), as to the fact that they are obviously very personal portaits of people close to the photographer. Of course, many photographers in recent years have made a name for themselves following a similar path, most notably Terry Richardson. His images of young models naked, having sex, taking drugs etc were designed however to be splashed across billboards and Diana has grown very tired of having her work compared by the press and public - “People don’t seem to be able to see beyond naked skin”, she says. What was intriguing for many though, was the fact that her sexual images not only felt very real but that they were shot by a woman. Diana says that her work is inspired by ‘Illusion’ and yet in all her pictures there is a sense of a real life moment being captured. It is also this that has led to Diana being classified as a ‘street’ photographer and brought her to the attention of magazines such as The Face, Vice and Dazed & Confused, no bad thing one would think.
Diana however feels that she has already moved on from that particular style which she originally found so inspiring. “I am very ambitious”, she told electronic beats. “I am interested in anything that is new, different and exciting. I would now like to try to merge a more artificial feel with the realism of my old pictures”. Her new work is in fact different, as it should be - the purpose of art is to grow, evolve and avoid repetition but there is still a ‘street’ feel to the work. The next year will see Diana criss-crossing Europe holding exhibitions, shooting editorials for some of the worlds best magazines and gathering material for her next book. She loves London, she hates flying, she likes music that is man-made, she wants to have children and dogs but thinks she is too busy right now for anything like that. I ask her she has a motto for life and she says “Be honest to yourself and try to find a way of keeping a balance between private life and career. It’s a hard one!!”
“Diana Scheunemann by Diana Scheunemann” is published by Damiani www.dianascheunemann.com
‘electronic beats’ in 2006 was certainly a year to remember with sold-out live music events across Europe, ‘club specials’ in Berlin, Barcelona and along the Adria Coast as well as an exciting first-time presence at the Sonar Record Fair in Barcelona. These highlights and more were made possible with your involvement and the dedication of exciting new artists, DJs and the rest of the ‘electronic beats’ community. But last year’s excitement was just the beginning as ‘electronic beats’ in 2007 promises more great events and activities to keep you in-the-know, on-the-move and inthe-scene. To bring you the same great live music experiences you’ve come to love, ‘electronic beats’ events will be returning throughout the spring and fall season to some of our favourite cities such as Vienna, Prague and Budapest (cities/dates to follow). Once again, you can expect an eclectic hybrid of international artists of whom all have a passion for rocking your favourite advanced music up until the early morning hours! If you want to start partying before the festival season begins, check out the Spring Seven Festival in Graz/Austria (May16-20) - presented by ‘electronic beats’. During that time the former culture capital becomes a pulsing metropolis. International electronic music top acts, superstar DJs, visual artists and club culture outrider celebrate the sixth update of the spring festival together with local electronic music talents, famous DJs and underground heroes. And don’t miss ‘electronic beats’ at the Sonar Record Fair in Barcelona (June 14-16). The time has come to rock the beat! By Claudia Jonas
www.electronicbeats.net |www.springseven.at | www.sonar.es
BON ANNIVERSAIRE, COLETTE!
Colette must surely have surpassed even its own wildest expectations. It was set up in 1997 and was one of the first ‘concept stores’ in Europe. Ever since that time it has cut a dash and become a true trend-setter, buying in unusual stock from cutting-edge designers. Of course Parisians have always been famous for their style, but Colette has taken them to a whole new level on the international stage. A decade has passed since they first started out and so to celebrate their 10th birthday, the Colette mascots, Caperino and Peperone have teamed up with a number of leading fashion brands such as Goyard and Lacoste for a special limited-edition line of t-shirts and trainers. Own your piece of Colette history now! By Liz mcgrath
EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE Hauling vinyl isn’t as much fun as spinning it, so unless you are a Villalobos, for whom some techno freaks would carry menhirs just to be by your side, you will be happy to hear about this: A truly practical bag for records that isn’t ugly but stylish from its name to its look. “Chateau Vinyl” by Airbag Craftworks holds up to 75 black discs and can be divided into two sections that stand consecutive or parallel – whatever fits your booth or style better. For maximum relaxation from the taxi to the club, and for those sensible musician shoulders, the strap is extra padded. Earphones, sampler and passport will fit into the attached mini-bag and make “Chateau Vinyl” the ideal comrade for travelling around the world or just through town. But in these superficial times it’s not only the comfort that counts – for optical attractiveness this deluxe DJ-bag comes in a deep black shade or a shiny innocent white. A bag so great, you would even consider carrying it for somebody else just to hold it, even if it isn’t Ricardo. By Laura Dunkelmann
THE ART OF MUSIC
“Hand-written signs, adverts at little shops or groceries and unique typo I see in the streets – that is what inspires me the most.” Says ultra-creative Hamburg-based artist Stefan Marx. The man who started with graffiti in the early 90s is now known for cute to cool artwork that makes life a lot more beautiful. For Cleptomanicx, he’s designing skateboards and skateparks, his second and largestto-date picture book came out in February and for his own fashion label Lousy Living he creates “favourite T-shirts”, low in quantity but high in quality. After clothing, skate hardware, several installations, books and his first ever record cover for Isolée in 2005, he now beats up music with his arty images in a new dimension: he has designed the whole look of the electronic music-only record store Smallville, which has locations in Hamburg and Paris. From typeface, website, windows and logo, everything is made by Marx. Even better that Hamburg’s Smallville, run by musician Lawrence, DJ Julius Steinhoff and Stella Plazonja, just recently turned into a label, so it is Marx again who will ensure that Smallville EPs will get the couture packing treatment so that they perfectly match the mood of the electronic tracks inside. Different from his inspiration, it is not the selling aspect that counts: it is about emotional and optical support and the intensification of feelings – of course, the best way to experience it is getting one of the new Smallville vinyls ... BY LAURA DUNKELMANN www.livincompany.com | www.smallville-records.com | www.cleptomanicx.de |www.nieves.ch
BERLIN CALLING 25TH –28TH
By sandra liermann
Admittedly the term “fashion week” is a bit of an exaggeration since the week à la mode in Berlin didn’t start until Thursday. A great success it was nevertheless. More than a thousand brands presented their collections at three fairs: The “Premium” tradeshow hosted more than 700 selected exhibitors from 19 countries, which made the Fall/Winter 2007/2008 “Premium” the largest and most extensive since its premiere in 2003. Then there was the “Ideal” showroom featuring smaller vanguard, experimental and independent labels and the “Spirit of Fashion” for those out there into goth, punk and rock. After a successful weekend in Barcelona, the “Bread & Butter” offered about 30 labels a platform for creative image presentation. The amazingly lit décor of the old Kraftwerk reminded some Berliners of the good old times in the early 90s, when clubs like the famous E-Werk were raving until the wee hours. Thursday night started out at the Berlin townhouse with the long awaited début show of Michael Michalsky’s own premium label “Michalsky” and his high-end jeans collection Planet “M”. Inspired by the 1920s, especially nude dancer Anita Berber who was known for her bewitching dance styles, Michalsky’s collection is his homage to Berlin. Therefore, the ex global design chief of Adidas and creative director of MCM showed rather androgynous looks with lots of tailored suits for men and women, finely detailed white shirts as well as cool urban denim styles in mostly understated black and white. The show was topped off by some very glam pearly evening dresses. Michalsky wants to do “real clothes for real people”, a mixture of classical looks and street wear, and so he did successfully. The Berliners welcomed their new star designer with ovations.
The showdown continued on Friday night with a catwalk marathon: the Beck’s Fashion Experience, where seven young designers were chosen from a high-class jury, was closely followed by the Ideal show that presented five up-and-coming designers: Makin Jan Ma, Rickard Lindqvist, FXDXV, Penkov and Ab Irato. The Friday morning however changed the future of Berlin’s fashionable being. Fern Mallis of sport and entertainment agency IMG, who also organises the Fashion Week New York, announced at a press conference the start of the “Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin”, the first of which will take place this summer. A tent will be built up in front of Berlin’s landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, where big national and international designers will show their collections from the 12th to the 15th of July. Three days still don’t make a week, but it seems like Berlin has finally got seriously fashionable.
20 degrees and glorious sunshine welcomed international guests to the“Bread and Butter tradeshow for selected brands” in Barcelona. The numbers speak for themselves: with almost 83,000 registered visitors, this year’s fair beat all previous records. For us abandoned Berliners (‘cause Berlin is where it’s all started) all that remains to say is: Congratulations!
B B BARCELONA By lisa schibel and sandra liermann
THE TIME IS
ROWAN CHERNIN TELLS YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS SPRING FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE POP CULTURE GLOBE.
There is no room for peasants on dirtydirtydancing.com, a gallery where the young exotic beasts of London clubland have been captured in action, writhing in a fashion frenzy. It is from these dark creative confines that such characters as myspace.com/bloggersdelight, a DJ collective that began as a Sunday pub/club in Camden Town’s Lock Tavern, now deliver their first podcast which echoes the pulse of electronic/rock/ dance tracks. BLOGGERS are also goggled-up and ready to invade Europe. First stop is SNOWBOMBING “piste by day, beats by night”, a six-day affair in Austria with a line-up of live acts and DJs you’d expect to find at Glastonbury (see snowbombing.co.uk). JUSTICE will be in a town near you following their Oceanic Tour of Australia, with a schedule stretching from Ghent to San Francisco. They’ve made a lot of friends since their summer anthemic call to arms ‘We Are Your Friends”. See EDBANGERRECORDS. COM for tips on friendship through world dance domination.
While a new hybrid generation of club music and indie bands raved and rocked-out toward the end of last summer, the disgruntled voice of the oneman band (occasionally with a drummer/backing signer, etc.) held court in the background on the Internet stage. Now they’ve grown up to become features at real venues with album deals and national radio play. From folk freaks to acoustic rockabillys, the one-man band is coming. The gnarly folk of Jamie T has recently sprung to the media’s attention, but behind the hype other wild cards include Jack Penate, now working with producer Jim Abiss (worked with Arctic Monkeys, and Kasabian) on a forthcoming album out “spring/summer” described as “alternative/rockabilly/soul” on jackpenate.com. Then there is the country-blues-folk of Johnny Flynn, now playing on his label’s website youngandlostclub.com. Get a taste for the alternative sounds before your grandparents or George Brush do a Google on it!
Desperate for festival, holiday and suntan combined? Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival happens on April 27-29 under baking Californian sunshine located in a desert flanked by a forest of palms. See coachella.com for a sublime line-up. On the other side of the pond, Brighton’s Great Escape on May 17-19 is growing each year to become the UK’s showcase networking platform for breaking new artists no one has ever heard of. See escapegreat.com for tickets and how your band can get on stage. The jury is officially out as to who will be playing at this year’s Benicassim, the Spanish answer to Glastonbury happening July 19-22. Although there is a lack of any hint about who will appear in the line-up, let alone headline, tickets are selling fast at slightly discounted prices. The offer lasts until April 30th at fiberfib.com. Bring on the sunshine … NOW.
Invasion maps from the master of urban space invasion and Rubicubism, AKA Space Invader (space-invaders.com), show how extensively this street artist has spread his tiled alien art around the planet’s metropolises. For the ink-crowned stencil king of the urban sprawl, see banksy.co.uk and witness an extensive catalogue of work and artistic intricacies such as a guide to blagging: “Never write a guide telling other people how to blag things.” And graffiti, the stuff of every councillor’s nightmares, inhabits a different orbit at graffiti.org where you can find out how to successfully remove unwanted aerosol art and all about the latest events. But you must abide by the golden rule: “No beef allowed at all... please respect all surrounding walls.” On a train near you soon!
FILM SUNSHINE is an experience taking the viewer even further than Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 into a computer-generated vision of deep space. The sun is dying and mankind is dying with it. A spaceship containing a probe is sent from earth to fix it and the eight-man/woman crew embark on a harrowing and mysterious quest for their sanity – not ideal viewing for a first date, see sunshinedna.com. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER sees director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) combine the twists of Shakespeare’s four main tragedies into a melodramatic whirl of sword-swipe-tastic entertainment mixed with love and betrayal. The CGI cast of warriors, on sonyclassics.com/curseofthegoldenflower, is too real. If fear is your big screen drug of choice, the sci-fi thriller 28 WEEKS promises to unleash havoc amongst paranoid viewers as a deadly virus wipes out London, which is then repopulated by the Americans, then the virus returns even deadlier than before. One way or another, Hollywood has got it in for us all.
FASHION Most important thing to note about women’s fashion is that the look for this summer is not all catwalk-driven (see CLUBS dirtydirtydancing.com). The faces of clubland are dictating what they want through the nu-rave/ rock/pop/plastic explosion that mutates from one weekend to the next. Cassette Playa (cassetteplaya.rendez-vous-paris.com) is the label riding the neon supernova wave of dancefloor fashion with “a toxicolour uniform … a hallucinogenic infection … of wotsit orange, fluoro snot green, electric blue and ribena purple!” Festival-wear is also undergoing a revolution now that “peasant chic” has finally been revolutionised and the traditional San Francisco hippy dresses and high waist pale blue 70s jeans return. DKNY (dkny.com) has mixed this hippy look with a sporty vibe just in case you get any “heat” from the “fuzz” you’re “dust”… Menswear has plimsolls, like the ones from Duffer of St. George, with everything and nautical stripes, see fullcircleuk.com, for a summer casual unless you too have succumbed to the spread of rave-glow. For something in between, there’s sheeny fabrics with zips and trims, futuristic colours like steely greys and cobalt blues for a sporty look from the likes of genuine active wear purveyors such as Umbro (umbro.com) to fashion brands like Miu Miu (miumiu.com).
THE UPS AND DOWNS ON OUR FRIVOLOUS TINY MINDS THIS SPRING.
BAROMETER Rehab! It’s like, totally the place to be right now! French band Noze – just discovered these guys at time of going to print. Expect them for ‘Ones to Watch’ next time! so hot. Metallic accessories! We are so glad this trend is still e, chang small of colour the and If it ain’t shiny we ain’t interested. r! first festivals of the yea Looking for ward to the for s your ticket Glastonbury? Booked Have you registered for Benicassism? We have!
Britney Spears’ life. It’s seriously gone right dow n the toilet! Girlfriend has completel y unravelled! Shaving her head and losing custody of her kid s? We hope she gets better soon.
k trip. ew Yor w.) N e h t er no had af t s right bills we w YSL hankie d r a c e n dit The cre bing into our b o s e r a (We
www.theartofquitting.com is a Dutch website which asks visitors to post a ‘quit smoki ng’ message in the most int eresting way they can. Check out the bent cigarette mim icking the Nike symbol with the slogan ‘Just Quit It’.
The state of Berlin’s pavements. Truly horrible. People still think it’s actually ok to let their dogs crap in the middle of streets here!! Good to see the Dark Ages are still alive and kicking.
Prince Charles says that McDonalds should be banned. We need a McHangover Burger every now and then Charlie, give us a break!
Global Warming. This is bad news and canno t be ignored anymore. We don’t wa nt to drown in freak flo oding on our own doorsteps or frazzl e to a crisp in summe r, thanks.
ONES TO WATCH
ROBOTS IN DISGUISE BIRDS OF PARADISE By Liz McGrath
Sue Denim and Dee Plume, AKA Robots in Disguise, are busy knitting brightly coloured woolly scarves when I meet them in a cosy little café on Warschauer Strasse in Berlin. ‘Hello!’ they chirp together, their knitting needles moving fast. It’s something of a shock to see them in normal everyday clothing, as fans of RID will know, on stage they are usually decked out in fluorescent shades of pink, yellow, green and blue with wild hair and make up, looking not far off from a pair of glittery, exotic parakeets. And then when they start playing, a brilliant clusterfuck mix of electro, nu rave and rock’n’roll, shouting out lyrics to “The DJs Got a Gun” or “Turn It Up”, you know you are in the presence of some very hot new female talent. The robots are in an upbeat mood today, they are recording their new album nearby, in the apartment of their long-term friend and producer, Chris Corner (he of ‘Sneaker Pimps’ and ‘I Am X’ fame). “It’s great we got our publisher to pay for us to make this album this time round” says Dee. “Chris has made us a little rehearsal room meets recording studio in his flat." Let’s rewind a little bit. The girls met at Liverpool University over seven years ago. The band initially was more about “us just having guitars under our beds. We used them to try and entice boys
back and then we’d try and get off with them basically”. They truly became Robots in Disguise in 2000 with their first EP ‘Mix Up Words And Sounds’. Their self-titled debut album that followed in 2002 (released on cool French label Recall) had an assortment of legendary pop and electro stars drooling at their glittery brogues – Boy George, Peaches and Imogen Heap to name a few. But it was their last album ‘Get Rid!’, (RID standing for Robots in Disguise, geniuses), that really started what can only be called something of a phenomenal amount of support. At the last count and at time of going to print, RID have 52,010 friends on myspace. Dee ponders this for a while and then says, “If they sent us a euro each then maybe we could actually get some money! Ha ha. We do get quite a lot of work through it, like a lot of bookers contact us through there, so yeah, can’t complain!” The fact RID do make their own costumes, record round mates’ houses and do their own cover artwork makes them part of a whole wave of bands who have this D.I.Y attitude of “let’s do it the way we want and save time and money doing so.” You have got to applaud it. The RID look first involved “rather unglamorous robots outfits, kind of like factory worker outfits, but then we decided that was really unsexy and
we didn’t want to look like that on stage, so it just developed” explains Dee. “We put our make up on together before the shows, so we end up caked in it” says Sue. Ever any catfights over that last bit of bright pink blush? “Oh no!” they chorus. If you haven’t been to a Robots in Disguise gig yet then make sure you catch them when they do roll into your city, because it’s a full on assault on your senses. Expect a sweaty, turbo charged hour of electronic madness with extremely colourful and bonkers kids dancing around and crowd surfing. Although, watch out, because you might just bump into Sue and Dee at other bands gigs - behaving like any other music lover. When I first walk into the café, Dee looks at me and says – “We met before!” Indeed we had, at the packed out and sweaty front of a Klaxons gig in Berlin, without knowing who they were, I had complimented them both on the glittery bicycle helmets they were wearing. They said cheers and turned around to continue shouting ‘we want glow-sticks!’ and crowd surfing at every available opportunity. Now that’s dedication to the rave cause. Now get RID! Robots in Disguise second album ‘We’re In the Music Biz’ will be released in May on President Records. www.president-records.co.uk www.myspace.com/robotsindisguise
ONES TO WATCH
JAMIE T ECLECTIC ELECTRIC By Paul Sullivan
It’s one in the afternoon and Jamie Treay has just woken up. “Alright mate,” he slurs in a voice still furry with last night’s dream-fuzz. He was performing last night, he explains, in Portsmouth. Any good? “Yeah, touring is better these days. People actually turn up to the shows now …” A couple of years ago Jamie T wasn’t on the mainstream radar. His sphere of fame extended primarily to a few pubs in South London, where bemused locals would watch the gangly 21-yearold bash out eclectic, rambling, punk-reggae-hip hop mash-ups on an acoustic four-string bass. “Quite a lot of stuff happened in those days,” claims Jamie, waking up quickly. “I remember being in a pub in Kingston with around eight people watching. I thought they were all locals so I started freestylin’ a song about lads from Battersea all thinking they’re big boys when they’re not. There was this line about “Battersea brats/are all a bunch of twats” or something. It turned out they were all from Battersea. Things got a bit moody after that…” Having honed his skills on the back-room circuit, Jamie built up a bedroom studio in his house in Wimbledon. He began making mixtapes that blended together tunes by his favourite bands and his own compositions. He called these tapes the “Panic Prevention” series after a self-help CD his mum had given him a couple of years before,
when his excessive lifestyle was, he admits, “spiralling out of control”. It was when he started his own night at London’s intimate 12 Bar Club though that his name really started to spread. The spot was a regular A&R haunt, and it wasn’t long before Jamie’s talents were noticed. He was approached by a Virgin Records rep and asked if he would be interested in making an album. “I told him to piss off at first,” recalls Jamie. “Then he came and asked again, and I said I’d think about it and get back to him the next day. I thought fuck it, I might as well. I mean, I wasn’t doing anything else …” Over the last year or so the wider public has gained a taste of Jamie’s idiosyncratic style via singles like “Sheila” and “If You Got The Money” – both shining examples not only of his magpie musical style (he throws in everything from electronic beats and slippery punk basslines to rinky-dink Casio melodies and sampled strings), but also his witty and observant lyrics, which document the seamier side of London life: getting drunk and getting laid; drugs and fights; night buses and crap New Year’s Eves … “It’s not intentional,” declaims Jamie. “I just write about things that are around me. I’ve never listened to music that’s overly metaphorical, I prefer stuff that’s got some reality to it, and all the songs I write are about situations
I’ve been in.” Jamie’s debut album, also called Panic Prevention, features more of the same. Following a memorable intro – namely, Jamie yelling “fucking croissant!” – it veers drunkenly from one messy tune to the next with gleeful abandon. The catchy choruses, sing-a-long melodies and short skits (most of which involve Jamie swearing) cleverly counter-balance the streetwise lyrics and astute musical referencing. It makes for a more cheerful listen than The Streets, and it’s less corny than Lily Allen. The album has already had the critics comparing Jamie to Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Paul Weller … does that please or annoy him? “I couldn’t really give a fuck,” he chirps. “I mean, it’s good, I suppose, but I don’t think it’s particularly true.” He now has a backing band called The Pacemakers, and he’s already planning for a second album. That said, his audience is growing at an alarming rate and he isn’t quite sure what will happen next. “The first album is a bit disjointed,” he admits. “So a second album will be different. This one just happened. I had these songs, these moments of my life already and I just threaded them all together. They were mine, now they’re yours. Onto the next thing, whatever that may be.” www.myspace.com/jamietwimbledon www.jamie-t.com
A WORD FROM THE WISE
Chromeo are Pee Thug and Dave 1, best friends since their Montreal adolescence, virtuoso musicians, walking hip hop encyclopedias, and the only successful Arab/Jew partnership since the dawn of human culture. Hear their wise words now... By Liz McGrath
Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man... there’s your diamond in the rough. All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. I hope that after I die, people will say of me, “That guy sure owed me a lot of money.” The expectations that you have of other people, always double them when it comes to yourself. I hope that someday we will be able to put away our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people and ourselves. If you’re a bad liar, here’s a little tip: it’s not a lie if you believe it! If you think a weakness can be turned into a strength, I hate to tell you this, but that’s another weakness. Trying on pants is one of the most humiliating things a man can suffer that doesn’t involve a woman. War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. What Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all those guys said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong. If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, “Because of something you did.” It’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, “Hey, can you give me a hand?” you can say, “Sorry, got these sacks.” When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmm, boy.
Chromeo’s debut LP, She’s In Control, is out now on V2 www.chromeo.net www.myspace.com/chromeo
TOUGH AT THE TOP
RALF KOLLMAN MOBILEE RECORDS BERLIN By Liz McGrath
Hi Ralf. You set up mobilee with Anja Schneider – where did you meet each other and what made you decide to work together?
We met in Berlin 4 years ago. Anja was still working at the radio full-time and I was working in an advertising agency. In the beginning we started a monthly party at Watergate and some other projects together. When Anja became more and more successful as a DJ and wanted to start her own label, I was at her side to help her. Now it’s a full-time job for both of us and we are moving to a new office with 2 studios for our mobilee artists! We are working hand in hand and have a similar music and “rave” history. When Anja moved to Berlin in the beginning of the 90s, I had my first club experiences in Sven Väth’s Omen when I was sixteen years old. Oh shit – 15 years later and I am still interested in that music!? Describe the mobilee sound. The mobilee sound is defined by the artists. That is all. Everyone has an unique style, but it fits together perfectly. This is Anja’s job by the way. She has an unbelievable feeling for the right tracks and discovering new talents. It was never the intention of mobilee to sign well-known artists or to push new talents by buying an expensive remix. We prefer to invest the money in our own artists and the profile of the label. Philip Sherburne described the mobilee sound as “rave-tested minimalism”. That sounds nice, but after 15 years in electronic years, you don’t know musical boundaries. How closely involved are you with your mobilee artists? We all have a close relationship. Most of our main artists are living in Berlin or moved to Berlin recently. It’s the typical so-called “family thing”. Everyone is working very professionally and delivers high-quality productions. We also do the remix management for some of our artists and offer them to get in our booking agency. How much of your day do you actually spend listening to music?
To be honest, I listen to the radio all day besides listening to the latest releases, promos and my favourite music on the laptop. Which of your artists has surprised you the most? Everyone. But to name a few, I was most surprised by Sebo K, Pan-Pot, GummiHz, Exercise One, Anja Schneider and Marcin Czubala.
What would you say is the biggest factor in mobilee’s success?
Some talents in organisation, promotion and running a little company. A good distributor named Word And Sound. Not always doing what other people think, say or expect. And of course: The A&R – Mrs Schneider! What stresses you out most, and how do you best deal with that?
I never get stressed. Managing a music label and DJing from time to time is a big pleasure. How close a team are you – and how do you keep good relations with your staff? We always try to initiate events and dinners with the
whole crew. The best party we had so far was at last year’s Sonar Festival at Raum Club and the beach. We also rented 2 big apartments on the same floor and invited everyone who belongs to mobilee. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Would you agree and what do you have for breakfast? Yes, it is and we
spend a lot of time on it. A lot of decisions are taken while having “Latte Machiattos” and some “Schrippen with Leberwurst”! What are mobilee releasing this spring that you especially want to tell us about? Beside some 12' releases from Marco Resmann,
GummiHz and a new Anja Schneider, the main project for the next months is the start of a DJ-mix serial called “Backup”. No one else but Sebo K is starting with a timeless mix of some of his favourite tunes from the past and the future. This issue is all about the street and urban spaces – what influences do you pick up from the streets? I think that mobilee is a part
of the urban culture in Berlin and people are inspired by our music, design and everything. But, of course, especially Berlin inspires me with its history. You can see it everywhere you go. What’s your all-time favourite raving record? Besides twenty others, it’s maybe “Losing Control” by Daniel Bell. You have 3 wishes for 2007, one for the label, one for yourself and one for someone else – what do you wish for? Good music,
being kissed every morning, more good remixes by “someone else”!
When you first founded mobilee, what would you say were your original ideas and initial intentions, and is that what still drives you today? Passion for music. Freedom. Doing what you really like to do
and working with friends and people you like and respect.
NOKIA ALL DRESSED UP
Nokia 7370 Illustration Annette Bauer Turquoise cashmere scarf Lala Berlin
It was during the Berlin Fashion Week that Nokia hosted their temporary ‘72-hour store’ in the ever-happening Münzsalon to present their new ‘L’ Amour Collection’ Phones. And pouring in there were all the fashionistas and social-butterflies; as this event was being hosted by Nokia for the second year running, word had spread of great drinks, food and relaxed atmosphere. While guests were seeing the newest looks from Berlin designers Lala Berlin and Ina Seifart, plus checking out the new collection of fashionable handsets from Nokia, DJs were spinning the latest beats to keep that chilled out vibe going. Here’s some artwork from up-and-coming designers inspired by Nokia’s fashion phones. By SANDRA LIERMANN
Nokia 8800 Illustration
Christian Hundertmark www.c100studio.com
Nokia 7373 Illustration Kati Meden | www.goyippi.net
Nokia 7390 Lisa Schibel | www.lisaschibel.de Jewelery Ina Seifart | www.inaseifart.de
It’s a jungle out there! Check out what’s happening in our Urban Playground this issue. From the influence of Barcelona’s Street Art to Boris Hoppek’s work with Corsa, to sell-out graffiti artists, to the awesome new indoor street skate plaza in London, to sweaty dancefloors moving to the Dubstep beat, to how to blag your way onto a top-secret rave on the U-Bahn in Berlin, to PSP addicts with a creative touch, to photos of street art that you will never forget - there is enough here to convince you that the streets are truly where it’s at. BARCELONA STREET SPIRIT ......................................................................................................................... 26 WHEN ADVERTISING MEETS ART ................................................................................................................. 29 NAME YOUR PRICE ......................................................................................................................................... 30 HOW TO FAKE THAT STREET FEELING ......................................................................................................... 32 STREET LIFE AT SUNDANCE . ........................................................................................................................ 34 HERE COME THE DUBSTEPPAHS .................................................................................................................. 38 HYPER HYPHY ................................................................................................................................................. 40 BASSLINES IN THE U-BAHN . ......................................................................................................................... 42 THE BEST MOVE WINS! . ................................................................................................................................. 44 DADA A LA STRADA . ...................................................................................................................................... 46 THE ART OF REBELLION . .............................................................................................................................. 48
BARCELONA STREET SPIRIT BY ALICE ROSS
Nothing beats a city with sunshine and good graffiti, and Barcelona has plenty of both. From its ancient Gothic inner city to its harsh, post-industrial outskirts, Barcelona is a wonderland maze of inviting open wallspaces that have acted as a magnet for painters from across Europe. Until a tough “civic behaviour” law changed the rules last year, the city hall’s open attitude was an added bonus. It actively encouraged a bold, distinctive graffiti culture to develop, fostering street art as a vital part of Barcelona’s (highly marketable) identity as a buzzing centre of quirky, offbeat creativity.
Rather than spraying words, Barcelona’s graffitologists tend to sign their work with highly distinctive, cartoon-like characters: a manic grinning shark for Pez (“Fish” in Spanish), or sad-eyed, helmet-wearing little boys for TVBoy. Their murals are brightly coloured and witty. They tell freaky, funny stories that make passers-by smile. The sense of fun and creative freedom that they lend to the city is infectious, and Barcelona’s budding scene of fashionistas and graphic designers have been quick to pick up on graffiti as a sort of visual shorthand for the city, highlighting its creative imagination and rebellious streak. And they’ve done it well: there’s a reason that the huge street fashion event Bread & Butter is now held in Barcelona as well as Berlin. Custo Barcelona and Desigual, two of the city’s best-known fashion brands, have made their names with their funky, eccentric styling that echoes the city’s distinctive graffiti “look”. Custo made its name with its trademark T-shirts and originally-cut dresses, worn by celebrities from Alek Wek and Beyoncé to Tobey McGuire and Samuel L Jackson. At the epicentre of the Custo look is a riot of contrasting patterns and colours, with faces, flowers, animals and phrases splashed boldly across them. Further down the price ladder, streetwear brand Desigual’s asymmetric skirts, elegant tops and T-shirts are given a contemporary urban twist through the bright patterns daubed onto them. Graffiti-inspired symbols on the cuffs or shoulders of well-cut men’s shirts and sweaters, and on the hemlines of skirts add a sassy edge to the brand’s hugely popular designs. Some fashion designers have gone one step further to incorporate the street aesthetic into their work, working with the graffers themselves. Sixeart’s vivid, off-kilter animals and geometric patterns decorate elegant dresses in a collection by young designer Zaira Dolz. He’s also designed trainers and store stands to add street cred to the Barcelona store of Munich trainers. At Bread & Butter fringe show ModaFAD, underground designer Eva T worked with graffitologist Jota Loca to add colour and clout to her men’s designs and trainers. While the local fashion scene has turned the “street” into sales with ease, in other areas cashing in on street art is less straightforward. Barcelona is still pretty new as a centre of marketing and graphic design, and people here have learned from the mistakes of others. They’re well aware that simply slapping some squiggly writing on things to make them look hip is a tactic that’s been milked dry by international brands, from soft drink companies to car manufacturers. The juicy teenage market that “urban” marketing campaigns are aimed at has become increasingly immune to the impact of TV, billboard, print and radio advertising, preferring to spend time on the web and on their mobile phones. They’re especially cynical towards advertisers who make poorlyjudged or out-of-touch attempts to muscle in on graffiti, hip hop speak, or other aspects of youth lifestyle. Because of this, brands that target the youth market must now look for more “authentic” routes to the street spirit if they’re to hang onto street cred. Some brands – especially those whose niche markets are tightly bound to the street lifestyle – are already old hands at connecting with their consumers more directly. Some of them are now branching out into art, graphic design and, of course, graffiti. Both Carhartt and Vans, besides sponsoring skateboard, BMX and snowboarding teams, now also collaborate with artists, including, naturally, a healthy portion of graffers. By organising online, instore and gallery exhibitions and helping graffers make a living from their passion, they can claim to be more committed to the art itself and, by association, those lucrative street values. Carhartt goes even further, with an art blog, a competition for graff designs for their delivery vans, and ranges of limited-edition T-shirts by graffiti artists that come
in presentation boxes – complete with an artist biography. Like Levi’s, Carhartt produces its own instore magazine, Rugged, to further boost its rebellious, countercultural branding. Other industries are less successful in their attempts to tap into the youth market through street art. Earlier this year, a stunt where street artists were hired to plant small light installations promoting the cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force triggered a major terrorist alert in Boston: bridges were closed, chaos ensued and the media – and police – went berserk. The two who had placed the installations were arrested and face jail time; the corporation chiefs behind the campaign have been left looking exploitative and irresponsible, and devoid of all credibility. Not very cool. Even street marketing campaigns that haven’t triggered major municipal emergencies have met with a backlash in recent times. In a US promotion for the Sony PSP handheld console in late 2005, Tats Cru sprayed cute, manga-influenced kids enjoying their PSPs on walls in cities across the country. Graffers took umbrage, and a campaign of defacing the images spread from San Francisco across the country, fuelled by shrieks of “sellout!” from graffiti blogs. In Barcelona, a recent campaign posted large graffiti-style paper art pieces on walls with a web address that turned out to be a Vodafone promotion. Again, posters were torn down and defaced
all over the city. In both of these episodes, brand masterminds lost control of their campaign once it hit the streets. Guerrilla marketing has become dangerous territory. Most of Barcelona’s street artists have been wary of big brands, and Barcelona’s artists and graphic designers have been reluctant to appear to be ripping off or exploiting the work of graffers. When they do use graffiti, they do so carefully – as in design collective area3’s web animation for the Sony PSP, where tags by Hola Sombrero are worked into the background of a scene set on the Metro, as a celebration of urban texture. The city’s graffiti artists have contributed to the city’s visual aesthetics through gallery exhibitions and the buzzing local media scene, rather than through decorating Coke cans or participating in guerrilla marketing. Instantly identifiable works by local graffers regularly decorate the covers of hip, influential local publications like Lamono and Rojo. Graffs by street artists like Freaklub, Inuoco and TVBoy appear alongside works by studio artists like Victor Castillo and graphic designers like area3 who refer to, but don’t rip off, the Barcelona graff idiom. Some of these artists are starting to move beyond the niche local scene, with works by BToy appearing on the cover of Arte Y Diseno, and TVBoy working as far afield as American skate magazine Happy and Korean Vogue, among dozens of others. To date, the only Barcelona graffer to fully embrace advertising an international brand is Boris Hoppek, whose gaping-mouthed dolls currently lurch quirkily through a variety of charming situations in an Opel Corsa advert. Perhaps it’s because the city’s street art scene has protected its credibility and identity so carefully that it’s now being courted more than ever by global brands. As the city’s hip, urban image is enhanced by major events like the Sonar Advanced Music Festival and Bread & Butter, Barcelona’s street artists are exposed to greater audiences than ever before, and the city’s graffiti culture becomes an increasingly enticing marketing tool for trend-conscious advertisers. This perceived credibility was a key reason that Barcelona was targeted by Nike as one of the seven cities featured in its online campaign for its newest Nike Air Max last year. Artists, sculptors, video artists and photographers from Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Milan and Amsterdam
each produced a work paying homage to Nike Airs for the “Run On Air” initiative. Nike worked hard to make this project cutting-edge, collaborating with alternative bible Dazed & Confused, French film-maker Thibault de Longeville and Issey Miyake. Unsurprisingly, Barcelona’s tribute came from the street, with graffiti artists Dalek, Meomi and Sixeart contributing pieces, alongside artist Martin Ezman. The Barcelona segment was produced in collaboration with Rojo, who created a special edition full of further Nike-“inspired” works. Picking up on the success of established urban brands like Carhartt and Vans, J&B recently succeeded in persuading some of Europe’s leading graffiti artists to stage an “urban art exhibition” in Barcelona in collaboration with – again – Rojo. As part of the whiskey manufacturer’s youthoriented “Nightology” campaign, they sponsored Barcelona’s own Sixeart, Boris Hoppek and Ovni & Kellor, along with Neasden Control Centre, Aya Kato and five others, to create 10 one-off large-scale works. Each work is being displayed over the course of two months (November 2006 and May 2007) on billboards in selected locations around Barcelona. The project gives artists public space in a city that’s recently outlawed graffiti as a form of vandalism, and encourages them to produce one-off works, rather than mass-produced posters or beer mats. Like Nike with their online gallery, J&B are cleverly avoiding appearing to cash in on street art, instead appearing to nurture creativity and artistic freedom. However, the brand reigns supreme: the red, yellow and black colour scheme of the J&B label dominates the works on display. At first glance, it looks as though the writing’s on the wall for brands looking to cash in on graffiti to boost their street cred: one-offs, not rip-offs, are the key to authenticity. But how long can it be before these “in collaboration with” projects lose their authenticity, damaging the artists who participate rather than offering them valuable exposure? Sure, graffers have a right to earn a living – and many of the best do, independently, through selling paintings, prints and merchandise. But many in Barcelona hope that the city’s graffiti can hold back from becoming another global brand and remain, in the words of one local designer, “a slice of the city: idealistic, personal and always pushing at the conflict between dream and reality”.
WHEN ADVERTISING MEETS ART By Laura Dunkelmann
Advertising and art – the difference seems to be obvious, but whether you agree with it or not, apparently there is art that works in the world of advertising: when used for commercial reasons, for selling something other than itself. The aesthetic of street art and post-graffiti art has always been attractive to big companies as it can lend their products a unique, urban and arty touch – but with the new Opel Corsa campaign that uses Boris Hoppek’s graffiti-inspired creations the C.M.O.N.S., the adaptation of art into advertising has reached a new level. street that seems to be attractive for both the masses and subculture. The Bimbo dolls, that were drawn and placed around Barcelona, have their own book. “Y Sancho Panza” is a photo book showing the Bimbos’ life, normal situations like being on the streets, living on the beach, having encounters and weird moments in abstract scenery. The book shows how the environment influences expression and meaning – dolls that look confident and strong one moment might be helpless and lonely the next, although their own physical appearance doesn’t change. It not only shows how much one depends on one’s surroundings, it also points out that it’s in the eye of the beholder and about the beholder’s personal feelings with regard to a certain location or scene. Actually, it was this book that caught the attention of Opel’s marketing head. The C.M.O.N.S. have a fixed and detailed character (unlike the Bimbos) and each one has its own name and character from birth to hobbies – what seems to be more personalised is at the end of the day, a strict direction in which the target group is allowed to channel their thoughts in – hence the image of those figures has total control.
The C.M.O.N.S. are a fantasy band and are the main characters of the campaign. They are essentially five little dolls created by German artist Boris Hoppek, who is famous for installations, ad-busting and graffiti that can be seen mainly in the streets of Barcelona and Berlin. The obvious inspiration for the C.M.O.N.S. was his own, non-commercial group of characters: the Bimbos. The similarity of these two creations is impossible to overlook, at the first glance Bimbos and C.M.O.N.S. seem to look alike, the clear body shape, the big eyes and red mouth and the fact that both are dolls, a pretty unusual form of character-art that makes them look like twins. But if you look again, differences between both groups get clearer. The Bimbos are far more radical, they do have a message and they change with the feelings they give – from happy to sad impressions – depending on the surroundings and situation in which they are shown. Having a visible sex character, a skin colour and some wearing fetish clothes, they show more edges and it would have been impossible to get them into heavy rotation on mainstream TV channels. Actually, Opel may well be of the opinion that a political or sexual message would neither heat the selling of the Corsa nor build up an entertaining, young and carefree image as desired and achieved by the C.M.O.N.S. pop creation. This is how it goes when art loses its purpose and character, when certain aspects are cancelled in order to please the mainstream and create nothing else other than easyto-understand entertainment. How viewers understand the Bimbos is left up to them – the C.M.O.N.S. are so pre-cast that there is no room for a personal interpretation. Whatever might have been blotted out, it is still the
But it was not only the look that Opel used to make their cars popular, the whole PR strategy and campaign was influenced by the way street art is spreading in the cities and it’s not only Opel who used “Guerrilla” promotion tactics to reach their greatly desired, young, urban audience. Other lifestyle companies and fashion labels (see Motorola, Nike or adidas) are also using this way of promoting their products in lifestyle surroundings like bars, galleries and clubs without referring to the product at the first opportunity. Instead, this done by stealth –they generate curiosity and make promotion appear arty. Before starting the classic print and TV campaign, Opel let the C.M.O.N.S. appear in hip locations without adding any relation to the car. People were able to mistake it for real street art. Essentially, Opel mirrored what Hoppek had previously done with his Bimbos and his book – they used the influence of ambiance and surroundings to plant a special impression in the consumer’s mind. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal taste, to what each individual consumer will buy into or be impressed by. If he likes seeing the soft, entertaining version of art on TV and in mainstream magazines, then he might just be the type to go out and buy the new C.M.O.N.S.-endorsed Opel Corsa. To look on the bright side, you can argue that brands like Corsa are offering people an easy-access entry point into an art world they may have previously known nothing about, and that artists working on commercials can certainly make them more beautiful. But then, of course, for some, artists getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to push a highly-influential campaign upon an unsuspecting public who probably can’t really afford the object in question anyway, will never be anything more than a gross sell-out. But then aren’t we all capitalists these days? Why do artists always have to be the starving ones? Maybe it’s time for them to get some serious paper?! Whichever side of the fence or graffiti-painted wall you’re on, the best way might just be to enjoy beauty and great ideas simply for what they are, wherever you see them, since it has always been and will always remain the case that the mainstream picks its trends from the street.
NAME YOUR PRICE By Kati Krause
Pretty much all over the world, street art is against the law. Thus, even when the art is not explicitly critical, spray-painting or wheatpasting a wall is inherently an act of insubordination against the rules of society. The illegality is what gives street artists their credibility: they embody that somewhat romantic image of rebellious youngsters who mock the values of a society that shuns them. Which is all fine, as long as you really actually are a rebellious youngster and don’t mind crashing on people’s sofas and in deserted warehouses. But there comes a time and an age when the prospect of a few bucks in the pocket and a comfortable place in the despised society starts looking increasingly attractive. Since galleries have opened their doors to street artists, many have been able to make a living off the sale of their artwork in a more portable format. But for many, exhibitions have turned into a promo tour, like musicians who give concerts to boost the sales of their latest album, street artists display their work and give interviews to sell their own merchandise through their website. And then there is always the advertising and branding industry, waiting like a hungry hyena to snatch up graffiti artists who could polish up a product’s street credibility and
market it to the urban youth. Among big brands, the association with the street has never been so important. There seems to be hardly a street artist who hasn’t collaborated with some sneaker maker. Car manufacturers and energy drinks companies organise street art projects. In these new waters, some artists have done quite well swimming with the stream, instead of fighting against it. “An army of pimped-out artists” is what Faile’s Patrick McNeil called the artists who helped to market Sony’s P2P. He has a point. In our marketable world, street artists have become service providers. Their reputation may suffer as a consequence, but they get an American Express gold card. And like rappers, soon street artists won’t be looked down on anymore for the money they’re making. It’s just business, baby. We take a look at the street artists who have gone over to the dark side!
Originally from Paris, WK Interact spreads his powerful black-and-white murals mainly over New York City walls these days. Their strength is the movement they suggest, as when he depicts a woman running down the stairs with a gun in her hand. WK Interact is often named together with other A-list street artists such as Banksy and Faile. He has also managed to turn his fame and talent into hard cash by selling merchandise. But more importantly for his income, he’s a favourite among the big brands: among others, he’s done work for Nike, Adidas, Yamaha & Burton, and participated in the Project Fox.
The “Mural Kings” from the Bronx make largescale aerosol art that seems to have gotten stuck in a time loop in the 1980s. Founded by three teenagers a quarter of a century ago, they have grown to ten members and done work for rappers like Grandmaster Flash and Busta Rhymes. They have also taken street marketing to a new level and are counted among the biggest sell-outs in the scene. BP, Snapple, all kinds of sweets producers, Coca Cola and even McDonald’s are among their – undoubtedly well-paying – clients. The bank managers are happy, the kids aren’t: Tats Cru murals are regularly defaced.
The graffiti artist from São Paolo, Brazil, used to make murals in the New York tradition, but his style has evolved quite a bit since he started painting at the age of 14. Today he is famous for his quirky characters and colourful, upbeat style. Speto was lucky: his collaboration with the beer brand Brahma did not only benefit him financially. Exported beer bottles with his designs on them helped propel him onto the international stage. One large mural he painted for Brahma in Kingsland Road, London, was defaced – but only the name of the beer maker was crossed out. His painting wasn’t touched.
The foundation of Fairey’s fame is a sticker campaign he launched back in art school, based on the picture of a wrestler and called “André the Giant has a posse”. It turned into the Obey Giant project, designed, says Fairey, to wake people up and make them think for themselves. Fairey is big on political messages, even mocking society for its worship of money. He has turned that into quite a lucrative trade, selling everything from clothes over skateboards to watches with the Obey design and spinning off a profitable collectibles business. His early followers are not amused.
Renowned for his stencils conveying critical, political messages, the British street artist Banksy is a legend whose real identity remains unknown. He reached international fame for widely publicised his art stunts: writing “I want out” inside animal’s cages in zoos or clandestinely hanging his paintings in the world’s most famous museums. Banksy isn’t known to have done much commercial work, and he denied rumours that he was collaborating with Puma. But then, he probably feels no necessity: he has become a favourite among celebrities, a sort of later-age Andy Warhol, and some of his prints have gone for over € 80,000 at auctions. Angelina Jolie recently snapped up a bunch of his works for her walls. Perhaps the sky-high prices are alone enough to cause outcries of “sell-out”.
HOW TO FAKE THAT STREET FEELING text By Liz McGrath and photos by wig worland
If you are suddenly seeing an increasingly high volume of casually attired, scruffily cute young men hanging around the London Bridge tube station, don’t be surprised. These will be just some of the skateboarders who are now flocking to the area thanks to a truly awesome new, indoor, concrete street-plaza – purpose-built for skaters. Recently opened in March 2007, White Grounds Street Plaza (as it is called), is situated just behind London Bridge tube and is under one of the railway arches. It is a whopping 600sqm in size and it represents something of a first for the London skate scene. For starters, it has been built with money from Southwark council, so the government are treading in new territory too (keep it up Gordon)! Secondly, it is the first proper Street Plaza in London and follows a trend that began a few years of British Street Plazas going up. Milton Keynes being the first, closely followed by Stoke-on-Trent and then Middlesborough. Building an indoor street skate park is making a statement, because of course the streets are everywhere and skaters can, in theory, skate them any time they want to. However the fact is that skaters get a lot of grief form the public and the police, they get chased off locations all the time, which can all add up to a big headache – skating is supposed to be fun and relaxing after all. Skating street will never go away, but by having an indoor street course where skaters can go to practice and hang out without getting harassed, it means Street Skating is self-referencing itself back into existence. There really has been something of a revolution in the last few years with Skateboarding looking to put itself into much more ‘sanctioned’ spaces, and White Grounds further demonstrates how serious skaters are about being able to practice their sport. The White Grounds Street Plaza has been built by Dive Architects in collaboration with the TSEOU collective. TSEOU (which stands for The Side Effects Of Urethane) is a dynamic collective working and living in London whose sole purpose is to explore and promote the symbiotic relationship between skateboarding and art / photography / design / architecture. They have put on numerous interactive art shows all which have explored the idea of Skateboarding as a kind of line-drawing in urban space . The shows re-appropriate and challenge the space, making skaters and viewers alike to re-evaluate how the architecture which surrounds them should be used. The group includes everyone from artists to graphic designers to photographers to architects. For the White Grounds project, Dive Architects brought the head of the collective, Richard Holland, on board as a Consultant. “I think Dive heard of us through our Moving Blocks work” says Richard. “These are free-standing concrete blocks that we built and put up around the Southbank especially for skaters. Even though they were often placed unofficially (without permission) they have become hot spots for skaters and people use them to sit and chill on too, which is great, and of course it means skaters can’t get any flak for skating them.” The Moving Blocks project was a great success and the TSEOU collective have started placing them in other street locations around London. Southbank council and Richard Holland are now even on first-name terms with them in talks to create an architectural piece there for skaters to use. When it came to designing the White Grounds Skate Plaza, Holland says he just tried to keep the real-life urban environment in mind. “I just try and think of interesting architecture, because that’s what skateboarders use, I don’t design with a skateboard park specifically in mind, I just think about great surfaces and what they would normally find in an urban environment.” So does he feel hopeful that this new Street Plaza will help the street skate scene in London? “For sure. Skaters do get grief from skating the street, but it’s just about challenging people’s perceptions of what ‘public space’ is – the ground is not just for walking on. Plus with temperatures rising, people want to be out in these public spaces more and more – but we can learn to share street space, as White Grounds and the Moving Blocks show.” Amen to that.
The White Grounds Street Plaza opened in London in March 2007. For further information see www.tseou.com and www.divearchitects.com
STREET LIFE AT SUNDANCE Text by: Johannes Bonke Photographs by: Alex de Brabant
Park City, USA: Located in the middle of nowhere, 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City, the locals reside in wooden log cabins, call their restaurants “Hungry Moose” or “Silver Creek Lodge” and hail their No. 1 ski resorts Deer Valley and Mountain Resort. The hills are snowy, the hot tubs are packed and the humble, middle-aged population really seems to enjoy the simple way of life. In short, the little ski region in the American Mormon State of Utah is a quiet, dreamy place – usually. Every year in January, Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival heralds the new jet set season with a two-week big bang: in this period the population doubles, the rates for a condo triple, the luxurious NYC Club “Marquee” opens its patriarchal doors on Main Street and groundbreaking, independent directors, actors, producers and lateral thinkers celebrate themselves, their art and – last but not least – the hottest upcoming trends that will dictate the scene for the next 12 months. “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Thank You for Smoking” are two of the smaller independent movies, whose international box office success is due to last year’s festival platform. In 2007, a well-selected choice of 125 movies is trying to grab the attention of viewers, buyers and international critics again. However, another big, inspiring part of daily festival life bubbles outside the screening rooms: young upcoming design labels like Latino Royalty, which combines the different styles of Latin-American culture, give away their latest collection to stars and opinion leaders. The little cafés turn into meeting points and think-tanks and the provincial rat shop Harry O’s transforms into a club in which high society is strolling, dancing and flirting to the vibes of upcoming musicians like LA rapper Mickey Avalon or the U.S. band The All-American Rejects. Our correspondent Johannes Bonke and his photographer Alex de Brabant hurled themselves into the festival circus to explore our issue-related topic of “Urban Street Trends” and finally found – after 10 days of trouble – Vancouver’s ageless myth of skateboarding, bulletproof cars and cut-off ears from São Paolo as well as a media/fashion mastermind from New York who explains the secret behind his trend setting.
STYLE SPOTLIGHT 1: VANCOUVER, CANADA WYETH CLARKSON AND THE AGELESS MYTH OF SKATEBOARDING The documentary “Sk8 Life” by Canadian director Wyeth Clarkson gives an intimate look at the house of long-time professional skater Kris Foley, where his family and friends celebrate their unbroken passion for longboards. With the help of seven talented skateboarders, who have been filming themselves doing ground-breaking tricks out in the streets and empty backyard swimming pools of East Vancouver, Clarkson’s documentary is a stunning portrait of Canadian youth culture. “The largest scene, specifically for the industry and obviously because of the weather and history is Los Angeles,” explains Clarkson. “Then Vancouver and Barcelona are the next big two. The city has been really supportive and they built a lot of parks, although they don’t support skaters in the street too much. But it’s Canada. We are pretty easy-going and the trend is becoming bigger and bigger.” But why has this sport, which came up in California’s swinging 60s by relocating the surf style to asphalted streets, never lost a single bit of its attractiveness? “Something that people don’t recognise about skateboarding is how difficult it is. You can’t just do it part time, and you know you gonna hurt yourself for the first while, but finally you fall in love with it. What’s really great about skateboarding is that there is no score, no coach. A kid can go out there and do it on his own. And the other thing I witnessed first hand: girls love skateboarders for many reasons. One of them is because it’s like urban ballet. You don’t really get that hardcore jock mentality, but yet it is a very masculine endeavour.” Throughout the 80s, the scene was dictated by steep, dangerous vert ramps, until it morphed into a street skating scene which reunited the culture. Skaters – in a
lot of respects – want to be seen, they want to be noticed. So doing it out in public just seemed to be the right way to capture people’s attention. Even dealing with security and cops became something that skaters started to cultivate, the rebellious attitude still being incorporated into the public discourse to this day. Although the vast number of online activities and computer games seems to distract more and more people from regular sports, Clarkson believes that nowadays the media are even endorsing the ageless myth of skateboarding. “Skaters really would make jokes about motorisation in the skateboarding scene. A hill is supposed to be your technology. But digital videotaping has influenced the whole scene. For a long time, skateboarding had a very slow evolution rate. You can try to explain to somebody how to do an Ollie, but the minute you see it on a videotape or a television screen as a skater, you can piece it all together. So what’s happened is that there was this very gradual evolution in the complexity of the tricks, but when they introduced video cameras, it suddenly jumped up. So it really does resist technological advancement – you are still on a wooden board – but it still has had an influence in a way I didn’t expect it to.” After making this discovery, Clarkson teamed up with a few tech kids and launched Sk8life.tv, a website founded on a simple broadcast model by using some of the elements and flexibility of YouTube. “You have a stream of skate tapes, and viewers can upload their content to be incorporated into the stream. So it is just a merging of old technology and new. I know skaters just live on YouTube, but I do know from time to time, it’s hard to find some things, especially as it gets more popular and content get’s harder to find. Hopefully 0we are making it a little simpler by showing you what’s coming up. We try to initiate a channel which is actually driven by the culture. The user will become more and more comfortable with the interactivity online. And even more so, coming out of the mac world conference, everyone is trying to figure out how to put a computer on the television, so that broadcast model will bridge both mediums.” We think: Well said, Mr. Clarkson! Hail the dogtown boys and praise the longboard. Viva la Vancouver!
are from the inside out,” sighs Kohn and continues: “This country needs to be re-structured.” Until then, the upcoming street trends in São Paolo will remain a passive resistance against violence, corruption and kidnapping. But who can afford it? The super rich people avoid the streets completely by taking their own helicopters, and due to a complex tax system, even a bulletproof car can easily cost up to 400,000 dollars. But the price of not doing so is too high: More and more frequently, the families of kidnapped victims get a cut-off ear belonging to their friend without a warning. Just a dry request: pay the demanded ransom immediately. “Pay or lose another part of your body – it’s up to you.” By the way: Brazilian plastic surgeons saw a chance for profit making in this big mess and invented a new method on how to restructure cut-off ears with skin from your chest. The resonance from customers is – who would have thought – gigantic. Conclusion: In Brazil, the money we spend for fashion and lifestyle is better invested in security devices. A fancy dress or a cut-off ear? Uh, dress please.
STYLE SPOTLIGHT 3: NEW YORK, USA MARC ECKO AND HIS 8 STEPS TO A NEW URBAN FASHION TREND
STYLE SPOTLIGHT 2: SÃO PAOLO, BRAZIL JASON KOHN AND HIS STUNNING DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CUT-OFF EARS AND BULLETPROOF CARS Although street trends are normally the mainstream consequence of pleasure and distraction, in some cities they represent the mere effort to survive. First-time film maker Jason Kohn discusses these issues in his awardwinning documentary “Mana Bala”, in which he highlights Brazil’s glaring gap between rich and poor, the street violence and cases of kidnapping in São Paolo, and the counteracts of possible victims who try to protect themselves with bulletproof cars and the world’s biggest helicopter fleet. “The perspective of the film is that Brazil is a broken society, the problems are institutional,” says Kohn. “The fact that separates Brazil from all the other developing countries is that it has one of the largest economies in the entire world. Fewer people have more money than anywhere else, but you also have these incredibly poor people – and this leads to violence, corruption and daily kidnappings. All this is very real in Brazil.” The most problematic hot spot is São Paolo, a city that never learned to deal with its more than 20 million inhabitants and the ongoing street violence. “Rio was the face of Brazil for so long. It was the capital until Brasilia became the new one in the 60s. Then the banking industry started to become very powerful in São Paolo, so all the money started going down. Rio has remained the face of Brazil officially, but the truth is this: the real heart of Brazil right now is São Paolo. Forget beaches, samba, carnival. That’s only one part of the country. But the real face of Brazil is the huge skyline of this megatropolis with its ongoing violence.” So far, there is no solution for the so-called “institutional problems”. Police officers get paid between 300 to 500 dollars a month, to do their job – but kidnappers pay them up to 3000 dollars to turn a blind eye. “The problems
His “general interest in art” drove fashion designer Marc Ecko to catch a plane from his home base New York to Park City. “I wanna stay informed,” says the mastermind, whose common thread is “entrepreneurship”. He started as a painter, illustrator and graffiti artist and made fashion his career at a time when urban street culture was emerging. He gets credit for really bringing graphicness to youth culture products and defining new, mind-dazzling aesthetics. Today – 13 years after the kick-off – Marc Ecko Enterprises includes various apparel and accessories lines, an interactive entertainment section as well as his own magazine (“Complex”). Ecko makes international sales of approximately 1 billion dollars a year and is considered to be one of the most powerful men under the age of 38. For electronic beats, he is exclusively giving away his 8 secrets of how to create a new urban fashion trend! 1) Understand who the players are, meet people and learn about the landscape. I think the Internet is one of the most inspiring devices to use. I love being able to just get lost somewhere physically, being away from phones, just have Internet access and just digging and digging and digging. Travel, read, go to the cinemas. Stay informed! 2) Be flexible, because fashion and pop culture change every 30 days. If you have an idea that is experimental, run some background to see if it’s viable rather than emotionally jumping in and thinking: “It’s gonna work, it’s gonna work.” It doesn’t work that way. You should try to articulate the idea. You have to be willing to keep it fluid. Don’t get too stuck on a printed PowerPoint presentation. 3) Choose the opposite strategy from a traditional fashion house. Their model is very basic: a major company like Polo builds everything from the top. It is a pyramid: they invent the most luxurious item that is probably not the most sellable item in the world, but they create this mystique around it, until they slowly trickle it down and let it make its way to the market. The urban street style model is different: it is kind of the underdog thing, and this is very relevant to my generation of having it to go the other way. I literally started in a garage painting T-shirts. 4) Create a brand that exists in dynamic ways. Today everything is about convergence and blending. Things are so atomised in culture, just think about the way celebrity is built or the challenges of consumer brands! In the 70s and 80s, brands could rely on conventional ways to exploit print media and buy their way into the consciousness. But since things are so broken, you can’t just rely on a big billboard or television advertising. There is no choice but to be engaged in other businesses. So let the con-
sumer know that you are in the mix of different things, take care that your brand becomes more a versatile super-hero, sort of Willy Wonkaish. 5) Study great labels and find out that it is the extended legacy that builds a brand. When you visualise a great brand, when you close your eyes, you can see that the brand has existed over a decade or two ... and you become nostalgic. “I remember when I was ...” and then the brand comes back later on in your life. Age is – for me – a power. 6) If you’ve built up your label, stay unemotional about things. Be sober and honest about what is really happening with your business. Be able to be very self-critical and introspective. Be able to stand in front of a mirror, naked, to see all the ugly bits and say: how do I fix that? 7) If your start was successful ... take the step with the brand to establish it on a high level. A brand becomes monumental when you create great real estate structures and shopping experiences. Practice it beforehand! I started with outlet businesses, I’ve got 50 or 60 of them ... by that, I learned everything about building up the right infrastructure and learned how to operate it. You get to fall down, fuck up, get blood in your mouth, so that you are prepared when it comes time to make it fully primetime in better cities and really big locations. 8) Don’t lose your passion! I have realised, now that I’ve become successful financially, I have nice things, but that’s not the stuff that makes me happy. When I was young and naïve, I thought that somehow that was part of the pursuit. Then you arrive at the door of success and you realise that this is not what keeps you going to work every day. I wanna feel like I discover something. Turning a rock over and finding some new opportunity, that’s what drives me, the passion of that.
HERE COME THE DUBSTEPPAHS text By Emma Warren, photos by debbie bragg, everynight images
Once a marginal music made by stoned geezer boys in the concrete-coated suburbs of South-West London, dubstep has evolved into a worldwide movement run by an ever-increasing army of obsessives. Warm and easy!
Dubstep, some say, should come with a health warning. There’s the hot, ringing ears from a night being assaulted by basslines that rattle inside your cheekbones and the cash that devotees funnel into online record stores like Rooted, Boomkat or the big daddy, dubplate.net. And most dangerously, there’s the overwhelming obsession that can hit when first exposed to the dizzying, hyper-creative, ultra-rich world of parties like DMZ and FWD>> and a spectrum of producers who, as well as creating music ranging from proto-ambient 2-step to wobbling bass bangers, can usually be found on the dancefloor of the clubs their pals are DJing at. As rudetone, a member of the always informative and frequently laughout-loud funny dubstepforum.com said to a newcomer: “Big up for dippin’ yourself into the dubstep scenage, but watch out, you’ll be sucked in before you can say brockout …” He’s not wrong. The music scene, which grew out of the dark garage off-shoot from UK garage – we’re talking producers like Wookie and El-B rather than the glossy soul-pop of acts like SFA and Shanks and Bigfoot – is in serious ascent. It’s happening on a micro level, a fact neatly surmised by some dubstepforum.com figures: in January 2006 there were 200 members, most of whom knew each other in real life. A year later there are five thousand. “It’s a 24/7 experience,” says Bristol’s Tom Peverelist, who runs Rooted Records and the Punch Drunk label. “Because the scene is so open, there’s so many ways to get involved, from making beats to designing flyers to running websites and blogs. It’s really easy to get involved and it’s addictive.” It’s also refreshingly open to newcomers. Although, as Peverelist says, “You have to put in the work and earn those stripes.” The effort required to follow dubstep is reflected in the degree of devotion – and ownership – felt by followers. As with jungle and reggae before it, much of the music remains unreleased and tunes are played for months until they’re made available to the masses. In truth, you can’t really say you’ve heard dubstep until you’ve heard it in context, at a dance. “Hearing it on a solid system is the ultimate way to experience the sound,” says photographer Georgina Cook, who runs the “drumzofthesouth.com” blog and is the scene’s top lens girl. “Locking onto Rinse FM allows you to hear the music via the people directly involved with it. They’re very honest stations and the people behind them are not in it for the money, just the music.” DMZ’s playful yet heavyweight MC, Sgt Pokes AKA 26-year-old Jody Charles agrees that exclusivity – that only a handful of DJs will have a tune – helps
keep the scene strong. “That’s why you go and see Loefah play, innit? If everyone’s playing the same tunes, it’ll get stale, boring. It’s so important that DJs and producers have an identity because of the music they play.” Skream’s Stella Sessions on Rinse FM are a weekly high point. The hyperprolific 20-year-old, who comes from Croydon and has been involved with the scene since he was 13, hosts a show that is equal parts fresh new music – he’ll often play new tunes or mixes he finished that day – old-school pirate-style shout-outs and loping drunken banter with off-mic mates. Skream, real name Oliver Jones, exemplifies dubstep’s good times wing: he has a can of Stella as his online avatar and subtitles his show “Crack ’em!” But there’s plenty more to check: fellow Croydon boys Benga or Walsh; DMZ’s heavyweight label with releases from sonic warrior Loefah, bassline king Coki and dub don Mala, Antisocial Entertainment’s Heny G (who describes their style as “liquid dub, gangsta boogie, funkadelic, sidestep shuffle, tropical juice drinking, booming bass in yr face!”) or Blackmarket’s undisputed master of the decks, Youngsta – and that’s just for starters. And if you forget to stream at the time, then there’s always barefiles.com, a resource of mixes, shows and dubstep ephemera created by 18-year-old wunderkind, Deapoh. The dubstep nation is also starting to register on the mainstream radar. The initial tipping point was back in January 2006 when Radio One’s Mary Anne Hobbs showcased the best DJs, producers and MCs in a speciallytitled show, Warrior Dubz – which was so popular they turned it into a well-received compilation album and, like Burial’s critically-acclaimed selftitled LP, sold well. It’s also spreading internationally: shouts on Rinse are as likely to be for the Finnish crew as London’s home-grown steppas; DMZ’s DJs and MC Sgt Pokes are being booked across Europe and America almost every weekend; and outposts are strong in Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow – as well as worldwide. “Back in the early nineties, Jungle never really got the international recognition it deserved,” says Peverelist. “With the Internet, you can be at the cutting edge of dubstep even if you are on the other side of the world.” Although as Georgina Cook aptly points out, it’s still a London sound at heart. “You can take the sound out of London,” she quips, “but you can’t take London out of the sound.” Brap! www.barefiles.com www.dubstepforum.com www.drumzofthesouth.com www.rinse.fm
HYPER HYPHY text By Serena Kutchinsky, photos by florian schneidE
It’s been a while since any American street sounds got the music world’s knickers in a twist. Sure we all love Diplo’s crunked-up mixes, but in this post-bling world Lil’ Jon and his cronies look, dare we say it, slightly dated? But before you turn your backs on the world of trucker caps, baggy jeans and chunky chains, take time out to consider new music trend Hyphy – a boisterous blend of dancehall, oldschool beats, Miami bass and contemporary flow.
Born in San Francisco’s notorious Bay Area, Hyphy is currently recognised as the definitive West Coast sound. Now it’s getting serious props on this side of the Atlantic for its fusion of music, fashion, hyper dance moves and scatter-gun slang. Think of Hyphy as Crunk’s naughty little sister who’s run away from the Deep South and is living it up in the “Land Of The Stunnners”. There’s the usual mystery surrounding the origins of the word – the commonly accepted truth is that Bay Area rapper Keak Da Sneak coined the phrase when, as a young boy, his mother would berate him for being hyperactive. He heard the word “hyper” as “hyphy” and it’s stuck. Keak, and his now-deceased comrade Mac Dre, laid down the first Hyphy beats in the late 90s. Their mission – on behalf of the Californian hip hop community – was to take a stand against the commercial hijacking of their trends and slang, producing an art form and a lifestyle that was truly their own. The movement first penetrated mainstream America’s cultural conscience back in 2005, distinguished by its gritty electro-style rhythms, free expression and daft lyrics. Hyphy is all about light-hearted stupidity, not over-the-top sexiness. If you see someone engaged in a series of insane moves, eyes rolled back, looking like an epileptic zombie, chances are they’re “getting Hyphy”. The more like a loon you look, the more street cred you earn. As James Archer, music director of West Coast hip hop station, Clear Channel, stated in Rolling Stone: “The main difference is that Crunk is slow and Hyphy is faster. With Crunk, there’s more violence associated. Hyphy’s association is just with partying.”
THE MAJOR PLAYERS RICK ROCK AND THE FEDERATION As you might expect Hyphy’s key players
are a colourful crew. Veteran producer Rick Rock is the scene’s lynchpin. His past credentials include laying down tracks for Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes and his work with his crew, The Federation, is credited with propelling the Bay Area sound into the big time. Composed of three street-savvy MCs (Donnie, Goldie and Stresmatic), the Federation earned their musical stripes battling on street corners. After hooking up with the others in 1999, Donnie brought Rock, a childhood friend, into the mix to add expertise and a stabilising influence. “Basically, Rick supported us all,” remembers Stresmatic. “We all even lived with him at one point, or I’d go back and forth between Rick’s and my mom’s house. And it wasn’t just about the music or what we might do for him some day. It was the type of thing your family would do for you.” Despite acknowledging his big brother role, Rock prefers being behind-the-scenes. As he says: “This game has never been about the money for me, this is all about a vibe and the product.” E-40 Another key Hyphy player under Rock’s direction is rapper E-40, AKA
Another major component of Hyphy is the car culture. Bay Area crews can be spotted riding around in pimped-up four-door sedan cars complete with garish colours, whistling pipes, oversized rims or spinning hubcaps and a stereo system powerful enough to put cracks in the pavement. But it’s not just about how the car looks to “get Hyphy” on the road, you need to be prepared to risk life and several limbs by braking, dipping, doing figure 8s and ghost riding the whip (driving a car hanging out the door making it appear as if the car is driving itself).
The Ambassador Of The Bay. An experienced West Coast artist with over ten albums under his belt. E-40 (who is, appropriately, 40 this year) found fame last March when his Rock-produced album “My Ghetto Report Card” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Rap Album chart. Inspired by the musical blueprint laid down by The Federation, it spawned the massive single “Tell Me When To Go” and swivelled the international spotlight firmly onto Hyphy. As the man himself explains: “Getting Hyphy is the Bay’s way of screaming at the world – we’re coming and we don’t care what you think.” THE PACK If E-40 and Rock are the scene’s father figures, then The Pack
BLUFFERS GUIDE TO HYPHY SPEAK: “Shaboobalaboopy” – a compli-
cated way of saying “I don’t know”. A vital part of Hyphy speak. “Flamboasting” – bigging yourself up/partying in a purposefully OTT way. “Going or getting dumb/stupid/ ignorant/retarded/Hyphy/ Ridin’ the yellow bus” – turning
social convention on its head using normally negative words to denote having a good time. “Pop ya collar” – demonstrate your superiority. “Slapper/Slumper” – a tune with lots of heavy bass and/or Hyphy connotations. “Thizz” – slang for being high on Ecstasy, popularised by the late, great Mac Dre. It’s also the name of Dre’s record label.
“Yadadamean?/Yadadamsayin?” – literally “do you know what I
mean/am saying?” Popularised by Keak Da Sneak. The “dada” part should be pronounced “didi”. “Fo’ sheezy” – for sure. “Gouda” – dollars. “Stunna shades” – massive, oversized shades, usually Aviators. The sillier the better. “Runner”/“Ripper” – a girl that likes to get friendly with more than one partner. “Scrapers” – Vintage four-door American sedans with whistling pipes, oversized spinning rims and a bad-ass stereo system.
are its tearaway teens. Usually seen clutching their skateboards, these four young MCs hooked up through their shared love of rap and skating. One of their mixtapes found its way into the hands of Bay Area veteran Too $hort, who was so impressed he immediately signed them to his Jivedistributed Up All Night label. Their debut single Vans logged well over half a million MySpace hits and is a witty ditty dedicated to their favourite footwear. Their debut album looks set to drop early this year and they are being tipped as the next big hip hop thing. As Too $hort states: “These kids grew up on people like Mac Dre and Keak Da Sneak, so if anyone knows how to get Hyphy, it’s them.” MISTAH FAB Rising Hyphy star Mistah FAB was first spotted by the
legendary Mac Dre, who was killed shortly after FAB signed to his Thizz Entertainment label. Out of respect to his mentor, FAB has made it his mission to spread Dre’s signature Thizz dance to the masses. As he spits on the track “The Furley Ghost”: “Here, we dance a little different.” His debut album, Son Of A Pimp, made waves on the West Coast with hip hop lovers everywhere warming to his soul-searching lyrics, dread-shaking chants and melodic catchphrases. His new album, The Yellow Bus Ridah, will drop this year and is a mix of upbeat Hyphy anthems and more politicised material.
BASSLINES IN THE U-BAHN text By Jasper Greig, photos by nadja klier
Every party in Berlin is a “street” party, the idea of legal or illegal doesn’t really mean much in a city that is filled with squat houses and has virtually no health & safety rules for owners. That said, some of the most notorious parties of recent years have been the famous U-Bahn parties. electronic beats speaks to the man behind them, known to some as “Heldenbrand”.
WHAT iS YOuR NAME? Sven Weizenegger or Heldenbrand HOW OLd ARE YOu? 25 WHERE ARE YOu fROM? Born and raised in Berlin WHAT ARE YOuR pASSiONS iN LifE? Music, singing, hacking, beauty WHAT iS YOuR bACKgROuNd? Half Turkish, half German (West Berlin) dESCRibE THE idEA bEHiNd THE u-bAHN pARTiES? We “kidnap” the last
carriage of a train at a certain time on a certain night. We fill it with music equipment, a bar, lights and as many crazy people as we can fit inside. I just wanted to create an empire for people of a similar ilk having an insane time together, kissing, hitting, fucking each other - oh baby, we like it raw! HOW OfTEN ARE THEY ON ANd WHERE? The subway party is only one time in the year! Beside the subway party, we do other events in fucked up off locations, old World War II bunkers, tube stations, everything that is dirty and charismatic. WHO ELSE iS iNvOLvEd iN ORgANiSiNg THEM? A couple of good friends, Schorsch, Cinthie, Lars and Kay. But mainly it’s my party. Democracy is for hippies! dO YOu HAvE A MuSiC pOLiCY fOR THE pARTiES? Hard direct electro, rock’n’roll, punk rock, glam! Music for collapsing people. ARE THE pARTiES LEgAL? Well, we have valid tickets for the metro ... ha ha. dO YOu HAvE ANY MORE u-bAHN EvENTS pLANNEd fOR 2007? Yes, there’s one planned in August, but you shall find out about it in time ... ANY pARTiCuLARLY MEMORAbLE MOMENTS fROM THE pARTiES? One time I remember a guy fucking a girl, while dancing right on the dancefloor – she didn’t even notice him doing it! And also the guy who performed the first stage diving action in a subway! HOW did YOu gET iNvOLvEd iN ORgANiSiNg EvENTS iN bERLiN? Talking to people, having ideas and passion, I guess that’s all you need, oh and money.
WHAT ELSE dO YOu dO iN bERLiN? I work as a hacker, do some modelling for my London agency and I’m currently recording with my band “10 000 downloads”. dO YOu HAvE ANY fAvOuRiTE MuSiC OR ARTiSTS? Ha ha, you joking? Toxoplasma, DAF, Slime, Fehlfarben, Turbonegro, Hans-a-Plast, Chopin, Kap Bambino, Erotischer Stuhlgang, Betamax, Michael Jackson, Abwärts, Ideal, Nichts, ei, ei, ei, too many to name. ANY TipS fOR 2007 ON iNTERESTiNg THiNgS HAppENiNg? Watch out for Rafgier Fashion! WHAT iS YOuR idEA Of pERfECT HAppiNESS?
Simplicity, beauty, intelligence, one true love that I would kill for! dO YOu HAvE A MOTTO fOR LifE? “Lead, follow or get the fuck out of my way” from street artist invisible man.
THE ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE ISSUE 03/2006
ISSUE 03/2006 THE ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE FOR MUSIC, LIFE AND STYLE
INSPIRATION NATION WORLDWIDE CREATIVES UNITED
03.09.2006 19:37:19 Uhr
The ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE is a magazine for international and discerning lovers of music, fashion, art and travel. It reports from the cutting edge of electronic music by profiling both up-and-coming stars as well as interviewing the bona fide megastars of the industry. There are thought-provoking features, city guides to the world’s greatest metropolises, luscious fashion and product shoots plus the insider scoop on the hottest news and album reviews.
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THE BEST MOVE WINS! text By Serena Kutchinsky, photos by feedyourpsp.com
Forget the image of hooded, streetwise kids hangin’ out and trading insults through rhyme. Although MC battles are still popular, these days it’s all about who’s got the best moves. Thanks to the power of video-based websites like YouTube, wannabe Trousersnakes all over the world are logging on and learning to bust out dance grooves from Jamaica, New York City, the Deep South and even Brazil. A growing part of hip hop culture, dance battles are less aggressively personal than insult-fuelled MC Battles and often involve entire crews. Routines are sometimes done freestyle depending on the mood and the music. On more serious occasions like the UK’s annual Street Dance Championships, everything is choreographed down to the final shuffle. Battlers are expected to show their rivals respect and you won’t win any points by taking the piss out of the opposition. Instead there’s a community vibe and a freedom of expression (corny as it may sound) that is
seriously lacking from other more machoistic areas of street culture. It’s not just about the battles though. Kids from all cultures and backgrounds are increasingly using dance as a way to connect, a way to shake off the frustrations of modern life and enjoy a shared experience whether it’s in the club, on the street corner or in the privacy of their own living room. So if you don’t want to be the dummy left shuffling on the sidelines then pay close attention in our guide to the latest dance crazes coming soon to a street corner near you. Budding Billy Elliot’s need not apply.
Dance name: Chicken Noodle Soup Dance Place of birth: None other than Harlem, NYC. Sing-a-long to: The chart-busting track of the same
name written by 16-year-old hip hop sensation Young B and her production partner Webster. Beginners’ class: Basic moves include exaggerated shuffling of body parts, arm-swinging and a pantomime of the song’s lyrics which include “I let it rain, I clear it out” and “Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side”. Online action: With over 8,000 videos already made, this dance has become a “net phenomenon”. Finest moment: On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live the man called JT AKA Trousersnake AKA “The Lake” (okay, you know who we mean) performed the dance in drag. Pulling power: This dance is about as sexy as Ugly Betty. .................................................................. Dance name: Krumping Place of birth: Los Angeles’ notorious South Central district, famed for its starring role in the race riots of the early 90s. It has links with the Clown style of the Black dance movement. Singa-long to: Anything by upcoming Krumpers, Willie the Kid, Hot-Lanta and Cray-G. Beginners’ class: Start by bobbling your body in time to the beat. Once you’ve found the rhythm make like a pigeon flexing your spine and thrusting out your chest – this is the “Krump”. Paint your face for added effect and to draw attention away from your two left feet. Online action: Krumping’s been big for the last two years and is all over the net in everything from Missy Elliot’s music videos to the home-grown oddities that populate the likes of Yahoo Video. Finest moment? David LaChapelle’s acclaimed film “Rize” (2005) told how this particular dance craze began as a form of social protest and evolved into a movement that gives kids an alternative to gang life. Pulling power: Krumping maybe many things, but sexy it ain’t. Would you want to get frisky with someone with a clown face painted on? Thought not … ................................................................. Dance name: Snap Place of birth: Hip hop culture is booming all over America’s Deep South and especially in Atlanta, where this rockin’ dance is from. Sing-a-long to: Any track by the Granddaddy of the Dirty South scene, Lil’ Jon. Beginners’ class: It’s all in the name. Dancers snap their fingers on the beat leaning into some basic moves and then add their own
flair. Online action: With Crunk music spreading faster than the Worm virus, it’s only a matter of time before a Snap video arrives in your Inbox. Finest moment: Being at the heart of a dispute between rival Dirty South crews: Dem Franchize Boyz and D4L. Both claim to have invented it. Neither is backing down, or for that matter coming up with any new moves. Watch this space. Pulling power: Certain people look super sexy when they Snap, others just look ridiculous. Watch Monica strut her stuff in her latest video and see how it’s done. ................................................................. Dance name: Dutty Wine Place of birth: Kingston, Jamaica. Not Kingston, London – home of the Bentalls Centre and scores of pasty chavs. Sing-a-long to: Tony Matterhorn’s classic dancehall track of the same name. Beginners’ class: This one’s for the ladies. Wear as few clothes as possible. Spread your legs butterfly style and bend over at the hips. Turn your head in a circular motion rapidly, whipping your hair about. Shake what ya momma gave ya! But take it easy – a girl tragically broke her neck doing it last year. Online action: The success of the Wine has spawned a horde of spin-off dances for daring girls – the Hoola Hoop and Room Ram, to name but a few. Check them out online in all the usual places. Finest moment: Despite the debate over the Wine’s safety, it has brushed off the “Dance Of Death” label and remains one of the world’s most popular dances. Pulling power: The Wine’s sexiness rating is off the scale! ................................................................. Dance name: Willy Bounce Place of birth: This is another Kingston classic. Sing-a-long to: The track of the same name by dancehall big gun Elephant Man. Beginners’ class: This is one of the easier dances to do. Flex your arm into an L-shape and move it outwards, while at the same time moving your foot in the same direction and bouncing about as much as humanly possible. Online action: This dance is plastered all over the net. And no, before you ask, there’s not a porno version. Finest moment: Becoming part of the legacy of murdered choreographer Gerald “Bogle” Levy (AKA Mr Wacky). As it says in the lyrics, “Dance will never die.” Pulling power: It’s all in the name. .................................................................
DADA A LA STRADA text By Sandra Liermann, interviews by tilman brembs
Four famed street creatives give us an insight about themselves, on urban writing and spraying, and their perspective on the street-art hype. When they were asked to custo0mize an over-dimensional shape of a Portable Play Station they all participated and the results are very cool indeed. In Berlin Mitte, a temporary gallery was set up to exhibit the PSP plastic-clones (www.psp-streetart.org). After they tour some festivals this summer they’ll be auctioned off to fund a street related project – suggestions on how to spend the winnings are welcomed until the first of April email@example.com.
Give a short description of yourself and your style. CEMNOZ My
name is cemnoz. I’m a writer, border-crosser and pioneer. Starting in 1989 I was the first German writer who consistently developed the 3D technique with outline and without delta and daim. In 1994 I found my own style: “bboy alphabetx” – each letter is a character in a story that changes its content associatively from word to word. From 1991 until today, I’ve been perfecting the “complex style” in the tradition of phase 2, rammellzee, duel, skki, lokiss, etc. for myself. NOMAD Dada a la Strada. 20 years of graffiti and still consistent original toy. DAVE THE CHIMP I am short and hairy, with very long arms. My style is bohemian homeless chic, and I mostly wear clothes that I find in the street and wrap my feet in free plastic grocery bags. If you want to get ahead, wear a hat. Or stab the people that are ahead of you. ZEDZ I started doing graffiti when I was about 14 years old. Since that time, it has been my aim to develop as a graffiti writer both in getting fame as well as in gathering and developing style and knowledge at an interesting level. My style developed from legible type-lettering into some more experimental and abstract computer-like or multi-layered, simple – up to hard – or impossible to read 3D letter objects. When and how did you discover street art? CEMNOZ “Street art” is a
society-made label – the same way graffiti is pigeonholed – that I don’t use. I’ve been a writer since 1983. I wanted to make a constructive contribution to urban quality of life, enhance the grey desert with some colour, use
free space. NOMAD It was the other way round. Street art discovered me. In the 80s of the last millennium, I started to write characters and symbols as tags and throwups. Sometimes more, sometimes less. In 2000 or so, some journalists called it “street art”. Then some other guys took pictures and put them on websites, or in books, or held exhibitions on the subject. It’s just another sticker on a box ... DAVE THE CHIMP I discovered this so called “street art” in the streets of my homeland, Zargorkia, in the early 18th century. I was a young lad of six and, while feasting heartily on livers, I noticed blood spray out of a ventricle, through the kitchen window, and onto the wall of the neighbours house. I went outside and traced patterns in the blood. I became fascinated by this and would draw my bloody patterns wherever I went. One day I noticed a local clothing manufacturer had used one of my patterns as the basis of a new cloth pattern. From this I went on to design sneakers, wooden toys, and eventually to exhibit in the Zargorkia Museum of Contemporary Art. It was only then, when my art had been commercialised and become a fully-fledged product of consumer society, that I realised I was now a true “street artist”. ZEDZ I didn’t discover street art so much as street art discovered me. I was not so much aware of the movement until I realised that I was a part of it already. I knew I was doing graffiti when I was doing it, I never considered it as that I was doing street art. So I might say I found out about it when media and opinion started to use this terminology for referring to this movement and certain graphical languages.
What kind of reactions did your artworks get? CEMNOZ That
depends on the context in which they take place. 90% of my pieces have been buffed or have succumbed to the wrecking ball. The jobs and exhibitions I’ve done all got positive reactions. NOMAD I haven’t become a father yet, but otherwise everything’s great. DAVE THE CHIMP A 50 year old woman on the way to her cleaning job at 5am stopped and said to me: “If I could paint like that, I’d be a millionaire.” So how come, if I CAN paint like that, I’m broke? ZEDZ Too many to give a general answer, but if I generalise I think people many times have reacted very positive. More specific, people might cry sometimes with joy sometimes with empathy or disgust.
street art if it’s on the street. 90% of so-called “street” artists stopped putting work in the street the moment they got offered their first gallery show or advertising commission. So let’s hear it for hype, and the shallow fools who chase fashion, and let’s hear it for big business, the death of creativity. Now where’s my fucking cheque? ZEDZ I don’t care so much about the street art hype. Sometimes things blow up. For better or for worse. Perhaps it makes it all a bit more exciting. Then again, this street art might be a hype for some; to others it might mean nothing. A hype might be a forecast or an establishment or just a lot of unguided attention. To me it is all good. I also don’t want to grade a public.
What tempted you to choose illegal art forms? CEMNOZ Rules are
How do you imagine the future as a street art artist? CEMNOZ
made by people. My rule is: as long as you don’t hurt someone personally, don’t do anything others aren’t allowed to do to you too, you can do anything you want. In my world there is no material possession except your own body. All matter, especially man-made, is perishable. For me, the question of illegality doesn’t pose itself. Everything that is beautiful is good and right. I didn’t make the laws. Shame, I have to violate them in order to make my only sensible contribution to this social system. NOMAD I don’t know what you’re talking about. I paint bulk waste because it’s
Not at all. There’s only the present, here and now. Long live the moment. NOMAD FUCK STREET ART. I’m a painter and writer who, amongst other things, works on the street because he’s quite simply always working. Rigid reproductions, marketing products and plastic kitsch toys have NOTHING to do with the street or art. That’s DESIGN and not ART. I only work as a designer now and again and earn money doing so, the same way I earned money for years by lugging boxes ... just easier ... As an artist, I’m like a bottle of good red wine. Every year I become better and more
lying around and I often don’t have money for canvas, paint and an expensive studio. There’s nothing illegal about it. Counter question: What about your tax return for last year? DAVE THE CHIMP It’s easier to get away with than selling crack to school children. ZEDZ Being bored with couch life, looking for something to do, I went out to enjoy myself and get fame on top. The fact that what I wanted to do just could not possibly be done in legal ways. It is that illegal “thing” that tops it off.
expensive. DAVE THE CHIMP I am not a “street art” artist. It’s up for debate whether I am even an “artist”. I paint in the streets, I make gallery shows, I’m a director of pop videos and TV commercials, I make sculpture, I make performance art, I draw cartoons for newspapers and illustrations for magazines, I make animation and design skateboards. I’m here to steal your girlfriend and rape your record collection. I’m here for the FUN!!! Fuck street art, let’s party!!! ZEDZ I don’t. I go from episode to episode trying to accomplish one thing ... GETTING INTO THE FUTURE.
What do you think of the street art hype? CEMNOZ As the word
already says, it’s a hype, a fashion that’s supposed to pass. There was “street art” in the 60s, 80s and now. I follow a tradition that, since the 70s, centres on the transitoriness, the moment of creation: writing. NOMAD There’s a street art hype? That’s crazy ... Well, I know Drum ’n’ Bass Hype from London’s Ganja Cru and Marc Hype who once was the ITF Turntablist World Champion ... They’re both cool. But I don’t know street art hype. Can he scratch? DAVE THE CHIMP Street art is dead. It’s only
Your message to the people out there. CEMNOZ I came in peace and left in pieces. NOMAD Fuck and communicate more. Much more. DAVE THE CHIMP Don’t go “out there” people. Stay inside where it’s nice and warm
and safe. And please, for the love of God, never, ever, aspire to being a “street artist” – they’re all a bunch of art fags. Long live the Brotherhood of Zargorkia! ZEDZ Have fun and look for some true meaning in that.
Competition Alert! Fastest Fingers First! We have 3 brand spanking new Sony PSPs to give away - and have decided that the first 3 emails we get in will each be winning one of these gorgeous little babies. To enter just send us the sentence ‘I Love To Play’ to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck gamers!
THE ART OF REBELLION text By Liz McGrath, photos by christian hundertmark
Christian Hundertmark, or C100 as he is also known, has just published his second insightful book into the ever-changing world of Street Art – titled ‘The Art Of Rebellion 2’, it shows pictures he has taken of the most eye-catching and thought-provoking, mischievous and amusing street art from all around the world. We spoke with the Munich-based graphic designer and street artist about what makes this form of expression on the streets so enduring, controversial and exciting. When and where did you first become aware of street art? That
it’s really difficult because people started with this whole sell-out thing when graffiti and hip-hop got bigger, because they really did things they wouldn’t normally do, they did them just because big brands were throwing money at them. That’s the problem – doing stuff you don’t want to do but getting big money for it, that’s sell-out. What about Banksy? His work has gone under the hammer at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds. Is that sell-out? Well,
I think Banksy finds the fact that people will pay that much for his art really amusing. He thinks it’s funny. Also, its not like he’s selling his work to brands, they are private buyers who are simply fans of his work. Also, he has kept on doing his independent and illegal street art, which I doubt he will ever stop, so I think he retains his credibility this way. Another thing is that he must turn down an awful lot of offers that the public never even hear about – for sure a lot of brands want him but they don’t get him. And when he gets caught making art and gets fined by the police it’s not a big deal for him any more – he can afford to pay! It’s good when artists get paid for certain campaigns or to private buyers but keep on doing their own street art in their own time – that keeps them cool.
was when I was a kid in the mid 80’s, I was checking out graffiti on the trains of Munich when I was going into the city with my parents. And then I decided to start with graffiti myself, I was active from 89 to 97, my tag name was and is still C100, but I stopped in 97 because I just got bored of it. Nothing new had really developed in that scene, so I got into graphic design and in early 2000 I got into street art. The London Police, Banksy and Shephard Ferry were very influential factors for getting me into street art.
Street artists are interacting with their urban environment more and more – they continually poke fun at it and everything is fair game - from zebra crossings to traffic lights to roof tops to sidewalks – they play and mess around with it all in often highly amusing and surprising ways. Where do you see this going?
They were your first heroes? Yeah they were the first post-graffiti
I think this is the aspect that will progress much more. I really hope it does because I think it’s one of the most creative aspects of street art.
artists that I ever saw and I just loved their aesthetic and their work. What is your biggest fear for street art? That people run out of You’ve traveled extensively for your most recent book, The Art Of Rebellion 2, where did you love most? I was in London several
times, Barcelona, Milan and Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro – and of course I’m in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich a lot. You call street art rebellious – what do you think about this question of street artists earning a lot of money for their work especially with big brands – is that a sell out and does it take away the rebellion factor? I think it’s a very tricky question because
they don’t actually sell out it’s just that their paintings now sell. I think
fresh ideas and keep recycling old ones. I hope people continue to innovate and challenge their environment. How do you think graf artists can better get the public to understand that street art is about giving something back to the street and not about defacing it? It’s about communication, and the
media can help by representing it in a positive way and going to the source and talking to the artists and helping to make people see the ideas behind certain works of art and what messages they give, then I think the public will feel enriched by work they see.
4 1. CUM* [Gent, BE]
3. EROISE [EINDHOVEN, NL]
2. CUM* [Gent, BE]
4. intervention F1, hierzig station [vienna, at]
1. roadsworth, shoeprint [montreal, can]
3. blek le rat [marrakech, ma]
2. blek le rat, soldier Checkpoint charlie [berlin ger]
4. roadsworth, speakers [montreal, can]
1. plattenbau, evol [berlin, ger]
3. Eine [london, uk]
2. darius & downey [new york, usa]
4. elpussycat, drunk guy [rotterdam, nl]
5. klisterpete [stockholm, NE]
GOODBYE WINTER HELLO YOU Production Sandra Liermann and Lisa Schibel
Photographer David Fischer / Family MGMT Assistant Jesper Lindstrom Styling Johanna Borggren / LundLund Hair and Make-Up Linda Sundqvist / Agent Bauer Models Charlotte Hurtig / Mikas, Tobias N / Mikas
Sweater - Filippa K Shirt – Acne
Jacket - Acne Top - Velour Trousers - Acne Shoes – Acne
Jacket - Velour Top - Rodebjer Shorts - Acne Shoes – Acne
Jacket - Whyred Sweater - Whyred Trousers – Acne
Dress - Nakkna Coat - Carin Wester
Sweater - Mads Norgaard Trousers - Acne Scarf - BOSS
NOT SICK, ‘JUST ILLIN’
THE SICK GIRLS AROUND THE HOUSE WITH BERLIN’S ALL-GIRL, ALL-STREET DJ TEAM. TEXT BY JASPER GREIG FOTOS BY CHRISTINE FIEDLER & CAROLINE PITZKE
“We love nu rave, we love anything that is new and exciting.”
2 1 “This is where the magic happens ha ha” 2 “This is a ‘butt piece’. It is from an artist friend of mine from New York. I think she is going to be big someday. Most people don’t see it at first and then they are like‚ hey there’s an ass!!” 3 “When I was a girl I was soooo in love with Adam Ant. I thought I would go to London and like, faint in front of him and he would be my ‘Prince Charming’. Then I got into real punk. This is really special coz it is one of the first things Alex gave me as a present when we started DJing, it is also one of the first things we ever played- GLC‚ you knows I love you baby !!!!”
4 “Back stage passes. That is my whole professional life on a nail!” 4
5 “These are some flyers from our events. Hey, I just realised we put on 16 last year alone. Not bad huh!” 6 “This is my cat Peppone. He is from Maderno in Italy. I found him there when he was a sick homeless kitten and brought him back to Germany, so he is a Berliner now. I think he like boys better than girls though.” 7 “We are sneaker friends! My friend made these, they are a bit shabby now but still cool. He makes all our flyers as well.”
8 “We got this waterbottle in China when we were DJing there. We like it coz it is just a normal thing but so different. Also it has a cool handle.” 9 “We are doing a ‘shout out’ for a radio station right now. We are usually too busy for that stuff, but we thought we would do it while waiting for you.” 10 “This is where we live, we stole it from Dr No!” “No, it is our igloo – we just built it.”
INTERVIEWS The one and only Klaxons grace our pages this issue, we love them, soon you will too. The funny part is they think they arenâ€˜t New Rave, bless. Those young whippersnappers known as Lo-Fi-Fnk give us some carefully chosen words while the enigmatic, sexy and mysterious Sabina from The Brazillian girls will really turn you on to their music. KLAXONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 BRAZILIAN GIRLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 LO-FI-FNK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Street stars and Hip Hop legends Jurassic 5 tell it how it is to Alice Ross, while DJs A Touch of Class fill Jasper Greig in on life on the road and at the top and finally an L.A-based Eric D. Clark hangs on the telephone with Liz, still making her laugh her ass off, even though he was so many miles away. eric d. clark ...................................................................................................................... 66 a touch of class .............................................................................................................. 70 jurassic 5 . .......................................................................................................................... 72
Eric d. clark text By Liz McGrath, photos by kim jagua
Eric D. Clark is a musician, DJ, classically trained pianist (he was a child prodigy), and a disco-loving reprobate who can easily claim ‘legend’ status on the international club circuit, He hails from California, however after conquering all the major clubs in Los Angeles and New York, he fled the States in ‘87 and went to live in the far more open-minded and sophisticated Paris where he continued to DJ, run clubs, produce tracks for people and cause mischief of assorted kinds. After 10 years there he turned his attention to Germany and has lived variously in Cologne, Munich, and most recently Berlin, which incidentally, is where ‘electronic beats’ got to know him. He has recently left Europe though to make a long-overdue visit back to the States – with his trip going exceedingly well professionally and his first album in over 9 years ‘E=dC2’ about to drop on Firm records, we needed no more excuses to make that phonecall to the very lovely, Mr Eric.D.Clark. HI ERIC! WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TODAY? Hey girl! It’s mor-
ning in Los Angeles, I woke up about an hour ago and am just having breakfast. Today I plan to walk around and get a feel for the place, I’m staying with an old friend of mine, (we actually went to kindergarten together!) in Los Filez in LA, which is about half an hour away from the Hollywood Bowl. WOW. SOUNDS LUSH! HOW ARE YOU FINDING LA? Well, I’m loving it actually, which is funny
I’ve always had one foot planted in the underground, but one foot really also planted in the pop world. I like both. BY THE WAY, TELL ME YOUR HAIR IS DOING AT THE MOMENT? I CAN’T PICTURE YOU UNTIL I KNOW WHAT SORT OF HAIRSTYLE YOU’RE ROCKING!
Right now, I have braids going from the front to the back. But, by the time you see me in Berlin, it’ll be doing something different. My hair is definitely my favourite toy!
because when I was a kid I hated it so much. The only thing I don’t like now is that people here all dress like they’re going to the gym, I’m not impressed by that. The world has gone sportswear crazy. I’m completely retaliating. That’s why I did those politician-style photos that you’re using in the piece – I don’t want to look the same as all these people. I also love the weather here. It’s about 20 degrees which is nice. It’s not so warm, you need a light sweater if you’re outside, but it’s very pleasant.
HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO READERS THAT DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST? WHAT WOULD YOU HIT THEM WITH? I guess I would start by saying I’m an
AND YOU’VE BEEN PRETTY BUSY THERE, RIGHT?
on with Cobra Killer, we produced together and then they asked me to do some cameo vocals on it and I produced two singles for Angie Reed on the Chicks on Speed label and then did a single with Chicks on Speed. I did a remix most recently for Kahn, for his new single Fear. I did a lot of work with Whirl Pool productions and I did four LPs for four different record labels. We’re kind of like the tramps of the major record labels. The most popular was probably “From Disco to Disco”, re-released last year in 13 different versions on four 12-inch singles. Firm Records will be putting out my new album soon – in May or June. And I just did a track with Snax called The Spark. We had been talking for years about working together, he’s such a great instrumentalist.
Yeah, I’ve been looking to see what the scene is about – I’ve been meeting musical directors for films too, as I would love to do music for a film, or songs for TV shows. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the guys from CSI Miami, so lets see where that goes. I also might be working with Patty Labelle, which is pretty exciting. That’s one of the greatest things about my career at this point, that I’m getting to work with people who I was listening to growing up and who have been heroes of mine. Grace Jones and Sylvester I also have met up with, and to be able to do things like that is something I’m so appreciative of. I already did a remix for an artist named Niyo, and now I’ve been asked for A+R projects with Patty and also Rhianna. It’s funny ’cos
ex-pat, living in Europe for the last 20 years and more than half of those years were spent in Paris. I’m an accomplished pianist, but I’m also a dance music DJ. BUT YOU HAVE BEEN BUSY IN BERLIN PRODUCING FOR AND/OR FEATURING ON TRACKS SUCH AS ... GIVE US A LITTLE RUN-DOWN. I did a collaborati-
AND WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD AN ALBUM OUT? That would be nine years ago!
I basically took time off, I started a label in 2000, and actually the first release from that, called Affairs in the Backroom did pretty well. There’s a funny story behind that because I let that track get licensed for a gay porno that this guy I knew was making – it was some sort of gay outdoor water-rafting film. Totally hilarious! (laughs) But I know a lot of people who watch porn either before they go out or when they come home and the soundtrack is always totally awful – so I thought it would be pretty funny to have a porno with good music, although I don’t think I could ever watch it myself, that would be too weird! (laughs some more) Anyway, I took this time in between my album releases to work on my solo one-off releases plus collaborating with different artists and, as I said before, tramping around the major labels or whoring myself out to other people! TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM. The new album is a culmination of material I have been working on for the last 5 years, some of it has come about in just the last 5 months though. The reason why I didn’t release this earlier was because I really wanted a label that I knew would let me produce this on analogue and only release this on vinyl. Firm, who are based in Cologne, was the only label for me. I have known them for a long time as a label and always admired them. I actually knew one of the guys Olly, from back in the day, but only vaguely, and I never connected him with Firm – so when I realised last year it was his label, that was great. There are a couple of collaborations with Tyree Cooper and Mandel Turner, good friends of mine, but in the main it’s just little old me on this record. In America, particularly, I find with these R’n’B and hip hop records that they are
way too full with collaborations and that you can’t really hear the artist. You don’t have to worry about that with me! (laughs) I like to take on different characters when I’m singing, and on different tracks on this album I’m playing these different roles. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE SOUND OVERALL? There is some minimal stuff on there,
but not because it’s a trend, this minimal stuff has been around for years, it’s just hype, and I’ve never been one to follow hype. “Tree Sunshine Flowers” – that’s because my genetic mother’s name was Tree and she was a Cherokee Indian, so I thought I would do a tribute to her. There’s one ballad, one instrumental track with virtually no vocals that I did in Urequay 5 years ago, one minimal song called “Friendship” with a vocal line that goes “Friendships only get in the way, so that you love me, so I will stay,” which I wrote when I was fifteen years old – so that’s taking something from waaaay back!
I wanted to do here musically. If you’re black, you have to be a jazz musician or into hip hop or something like that, and I wasn’t. They weren’t good at accepting black in other genres back then (when I left for good in 87). So I came to Europe, I was, like, “Cool, I can come over here and do what I wanna do.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate America. And now I’m back, I’m, like, it’s the land of convenience, honey! Things are really easy here and the people have been so super-friendly, I’ve been really touched by that. ANY OTHER REASONS WHY YOU LEFT? Well
another reason why I had to leave the States was ’cos we were all partying way too hard! (laughs). We made Berlin look like kindergarten. My memories of the early 80s in America, whoooooooo, are just, like, a fog. And then I went to Paris in the late 80s and whoooooo! I’m telling you, I have partying in my blood. I’m lucky to be alive actually! (laughs really hard). I’m very happy. I wake up in the morning and
THAT’S COOL, SO YOU HAVE REALLY PIECED TOGETHER ALL THESE DIFFERENT PERIODS AND STORIES FROM YOUR LIFE FOR THIS ALBUM. Right, it’s
HA HA, NUDGE NUDGE, WINK WINK!
YOU WERE PLAYING THE PIANO FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE, RIGHT? HOW OLD WHEN YOU FIRST GOT SAT DONE IN FRONT OF ONE? Well, I started
learning professionally when I was 5, although I had been tinkering around with it before then, and I was a Master by the age of ten. I was also trying to reach into my dad’s stereo, apparently when I was, like, 4 or 5, and it was very hit or miss as to whether I would get the record to play. I think I scratched a lot of dad’s good stuff! (laughs) YOU ARE IN AMERICA RIGHT NOW, IT’S YOUR FIRST TRIP BACK TO YOUR HOMELAND IN A LONG TIME, RIGHT? Yes, the last time I was in the
States was in 2001, so….that’s 6 years ago. WHY DID YOU STAY AWAY SO LONG AND WHAT’S IT FEEL LIKE TO BE BACK? The reason why I
left the States was because I couldn’t do what
THAT’S A GOOD ATTITUDE. With Whirl Pool we
were lucky to have records in the dance charts that crossed over to pop charts. I think that’s what’s going to happen with my album. Speaking of dance and pop crossovers, I was in New York just recently and I met up with Lady Miss Kier – she was the lead singer from Deee-Lite (of ‘Groove is in the Heart’ fame) – she hasn’t released anything for, like, 5 years, but she has so much stuff ready to go, she’s just looking for the right people to work with her on it, I was so completely enamoured to be in her presence, we hung out checking out videos on YouTube, it was just great. That was the main reason I went to New York, to meet her and also to stay with my friend Missy Galore. MISSY GALORE? Yes, honey! (laughs)
like a scrapbook of memories. And one of my biggest curses is that I do have an amazing memory, despite what some people may think!!
Yeah, exactly, hello all of you out there who think I don’t remember you and what went on! Ha! I do! (laughs) I also love a song called Legion. Everything on that track was a mistake – people are, like, “Where did you get the guitars on that track?” and I’m, like, “There aren’t any!” That’s the other thing I wanted to show people with this album, I wanted to show that MIDI is not cold, that MIDI production can be quite warm.
Flowers” when I sing “They got issues, I got gold, and that’s the way it is.” You know, I mean that. If you are in a place that’s bad for you, get the hell out. I try to remain as optimistic as possible. I do have gold, I don’t have issues, I don’t have regrets. You should never feel bad about doing something, just do it and learn from it.
I’m, like, “Damn, you’re still here?” I mean do you know how many people I’ve seen come and go in this scene? It’s nice, it’s something to appreciate, longevity in anything is something to be appreciated. I’m definitely happy I’m still around and doing this. YOU DESERVE IT YOU KNOW. Awww, shucks!
Thanks, Lizzy. AND WHAT’S CHANGED THE MOST IN THE STATES?
The sad thing I’ve noticed is that America is fast becoming a third world country. In Detroit it was granted a wonderful experience because I was staying with my friend just outside the city, but inside the city, people are seriously poor there. There’s no middle point, it’s really become “either you have, or you have not.” I’ve met a few people in Detroit who I can see are really struggling to get stuff done and you can just sense they are a little downtrodden because the basic isn’t there. I feel so bad for them. You really need the gumption to get out of places like that, but it’s not easy when basic tools are not there. That’s what I mean in that song “Tree Sunshine
She’s a supreme video artist and live video mixer – I’m gonna be her tech support guy, ha ha ha! Oh my god, and the other great thing that happened in New York was I went to a show that Missy Galore had done and then after the show was over, there was all of this rich burgundy crushed velvet which had been stacked up in piles. I was, like, “Missy, I think they’re gonna throw this stuff away, that’s crazy, grab two garbage bags and let’s pack this up.” We got like 90 pounds worth of velvet! I’m having a suit made with it right now, there’s going to be a fulllength cape with it too. (laughs) YOU HAVE TO PUT THAT ON AS YOUR NEW IMAGE ON YOUR MYSPACE PAGE! I’m going to, honey!
It’s crazy what people throw away. This stuff costs like 40 dollars a yard. And there was literally tonnes of it! WELL, IF YOU GOT SOME LEFT OVER, YOU CAN MAKE CURTAINS TOO! Oh yeah! I could have
matching curtains to my matching suit and cape! (laughs) WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK TO BERLIN? I MISS YOU! Next month, in March. I might have to head
back to the States pretty soon though because of work. But I will be back soon. AND WILL YOU BE BRINGING THE NEW PURPLE SUIT AND CAPE? Oh yes honey! You can count
on seeing that! www.myspace.com/wwwmyspacecomedc
A TOUCH OF CLASS By Jasper greig
Some artists manage to stay connected to the street no matter how far from it they end up. Super DJs, label owners and all-round good guys, A Touch Of Class will be touring a town near you very soon (see tour dates). They will also be releasing a remix of the JOSS STONE song “Tell me about it”, as well as a new album with their band “The Ones” – who last had a top ten UK hit with the song “Flawless”. Today the over-achieving pair talks to electronic beats about what keeps them grounded. WHAT ARE YOUR NAMES? Oliver Stumm & Domie
Clausen WHERE DO YOU LIVE? We live in the big, dirty,
sometimes rotten, sometimes too polished, genetically-enhanced apple, New York City! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TERM “STREET” WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC AND CLUB LIFE? The
street is constantly changing but we recognise that people are tired and secondly too intelligent to accept simple categorised musical concepts. There is no sense in going to a club if you know after 3 minutes what you will be hearing in 3 hours. We see especially in the big cities like Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and London an openmindedness towards totally different styles. YOU ARE ORIGINALLY BOTH FROM SWITZERLAND. HOW DID YOU END UP IN AMERICA? Actually I
grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, but studied in Switzerland. I moved to NY because I always loved the city and because I wanted to be in the right environment with the right people for music. Domie came over to NY for a visit and accepted my invitation to join forces and create music.
of its own and lives on by itself. It’s great to be in a country somewhere and to hear one of your songs by chance and say: “Oh, we actually did that like 7 years ago!” ARE THERE OTHER THINGS YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AS WELL? We have laundromats, limousine ser-
vices, call girl and online dating services, offshore gambling sites! Anything with our brand name A Touch Of Class on it, that’s us! Just Google that shit, baby!
only to get invited back a year later when they finally caught on to the new music ...We once played in a club in Germany where the promoter told us we were not allowed to play any music faster than 128 beats per minute. He then came over to complain because we apparently broke the barrier and were at 131 beats per minute. To this day I still wonder how he could feel the minute difference.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OF YOUR VENTURES OF THE YEARS? That’s hard
to say, our conglomerate is quite big, also my attorneys have advised me to say that I don’t understand any of those reports coming from our creative accounting dept. Musically, the top income grosser have been The Ones with their hit “Flawless”, which has been in literally every TV commercial after being a big hit in the UK and then getting a 2nd life when George Michael used it on his last album. Scissor Sisters weren’t too bad either, even if they “don’t feel like dancing” anymore. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CLUB TO PLAY AT IN THE WORLD? Clubs come and go, it’s hard to say.
YOU SEEM TO BE VERY MULTI-TALENTED. YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MUSIC, DO REMIXES, RUN A RECORD LABEL AND PLAY AS DJS. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST? Well, we can tell you what
They always have their moments ...
we enjoy the least! We do not like the business aspects, dealing with all the bureaucracy of the industry. We also don’t necessarily like selling ourselves. We really enjoy DJing in front of an unknown crowd and like the challenge of it. We also enjoy immensely working in the studio producing, remixing or recording stuff. The great thing about creating music (versus DJing where you get instant gratification) is that it gets a life
tonne. Once we got picked up at the airport in Barcelona for the Primavera Festival and got stuffed into a bus with all these rather oddlooking musicians only to realize that they were picking up musicians for a blue grass festival that was going on at the same time. We eventually found the people from our festival. We also got kicked out of clubs for playing music that was, according to the manager, too outrageous,
DO YOU HAVE ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES FROM ONE OF YOUR GIGS/GOOD STORIES? A
Once we were waiting for our turn in a club and the DJ played this really familiar cool instrumental track. I knew I had it somewhere, but I just couldn’t put a finger on what exactly it was. So I then acted like a real wise guy and tried to play it cool going up to the DJ and saying something like: “Yeah great mate, uh, what is this again?” He responded by asking if I was making fun of him or if I was just retarded asking about a track we did. How embarrassing! DO YOU GUYS HAVE A MUSIC POLICY OR WAY OF AGREEING ON WHAT YOU WILL PLAY TOGETHER?
Our only policy is to have no concept whatsoever and as soon as one style becomes predominant to immediately cut into something else. Promoters
and clubs usually find this very confusing but the dancing public get the idea pretty quickly. Nothing better than to persuade someone who is into one style to dance to something they usually never would. WHO IS THE BIGGEST ARTIST YOU HAVE DONE A REMIX FOR? Scissor Sisters, Erasure, Taana
Gardner IF YOU COULDN’T DO ALL THE THINGS YOU DO NOW, WHAT OTHER CAREER WOULD YOU MAKE?
Women’s shoes! DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RECORD EVER? Too many to mention, but I would never throw out my Talking Heads “Remain In Light” album. Basically, we’re big fans of all recordings made in the 80s at Compass Point Studios (Bahamas) with the same crew: Steven Stanley (engineer), Wally Badarou (synthesisers), occasionally Sly & Robbie (Bs, Drums) and a few others. This crew has done some of the best-produced music ever: Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Lizzie Mercier, Gwen Guthrie and, of course, the above-mentioned Talking Heads. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF DANCE MUSIC WILL BE? Very bleak, dance music culture
is on its last legs. It used to be an independent music form, mostly neglected by the music indu-
stry, and hence had time to develop naturally. Then it became a marketing and industry tool ... Now it’s all washed out full of bureaucrats who don’t really have an understanding; who like to tell us what people like and what sells and what doesn’t. Well, if you geezers knew, you wouldn’t be working in your little cubicle, would you? Nobody knows that, that’s the beauty of things. Now go sell toilet paper! It’s easier, it has to be soft and fluffy! On top of that, you have all these PR and marketing companies, industry people, journalists, etc. who always want to label everything into these very simple, definable cate-
Oh yeah, and having a gazillion friends on myspace has no meaning whatsoever!
makers! No design please, be contradictory, filet mignon on a paper plate please! WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?
Perfect happiness is probably the worst state you could be in because there would be nothing to change and you would be frightened to death if something did, desperately holding onto that status quo ... DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO FOR LIFE? Don’t take it
too seriously; be able to laugh, mostly about yourself! ATOC European tour dates: Fri 22/12/2006 – Mother Mag. Launch, Athens Sat 23/12/2006 – Thessaloniki Mon 25/12/2006 – Les Halles Christmas Party, Zurich Wed 27/12/2006 – Manifesto at Paradiso, Amsterdam Thu 11/01/2007 – Make Up Ghent, Ghent
gories and treat them as such. What do we care what we are labelled. There’s either good music or bad. File under: good music, motherfucker! Oh yeah, and having a gazillion friends on myspace has no meaning whatsoever! Basically, the future of dance music will be a recycled version of the past!
Fri 12/01/2007 – Hive Club, Zurich Sat 13/01/2007 – RIO, Berlin Sat 27/01/2007 – Liar’s Club, Nottingham Sun 28/01/2007 – BoomBox, London Tue 30/01/2007 – T-Elektrika, Rome Thu 01/02/2007 – Leparisparis, Paris Fri 02/02/2007 – LAS Magazine party, Helsinki Sat 03/02/2007 – Nitsa, Barcelona
ANY TIPS FOR THE “STREET” SCENE IN 2007 (BARS, CLUBS, FASHION, MUSIC, ART, ETC.)?
Sat 10/02/2007 – Plastic, Milano
Yeah, no more concepts! No motherfuckin’ taste-
Thu 15/02/2007 – Gomma Night, Munich
Thu 08/02/2007 – Dirty Disco, Amsterdam
JURASSIC 5 Back to the Streets By Alice Ross
Nobody could make a Jurassic 5 track but Jurassic 5. Their style is unmistakable: tight, socially-conscious lyrics from the four rappers, backed up by tasty, retro hip hop beats from the classic DJ pairing of Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist (who left the group last year to pursue solo projects). Add in some instantly catchy, danceable sampled hooks and sing the chorus in four-part harmony, barbershop quartet-style, and voila. They make it look easy, but they’re one of a kind. Electronic beats talked hip hop, politics and religion with rappers Akil and Mark 7 on the rooftop of their Barcelona hotel as the band came to the end of a three-month US and European tour promoting their latest album, Feedback. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE JURASSIC 5 SOUND AND MESSAGE? Mark 7: I think the best
way to describe our sound is hip hop, singing in harmony, with a positive message, you know, coming from the heart, and trying to speak about something of relevance, topics that everyday people can relate to. When you deal with the sound and the message, there’s a thin line. You want to be able to put the message across, but at the same time you want to grab them with the sound and have a good mixture of both and I think we do that.
THERE’S A REALLY RETRO FEEL TO SOME OF THE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM. DO YOU FEEL THAT HIP HOP HAS LOST ITS WAY AND NEEDS REMINDING OF THAT ORIGINAL BLOCK PARTY ETHIC? Mark 7:
It needs to ground itself, you know, with some of that. Because a lot of contemporary artists don’t know nothing about that. So maybe you’re missing something out of the original ingredients. WHAT IS THAT INGREDIENT? Mark 7: I think it’s integrity, I think it’s education, skills, as far as hip hop is concerned, it has its roots in live
shows, in speaking to the people, in trying to convey a message – it doesn’t necessarily have to be positive, either. Akil: There’s the oral tradition, being able to speak to massive groups of people and being able to be in accordance on one thing. I think not everybody’s in agreement with certain things in the hip hop lifestyle now because it’s not relatable to everybody, it’s more selfish. DO YOU MEAN THE BLING BLING TREND? Mark 7:
Yeah, you know, saying this is my lifestyle, this
is what I’ve been through. But if you want me to give a heart [makes hand sign] about your autobiography, well after that there’s other chapters in the book, there’s so many rappers that only have one topic. WHAT WERE YOU LISTENING TO WHEN YOU MADE THE ALBUM? Akil: I like a lot of Brazilian music,
a lot of soul, oldies, R ’n’ B, jazz. Mark 7: I rarely listen to hip hop in the house, so I might put on artists like R ’n’ B from the UK, just some mellow, chilled stuff. DO YOU LISTEN TO MUCH EUROPEAN HIP HOP?
Akil: Here and there – we don’t necessarily know a lot of the artists. In France, there’s Saian Super Crew, in Britain, Skinnyman. Mark 7: Most of the stuff that I hear is really underground: cats that just give me their CDs and I put them on my iPod, ARE THEY ANY GOOD? Mark 7: Most are from
cats just trying to come up. Some are really good but some, the less said the better.
Message’ by Grandmaster Flash, hip hop spoke about what was actually going on in society, whereas other music at that time was more disco’d out, punked out, but hip hop came back and was, like, ‘Look, my mom is on dope, we ain’t got no money, we’re living in the ghetto.’… I think artists do have a responsibility, cos you’ll be able to touch more people than a preacher or a politician. DO YOU THINK THAT HIP HOP SHOULD PLAY A POLITICAL ROLE, FOR EXAMPLE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO VOTE? Mark 7: I think it has the power
to change what a lot of people think because any time you have a forum in front of so many people, you definitely have somewhere you can talk about the politics, let somebody know that this is an issue and that’s an issue. Or if you don’t, you don’t. I mean, you can just rap about your house, what you got, what kind of car you’re driving. Akil: The political aspect of hip hop is such that you can take it as far as getting someone to vote. I mean, I don’t vote, so I can’t say that we should get up there.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DOWNLOADING FREE MUSIC? IS IT OK? Akil: I think it is, because it’s
YOU DON’T VOTE? Both: No.
promotion. It’s people getting exposed to your music. You still have buyers that like to get the artwork on the album, so if I download and I’m, like, ‘Oh, I like this,’ then I’m going to go and buy the album, see who’s there and what’s on the album. Mark 7: I’m all for it too, because especially in our business – which is all touring – the artist hardly sees any money from record sales anyway, so if they download it free and they get the album that doesn’t even matter to me because I want them to come to the show. I would like to get the record sales, but at the same time it’s gotta be the record company that’s doing the promotion and pushing it.
WHY? BECAUSE YOU THINK THE CHOICE IS NOT RIGHT? Mark 7: I knew from the beginning that
YOU SEND OUT A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE ABOUT SOCIAL TOGETHERNESS: DO YOU THINK THAT HIP HOP HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO THIS?
Mark 7: I think that any time that you have command of such a large audience, there’s a chance to say something that’s relevant – not many people can say that in a span of two or three months they have gotten in front of tens of thousands of people. But some artists choose to and others choose not to. It’d be nice if everyone that’s recording within America, within the black community with millions of people buying their records would say something like: ‘You guys need to know about what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in Rwanda, what’s going on here.’ Just something. But, you know, that depends on the person and what else they have to say. Akil: It’s the oral tradition of hip hop, it’s always been about that, the message. From the beginning, with things like ‘The
either way it went, whoever won, it still would be the same. Same puppets, same machine, same dollars. So to me, it made no difference who was in office, whether it be Kerry or Bush, the same, no difference for blacks. Akil: Ever since I’ve been living, no president has ever represented my community and where I stand as an African born in America, as a so-called American citizen. They’ve never spoken to the issues that directly primarily with the African American community. For me, America was formed in 1776, right? They didn’t free slaves until 89 years later. So when the Constitution was written, it had nothing to do with black people. They still owned slaves in 1776. So as far as the political regime –Democrat, Republican – goes, that means nothing to me. BUT THEN, HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION? Akil: I do music. Mark 7: It’s not
about voting. It’s already been proven that that doesn’t change anything. Anyone who thinks it does is a fool, as far as I’m concerned. Akil: We don’t have our own party. People just have to be educated, you know, and be willing to change their social standing. DO YOU THINK THAT SOCIAL VALUES ARE DIFFERENT FROM POLITICAL ONES? Akil: I think so.
Way different. Mark 7: I think you have more power speaking to the people, speaking about change, you know, about coming up, instead of voting for, or trying to promote, a party or a political process in office.
WE’VE READ THAT SEVERAL OF THE GROUP ARE MUSLIMS. ARE YOU MUSLIM? Both: Yes. SUNNI OR SHIA? Akil: I don’t really like to say ‘Shia’ or ‘Sunni’. But I’d be more close to Sunni. ARE YOU CONVERTS? Akil: Yes. WAS THERE A PARTICULAR THING THAT MADE YOU CONVERT? Akil: Hip hop … groups like
Public Enemy, KRS-1 … That led to knowledge of self, you want know about yourself and where you come from. Because the slaves that came to America were stripped of their religion. Many black people came from West Africa, which is predominantly Muslim, you know, Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, all those different areas. So the majority of people in America are basically Muslim descendants. I was just tracing my history, and just finding out how Islam incorporates all people, you know, it’s not a racist thing. DO YOU FEEL ACCEPTED BY ARABIC MUSLIMS?
Akil: I feel accepted by Muslims on the whole. You’re gonna always have individuals who don’t accept you, but as far as the religion is concerned … the creed is for everybody, it’s for all of humanity, it’s not just for Arabs. As a matter of fact, the Arabs are the smallest group of Muslims in the world! The largest is in Asia. The second is in Africa. Mark 7: But when you take media portrayal, they make you think that – Akil: – that the Arabs are the biggest. ISLAM IS PORTRAYED BY THE MEDIA AS BEING INTOLERANT. BUT IN YOUR MUSIC, YOU SUPPORT TOLERANCE. DO YOU FEEL THAT ISLAM GETS MISREPRESENTED IN THE MEDIA? Akil: Yeah,
definitely – just from the female aspect of it. They’re more focusing on people’s cultural thing, than Islam itself. I mean, in the Koran it says a man is the protector of his woman. Then most people say: ‘How can I protect my woman, if she’s walking behind me?’ But that’s a cultural thing. That has something to do with different Arab cultures – that has nothing to do with Islam. It’s their culture mixed with the religion. DO YOU PLAY IN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES? Akil: No.
We haven’t played in any yet. We’re trying to get to them. WHY ARE YOU GUYS CALLED JURASSIC 5 WHEN THERE WERE 6 OF YOU TIL LAST YEAR? Akil: The
mother of our bandmate Chali 2Na’s son was joking with us: ‘You think you all sound like the Fantastic 5. But it’s more like the Jurassic 5.’ So she was making a joke. And then he’s, like, ‘If we become a group, that’s a fine name for a group’. And then 13 years later, there’s 5 of you. Akil: Yeah, exactly Mark 7: We had no idea that was going to happen.
MAUERPARK The Mauerpark (Wall-Park) is a public park in Berlin that is located in the former ‘death-strip’ area which surrounded the Berlin Wall. It used to mark the border between East and West Berlin, separating the Russian from the French sector. Today the park is depoliticised and the Berliners favourite chill-out zone. Photographer: Lars Borges | Production: Sandra Liermann
Hoodie BLESS Shoes NIKE
Sun Glasses MYKITA USLU AIRLINES
Bag LARA BOHINC
Jumper MADS NORGAARD
Sneakers DECADE HI, ADIDAS
Necklace SABRINA DEHOFF
Sweater WOOD WOOD Shoes CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR BFT, CONVERSE
Shoes CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR BFT, CONVERSE
Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream KIEHL´S
Sweater FRED PERRY
Klaus Heidegger’s All-Sport Muscle Rub KIEHL´S
T-Shirt Hoodie SWASH
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NEW YORK NEWYORK TEXT BY SANDRA LIERMANN PHOTOS BY LISA SCHIBEL
Ever had the feeling of knowing a place without actually having been there? That’s the sensation you have when you get to New York. Manifested in countless films, TV series and 80s soaps, the city lingers in our subconscious yet it still strikes you afresh each time you set foot there. Of course there’s so much more to New York than these imagined memories and the city changes constantly which makes it hard to keep up with. For this reason we hooked up with four in-the-know New Yorkers on a 24-hour cruise to all their favourite places. From classics and evergreens to insider hotspots, we think there’s something for everyone. Because the one thing that doesn’t change about New York is that despite its clean-up and post 9/11 aftershocks, it is still the world’s greatest city.
LIVES IN TRIBECA, WORKS IN A GALLERY
I like starting the day with brunch at 01 TARTINE (253 West 11th St | 212 229 2611), a small corner place that serves simple, inexpensive, delicious French fare. There’s always 10 a bit of a wait, but it’s fun to hang at the corner watching the Village folk troop by, especially in the summer. Tartine is famous for its tarts, hence the name. Try the apple variety for a heavenly delight. The neighbourhoods in Manhattan all have a certain appeal, but GREENWICH VILLAGE with its charming townhouses on quiet, tree-lined streets is probably my favourite area. Here there’s a cosy feeling even when the weather is cold and grey and NY gets really ugly. Shopping in New York City is like a bottomless pit. These are some of my favourites in walking order starting at the WEST VILLAGE. 02 CASTOR & POLLuX (238 West 10th St | 212 645 6572). This cute little boutique sells great accessories for girls. 03 INA (262 Thompson St | 212 941 4757) has three outlets in the city at which you can always find the designer items that you couldn’t afford during the season for half the price. Hold on to your wallet! A little out of the way perhaps but a great place for similar finds is 04 FISCH FOR THE HIP (153 West 18th St | 212 633 9053) in the Chelsea area. It’s a really good consignment shop with a great selection of upscale second-hand designer items. They also house an extensive collection of Hermes accessories that make your eyes water. 05 BARNEYS COOP (116 Wooster St | 212 965 5319) in Soho basically unites the two last floors of Barneys uptown with all the cool young designer labels and cosmetics. Another place close by is 06 PEARL RIVER (477 Broadway | 212 431 4770). Your best bet for great Chinese gadgets like beautiful chopsticks and ceramics that can be used for sushi feasts. If you’re looking for a cool present, come here. I enjoy cruising through Nolita’s Elizabeth St and Mott St for the many cool little boutiques and stores and the fun and relaxed vibe. 07 SIGERSON MORRISON (28 Prince St | 212 219 3893) is one of my favourite shoe stores in town. It’s hard to walk out of the place empty handed. Their flats are a winner. Pricey, but beautiful. The next place I 09 head to is the 08 POLuX FLEuRISTE (248 Mott St | 212 219 9646) because they make the loveliest flower arrangements. For a quick Parisian feel, the quaint blue- and white-tiled shop is a gem itself. 09 CAFE COLONIAL (276 Elizabeth St | 212 274 0044) is good for lunch. They serve of Brazilian origin food in an unpretentious, cosy atmosphere. If I check out art galleries in 10 CHELSEA, I LOVE NEW YORK BECAuSE I head to 11 BOTTINO (246 10th Ave (212 206 6766) for lunch because they offer great IT’S ALWAYS HAPPENING. modern Italian fare. The place is simple and stylish with white table clothes and slick AND BECAuSE I HAVE THE wooden chairs. The crowd is interesting and very arty. While in the area, you must check FEELING THE CITY CAN out the 12 BALENCIAGA STORE (542 West 22nd St | 212 206 0872) which looks like BRING OuT THE BEST an installation of art itself. As you may know, New York gals never - and I mean never IN ME. have nails that are less than perfect. So if you need some pampering, the best address to go to is PRITI ORGANIC SPA (35 East 1st St | 212 254 3628), a lovely little place that offers manicure, pedicure, waxing, facials and massage using only 100% organic products and non-toxic polishes. Every aspect of the experience is eco-friendly. For an aperitivo, I like to head to the 13 SPOTTED PIG (314 West 11th St | 212 620 0393). This colourful, funky pub-style place is perfect to meet friends for a drink. If you’re a fan of the theatre, LA MAMA (74A East 4th St | 212 475 7710 | www.lamama.org) is great because it’s a typical small New York stage with an interesting programme and inexpensive tickets. YE WAVERLY INN (16 Bank St | 212 929 4377) is one of my favourite spots for dinner at the moment. The place feels like New York back in the forties with velvety booths and painted walls. People who come here seem to dress up to go out for dinner in a cool way which I like. It’s a bit about see-and-be-seen, but fun. The food is traditional American like potpie and crab cake and pretty good most of the time. They don’t do reservations over the phone, so it’s best to stop by there during the day. Run by two friends of mine, who happen to be Italian, 14 GEISHA (33 East 61st St | 212 813 1112) is a modern Japanese restaurant with a comfortable but seriously sleek interior. The food is really absolutely delicious like the trio of tartars appetiser that is fit for royalty. Have a Aloe Vera Martini to start with. Yum! Located at the Gramercy Park Hotel, the 15 ROSEBAR (2 Lexington Avenue | 212 920 3300) is the hottest bar in town. Hotel-wise I like the 16 60 THOMPSON (60 Thompson St | 877 431 0400), it’s perfectly located in Soho and it boasts a really cool style that is a mixture of comfy and chic. The summer rooftop bar A60 is a warm-weather Mecca for hipsters. 14
MAX PASK DJ, LIVES IN BROOKLYN
For lunch, I like to go to Matamoros Puebla Grocery(193 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn | 718 782 5044). In the back of this Mexican grocery, you can get very good, cheap and authentic food. This is one of the few joints that have not been affected by the Bedford Avenue hype. I also love the food at Brooklyn Label in Greenpoint (180 Franklin St, Brooklyn | 718 389 2806), a very laid back atmosphere, nice staff and the best brunch in the neighbourhood on the weekend! To get records, I like to go to 01 Turntable Lab (120 East 7th St | 212 677 0675) for recent releases and 02 A-1 Records for old disco and soul stuff (439 E 6th St | 212 473 2870). The Thing (Manhattan Ave. between Green and Huron, Greenpoint, Brooklyn) is also great for its huge vault full of $2 records, its used books and tonnes of great junk! 03 Houndstooth (485 Driggs I LOVE NEW YORK Ave, Brooklyn | 718 384 8705) is a cool place to shop for vintage FOR THE NEW YORKERS! clothes for men. They’ve got well selected items from the 30s to the 80s. Another good and independent bookstore with an adjoining café that’s always worth a visit is 04 Mc Nally Robinson (52 Prince St | 212 274 1160). For food in the Lower East Side, I like 05 Loreley (7 Rivington St | 212 253 7077), a German restaurant and beer garden. They serve a good schnitzel with spätzle as well as German beer. For dinner, I’m also a fan of Zen Kichi (77 N 6th St, Brooklyn |718 388 8985), a place in Brooklyn. From the outside you only see wood and inside you sit in little bamboo booths where you are served authentic Japanese food while they play jazz. Excellent! Whenever I DJ in Manhattan, I take the 01 taxi over the Williamsburg Bridge and I’m always stunned by the skyline of the city. It gets me every time. 06 Passerby (436 W 15th St | 212 206 6847) is one of my favourite bars in Manhattan. It’s quite small with a light-pulsating floor that flashes to the disco music. The crowd is cool and the drinks are cheaper than in most bars in the Meatpacking District. For a fancy cocktail, come by on Thursday nights to the Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel, where I play records every Thursday (2 Lexington Ave, 212 920 3300). I’m not a great fan of the clubs in New York. 07 Cielo (18 Little West 12th St | 212 645 5700) is a good place though. I also like 08 APT (419 West 13th St | 212 414 4245), a cosy club with a long bar, and Studio B in Greenpoint (259 Banker St, Brooklyn). All three of them have great sound systems and great international DJs/acts perform there. I go dancing at 205 (205 Chrystie St | 212 477 6688) in the Lower East Side on Saturdays for the Rub’ n’ Tug party, and also at 09 No Ordinary Monkey (www.noordinarymonkey.com) one Friday a month at the China Room all the way downtown in the financial district. Another great dance party is Fixed (www.myspace.com/fixednyc), who have amazing guests every time! For good techno nights, check the Robots Nights at Cielo (www.wearerobots.net) and also the Wolf and Lamb parties (www. wolflambmusic.com). One of my favourite hotels is still the Tribeca Grand (2 Ave. of the Americas | 212 519 6600) for its location and sleek design.
EVENT AND GASTRONOMICAL CONSULTANT
I like to start my day by getting a coffee and reading the paper at the 01 Battery Park waterfront which offers a great view (when it’s not completely foggy). For breakfast, I recommend 02 Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Ave | 212 724 4707), a New York institution on the Upper West WHAT I LIKE MOST ABOUT Side. They do great bagels and the decor hasn’t changed since the late sixties – a true and authentic old school New York experience. They also NY IS THAT IT’S THE ONLY deliver which is great since going Uptown for me is quite a trip. Noho is CITY I KNOW WHERE I CAN GET UP AT FOUR IN one of my favourite areas to hang out because it has the touch of Soho without the masses of tourists. Nolita with all its small shops is also fun. THE MORNING AND DO For lunch, I pop into my friend Federico’s place 03 Panino Sportivo (26 WHATEVER I WANT. Prince St | 212 431 0800); he makes the best sandwiches in town. Try the ‘Ronaldo’, their number one seller which is named after me. If you are into soccer, this is the place to come because they show all the good games. 04 Ruby’s (219 Mulberry St | 212 925 5755), a tiny little café, is a great joint too. Run by two Aussie guys, they serve tasty salads, sandwiches and their native desserts like sticky date pudding. Swedish designer 05 J. Lindeberg makes pretty much all my clothes. I like their style because it’s chic, funky and easy-going. Check out their shop in Soho (126 Spring St | 212 625 9681) Check out the 06 MoMa (www.moma.org) activities when you’re in town because they always do great stuff. In January and February there was the Doug Aitken exhibition where huge film sequences were impressively projected onto the walls of the museum. Since the New York restaurant scene is vibrant and vicious, it’s hard to decide where to go. My favourite places are hotspot 07 La Esquina (106 Kenmare St | 877 890 2217) a restaurant hidden in the basement of a Mexican diner where you have to go through the kitchen to get to the restaurant. It boasts a really cool crowd, arty and bohème with some models and celebs. The food is traditional Mexican with a modern twist and they have a massive selection of tequila. The Taquitos, like miniature Tacos, 08 are a winner. Another place I like is the 08 Chinatown Brasserie (380 Lafayette St | 212 533 7000). The décor really looks like a Chinese version of a French brasserie and is both stylish and cosy. The Dim Sums are yummy and so is the Peking Duck. The place is also famous for their mai tais, which they serve to a chic downtown crowd. The 09 LurE RESTAURANT (142 Mercer St |212 925 4018) is also one of my favourites. Here everything is maritime themed. The interior is shaped like a boat down to the last detail. The sushi bar is amazing and their burgers are award winning. To start the night, I still like to go to Butter (415 Lafayette St 212 253 2828) for a drink. The lounge is earthy, dark and a bit Zen-like and the mixture of people is très chic. The Double Seven (418 West 14th St | 212 981 9099) with its deep leather seating and clever dim lighting is a happening lounge bar created by the same owners as Lotus. Club-wise I still like the Bungalow 8. Why? ’Cause it’s the only place that offers Helicopter Service on the menu. Finally I would rest my head at the famously restored 10 Gramercy Park Hotel as I’m a fan of its eclectic, colourful style.
ALEXA HOYER SCULPTOR AND ASSISTANT OF ARTIST VANESSA BEECROFT, LIVES IN BROOKLYN
I currently live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a predominantly Polish neighbourhood but recently becoming more and more a hotspot for artists and hipsters. Therefore, many of the places listed are in close I DO LOVE NY FOR ITS DIVERSE vicinity to this area. For brunch, I like NEIGHBORHOODS AND ITS to go to 01 Enids (560 Manhattan Ave, SEEMINGLY UNLIMITED Brooklyn | 718 349 3859), the weekPOSSIBILITIES. end Williamsburg hipster brunch place, but with a very good menu and fabulous Bloody Marys. For lunch, I tend to go to 02 Snack (105 Thomson St | 212 925 1040), which is probably the smallest Greek tavern there is. The place is really charming and serves tasty inexpensive Greek delicacies. If you’re a fan of chocolate, you must hit 03 Mariebelle (484 Broome St | 212 925 6999) as their hot chocolate is to die for. The best area to check out galleries is 04 Chelsea between approximately 19th Street and 26th Street. However, there are some great galleries in Brooklyn as well, my favourite ones being 05 Jack the Pelican (www.jackthepelicanpresents.com) and 06 Pierogi (www.pierogi2000.com), which are located within half a block of one another on 487 Driggs and on 177 North 9th Street. One of my favourite things to do in NY, particularly during the summer, is to go to the 07 World’s Fair site of 1964-1965 04 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Shea Stadium Stop on the 7 train). The abandoned New York State Pavilion and the old globe fountain (“Unisphere”) are quite spectacular in their 1960’s futuristic style. Across from the globe is the Queens Museum of Art. I’ve seen some pretty good art exhibitions there, as well as a large architectural model of NYC and its five boroughs. Compared to most museums in Manhattan, you’re actually able to view the works without battling through overwhelming crowds. Although mainly occupied by newly immigrated hipsters, Williamsburg, Brooklyn is also the home of one of the largest Hasidic communities outside of Israel (South of Broadway). I particularly enjoy walking across the Williamsburg Bridge on a Saturday afternoon. During the celebration of the Sabbath, the Hasidic community is not allowed to use any form of transportation hence they commute on foot. It feels as if you’re taking a walk through Prague during the early part of the 20th century (if you take out the architecture of the bridge and the NY skyline). A great view of the city is from 08 Dumbo (F train to York St). My favourite place to shop for clothing is beacon’s closet in Williamsburg (88 North 11th St | 718 486 0816). They buy and sell clothes and it’s not unlikely to find a used Prada jacket for a decent price. However, you do have to put up with the occasional “too cool for school” attitude of the employees. Although a little bit more expensive, another great (designer) resale shop called 09 Tokyo 7 (64 East 7th St |212 353 8443) is located in the Lower East Side between 1st and 2nd Avenue. For great accessories check out 10 catbird (219 Bedford Av, Brooklyn | 718 388 7688). One way I like to start my Friday or Saturday evenings is to attend one of the art receptions usually between 6 pm and 8 pm for a glass of free wine and sometimes good art as well. Depending on the month, there are usually lots to choose from. A decent list of the openings can be found online on the Douglas Kelley List (dks.thing.net). My favourite place to meet for dinner is currently a small restaurant in Greenpoint called 11 The Queen’s Hideaway (222 Franklin St, Brooklyn | 718 383 2355). The menu changes every day and is mainly based on (experimental) southern (US) cuisine; boiled peanuts as an appetizer, for example. Although a little pricey, around $20 for main courses, it’s well 05 worth checking out. Afterwards, I usually end up at a local bar, for example Capone’s in Williamsburg (221 North 9th St, Brooklyn | 718 599 4044) or The Pencil Factory in Greenpoint (142 Franklin St, Brooklyn | 718 609 5858). André Balazs’ 12 Hotel QT on Times Square (125 West 45th St | 212 354 2323) is one of my favourite hotels in town because it’s the chicest youth hostel in the world.
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(BLIP, BLURP, BLEEP) Not only is Dan Bell so the guy you’d want to run into if you were lost and frantic in dodgy backstreets in need of some calm, friendly and clear directions, but his signature hard-to-define abstract ghetto funk would sound so damn fine played on a streetcorner ghettoblaster.
(Mr. Muthafukka) It’s an office concensus: if we were dudes and had a fully pimped-out ride we’d be doing laps of the hood, pounding, pumping and banging out this track on our woofers, scaring all the little kids and turning on all the hot ladeeeez – sorry, are we getting carried away?
“Dick by the Pound”
(The Velvet Underground and Nico) A raspy voiced Lou Reed singing about “26 dollars in my hand…so sick and dirty, more dead than alive” makes you realise street-scenes are not all about lovely days and children smiling. Waxy faced, clammy types on street corners waiting to get down with the brown are all part of it too.
(DRAFT 7.30) To get in touch with the longing and eroticism that flows in the undercurrents of the bleak and bitter-cold winter streetscapes, take a Sunday walk to the nearest industrial area and let Autechre on your oversized padded headphones warm the ears and soul.
“Waiting for the Man”
(Superfly) With this sweet-sounding track on the film score to quintessential blaxploitation flic, ‘Superfly’, Mayfield totally ruins the glamour of cocaine-fuelled street machismo with a tale of psychological misery and heartache.
(CITY STREETS MIX) Deep minimal techno. Subtle and dark urban emotions. The perfect city street soundtrack. Well, in Berlin at least.
“Little Child Runnin Wild”
The Clash Grandmaster Flash
(Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) This is stating the obvious, but how on a rough day in the city when you’re walking through broken glass and piss-fumed stairs can you stop the soundtrack in your mind from breaking into “…it’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under…”?
“Police and Thieves”
(The Clash) This remains one of the best songs to sum up the feelings of unrest that existed on Britain’s streets in the 80’s, plus the reggae guitar in it was an inspired choice. Now it’s as potent as ever with certain lyrics having a new dark relevancy – “Police, police, police and thieves oh yeah/Here come.../The station is bombed/Get out, get out... you people/If you don’t wanna get blown up”.
“Fuck tha Police”
(Straight Outta Compton) Ok, so we don’t live in South-Central, but if you want a little taste without so much risk, check out N.W.A. Gangsta rap originators, these ‘Niggaz With Attitude’ got themselves blacklisted by the FBI with this tune. Pretty damn street.
NICKODEMUS AND MARIANO
“TURNTABLES ON THE HUDSON VOL.4”
This album mix presents a glimpse into the ongoing NYC parties happening since 1998. It’s a kind of a rare and unusual mix of samba grooves, afrobeats and other soulful sounds that seem to connect the streets of New York to Brazil or Senegal. A cosmopolitan city street utopia.
4HERO Play With The Changes Raw Canvas)
by Peyman Farahani, Neale Lytollis, Liz McGrath
You can find all these reviews and more at www.electronicbeats.net .......................................................................................
COMPOST 250 Freshly Composted Vol. 2
‘Podgelism’ is a new collection of remixes by John Tejada, Matthew Dear, Deru, Cepia, Robag Wruhme, Lawrence and Dimbiman feat. Cabanne as well as reworks by Lusine. In fact extraordinary producers for extraordinary music, that’s characterized by highly textured melodies and surgically precise glitch-rhythms aligned by distorted broken or straight kickdrums. The reworks concern the album ‘Serial Hodgepodge’, whereas the ‘Flat Remixes’ EP is also included. Describing the subtlety of the works would go beyond the scope. All you need to know: outstanding masterpieces between Electronica and Techno!
Compost celebrates its 250th release with a musically diversified collection: amongst others remarkable label newcomers of 2006 such as King Britt’s new alter ego Nova Dream Sequence with mindblowing pumping Detroittechno soul or Marsmobil’s proud italian retro pop extravaganza. As well as minimalistic up-building house by Sharokh SoundofK or leftfield soul with Karma, advanced Hip Hop by Ben Mono and deep japanese Jazz with Soil&Pimp. AND eventually great reworks by Moodyman, Todd Terje or Carl Craig’s highly acclaimed remix for Beanfield. Compost is indeed one forward thinking record label! .......................................................................................
JAMIE T. Panic Prevention Virgin
Canvas Magazine recently described Jamie T as being “like the bastard lovechild of Billy Bragg and Mike Skinner doing his best Joe Strummer impression” and that mix of musical influences might give you something of an idea of what Jamie’s debut LP is like. It does have a cheeky, Cockney charm of its own, and there is no doubt that Mr. T has an energy and aggression that could only come from someone so young, but the album itself is a rather shambolic affair which doesn’t actually offer anything you haven’t already heard on scores of tracks from The Streets.
BECK The Information Interscope
Everyone seems to be on a happy tip these days, with album after album hitting the stores designed squarely for the dancefloor. Not to be left out of this current trend for upbeat quasi-disco, Beck goes all up-tempo and fingerclicking on his 7th studio album, albeit in his typical bizarre, ironic way featuring his usual brand of obscure lyrics set to fat beats, thumping basses, a smattering of electro pop and the odd bit of industrial noise. You can even design your own cover artwork while listening to it! .......................................................................................
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH Some Loud Thunder Cooperativ/Rough Trade
Is it just me or does it just seem like around five minutes since CYHSY released their first album and now here they are already in second-record-territory? In that case, the cheeky New Yorkers and their DIY approach to recordmaking maybe should have waited a little longer before putting this album out as it is rather a mixed bag and less satisfying than their debut. That said, singer Alec Ounsworth does a fine job on the record’s two best tracks, Some Loud Thunder and Underwater, which provides more than a mere glimmer of hope for the future.
In 1998 their highly acclaimed ‘Two Pages’ was an innovation in deep experimental fusion: modern Jazz with broken beats. A true meditation. Followup ‘Creating Patterns’ (2001) became even more effective as a statement of art and music making. Drum’n’Bass with poetic soul- and jazz-rooted music. ‘Play With The Changes’ departs definitely from wicked breakbeats and experiments, and is devoted solely to the acclaimed 4HERO fusion sound of accoustic instruments, advanced programming and superior vocalists such as Carina Andersson, Ursula Rucker or Blue Note artist and former Marvin Gaye producer Larry Mizell. The album has become more tangible, more compatible. You may miss the experimental impact of their previous work, but it’s still a pearl of modern Jazzfusion! .......................................................................................
THIEF Sunchild Sonar Kollektiv
‘Sunchild’ is, after the previously released ‘Hold On, Hold On’ EP, the anticipated album of Berlin-based trio Thief – consisting of singer/songwriter Stefan Gottschalk and Jazzanova members Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer: a fusion of neo-folk and late 60s cosmic appeal reminiscent of the Beatles BUT without loosing autonomy. Thief remain down-toearth, focussing on high-quality studio music combining accoustic instruments with discreet programming of synths or groovy beats. Creating exceptional pieces like ‘Self Portrait’ with its infectious E-Bass riff and becoming timeless last but not least with Gottschalk’s singing.
BPITCH CONTROL COMPILATION Camping Vol. 3 Bpitch Control
Bpitch mastermind Ellen Allien has compiled another ecclectic compilation with exclusive tracks, representing the many faces of electronic music. Introducing label newcomers Zander VT or Larsson alongside established BPC artists such as Sascha Funke, Paul Kalkbrenner or Modeselektor with a ragga-flavoured broken beat Monster! Furthermore guest artists Jahcoozi and Fairmont as well as news from TimTim, Feadz or Sylvie Marks&Hal9000 with reduced electro pop. Very cool contributions by Ellen with a hypnotic remix for Safety Scissors and Ben Klock with a stripped-down techno tool. A good choice of varied sub-genres and moods. .......................................................................................
LISA GERRARD The Best of Lisa Gerrard 4AD
Eventually a Best of album of one of the most hypnotising and entrancing singers of today: Lisa Gerrard has not only become famous with Dead Can Dance, but also with numerous soundtracks for films such as Gladiator, Ali or Whale Rider amongst others; not to forget her solo and collaborative albums. This collection blends her soundtrack work, Dead Can Dance highlights and solo recordings into a meditative whole. Lisa Gerrard is an unique mystical siren, giving all to celebrate resonance. ‘Indus’ or ‘Yulunga’ (both Dead Can Dance) are unforgettable classics!
A TOUCH OF CLASS Still Sucks! atoc
COLD WAR KIDS Robbers & Cowards V2 Music Ltd.
Did you get that thing where you woke up one day and Cold War Kids seemed to be everywhere? Well, fear not because the same thing happened to me. Suddenly these guys are in every magazine you pick up, touring the four corners of the globe (with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, no less) and getting more than their fair share of radioplay. They’ve put together a rather inoffensive collection of blues-tinged pop/rock tracks on their debut LP (We Used to Vacation is rather nice in a wistful way) but it unfortunately all sounds a little too much like Maroon 5. .......................................................................................
THE FIELD From Here we Go Sublime Kompakt
Swedish artists seem to have an addiction to sweet and warm keys and soundscapes – like a nostalgic feeling for an unknown place far from coldness and harshness. Stockholm-based Axel Wilner is one of them. He’s an admirer of Wofgang Voigt’s GAS and M:I:5 projects as you can slightly tell. His debut album is a fusion of ambient and techno. Loop-based and reduced tracks underneath dreamy and to some extent too sentimental melodies or atmospheres. Add vocals to it and you’ll get an technopop album.
They are modest boys indeed, cause this Touch of Class remix CD does anything but suck. They have turned their magic fingers to the greatest electro-pophouse on the market - the likes of The Gossip’s Listen Up! (our personal favourite) and The Scissor Sisters’ Filthy/Gorgeous all get stellar remixes. You could certainly rely on this CD when throwing an after-hour and you are all drunkenly dancing round your living room. Le Tigre, The Ones and 80s treasures Erasure also get some TLC from TOC. A great party mix. .......................................................................................
POLE Steingarten Scape
Pole’s first three albums on Kiff has bred a new approach to minimalism. At that time he has established a basement, inspired by the essence of Dub, from where he continued developing his music. Even experiments with Hip Hop came about, but the references were never leading. In fact a quasi-non-reference arised, which eventually manifests itself insistently on ‘Steingarten’. Different beat patterns are emphasised, varied sound effects and strange moods are created, without leaving the own basement: Highcontrast Electronica with a hint of insanity. (Check Pole Interview on our website!)
PHONIQUE Good Idea Dessous
Phonique focuses with his second album a broader popular taste, regarding the versatility of genres as well as collaborations in ‘Good Idea’. The album is a clean and fleet-footed blend of Deep- to Electro-House, Nu-Disco to HipHop, even easy listening or Tech-House: a running fusion between electronic dance music and Pop with catchy rhythms, chords and vocals by artists such as Erlend Oye, Richard Davis, Shadee or Ian Whitelaw amongst others. The bonus-CD of the limited edition offers another twelve new Phonique-tracks mixed together by himself. .......................................................................................
MIA Bittersüss Sub Static
After their first album ‘Schwarzweiss’, that combined MIA’s melancholic moods with raw and some acid-driven dancefloor tracks, comes now their second longplayer ‘Bittersüss’. The title means ‘bittersweet’ and that’s exactly how you could describe the feeling with it. The album’s mood is continuously melancholic and partly sinister without being sad or frightening. Their approach: minimalistic and clicky tech-house with female vocals and catchy lush keys like those electric-guitar-sounding synths on ‘Safe Night’. ‘Bittersüss’ is more than just a functional dance album. It’s an atmospheric album with a nice pop appeal.
MUSIC REVIEWS .......................................................................................
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Sound Of Silver
James Murphy certainly comes up with the goods on the second long player from LCD Soundsystem. Disco-electro-funk opener ‘Get Innocuous’ will set your foot tapping 3 seconds in and the cheeky fun of North American Scum will have you shaking your hips and thinking politics in equal measure which is a rather admirable feat. By the time the last quavering notes of chilled-out closing track, New York I Love You, ripple into nothingness you’ll be more than aware of just having heard one of the best albums of the year so far. .......................................................................................
IRVING Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers Records&Me
Irving manages to select song titles and write lyrics with the same degree of obscurity and sheer zaniness we have come to expect from the Flaming Lips. What lifts this from the bowels of pretentiousness however is their eminently more accessible Belle and Sebastian-esque pop appeal. A Lazy Sunday Afternoon record if ever there was one...and that’s just lolling around in a deckchair enjoying the cartoon cover.
POP LEVI The Return to Form Black Magick Party Records&Me
Pop Levi’s singer may sound like the bastard love child of Leo Sayer and Suede’s Brett Anderson but that ain’t necessarily bad, especially on the sci-fi sounds of Sugar Assault Me Now and the jingly, hand clappy excitement of Blue Honey. This is perfect for a drive-in ho-down where everyone pulls shapes in leather pants and the 1973 version of Suzi Quatro zooms round on rollerboots serving soda pop to everyone round the Wurlitzer. .......................................................................................
KILLED BY 9V BATTERIES Killed by 9v Batteries Siluh Records
Three cute guys giving their guitars what for on a package of banging indie-rock tracks and only pausing for breath to flick their floppy fringes out of their eyes. Nothing new? Well, that’s where you’re wrong because this bunch of jack-the-lads don’t come from Leeds or Sheffield...they’re from Austria. And when was the last time you heard someone trumpeting about the new “hot shit from Vienna”? Exactly. Never. And that unique point alone makes this worth a listen before we even get talking about the punky-pop exuberance of the tracks themselves.
JARVIS Jarvis Rough Trade Records
Some people may have found Pulp a mincing annoyance of the 90’s that they would rather forget. Others may belong to the army of Jarvis fans that made being nerdy so cool and meant that you could wear your corduroy and oversized NHS specs with pride. Regardless of where you stand on the Pulp front, one thing is sure – Jarvis Cocker returns to the music scene with his debut solo effort on which he seems to have acquired some thoroughly masculine backbone. .......................................................................................
BLOC PARTY A Weekend in the City V2 Music Ltd.
Bloc Party seem to suffer from Yeah Yeah Yeahs syndrome. They appear on the music scene, like the YYYs did, with such an aggressive punch as to blow us all away and make us feel we’d just experienced something entirely new. Then “eagerly awaited second album” drops and we’re all a little disappointed because it lacks the spiky, jagged edge of the first LP and on first listen sounds much more safe and mainstream. However, like Show Your Bones, this LP is definitely a grower and signals a band reaching musical maturity.
The down-tempo opener ‘Music for You’, with blues guitar riffs and waves of lush Fender Rhodes intertwining with hypnotic female vocals, sets the sound essence of this album and evokes Fin Greenall’s releases on Ninja Tune or Ntone. ‘You’ve changed Dub’ emphasises the strong Dub influence in addition to Jazz’n’Blues. But Downbeat merges effortlessly with House and makes ‘Sideshow’ a deep dance album as well. The mid- to up-tempo house tunes, some with live instruments (slide guitar and bass played by Fin!), recall spontanousely Motorbass’ ‘Pansoul’ for instance. The great reworks by Mike Monday, Lee Jones, Mathew Jonson, John Tejada and Jesse Rose guarantee eventually, that you won’t miss Sideshow on the dancefloors. .......................................................................................
FRIVOLOUS Midnight Black Indulgence Scape
Reinterpret ‘Midnight Black Indulgence’, if you want, as deep black, Jazz-rooted Deep House. However, Daniel Gardner has always produced warm and deep minimal-house with addiction to Jazz and Funk as on Karloff Recordings. Frisky and kinky dance music. Unlimited and untamable, frivolous but charming. Nothing has changed, unless now on Scape Music every influence or inspiration merges in one album with all that sweet insanity and loads of self-mockery. An album of eccentric arrangements, addictive rhythms, funny lyrics, jazzy chords, sudden grievous strings and fleetfooted Jazz-Interludes with such simple but true Outro to believe in: “You gotta dance, when the spirit says dance…”
LOCAS IN LOVE Saurus
CLIENT Heartland Out of Line
Client are one of those acts that crop up from time to time who make, for no discernable reason, a splash on the London scene, seem awfully well connected and have record contracts falling on their doormat on an almost daily basis. Then you realise that one of them is married to Alan McGee and the pieces of the jigsaw suddenly fall into place. This record is completely devoid of any charm and comes off like a Sugababes tribute band trying to do Le Tigre. Unneccesary.
THE SCANDALS Cut Outs, Patchworks and Rip-Offs Pale Music Int.
The Scandals, a.k.a Steve Morell and Emma Eclectic, have been fixtures on the European DJ circuit for some time now with their own brand of electro-rock smashups all delivered with a smattering of Debbie Harry/Johnny Cashcool. Now they finally serve up their debut remix LP; 13 reworked tracks from artists as diverse as Peaches, Pink Grease, Atomizer and Boy George all sprinkled with the Scandals magic dust. Stand out: Emma’s sultry spoken-word lyrics on the sublime Mantra for a State of Mind.
There aren’t many artists in this world that can pull off singing in the somewhat clumsy German language without the end results sounding presposterous. Well, add to that already short list (which pretty much only includes Jeans Team anyway) Locas in Love whose particular brand of blissedout, clappy electro-pop (check out Zum Beispiel ein Unfall and Comandante) is so sweet as to make the fact they’re singing auf deutsch totally irrelevant. Charming.
VARIOUS International Deejay Gigolos CD Ten Gigolo Records
Oh yeah, we all love a Gigolo comp from time to time and while the series has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years, CD Ten sees the Hellboy get things well and truly back on track with 26 banging electro and techno cuts spread over two CDs with delicious gems from the likes of Mount Sims, The Presets, Kevin Gorman and Human Resource. And absolute must for the (hopefully) rapidlyapproaching summer for some open-top-car-street-cruising.
RESPECTFUL STREET ART? ONLY IN VIENNA! Alan Brown from Soul Seduction Records in Vienna explains the slightly unusual ways in which a street art aesthetic is forced to find an outlet in a city steeped in tradition. Here in Vienna, ‘Street Art’ simply doesn’t exist in the modern sense. Of course you can see clowns, mime artists, break dancing around St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the summer, but that’s more to entertain some unsuspecting American tourists and therefore doesn’t really count. So, how exactly do you express yourself in the streets of a beautiful Baroque and Romanesque city like Vienna? This is the challenge that artists with a street aesthetic face here. Street art in its traditional illicit nature just can’t really happen in Vienna like it does in other parts of the world. Artists and illustrators in Vienna have to be a little bit more creative than their foreign counterparts in finding new avenues to express themselves. The local music industry is especially supportive of local street artists and offers them a viable outlet through which to work. Local records labels like G-Stone recordings (the home of Kruder & Dorfmeister) are just one of the labels who are producing exciting visual material through collaborations with artists. At the famous G-Stone parties, which are thrown here
in Austria and in other parts of the world, amazing visual shows are as an integral part of the experience as the music. VJ’s such as Fritz Fitzke are in ever-increasing demand in Vienna, perhaps meeting a demand for a unique visual world that is not available on the streets, but instead created inside a club. Musicians and DJs who have releases on the label often turn their hand to designing their own clubnight flyers and artwork for CD and album covers. The G-Stone family extends to some of Europe’s finest illustrators like Franke, a Viennese based super-hero to other young artists and fans all over the city. The new Makossa and Megablast CD with Franke’s artwork have proven popular. The likes of Franke and Stereotyp are as creative in finding worthy places to exhibit legally as they are on the canvas – with small galleries and museum spaces easily persuaded to exhibiting their works. The street artists, illustrators and musicians of Vienna show how by working together an alternative mode of expression can be provided for those with a passion for the street art aesthetic. Meanwhile the treasured immaculate streets of Vienna can sleep peacefully.
My Music Moment by Princess Superstar
In 2002 I had a big hit with my song “Bad Babysitter”. I didn’t know too much about dance music – I was really into hip hop and thought dance music sucked! I was also a really beginner DJ and Hell asked me to come to Berlin for the Love Parade and to DJ the Gigolo party. I told him I really only played hip hop and maybe some booty and plus I didn’t know how to mix, and he said it was OK, just come anyway, and I could DJ outside. So, I went to Berlin that year and it is not an understatement to say that it changed my life. Hell brought me up into the bubble in the centre of the parade where he was DJing, and there were people as far as the eye could see, I never saw so many people, all of them dancing and freaking out. The first track Hell played was “House of Jealous Lovers” by the Rapture and my body was covered in goose bumps. I knew that I was going to change musically, profoundly, and that’s what happened. That night at the Gigolo party, I DJed outside from about 5 am to 7 am, but the whole time I had an ear as to what was going on inside – basically Hell and everyone else in a dark sweaty Hell-hole cave, dancing and sweating and shaking and playing the most insane music I have ever heard. After that I decided to become a DJ (I was also encouraged a lot by my bandmate Alexander Technique and we unofficially put out our mash-up mix CD on Gigolo called DJs Are Not Rockstars). Now I tour around the world DJing and making freaked-out electronic music!
American Gigolo III, mixed and compiled by Princess Superstar is out now. www.gigolorecords.de
Published on Jul 22, 2009