Letter from the Editor
GET EUROPEAN! In 1849, the great French poet, novelist and human rights campaigner Victor Hugo said, “A day will come when all the nations of this continent, without losing their distinct qualities or their glorious individuality, will fuse together in a higher unity and form the European brotherhood. A day will come when the only battlefield will be the marketplace for competing ideas. A day will come when bullets and bombs will be replaced by votes.” Truly a man before his time, Hugo’s vision of the future has come to pass. In the European Union, there have been no wars between its 27 member countries for the past sixty years, something to be grateful for, especially when so much war is being waged elsewhere in the world. Peace is a huge luxury all of us Europeans currently take for granted. I’m not going to hide it, I am definitely in Hugo’s camp. I am an unashamed Europhile. I moved away from my dear little island (England) over three years ago to the centre of Europe (ha, that’s Berlin by the way) and never really looked back. I would choose the Euro over the Pound any day and I believe in the common sense fact that having a body of countries working together and agreeing on laws together will increase the standard of living across the board. The longer I stay here and the more people I meet in Berlin that have moved here from the farthest corners of Europe, the more I feel truly part of Europe. And while we all feel a strong sense of our born nationality, it seems increasingly likely that people could soon start saying “I’m European” when asked where they’re from. ‘We Are Europe’ is the claim we make on our cover and it’s meant to make you think about your identity, but also we hope it makes you feel happy and secure. In Europe we are all part of something greater, something that is inclusive of all religious creeds and races, with a governing body that is both strong yet utterly democratic and liberal and this is a very good thing. In this issue we wanted to take a look at the way that Europe is influencing music, fashion, art and film. So you can read how one writer ponders his true identity as he moves between three different European countries he calls ‘home’; which by the way is something of a modern phenomenon, welcome to the lifestyle of the 21st century freelancer. Now we can all travel around in Europe so freely and not to mention cheaply, it’s not surprising that nowadays, wherever we lay our laptop, that’s our home. There is a piece about the trailblazers in the European electronic music scene who have been responsible for bringing styles and trends from West to East, and now (coming full circle) we see how it’s East to West. The style-conscious should enjoy our fashion section where we present eight hot young European designers who show a favourite look from their collection, or read about the new European hotspots that aren’t yet ‘on the radar’ or about why European fast food is probably the best in the world. There is much more, and we hope you enjoy it. I’m off to read some more Victor Hugo.
See you somewhere in Europe! Liz McGrath Editor in Chief
PEOPLE PUBLISHER PRODUCER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ART DIRECTOR FASHION & STYLE EDITOR PROJECT MANAGER GRAPHIC DESIGNER PROGRAM MANAGER ONLINE EDITOR ASSISTANT ONLINE EDITOR ONLINE MUSIC EDITOR PRESS COVER ILLUSTRATION Lisa Schibel
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Johannes Bonke (24) is the owner of
Paul Sullivan is an itinerant writer/
Serena is a web mistress by day in her
Kevin Braddock is Contributing Edi-
the press agency d:press and is one of
photographer who has contributed to
job as Managing Editor of Time Out On-
tor for British GQ. He has written for
the youngest international interview-
four books (including two Hedonist
line. She freelances for a wide range of
The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times,
ers working at present. In the past six
Guides: www.hg2.com). He comes from
print and online publications writing
Sunday Times, Independent, Vogue,
years, he has made around 700 inter-
Canterbury but now lives in Cologne. He
about everything from the hottest new
Director, Dazed & Confused, Elle and
views with A list stars, musicians, pro-
writes regularly about music, travel and
sounds to social networking. Her credits
Wallpaper, and was previously Features
ducers and directors, for over one hun-
culture, and hates shaving his eyebrows.
include; Time Out London, Marmalade,
Editor at The Face magazine. He was
dred magazines, newspapers and online
i-D, The London Magazine, The First Post,
nominated in Writer Of the Year cat-
BBC Collective/Music and more. She lives
egory for the 2007 PPA awards, and was
in London and weekends in Berlin.
sites from five countries.
»WE ARE EUROPE!« TUNE IN
F E AT U R E S
M O S T WA N T E D
PHOTO-ESSAY EURO-VISION ............. 38
TEMPELHOF AIRPORT ....................... 50
EB NEWS ............................................. 6
THE EUROPEAN EXCHANGE ..............20
ONES TO WATCH: RPR SOUNDSYSTEM 12
AN INTEGRATED EUROPE? ................ 24
ONES TO WATCH: GET SHAKES......... 13
NEW CREATIVE HOTSPOTS ............... 26
TOUGH AT THE TOP: AMBER MUSE .. 14
EUROPEAN CIRCUS ........................... 28
CHRIS DE LUCA/ PHON.O .................. 15
WEB 2.0/ WHERE IS EUROPE? .......... 30
ELECTRONIC BEATS NEWS ............... 16
AM I EUROPEAN OR JUST CONFUSED? . .32 EURO-FAST FOOD ...................................... 35 A-Z OF YOUR EUROPE ............................... 36
THE OCCIDENTAL TAILORS ............... 66
LISBON ............................................... 78
THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE ................. 88
MISS KITTIN ....................................... 54 SEBASTIEN TELLIER .......................... 56
MUSIC REVIEWS .................................92
JAY HAZE ............................................ 60
MY MUSIC MOMENT: SAMIM .............. 98
BRUNO PRONSATO ............................ 62
TUNE IN We are kicking things off European style, so expect to tune in to music news from all over Europa. In Ones To Watch are the new darlings of the techno scene, RPR Soundsystem, who hail from Romania. Also in this section are new wave hipsters Get Shakes, a band from the tiny Isle of Wight, off the coast of England, who are making it clear why Modular love them so. Tough at the Top is Latvian label Amber Muse, plus all the latest news from the worlds of music, fashion and art.
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We l c o m e t o t h e h o o d It’s not only P.Diddy and J.Lo who do their own line of clothing. Combing your musicimage with some fashion-sense is no longer a ghetto or hiphop thing, it did already reach the electronic music scene – we like to show support, too! Now it’s Lucianos’ label Cadenza launching some new gear. True to the label’s style, the output is pretty minimal: Just one new hoodie. Quality versus quantity. Contrary to the amount might be the design: morphing neoncolors broken with a black, plant-shaped pattern does not seem so reduced but still suits the Cadenza style with a special subtlety. See and learn, Sean Combs. TEXT
L AURA DUNKELMANN
Angel from above Combining art with clubbing isn’t as easy as it seems: Whereas partying is mainly a thing you do for pure pleasure, exhibitions are made with the aim of widening your thoughts, your mind (without anyhelp except the art itself ). Back in the day, finding an event where music and art were on an equal level was difficult to say the least. Well, your searching days are now over. Enter recently opened Angel Klub, the name of which sounds heavenly, but is pronounced German and actually means “Fishing Rod Club” – and there are some fine things on the hook of this location. Opposite to giant container ships and the water of the river Elbe, a few steps away from the fish auction halls, stand an old blue house. It may not appear as though it houses a VJ’s dream, but it does. The philosophy of owner John Bold, who has an open mind where the creation of the
programme is concerned, is as ideal as the location. A big, but not too huge hall with four-metre high walls hides behind the heavy doors that may once have held off the ripples of the nearby river, but now open for audio-visual waves. A lot of space for visuals and sound, a lot of space for creativity. But the concept of the Angel Klub is not exactly about hard-partying techno fans, but more aimed at an audience who want to enjoy electronic music like a good meal with a certain calmness and indulgence. Abstract video installations and ambient music à la Alva Noto or more pop-inspired beats may fill the room as well as urban art exhibitions combining sounds created with samples from daily life. See, feel, listen. Multitasking at its best. TEXT
The human factor Taiwanese boys, Icelandic girls and hip Germans wear clothes by Hamburg-based Human Empire, which is not only a fashion label but also a design agency. What makes them special and popular is the combination of simplicity –the cuts only consist of shirts, long-sleeves and hoodies– and extraordinary prints. A look that works all around the world without putting people into a uniform. Somehow, Human Empire is one of the very few labels that create design with an individual appeal. “We want to do what people like,” is how Jan Kruse, one of the heads behind the Empire, explains their simple strategy. And that does not only apply to their clothing. The elaborate graphics not only work in different countries, they are not even limited to one product. Despite their own free label, Human Empire is a design agency doing artwork for big clients’ websites, magazines, adverts and music labels – mainly for their friends’ independent label Morr Music. “There’s this lady from the suburbs, she must be around 70 years old, who comes every now and then, looking through our window, searching for something. Once she came in and asked for Giardini Di Miró shirts, because she likes their music so much and owns every CD. We were kind of surprised – there are not many 70 year-old women who listen to electronic-rock-indie bands like that and like our cover art at the same time,” says Jan. “There is no stereotype Human Empire consumer.” Although one might think that the Human Empire has one particular style – which might well seem true just at this moment – they are constantly developing, following the Zeitgeist whilst simultaneously going along their own road. Right now, dreamy sequences, fairy tale and nature symbols make one half of their prints, and geometric patterns, straight, clean lines the other. Looking at a recent exhibition, which they did in collaboration with big names like Hort and Neasden Control, it is becoming clear that a new style may soon be on its way: The exhibition was called “We see the world in black and white” and the strategy seems to be working out again. We like it a lot. T E X T L A U R A D U N K E L M A N N WWW.HUMANEMPIRE.COM WWW.MORRMUSIC.COM
Opposites attract In men's opinion there are two sides to the ideal woman - the angelic and the bitchy. To bring out and enhance these opposites Vive Maria introduces two fragrances with the illustrative names ‘Almost innocent’ and ‘Mis(s)behave’. The former is f lowery, creamy and tender and the latter intoxicating, sensual and oriental. True to the quote of the great Martin Luther himself: “Sin bravely!” TEXT
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‘Reykjavik t o’ festival Iceland is a realm of absolutes, where fire melts ice and mountains rise from the sea. Adrift in a frozen ocean, hemmed between volcano and glacier, its people became the landscape; their myths and songs beautiful, raw and strange. Prohibitively expensive airfares and off-licenses have preserved the island and its culture as a wild, unknowable pleasure, glimpsed fragmentarily through Björk’s ballads or Olafur Eliasson’s phenomenological poetry. Thanks to Reyjavik to, Iceland is peripheral no more. The festival of art, film and music f lies out the island’s best talent to continental European cities. Its first event in Rotterdam last November featured screenings of Sigur Ros’ Heima documentary, live performances by GusGus collaborator Hafdis Huld and a film shot in an Estonian prison. The next two helpings will run concurrently in Berlin and Copenhagen. Programming was still being confirmed at the time of writing, but organiser Marcel Deelen expects that Rökkurró, Dr Spock, HAM and Hjaltalin will all take part.
Villa Noailles festivals The Provence of postcards is a timeless region of lavender, pastis and pétanque – a rustic idyll that progress forgot. Yet amongst the bobo farmhouses and crumbling vineyards lies a far more modern venue: the Villa Noailles. Built in 1926, the complex was one of France’s first cubist buildings. Initially it served as the Noailles family private residence, before housing artists such as Man Ray and Luis Buñuel, then finally being abandoned in 1947. The French government belatedly woke up to the villa’s significance in the late 1970s – purchasing, renovating and eventually holding an annual celebration of visual culture that continues to this day.
Those names alone – with their rolling consonants and popcultural distortions – bring to mind a lyrical, unfamiliar artistic topography. Reykavik to offers a soujourn second only to visiting Iceland itself. TEXT
2 1 – 2 4 M AY / B E R L I N A N D C O P E N H A G E N / W W W . R E Y K J A V I K . T O
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a French venue, contemporary fashion was the first artistic discipline to be championed. The apex of activity for the fashion festival’s 23 years has been a competition for young designers. Past winners have included Henrik Vibskov and Viktor & Rolf, while past jurors have ranged from Helmut to Karl, APC to JPG. The roll call of catwalk staples associated with Villa Noailles is so lengthy, in fact, you’d have difficulty fitting them into a phone directory, let alone little black book. Last year’s winner was Swede Sandra Backlund, whose repertoire of origami dresses and human hair garments must have tickled the judges. Fashion and photography have now been joined by industrial design and architecture, with the avant-garde offerings split into three separate festivals. Architecture has already passed and the fashion/photography nominees are still TBC, but summer’s design event will be headed up by the Bourellec brothers – furniture’s Jake and Dinos. Like the Cannes film festival, Villa Noailles’ strongest asset is the weather. A bad crop this year simply leaves more time for the beach. TEXT
F A S H I O N / P H O T O G R A P H Y 2 5 – 2 8 A P R I L , D E S I G N 4 – 6 J U LY VILL A NOAILLES, HYERES, PROVENCE WWW.VILL ANOAILLES -HYERES.COM
O n e s t o Wa t c h R P R S O U N D SYST E M
TH E ROMANIA N I NVA SION TEXT
One of the Europe’s newest nations is currently the source of its hottest dance music. Romania signed on the dotted line on January 1 2007 and ever since a new minimal party sound has been migrating towards the west. Champions of this new techno wave are RPR Soundsystem, otherwise known as Raresh, Pedro and Rhadoo, a hotly-tipped DJ collective that took Ibiza by storm this summer, and are being hailed by the media as ‘Minimal Techno’s new Messiahs’.
Since the borders came down, they’ve racked up a lot of air miles, caused roadblocks everywhere from DC10 to the Panorama Bar and won fans across the continent. All of which makes them extremely hard to pin down. After all, who needs to give interviews when Ricardo Villalobos is your new best buddy? Hype is a fickle friend, as RPR it turns out are acutely aware. Engagingly down-to-earth in person these three twentysomethings (Raresh is the youngest at 23) come across as firm friends, brought together by a shared musical passion and industrious spirit. As Raresh, the nominal spokesman, explains: “The friendship is what makes us so special. We keep being asked who the boss is – but there is no boss! We really believe teamwork is the key to making your dreams come true.” Once they decided to pool their talents in summer 2006, the inspiration for their record label ‘Arpiar’ quickly followed. Despite their oft-repeated verbal commitment to releasing ‘completely non-commercial music’, they seem fully tuned into the zeitgeist and their tracks are selling pretty damn well. Surely there’s a contradiction here? “We’re lucky to be able to make a living out of music at the moment and that’s great but money was never our goal,“ says Rahdoo. “Arpiar is a platform for our music and the work of other Romanian artists. It’s a purely musical project.” It’s certainly raising the profile of Romanian music abroad with names like Boola & Demos and Petre Inspirescu (Pedro’s solo moniker) suddenly appearing on ‘Ones to Watch’ lists. It seems the world has woken up to the Romanian scene and crowned the RPR boys its founding fathers.
‘We’re not sure why there’s so much interest at the moment.’ Raresh says, sounding genuinely puzzled. ‘It’s true that minimal is the fashionable sound in Bucharest at the moment. But sometimes there’s too much hype around new artists and new scenes because everyone is always looking for the next special thing. We just try to ignore it.’ As big as they hype that surrounds these three Romanian amigos this, less attention is given to their solo projects. While their back-to-back trickery in the DJ booth is impressive, it’s their individual efforts that show the full extent of their talents. It’s here the largely silent Pedro shines. Releasing under the name of Petre Inspirescu, he’s responsible for two standout tracks on one of last year’s finest albums – Luciano’s Cadenza Contemporary. “I started Djing about seven years ago at small club in Bucharest called Web Club,’ muses Pedro, “It was here that I fell in love with what I call deep, loopy house music.” Deep, loopy house with a dash of tough techno beats is the perfect description of the RPR sound. They all have their own take but work together to find inspiration and as Raresh says “follow the same groove”. It almost seems too good to be true – three impressive artists, who happen to be best friends, working together without the slightest hint of tension. Let’s just hope the speed of their success doesn’t lead to future strife. Raresh’s smile falters: “I wish people would stop all this super hype and just let us make music. We hate it! People come to see us with huge expectations based only on what they have read, not what they’ve heard. It’s really frustrating.”
O n e s t o Wa t c h GET SHAKES
CONFI DENT TO THE CORE TEXT
On the crumbling shores of the lesser known jurassic, English Island the Isle of Wight, the sounds of cutting hi-hats, ebbing, vintage synths and new wave vocals are crashing against the high tides. Award winning, Modular lovies ‘Get Shakes’ (formerly known as The Shakes) consist of brothers Matt and Darren Farrow. A seemingly pre-destined collaboration of musical talent ranging from keys, drums, vocals, guitar and basically anything they can get their hands on. With these boys, you have the feeling that what they are producing electronically is also reassuringly musical, being that they are so, well ... musical! Matt: “We try to be as active as we can on stage, walking around and trying to make the show as exciting as possible, we don’t want to be like some artists, you know especially in the electronic world where they tend to be sat behind their computers almost looking like they could be sending e-mails! We’re actually playing what you’re hearing essentially.” With these strong musical ethics as their backbone, the creative process for the ‘Get Shakes’ is the same as that of a band, even though it’s electronic music. Darren goes onto describe, “For each track we write, the process can be different, for example if Matt’s got an idea then we’ll jam it out together on drums and guitar. We’ve got our own studio in the middle of the house so we can be working on our own stuff and then come together in the middle and reach a happy medium and gel the two tracks together or go in our own direction. I suppose that brother connection kind of helps in a way. It’s not a hinderence. It’s like with people we’ve played with before we’ve had to move our goal posts to fit in theirs, so to work together is kind of the natural thing to do.” That compromise certainly turned up trumps, the trump card being their biggest hit to date, ‘Sister Self Doubt’. Think LCD Soundsystem meets Who Made Who (without moustaches) meets Adam the the Ants tribal ‘ooh waa ohh’ vocals, then you’d be getting somewhat near to the syncopated beauty of this well produced and deliciously textured song. It’s sexy, it’s bassy, it’s everything a good electronic dance song needs to be without having to include the cheesy house-style vocal break-down in the middle. Anyway, their Self Doubting Sister certainly didn’t
go unnoticed when they first started performing live on the London circuit. Darren explains “Modular Records heard ‘Sister Self Doubt’ on the circuit and contacted our gig agent. They said they’d like to include it on their second ‘Leave Them All behind’ compilation album and we were really thrilled about it. We were really big fans of their first compilation album so when they said they wanted us to be on the next one we were really pleased about that.” So that was the first real push and exposure for the Get Shakes and since then the only difficult decisions they have to make are which record company to go too, yes that’s right, they’re still officially unsigned! Darren explains, “We’re not actually tied down to any labels but we’re thinking of putting something out with the Wall of Sound. I think that’s happened because we won the Diesel:U: Music Award for best electronic act, so it’s come off the back of that. We are composing a few tracks now so we’re planning on releasing an EP in the next couple of months.” Ok, so they’re pally with Modular and Wall of Sound, they won a rather impressive prize, what else could possibly be better ... Matt, “We’ve got some exciting stuff coming up, do you know the game Grand Theft Auto? Well, cos we’ve got a few tracks featured on that which is supposed to be coming out next month.” Darren then proudly adds “Yeah and on Kevin Spacey’s new film ‘21’ we’ve got ‘Sister Self Doubt’ featured on that twice and that’s out next month as well.” It looks like these guys aren’t really going to have to do anything for the next few years because they’re going to be loaded! “Well, it’s all quite cool because the shelf life of a game or a film is much longer but we won’t let it go to our heads just yet!”
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To u g h a t t h e To p
BOGDAN TERAN / AM BER MUSE TEXT
N E A L E LY T O L L I S
Growing up in Communist Latvia, Bogdan Taran’s exposure to alternative music was limited and his earliest memories are of listening to his parents’ Soviet records. As the USSR fell apart, access to new music became easier and after a friend’s visit to Amsterdam, Bogdan discovered the wonders of house music which led, at the age of 16, to hosting his own electronic music show on Latvia’s first privately owned radio station. In 2003 he launched his own label, Amber Muse, which has been working to promote local electronic artists ever since.
This issue of ‘Electronic Beats’ is all about Europe. Do you feel especially European in Latvia? In USSR times Latvia used to be a periphery of a big country, now it has the same geographical position within the EU. After Latvia restored its independence in ‘91 people felt a lot of enthusiasm about it and especially about their national identity. Latvians still relish being independent from the Soviet state and enjoy being a part of the EU. As a relatively new member of the EU, what have been your experiences dealing with people in the music industry from other countries? I’ve run my radio show, Dance Box, since 1998 and in that time I’ve spoken with a lot of industry people from the UK and USA. I can say Europeans are welleducated people. I never had any confusion with what and where Latvia is. Some Americans showed they didn't know about my country - but they were very open to new information. At the beginning of the Millennium our neighbour Estonia was the best known of the Baltic States. It's a result of their club scene, especially the Sun Dance festival. After Latvia won Eurovision and promoters started developing the club scene here, people from Europe started to recognize us much more.
Latvia has gone from being a Sovietcontrolled communist country to becoming an independent member of the EU. Do you think the country’s political upheaval ref lects in the music being produced? I believe music itself is an emotional bearer, which is used by any artistic person as an instrument of their world vision. So I would say the music produced here ref lects the global processes which we are all involved in. Being a Western periphery of the USSR has always been an advantage to Latvia. Soviet people used to think about spending time in Riga as an alternative to foreign trips. This defined the thinking and approach of Latvians working in dance music. I feel modern producers here are very up-to-date musically. Are musicians/DJs in Latvia inf luenced by music from the West or are they doing their own thing? I suppose the Baltic sound is pretty special. Of course mainstream dance music ideas make an impression on what Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian producers do, but I constantly hear from foreign DJs about our Baltic sound. I can say the people whose music makes the main association with the Baltic sound are Rulers Of The Deep and Dave Storm from Estonia, Craft B and Electricano from Latvia and RyRalio in Lithuania.
What were your original intentions when Amber Muse started and do you still stick to them? Originally my intentions were to let the world know about Latvian dance music, which is getting better every day. I also wanted to establish better contacts with inf luential DJs and producers. I was ready for the label to be non profitable. For sure I do my best to make investments pay back, but as the Baltic market is not as big as say the UK's or Germany's. It’s a hard task. Nevertheless I won’t stop, as I really like to be involved in this process. Do you find it difficult to promote your label outside Latvia given that the country is not a massive music market? Yes, it's definitely hard to promote the label and artists abroad because of this. Another reason is lack of financing. There are different grants and programs from the EU, but at least in Latvia, record releasing is not in the field where one could apply for European money. I think it would be easier to get the label and its artists known better if I had more money. Nevertheless, the future is bright for Amber Muse and Latvian producers!
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A word from the wise
CH RIS DE LUCA VS PHON.O TEXT
CHRIS DE LUCA & PHON.O PHOTO
Chris De Luca and Phono have been friends since 2004, when Phono supported Chris's earlier guise as Funkstörung, on their 'Disconnected' Tour. When last year in 2006, Funkstörung suddenly split up (with the departure of Michael Kakesch), Phono stepped in again to play those last remaining gigs. Their onstage chemistry meant they knew they should work together. And so they did and then some. Their unconventional mix of intergalactic hip hop, ghetto beats and dirty techno has had fans in clubs and festivals going wild, so expect a Chris De Luca Vs Phono album out soon. Here the masters of the beat dish out a few of their choice Words From The Wise. Listen up ya'll!
We love to enjoy the big diversity of European culture and inf luences. Everything is just around the corner. The abolition of the borders brought a big push to the Continental communication of artists and audiences. Travel got a lot easier and allows us to perform all over Europe without having stupid visa and work permissions. Europe is a big chance to create a special and unique, open minded community. The EU is the first important step, but there is a lot to do. A strong and efficient parliament must be established for the whole EU in order to have real power to discuss and make the right decisions. But they have to pay attention not to kill the nice diversities. It is necessary that we get a leading position of bringing peace, ecological awareness and a new human economical strategy which is fair and use peaceful principles. Human rights are respected. A global attitude and thinking doesn’t know any borders. But it feels still exciting to explore the differences of each territory within the EU. We are glad to have the advantage/ privilege to be European and to feel safe and comfortable. We can feel at home nearly in every big city in EU. We love to explore local, typical food in every European country.
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Electronic Beats News In February, the legendary Underworld performed at Electronic Beats festivals in Bratislava and Prague. Always known for having truly dedicated fans, the Underworld concert was more like a gathering of old friends, as the fans cheered and roared and welcomed their heroes onto the stage. Tracks such as ‘Two Months Off ’, ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘Cowgirl’ really brought the house down and made the shows some of the most memorable ever. Supporting on the tours were giants of the German dance scene, Modeselektor and Alter Ego, as well as Indie-Electro concept band The Man No.9. Pfadfinderei were always on hand to supply blazing and moody visuals and it’s fair to say, the crowds really didn’t want to leave when the last song was played. Now that spring has officially sprung, Electronic Beats festivals are looking forward to their next dates, enjoying beats in warmer temperatures. We are coming to Bonn in April (already confirmed are Mia, Stereo MCs, Klee) and Graz in May (opening event at the S8 festival). We are really looking forward to some extra special performances and have a number of very cool surprises in store! We are also happy to reveal that the Electronic Beats Clubtour will be underway again in Croatia, building on the success of the last two fabulous summers. And in September, October and November in Vienna, Prague, Bratislava and Munich will be the cities where Electronic Beats bring more great artists and fans together for a night to remember.
We are also excited to announce that the Electronic Beats website www.electronicbeats.net has been nominated by the Lead Academy for its prestigious Lead Award in the category Web Magazine of the Year – a brand new category for 2008. The Germany-based Lead Academy is a professional association within the media industry that focuses on visual design and this is the second year in a row Electronic Beats have been nominated. Perhaps one of the features that impressed the judges was the new Webradio feature, which was launched at the start of this year. Webradio features six mixes from top Electronic Beats artists and they cover a number of styles ranging from techno house to electronic new jazz to experimental. With an average of one listening hour per mix on a continuous stream, new mixes will be updated each month as the previous mixes are rotated to an archive. Background information about the artists and event announcements are integrated into the offering in true radio fashion. The second phase of Webradio is in development and will soon feature additional ways to access and share favorite tracks with friends. Log on now and check them out!
E X A C T D AT E S A N D D E TA I L S O F P E R F O R M I N G A R T I S T S A R E S T I L L T O B E C O N F I R M E D , S O K E E P C H E C K I N G W W W . E L E C T R O N I C B E AT S . N E T F O R U P D AT E S . S E E Y O U S O O N !
Slices fans should be on the lookout for the new Slices video compilation, which is a collection of all of the best electronic music videos that have been shown on Slices over the last three years. We are talking the best of the best here! Slices was recently ranked number one in reader polls by Groove and De:Bug magazines and ranked number five by Raveline Magazine as best music DVD. The video compilation will be available to buy in shops from May. They will go on sale for € 9.95 which includes a donation of € 3.00 for the Nordoff Robbins Fund, which provides music therapy for children and adults in need. FOR FURTHER INFO CHECK OUT WWW.EB- SLICES.NET
Mobile internet evolution Losing track of your friends or even getting lost yourself is now a thing of the past. Provided you are carrying the new Sony Ericsson K660i that is. Yes techno-freaks, 2008 is the year that web 2.0 leaves the confines of your PC and leaps into your pocket, meaning you never have to be without those addictive web-services like Google Maps, YouTube and Facebook again. The K660i is as slick as it is smart. High speed data package access (HSDPA) means uploading or browsing the web is fast and the ‘pan and zoom’ function makes navigation so effortless. WWW.SONYERICSSON.COM
The IC RON ELECTUSIC M AZINE G A M DVD
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F OCUS We are f lying the f lag for Europe! In this very special Focus, we hope you get a f lavour of what is so exciting about Europe right now. Kicking things off is Paul Sullivan exploring the ways that musical inf luences in the electronic scene have traversed and crossed paths from West to East and back again, Serena Kutchinsky has the new unexpected European hotspots that you just have to visit, Johannes Bonke takes you inside the glittering world of European Film Festival circus, Gavin Herilhy ponders whether with his three different countries he calls home, is he European or just confused? Kevin Braddock reveals all about his love for greasy European fast food (preferably consumed at 6am) and Serena wraps it all up with some weird European facts from A-Z. Say it loud, We Are Europe!
Trentemöller · Mikkel Metal Martinez · Who Made Who Roskild Festival Techno · Electronica · Electro
Ricardo Villalobos ∙ Sven Väth ∙ Ata Headman ∙ BoysNoize ∙ LocoDice Tiefschwarz ∙ DJ Hell Panorma Bar ∙ Berghain ∙ Tape ∙103 Tresor ∙ Week-End ∙ Watergate Cocoon Club ∙ Robert Johnson Love Parade ∙ SonnenMondSterne Berlin Festival ∙ Melt! My My ∙ Minus ∙ Kompakt Get Physical ∙ Souvenir ∙ Mobilee Techno ∙ Minimal ∙ House
Aril Brikha ∙ Swediish House Mafia Steve Angello ∙ John Dahlbäck Samuel L Session ∙ Joel Mull Adam Beyer ∙ Pär Grinvick Techno ∙ Electro ∙ House
Vive la Fete I Love Techno Pukkelpop · 10 Days Off House · Techno
A38 ∙ Bahnhof Music Club Szieget Festival Drum’n’Bass ∙ House ∙ Techno
I-F, Legowvelt ∙ Bunker ∙ Tiesto ∙Melon Armin Van Burren ∙ Estroe ∙ Shinedoe 2000 and One ∙ Bart Skils ∙ Lauhaus Joris Voorn ∙ Darko Esser 100% Pure ∙ Remode Area ∙Intacto
Chymera Electric Picknick
Kruder und Dorfmeister Waldeck· Electric Indigo Flex · Passage Rave on Snow Downbeat · Trip-Hop House · Techno
DJ Glasser ∙ Offpop Margaret Dygas ∙ SLG Techno ∙ Minimal ∙ House
Afex Twin ∙ James Priestly ∙ Calvin Harris Mylo ∙ Erol Alkan ∙ Trevor Jack son ons James Holden ∙ Nathan Fake ∙ Klax M.I.A ∙ Hot Chip ∙ Shackleton ∙ Luke Solomon Secret Sundaze ∙ Trash ∙ The End The Cross ∙ Barfly ∙ The Key Glastonbury ∙ Bestival ∙ The Big Chill Global Gathering ∙ Lovebox Classic ∙ Defected ∙ReKids Warp ∙ Wall of Sound ∙ Leftroom Drum’n’Bass ∙ Tribal House Techno ∙ Minima l ∙ Deep House
RPR Soundsystem ∙ Dan Andrei Boola & Demos ∙ Rhadoo A:rpia:r
Duplex · Radost FM Roxy · Mecca Czech-Tek Creamfields · ica tron Elec · se Hou
Lux ∙ Fragile House
Angel Molina ∙ Damian Schwartz Ramon ∙ Alex UnderUndo ∙ Swa t Squad La Paloma ∙ Moog ∙ Pacha Manumission ∙ Cocoon ∙ CD10 Razzmatazz ∙ The Loft ∙ Nitsa Sonar Festival ∙ Benicassim ∙ Ibiza Sonar Music ∙ Mupa Techno ∙ Electronica ∙ House
Justice ∙ Air ∙ Pedro Winter - Shonky Bob Sinclair ∙ Mr Oizo TTC - Para One ∙ DJ Medhi Sebastian Tellier ∙ Feadz ∙ MC Solar Rex ∙ Le Pulp ∙ Paris Paris ∙ Le Baron Electro ∙ HouseElectronica ∙ Hip Hop Ed Banger Records ∙ F Communication Straight-Up ∙ Versatile ∙ Kitsune
Marco Carola ∙ Benny Banasai Rino Cerrone ∙ Gaetano Parisio Design Music Italo Disco ∙ Techno ∙ House
Petar Dundov · DJ Mary Goran and Zoran Kranjčec Davor O Rene aka Maker ·
George Apergis ∙ CrossFlow Leon Segka ∙Axel Karakasis George Siras ∙ Eva Theotokatou U.N.I.T ∙ Club Venue ∙ U-Matic Modular Expansion ∙ KiNETiK Techno ∙ Trance ∙ Tribal House
TH E EUROPEAN EXCHANGE TEXT
PA U L S U L L I V A N
I L L U S T R AT I O N
Dance music, as we know it, may have been forged in the white heat of America’s discothèques, but it was the early electronic experiments of Europeans that laid the foundations. Russian inventors like Leon Theremin, French and German avant-garde composers/musique concrete practitioners like the three Pierres (Henry, Schaeffer, Boulez) and Karlheinz Stockhausen all played an integral role; and it was ultimately a German band – Kraftwerk – that really kick-started our dance-music revolution. These days, Europe still boasts the most diverse scene in the world. We need only think of a handful of genres – Italo disco, Nordic cosmic house, ‘French Touch’, German minimalism, Dutch gabber, British trip hop and drum & bass - to see that Europe has been the most hardworking of blacksmiths, forging electronic music into the different shapes and styles we enjoy today. After exploding in the US underground, dance music gained commercial success first in the UK, then throughout Europe. The key instigators – Britain and Germany – still dominate the scene today, leading the way in the European exchange of ideas, while absorbing new sounds and ideas from their multi-cultural centres and from outside.
A Tale Of T wo Cities: the London-Berlin connection “In the last few decades, a lot of bands and artists have moved periodically from London to Berlin and vice versa, in search of inspiration,” remarks techno producer Alex Tsotsos, a.k.a. GummiHz. “So a great amount of inf luence has developed between the two cities. Both have a lot to offer and also nurture a big creative community. Berlin is a bit more relaxed as it’s not as corporate as London still is, so there is a lot more space to think, which makes it a great place to develop your material. On the other hand, London offers such a wide variety of choice and cultural interaction. In my eyes, the two cities are quite opposite extremes, and opposites tend to attract.” “Berlin is the avant-garde,” claims Alec Empire. “London takes the ideas and tries to make the ideas fit for a wider, more pop audience. When you work in Berlin, you always export; so does everybody in London, but because the UK is a much smaller country it offers the chance to let things cross over into the mainstream much more easily and more quickly. One increasing
problem though, in my opinion, is England’s island mentality. A few decades from now, historians will look back and say that the UK should have probably moved towards Europe faster, rather than keep looking towards the US.” DJ, journalist and publisher Jonty Skruff also sees the focus moving towards Berlin: “With gentrified New York and its neutered nightlife no longer the world’s capital city for the world’s artistic, alternative and ambitious individuals, London has filled the gap, though it’s increasingly edgy, expensive and dysfunctional, and is fast following Manhattan’s downward cultural spiral. Berlin, on the other hand, remains amazingly cheap and cheerful, with hordes of new arrivals eager to hang out and make friends. Many of these new Berliners are Brits; the Independent [Newspaper] recently estimated 10,000, and many of them are DJs, musicians and party people from London, though not necessarily British, bringing London energy to Berlin’s already bubbling pot. Toss in six London-Schönefeld f lights a day from Easyjet, Skype, Jah Jah and laptop wireless connections, and you have a perfect storm of mutual musical conf luence and action. Berlin is the new global nightlife city, and it’s only just begun.”
Intensif ied by the rise of the Internet, the European scene has become an increasingly frenetic place, a blazing hotbed of ideas, sounds, fashions and, styles, which are exchanged at ever fa ster speeds. The Bigger Picture While Berlin and London are doubtlessly the most talked about – and hyped – scenes in Europe, they represent only a small party of the jigsaw. As Alec Empire points out, there is a trend now towards a more European sound. “Now that cities are so close together, many producers come from smaller towns,” he says. “I see many new producers that moved to Berlin, for example, who are full of hope and excitement. This creates the future.” It’s true that London, Paris and Berlin – the three key Euronodes - are more prolific and/or dominant in the electronic realm precisely because of their population densities and their inherent multi-culturality. But it’s also true to say that they wouldn’t be half as interesting without the lesser stars in the European firmament, some of whom have enjoyed more than their fair share of attention. Throughout the nineties and noughties, electronic music spread far and wide, reaching into every nook and cranny of Europe, and there are very few nations left that don’t have some kind of scene, with usually a solid infrastructure (record shops, clubs, festivals, fashion outlets) to boot. Intensified by the rise of the Internet, the European scene has become an increasingly frenetic place, a blazing hotbed of ideas, sounds, fashions and, styles, which are exchanged at ever faster speeds. Broadband has erased physical boundaries. European integration has made travel easier. Budget airlines have made it cheaper. “Music definitely varies geographically, and that is something I aim to get from a record,” reckons Nitzan Hermon, head of the notoriously open-minded Fine Art Records. “The relative geographic proximity of states overflowing with creativity and independent agendas is what makes things so versatile and fertile. That, and the fact that it’s a two-way road, is what gives the music its added value.” Fine Art boasts several Norwegian signings, and the Scandinavians on the whole are a good example of how regions in Europe develop their own sounds and trends, incorporating everything from cosmic disco to jazz to spangly techno into their dancef loor productions. The Nordic countries also seem to have developed a reputation for more leftfield ideas and wild experimentation. “I think the Scandinavians generally dig experimentation so the music tends to be more underground,” concurs Jari Salo of Finnish renegades Pepe Deluxe. “This seems to apply to festivals too: once they grow too big, like Koneisto, they tend to get too commercial, lose their soul and then die quite quickly.”
Iceland also has a rep for punkish non-compromise, though the two-way traffic between this North Atlantic outpost and mainland Europe is tangible. “We get our dose of musical trends happening in Europe,” comments Iceland Airwaves festival’s director Eldar Astthorsson. “Cases in point would be the German and French techno and electro sound for the last couple of years. As I see it, this mostly affects the way people listen to music here in Iceland, rather than how they make it. Europe is also a mirror for how local music is appreciated in Iceland. A band, or a musical style popular in Reykjavik, being well received in Europe has an effect on the local scene.” But not every country feels part of the European exchange. “I feel that the Estonian club scene is not a part of the European scene at all,” avers Enar Essenson. “There’s almost nothing coming out from here. What’s being produced is all focused on the local market, except Rulers of the Deep and other producers that release on small labels now and then. Then again, there are very talented and interesting artists who can’t break free because the overall scene is so overloaded already. We miss some cooperation. If we had just one really powerful label to promote Estonian artists we could achieve much more, but instead, we have hundreds of small labels struggling for the local market share. But the local scene in Estonia is good – good clubs, many, many good artists, good audience, good parties.” The Macedonian scene, while growing at a steady rate, also largely follows ‘western’ formats. “Seven years ago, the biggest obstacle in Macedonia was availability and access to music equipment,” says Katrina Mileska from SkopjeClubbing.com. “However, having a pair of monitors and a PC is today more than enough to make music, and things are slowly but surely changing in a positive direction, thanks to the Internet.” The net has, of course, been one of the most profound revolutions within the European scene in recent years, allowing producers and DJs to get more involved in the bigger picture. “Since the new digital era, many countries have managed to keep up their level of work,” states Zhivorad Millich, a.k.a. DJ Lion, a Serbian-born DJ/ producer now resident in Sofia. “Our USB Digital label is giving us the opportunity of releasing our music worldwide, and is a great influence for younger generations. Countries like Germany and the UK had their musical collisions years ago. Many established international names visit us here and say it’s a very warm and energetic scene, which probably comes from the fact that while others had their musical revolutions years ago, ours is still young and energetic.”
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“I guess f rom a DJ /club point of view it ha s only been more recently in the last three years that Eastern E u r o p e a n m u s i c h a s b e c o m e r e a l l y p o p u l a r,” s a y s R u s s Jones. East Is Best: the Balkan boom “Regional European differences within music have been explored for a long time,” comments Swiss-Iranian producer and DJ Samim, “and with the dawn of the EU this process has accelerated. More interesting is how European countries are still digesting the culture they picked up through colonialism and more recently through international integration (e.g. refugees, the Internet, free trade etc.). All major European music trends of the last few centuries can somehow be linked to this. Just have a look at cities like London or Berlin. It’s fascinating to see the dawn of mega cites, which in many ways are more important than nation states in the 21st century. It’s no surprise that these hubs are deeply interlinked and produce strong synergetic effects between them, which are more dominant than the competing forces.” Samim – whose ex-girlfriend from Croatia exposed him to the “melancholy and deep emotions which define their music” – is one of a new wave of producers looking towards traditional eastern European music for inspiration. With festivals like Exit hitting record numbers, Ricardo Villalobos putting out 37 minute songs like “Fizheuer Zieheuer” (based on a sample of a gypsy song by Blehorkestar Bakija Bakic, “Pobjednicki Cocek”), The Italoboyz’ “Zinga” using Eastern violin players, and the likes of Romanians Raresh, Pedro and Rhadoo all exploring folklorish sounds, there is a definite turn towards the east of late. British DJs Russ Jones (Future World Funk) and Felix Buxton (Basement Jaxx) have been digging on eastern vibe too, releasing their acclaimed compilation album ‘Gypsy Beats & Balkan Bangers’ - though perhaps the most significant focus for the worldbeat Balkan explosion has been Bucovina, a club in Frankfurt run by DJ Shantel, whose grandparents live in the town of the same name (now part of the Ukraine) and who has been fiercely championing these eastern fusions. “I guess from a DJ /club point of view it has only been more recently in the last three years that eastern European music has become really popular,” says Russ Jones. “Within that time, the main sound has been Gypsy and gypsy-inspired music. I think the main reason for this has been because a few producers have really got their act together from that region and turned to their roots to create some great music. This has inspired others and there is a general trend for proper groups and artists to turn back and celebrate their indigenous creativity, from established
bands like Tarafe De Houks to newer acts like Mahaha Rai Banda.” Klezmer, a folk music developed by Ashkenazi Jews in eastern Europe, has also been en vogue via bands such as Oi Va Voi and London-based Ghettoplotz, who are part of the so-called Hassidic House movement. Mixing old recordings of virtuosic Klezmer clarinettists with house and jungle beats and fusing Madonna with Jewish choir recordings, GhettoPlotz migrate Jewish music onto the dancef loor and develop a thriving Jewish Club scene at Yid Kandi events. “We were working on straight-up house tracks together when we were inspired by the Asian beats scene to integrate Jewish roots music into our production,” explains Ghettoplotz’s Mark White. “We’re both committed to Judaism in different ways and it just made sense to draw on this original Jewish party music to make our tunes stand out. It adds depth and originality to the tracks and means that two worlds collide when we play. Bands like Gogol Bordello and Balkan Beat Box have also helped, and DJ/producers like Sinden, Switch, Herve & Jesse Rose are doing it for us at the moment, incorporating samples from all over and using weird folk songs chopped up with glitchy beats. It’s great that producers are abandoning the same old tired disco/eighties samples and venturing into new territory.” Europe remains a deeply diverse – and sometimes divided – place, but the last few years have seen a number of positive integrative changes and accelerated exchanges. In the absence of a universal spoken language, European music – from the modes of Ancient Greece to the DJ productions of today – is very likely the closest the peninsula will get to a Pan-European form of communication. Let’s keep on talkin’.
ÂťDo you believe in an integrated TEXT
PA U L S U L L I V A N
»W E A R E E U RO P E ! «
“It’s great and terrible at the same time,” says Jari. “It’s great as it’s so much easier to find freaks, umm, people who share the same taste as you in music. Gigging is easier, especially for underground groups and DJs. But it’s terrible as there’s less and less pockets where totally unique things can grow and mature. If you find a great crazy Bulgarian folk album performed with Moogs, you can bet your rear end it was recorded at least 20 years ago. I find that very sad as people like me live on incredibly strange music.” Jari Salo,Pepe Deluxe Finland
“I fully believe in it: cheap f lights, global scene, global values global music --- for us coming from smaller countries big eurpoen market is only way to live out of music.” Sergej Lugovic, Serbia/ Croatia
“Personally speaking, I’m spinning as regularly at Berlin’s Tresor as I am at London’s Trailer Trash and quite literally wherever I lay my laptop is literally now my home, office and small business- rolled into one. I’m making music in Berlin with super-talented engineer Michael Adam and in Lithuania with equally skilled producer Andy Lau, in between DJ jaunts to Czech Republic, the Balkans and beyond spinning cutting edge rocking electrodisco-tech that crowds are lapping up via the web. If feels like the future is finally happening- and I love it.” Jonty Skrufff, London-Berlin
“Oh yes, I am a real European. You know I was born in Berlin-West. So I never felt that German, because there were so many different nationalities in Berlin back then. I think European music, especially dance music, is responsible for all innovations in pop music if we look at the past 30 years. And I was born right into that environment. The strength of Europe is the mix of very different cultures from many different countries. This keeps the music scene moving. And has an inf luence on my work
as well. I think between the UK, France, Germany and Sweden it is an ongoing exchange of ideas. The US for example doesn’t have that. What is so interesting is that Europeans have developed a real sense of unity, but have managed to also keep their cultural identity at the same time. This is ref lected in the music scene as well. I think any time another country sets a trend, let’s say France for example, Germany and the UK already work on the next trend which goes further. There is a healthy competition going on, and copying is not allowed.” Alec Empire, DJ/Producer Berlin
“I am a strong believer in international integration, in short: the world is one, and nation states are just a period humans are about to overcome. Structures like the European union are leading the way to a borderless world. But let’s not confuse international integration with the term globalisation. This ongoing trend often focuses on the greedy, purely profit driven motives. Unfortunately the European union is at the heart of it. As an artist and frequent traveller I’m dreaming of the day when we overcome the current national obstacles (cultural, economical, law) to creativity.”
“I personally think European integration is a good thing for Europe (and Iceland). For Icelandic music this means benefits in terms of easier access to/from the European musical market - for Iceland Airwaves the benefits can also be seen in tourism, booking of European artists, cooperation within Europe etc.” Eldar Astthorsson, Airwaves Festival, Iceland
“European integration is not a cool thing my friend. In general terms it looks like European integration makes the rich richer, that’s all nothing more, nothing less. I believe any producer should record what he feels, what he has deep inside, that is a result of his culture and his every day life. The more variety there is musically the better it is even if you don’t like everything . Knowledge is always better than ignorance.” G e o r ge Ky r i a ko u , K l i k Records, Greece
“It’s all good! Music unifies people. Last year I played 16 dates around Europe. There are not really big differences where underground disco people are concerned. Small clubs, friendly people.” Rune Lindbaek, DJ/Producer, Norway
Samim, DJ/Producer Berlin
“What I have noticed while travelling through Europe is that all the cities are starting to look more and more similar. In one way it’s much more comfortable, because when you are there it all looks really familiar and you can easily get your bearings. But at the same time it’s very sad because all the cities become so uniform.” Sebastien Tellier, Producer, France
“I feel proud of the developments within Europe at the moment. Countries working together for a common cause, opening up the borders and making it easy for people to travel and learn more about what is out there. Of course in any such case there are pros and cons, which politicians are there to analyze. In my eyes, the willingness to discuss differences and develop solutions is healthier for cultural progress. And music only benefits from culture. Also, developments in communications technology have helped establish a higher rate of interactivity within different places, so ideas and productions travel much faster around the globe. This phenomenon has also helped raise the quality standard the productions we hear today.” GummiHz
EUROPE’S NEW C R E AT I V E H O T S P O T S TEXT
Shhhh – whisper it. Europe has a new party capital. Zürich has kicked Berlin off its techno throne and now boasts the continent’s highest ratio of nightclubs-to-population. Media types have been quick to catch on with the founder of über-chic lifestyle bible, Wallpaper, naming it the coolest city on the planet. A change in planning laws in the late nineties kicked things off with a spate of hip bars, clubs and restaurants opening in the city centre. Add Europe’s largest street party into the mix and it’s clear this Swiss city is far from the boring banking capital it once was.
Forget the Beatles. Finally, Liverpool has another claim to fame. This ex-industrial enclave is currently riding high as Europe’s Capital of Culture. Following in Manchester’s regenerated footsteps, Scouse City is officially back on the map with a thriving art scene cutting-edge nightlife, hip hotels and even, gasp, the odd decent eatery. Club-wise there are rich pickings (this is the home of Cream after all) from girlie cocktail lounges to hardcore sweat pits. And for those of you who just can’t get over The Fab Four – there’s a fully restored Cavern Club to visit. Peace and love awaits in The ’Pool.
W W W . PA R T Y O N K E L S . C H
With Paris overrun with chino-sporting yanks and blue rinsers, Montpellier is France’s new capital of cool. Medieval architecture, narrow streets and a beguiling cocktail-culture make it ideal for a chic city break. Famed for its university, where Nostradamus once swotted, it pulsates with youthful energy. The enviable Mediterranean climate makes clubbing on, or at least near, the beach a reality with a host of techno clubs clustered around the coastline. Who needs Thailand, when you can party till dawn on a beautiful beach in a blissful European bolthole? Recover with a stroll round one of the city’s many peaceful squares and a few glasses of the local vintage.
First Prague fell. Then Tallin and Riga followed suit. No, I’m not talking about Communism, but the grievous, colonising spectre of the ‘stag-do’. If you want to escape the beery hordes then head to Kiev, Eastern Europe’s buzziest and least discovered capital. The Orange Revolution, at the turn of the millennium, ushered in a new era with bright young things revelling in fresh fashions, bold attitudes and the freedom to dance, smoke and drink the night away. There’s all the attractions of an emerging hipster haunt with trendy clubs, classy restaurants, futuristic shopping centres and seriously cheap beer. The lack of cheap f lights is guaranteed to keep the stags at bay, for now.
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– Berlin’s exploded, Barcelona is pa st its peak a n d P a r i s i s s o n i n e t i e s i t h u r t s . We m a p t h e hott est, hippest European enclaves t hat are set to kick off at the end of the noughties.
Romania’s arrival into the EU last year thrust Bucharest’s thriving nightlife into the spotlight. Where pleasure-seekers go, budget airlines follow, and Easyjet et al are already offering cut-price f lights to the capital. On the surface there’s not much to shout about, with Communist-chic still the dominant architecture. History junkies will get a kick out of sniffing round the ruins of Ceaucescu’s evil empire, especially his outrageously OTT Parliamentary Palace, which is dwarfed only by the Pentagon. But its main hipster draw is the increasingly hyped, frenzied techno parties that take place everywhere from hi-tech clubs to grotty backrooms. When it heats up, everyone decamps to the Black Sea for the legendary summer sessions. Go now!
Known as the ‘Croatian Riviera’ this picturesque island is one of Europe’s sunniest spots. Just a few hours from Split on the ferry, it’s fast becoming a playground for the bronzed ’n’ beautiful. Amid the elegant squares, charming cafes, cobbled streets and terracotta-roofed houses, sleek design hotels and style bars are springing up. Local glitterati such as Goran Ivanisevic and Chelsea-owner Roman Abramovich are often spotted cruising their yachts into the harbour’s clear waters. Like most Croatian hotspots, the beaches are slightly lacklustre, but hop over to the nearby Pakleni islands and indulge your white sand dreams.
We all know Oslo is a must-go, but Stavanger has remained a well-kept Norwegian secret until now. Named ‘Capital of Culture’ alongside Liverpool, it lacks the shiny, big-budget trappings of its UK counterpart but makes up for it with stunning scenery (think lots of lakes, mountains) and an engaging eccentricity. Not only is it the largest wooden city in Europe, but concerts and club nights take place everywhere from churches to converted breweries. Oh, and this being Norway, there’s trolls, lots of trolls.
Portugal’s eclectic capital city is finally coming into its own. Previously known for its colourful mosaics, muscle-toning hills and moody Fado music, it’s finally emerging as a cultural force. The Barcelona Brigade will f lock to the newly opened contemporary art mecca, the Berardo Museum, and the hotly anticipated Design & Fashion Museum which open its doors later this year. The party vibe is well and truly alive in areas like the Bairro Alto, with a wealth of hipster haunts, stylish bars and street parties. There’s something for everyone in this style-savvy capital where Fado melodies mingle with African rhythms. Go now before the prices get any higher.
Po r t u g a l
Life On The Film Circuit
EUROPEAN CI RCUS Of course everyone’s familiar with the big names – Cannes, Venice, Berlinale – but what stands behind these trademarks hardly anybody knows. Reason enough to take a closer look at this circus and to answer the question why three of the most important festivals are being held in Europe. ‘We are Europe’ you can read on the cover of the Electronic Beats Magazine. Pretty cocky you think? Well, just stop for a minute and learn about what power the Berlinale, Venice and Cannes wield on the international market. The basics There are over 200 film festivals in Europe alone. The main focus can be on all kinds of things: young film makers, short films, animation, gay-lesbian topics, web movies or good old Bollywood. During the last few decades, though, Berlin, Cannes and Venice have achieved enough strength to outrival even the big US festivals in New York (Tribeca), Park City (Sundance) and Los Angeles (L.A. film festival). But what turned them into this mighty force that outshines everything and lures – like Cannes does – up to 20 000 journalists, film fans and stars into a little town on the Côte d’ Azur even though the prices are totally OTT? And what for? It all started in Venice with the decision to enrich the city’s diverse cultural offerings with a film festival. To this day, the oldest film festival in the world takes place each year in late August on the Lido, embedded in the large art exhibition La Biennale. The red carpet with its golden lions is impressive, but in spite of being the first in terms of time, the prizes awarded there every year – the “Golden Lion” (best film) and the “Volpi Cup” (best actor) – have only been second on the ranking list
of the most important awards for some time now, thanks to the fascists! They were the reason the French minister of education staged a counter event when the worldwide film industry registered with horror the growing inf luence of the German and Italian fascists at the Biennale. After the premiere was interrupted by the War and postponed until 1946, the Cannes film festival quickly established its reputation as the most inf luential and prestigious festival, conveniently held in May.
The extravaganza What Cannes doesn’t have, no other festival has. The non-public festival presents a large number of categories, among others the ubiquitous main category of almost every festival: the ‘In Competition’ section in which up to 20 films vie for the favour of the international Jury and the “Golden Palm” award,”. And here comes the subtle difference: it’s not uncommon for a niche product to find its way to a worldwide audience having won this coveted prize. Highly esteemed, the Cannes festival generates a one-of-a-kind contingent of media and industries. The sparks,
of course, in our celebrity-penetrated perversion of society are the stars. If they’re nominated, they’re tempted not only by the walk across the most famous of red carpets – accompanied by classical film symphonies and hailed by thousands of fans – but also by the proximity upcomingshortly following Formula 1 in Monte Carlo, and a three-day stay in luxury hotels like Le Majestic, the Carlton or Martinez (with its two helicopter landing pads). First class f lights included, of courseincluded. There are, of course, high returns – a normal apartment already costs € 2200 for those ten days in May. You can buy champagne for € 36 000 in normal restaurants – nevertheless the most expensive hotel in town, the Majestic, is fully booked 300 days in advance. And whoever wants to stay there has to be recommended by the festival. With all those superlatives, the press hype is a natural follow-on. Besides, the jet set likes to stage itself: Jerry Seinfeld sails on a tightrope from the tower of the Carlton to a private beach dressed like a bee. Naomi Campbell, as usual, celebrates her birthday to the max with star guests, and U2 (no, please...I know) give a late night concert on the red carpet. Speedboats illuminate the “Croisette” with fireworks, the world’s biggest yachts lie at anchor here, and whoever hasn’t been invited to the SoHo House Party in the little castle or to the Sharon Stone AmFAR Aids Dinner in the Mougin mountains is already a hasbeen. They don’t dig with spoons. In Cannes it’s all about pomp, exclusiveness, seeing and being seen. The principle is simple: in order to keep some of the so-called arthouse quality that is so important (as anchored in the original charter) for the cultural demands of a festival during all that hue and cry, the blockbusters are moved to so-called ‘Out of Competition’ sections. A trick that makes the impossible possible: art and commerce celebrate together. ‘Star Wars’, ‘Da Vinci Code’ or ‘X-Men’ are far too important to be missed in the art trade. The film studios are generous: rumour has it that six digit sums are finding their way back to the festival. After all, Cannes offers global media coverage. That’s priceless – even for Hollywood. And because money attracts those ones who pull the strings, the film market is close by: distribution rights are put up for worldwide sale. Another rumour suggests that about 20 percent of the annual film deals are closed in the lobby of the Majestic. True or not, it‘s business on a large scale. And to jolly the press along, they get the stars thrown at them during the day for interviews, or are invited to one of the countless society parties seething all over this city of 70 000 inhabitants. Up to 35 interviews in 11 days, 20 films, sleepless party nights and friends having sex in my bed or alternatively on the porch of my apartment. Cannes equals a state of emergency. I like to call it ‘festival mode’. No wonder that the allied forces wanted to bring some of that zest for life with a cultural touch to war-stricken Berlin. They called the capital a “window to a free world” after the liberation and tried to revive its former reputation as a European cultural metropolis with a vast cultural event. Well, they succeeded. Since its creation in 1951, the Berlinale opens the annual merry-
go-round as Europe’s first A-list festival. More than 200 000 sold tickets establish its status as the largest public festival of the world. It’s been on a continuous upswing these past years, with visitors from 120 countries since festival (entertainment) boss Dieter Kosslick with his Berlin how-modern-am-I charm brought back some glamour to the capital. Everybody speaks English, the Wiener Schnitzel at the Borchardt is delicious, and the thick red carpet keeps the high heels warm even when it’s cold outside. What more could the international stars ask for? A pretty good position that the three A-list festivals in Europe are in now! But why not America, you might ask. Isn’t the American film industry usually ahead of us? Why do they let it happen? Because they have to. And because their own system makes it impossible for them to do anything about it.
European chicness In Hollywood there’s always been the rule: what doesn’t work on the American market doesn’t work at all. As a consequence, American film festivals mainly take into consideration what might be said in their own press to achieve a good position on the US market, or give them the necessary buzz for the all-dominant opening weekend. Europe, they think, they can take care of later, and this arrogance destroys every chance of an internationally accepted and attended festival – and thereby of being part of the A-list ranking. Another reason may be that most of the culturally challenging movies that normally dominate the main program come from countries in which the art of film isn’t measured by box-office charts and gag rates yet. That Europe has always been dominant on the arthouse scene is a well-known fact. That an A-list festival is held in a place where most of the participating films are produced just makes sense. Last but not least, the advance in terms of time with the European festivals having been launched early turns out to be a great advantage over the otherwise dominating industry. Venice and Cannes happening in spring and late summer secured themselves dates for a Mediterranean festival climate that Berlin has also been lacking for years. By evening out this wet and cold disadvantage with its unique multicultural f lair, the capital bravely managed to maintain its position among the most popular festivals of the world. Whether you try to explain the advantages of the location Europe with structures, timing or history – what’ll always be there is the culture clash that turns European film festivals into very special events that make everybody, once infested with the virus, want to come back. Are we European? What do you think? I’d say as far as A-list festivals go, we clearly have to answer this with a resounding “Yes!”.
WEB 2.0 – WH ERE IS EUROPE? J A PA N 8 0 . 5 % S O U T H KO R E A 7 9 . 6 % CANADA 72.0 %
P E R C E N TA G E OFF ALL OECD HOUSEHOLDS WITH A COMPUTER S O U R C E : O E C D , I C T S TAT S ( 2 0 0 6 )
NEW ZEALAND 71.6 % SWITZERLAND 70.6 % AUSTRALIA 70.0 % U N I T E D S TAT E S O F A M E R I C A 6 1 . 8 % EUROPE 61.5 % MEXICO 12.2 %
Times are changing. The Web 2.0 revolution has substantially altered how we talk, work and live online. A new paradigm has taken the burden of thinking about technology from the users. If you want to start a multi-lingual fanzine written by contributors around the world without ever meeting them in person, there‘s no technical reason not to start today. The Internet has finally become a social entity; you can build relationships here, which are purely online and couldn’t exist anywhere else. The times are indeed changing. And yet, Europeans, Americans and Asians approach all of these innovations and the opportunities they open up quite differently. Tech savvy Indians have successfully embraced information technology to help their booming businesses become connected with the insatiable markets of the Western world. The United States has of course always been the centre of web modernisation with Presidential elections now partly dependent on infectious viral videos and ample facebook juice of the candidates. Talk about e-government. But where’s Europe? While the vision of a borderless society is being realised in a somewhat tedious process it is merely nonexistent on the net. And from the lookout in Brussels, there is no new Silicon Valley or European Bangalore in sight. It looks more like China actually. Just as the People’s Republic is known for its notorious product piracy, Europe’s software manufacturers have a strong reputation for copy/paste innovation. Copycats are happily programming away clones of successful US competitors. While the difference between Chinese toys and the originals is getting increasingly hard to spot, this doesn‘t apply
to European software production. Granted, there are some noteworthy companies with original ideas like Skype, Kelkoo and DailyMotion – but doesn’t the exception prove the rule? There is more than enough venture capital for fresh ideas, but the investors just don’t buy into Europe. Chances are slim that the next Google, Youtube, Facebook will be from Europe. So much for the business side. The user‘s side is even gloomier: Korean students are forced to hand in their homework via their own website, for US citizens blogging has become a national hobby and the cell phone novel is replacing traditional literature in Japan’s bestseller lists. In the meantime Europeans still debate whether computers in classrooms are helpful at all. While there is a digital élite – sometimes called digital bohemia for their idleness – in the cultural centres of modern day Europe, people not living in Berlin, Barcelona or Budapest are clearly left out. Television has become a somewhat fundamental human right. Why not have universal Internet broadband instead? Why not include blogging and wikis in the curricular of European grammar schools. The EU needs citizens who know how to handle a keyboard, not a remote control. Children all over the globe are proving that they are more than ready for this. Again and again, politicians call for a European public. The second evolutionary stage of the internet, the Web2.0, has got all the tools at the ready; all that’s needed is a little education and encouragement to make the blogging public happen. Who says we can’t realise the decade old dream of Europeans having an actual dialogue? It doesn’t matter whether it’s online or off line - everything is better than non-line.
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AM I EUROPEAN OR JUST CONF USED? TEXT
G AV I N H E R I L H Y
When Mark Reeder arrived in Berlin from Manchester on a dreary night in 1978, he might as well have landed on another planet. Aged 20 and in Berlin as a representative for Factory Records - the label that gave the world Joy Division, New Order and The Happy Mondays - life was by no means easy. Berlin was a crazy place, split down the middle by a wall and full of draft dodgers, artists, crazies, gay men and grannies. “The corner bar on my street was owned by a big burly transvestite,” he recounts, “outside, a fat, one-legged hooker sat daily on one of those boxes that control the traffic lights.” His f lat had no telephone but luckily was opposite the ‘Fernmeldeamt’ (the main telephone exchange of west Berlin) in Schöneberg. “Not everyone had a telephone in their homes back then, we all just accepted the normal channels of communication: phone, letters or if it was urgent, a telegram.” A letter to the UK would take almost a week to arrive, and a reply maybe two more. Getting from Manchester to Berlin by train or car took a minimum of 24 hours, or three hours by aeroplane. Phoning was all a question of being able to collect enough coins for the phonebox, which only took 10 pfennig
pieces (about five eurocents) or one mark coins (50 eurocents) for a phone call to the UK that could cost up to 10 marks.“If you were unlucky,” says Mark “you would get cut off mid-sentence, which could drive you to the brink of despair.” Fast forward to the Berlin of 21st century Europe. Like Mark was back in 1978, I’m a recent arrival in Berlin except this time it doesn’t feel like I’ve landed on the dark side of the moon. A lot has changed since the seventies. Sure I don’t use a hover board to go to the shops, and teleporting home after a morning at the Panorama Bar is still annoyingly some way off, but it’s a fact of life that most of my wildest sci-fi dreams as a child have come true. I communicate with the world via a handheld tablet that allows me to send emails, store music, take pictures, record videos or pull down googled addresses from the cloud of information that makes up the Internet that is now as much a part of the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Speaking to my friends is done face to face through a computer screen thanks to the wonders of Skype or iChat.
»W E A R E E U RO P E ! «
I use intercity travel by plane more often than I take a Berlin bus and I now live in a futuristic Europe where national boundaries mean nothing and my Myspace friends list defines the geography
Cat Roberts, a journalist based in Madrid but originally hailing from Manchester in Northern England, is equally confused. She works for one of England’s best selling celebrity magazines that is based in Spain, but for work reasons can’t reveal the name of her employers (“My bosses want to keep up the illusion that we’re based in the UK.”).
of my social life. Confused? So am I. It gets worse. Last Christmas I went home three times. Once to England, where I’ve lived for the past ten years before moving to Berlin in October. Once to Ireland, my birthplace where I spent the first nineteen years of my life. And finally back to Berlin, my new home, where I now live a very exciting but confused experience of feeling like I’m everywhere at once. My work has a lot to do with it. I split my time between producing, DJing and freelance music journalism from my studio in Friedrichshain. Despite the fact I’ve moved six hundred miles, as far as my social and work life goes I might as well still be living in East London. Most of my day’s business is conducted in my boxer shorts, sipping English tea (a box of which is f lown in every time one of my UK friends arrives via Easyjet), and if the weather is scheisse I may not even brave the streets of Berlin at all. At the age of 29, my friends and family are all over the place, Barcelona, Ibiza, London, Manchester, Dublin, Boston, India or Thailand, but thanks to Myspace and Facebook we maintain our friendships just fine. I get a message when one of them finds themselves “in a relationship” and my memory for remembering birthdays is a damn sight better than it used to be thanks to social network reminders. I video call my girlfriend in Leeds with Skype usually every night. We talk at length, we f lirt, we smile, we frown, we laugh same as usual. Thanks to Easyjet, we see each other usually once a month or more. She’s a DJ too, so being apart means we have time to focus our energies on our respective professions and getting together is an adventure usually taking place in a European city somewhere we’ve never been, rather than the chore it seems to be for some of our friends in traditional relationships. It’s easy to forget how quickly these changes have taken place. “Before the nineties, a mobile phone was something you only saw on TV, or locked behind the unbreakable windows of a chauffeur driven Bentley,” remembers Mark Reeder. “I remember being told in the early eighties by a military friend about this amazing secret system of instant electronic computer communication being used by the US military for sending messages, but I had absolutely no conception of how it worked.” “Email was a closely guarded secret. Getting it was akin to joining some kind of secret society, no one could tell you how it worked or how or where to get it from, and what exactly was the world wide web? Today, life is unthinkable without it.”
“You’d think that writing for an English audience would be difficult living in Spain, but it’s really not. I sometimes feel like I know more about what’s going on in my country than my Britishbased pals do. My mum phones me to asks what’s going to happen on EastEnders because she knows I have to cover the story lines. It’s no different to being stuck in a news room in London, except that when I go out to get a coffee the sun is shining.” Welcome to the new Europe. One where nationalities mean little and Internet connections mean everything. It’s crazy to think that little over fifty years ago we were trying to blow each other to smithereens in a world war. And it wasn’t even so long ago that we were arguing about whether or not Europe should have a single currency. Low cost airlines play just as big a part in our newfound Euro lifestyles. In 2008, over two dozen budget airlines operate in Europe. In 2005, 51.5 million passengers travelled the skies on cheap airline tickets compared to 3.1 million in 1996. This now means businessmen in Dublin commute to Brussels every morning on Ryanair f lights while doctors in Poland commute once a week to the UK to earn 15 times the salary they’d earn doing the same job at home. Ravers in Maidstone can avoid a night of naff electro house nights and f ly to Berlin for a night at the Panorama Bar and be back in time to fall into bed 24 hours later for much the same price as an expensive night out in London. But with the advantages come the arseholes. Most eastern European cities are more than weary from the weekly invasions of tatty hen night gangs adorned with naff fairy rings or lairy lads wearing football shirts emblazoned with ‘Dave: Stag Party Mentallist.’ The Dutch, never ones to mince their words when it comes to question of race, have even gone so far as to plan the eradication of the red light district to rid themselves of this scourge. That means no more brothels, no more gawping tourists, no more daft sex museums, no more decadent clubs and if you’re in any way fun-minded, no more unique reasons to visit the city. Instead, Amsterdam’s De Wallen district is due for a makeover, plans for a network of new designer shops are being drawn up, and ultimately what was one of Europe’s most unique cheeky iniquities is going to look like any old high street from Nice to Northampton. But it seems before we’ve even fully explored what it is to be European, technology is stretching our identity even further. “Without the net it would be impossible to keep up with my brother, who now lives in the Dominican Republic,” says Cat. “I don’t even know if he’s got a phone, but we chat regularly on
Facebook. When I was ten, he lived in Africa for five years, in the days before Facebook. I spoke to him twice during that time and completely lost touch. Basically, the net and all these social networking sites have made the world a smaller place.” Electronic music culture, for one, has changed inconceivably since its inception in the 1980s. Then, records were made in a handful of cities, Chicago, Detroit, New York, London, or Berlin and disseminated through a network of tiny scenes and underground record shops. Travellers, international migrants or simply those lucky enough to be able to afford international travel discovered the music and the culture and brought it back to their own cities. The virus mutated into an anarchic mess of genres and sub genres, and all the while all this change and experimentation and mutation went on in the real world. When dance music entered the virtual world of chat rooms, social networks and filesharing, things started to really accelerate. Most people like me, who party at DC10 Ibiza in the summer, or the Panorama Bar in the winter, have social circles that extend worldwide. It is now likely that thanks to the free dissemination of music, it’s quite possible that the idea of buying and selling music will not exist in ten years time. Music will exist as a means of promoting an artist’s live show or DJ set. And as virtual presence becomes more and more possible, the idea of physical presence will become a more precious commodity. Richie Hawtin has been at the frontline of all these changes ever since first hearing electronic music via Jeff Mills’ inf luential radio shows in Detroit in the mid 1980s. “I remember having a distinct conversation with Jeff Mills in the late 1990s and we were talking about being futurists,” says Hawtin. “And not only trying to be futurists by making futuristic music, but we were living twenty years ahead of mass population. Travel doesn’t mean anything to us. Skipping over to Tokyo and back to New York in 24 hours is part of our routine and if you look at my friends, it’s not the old type of idea where they are the people who live around the corner. My friends live around the world. When I get to Tokyo, there are a certain amount of people I hook up with to catch up on the last six months, and then the next day I’m gone.” “Older people, especially parents, can’t understand how I can have friends like that, but there is a bond that you create when you put a certain amount of energy into when you’re with those people, and how you keep in touch with them when you’re not physically present.”
Now everyone is a futurist. Dance music and life in general are a very different experience. As travel continues to be made faster and cheaper, and technology continues to make our social lives limitless, even the European identity to which we’re only still becoming used to is likely to become redundant. Instead, we’re living life as global citizens, from everywhere and nowhere at once. Plans are already afoot to merge social networks with virtual realities like Second Life. The technology already exists to photograph a room and make a cyber reality of that room. So imagine instead if your top friends list on Myspace becomes a virtual room where - once you’re wearing a virtual reality headset - you can inhabit a virtual space and speak to the virtual, three dimensional photographs of your friends. Think of it like Star Trek’s holodeck made reality, where the fact that even if your top eight live in LA, London, Paris, Mexico, Athens or Edinburgh, you can invite them round yours for a virtual catch up. That’s all very well, but back in the reality of Berlin in 2008, the future can’t come soon enough. It’s a Tuesday night and after ending up on the wrong end of a piece of glassware, my girlfriend has bumped her head and is suffering a mild concussion. “Can you see the size of the bump?” she asks from her room in Leeds, leaning into the webcam, while six hundred miles away I view a nasty looking bruise through our skype video connection.
“I really wish you were here,” she says, looking into the camera forlornly. The technology of cyber realities may be imminent, the reality of global identities may already be here, but the practicalities of giving a hug from one side of Europe to the other are light years in the future. Confused? Yes. Alone? No. Connected? Not nearly enough.
IN PRAISE OF EURO FAST FOOD TEXT
McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s - you can keep them all. And the same goes for fine-dining, Michelin stars, ‘slow food’, Routiers, places with cutlery on the tables, restaurants you need to reserve, and tavernas, bistros and boîtes in cool cities that you need a guidebook to get to. My guilty pleasure is late-night fast food, and I like it independent, nocturnal, unhealthy and quite possibly life-threatening. But most of all, I like it European.
Personally speaking, there is no finer European experience than to stagger through the phosphorescent streets of Madrid, Oslo or Dublin at one, four or six a.m., ragged, disorientated and starving, quite possibly in love or drunk to the point of suicide, to whichever neon outpost of the night is prepared to serve me something hot, cheap and fried, or chilled, sweet and served in a paper bag, a serviette and, at most, a plastic fork. There is stuffing your face at six p.m., and then there is stuffing your face at six a.m., but the way I see it, there’s absolutely no competition. It started for me with something called f lan, years ago when I lived in the western fringes of France. Every night was the same: we got roaring drunk on Pelforth in Charly’s Bar, pub-like place that defied the French convention by playing good music. At two a.m., we would wander to a night-time patisserie heaving with French fancies. Between the usual croissants, pains au chocolat and chaussons de pommes, f lan would beckon at me. Flan was a thick wedge of custard tart, and nothing else finished off a night like a guilty slice or three of f lan. Time after time I fell asleep, dreaming thick vanilla dreams, and never once woke up with a hangover. Since then, I’ve made it a mission to end every night away from home in the same way, all across the world. Food is one of the most immediate ways a visitor can orient him or herself in a new country. Personally, I’m not one for the guidebooks: I prefer to get trashed, get lost and then finally, get stuffed. Sometimes, it’s an almost religious experience. Some Euro fast food does the job better than others. I got more of a sense of the Italian character by cramming hot panini or slices of funghi pizza, the ultimate speed-food, at three a.m. somewhere in Verona than I ever did from studying the works of Caravaggio. Washing down tapas or mariscos or crunchy orange boquerones, calamares and gambas with a bottle of Bock at three a.m. deep in Cadiz, Barcelona or Ibiza town can be a hazardous manoeuvre if you don’t have a seafaring stomach. If you’re socialising in Northern Europe, there is no better way
to punctuate an evening on lethal nine per cent Belgian ale than with a bag of frites slathered deep with mayonnaise, and perhaps followed by a couple of waff les with silky Liegeois sauces. Naturally, British fast-foodophiles salute the humble bag of battered cod and chips, doused in salt and malt vinegar and destroyed as you collapse in a deserted East London bus-stop, wondering where it all went wrong. The only way to improve on the experience is to do likewise in Edinburgh or Glasgow, substituting the vinegar for ‘soss’ – an unctuous sloppy relish whose ingredients are kept a close government secret. Adventurous midnight ‘mangeurs’ on the British mainland also occasionally opt for a saveloy in subconscious homage to their German friends. But if it’s sausage you prefer, it goes without saying that Deutschland does it best - knackwurst, bockwurst, bratwurst and currywurst are the foodstuffs of dreams. Naturally, the Scandinavians do their fast food in style. And it may have been surströmming and tunnbröd - fermented Baltic herring on f latbread – I ate after one particularly dazed and confused night in Stockholm, and certainly it tasted magnificent, if memory serves (unlikely, I know). But all in all, there is one European fast food that I will return to again and again, even though, strictly speaking, it’s not even European: the Doner Kebab. Nothing has seduced the late-night appetite of the dedicated Euro hedonist like the elephant-leg-ona-spit. You regret it the next day, your fingers stink of onions, and the chill sauce burns your tongue and aggravates your stomach. Nevertheless, the kebab is the midnight mirage that delivers every time. The ultimate drunkard’s dinner is unlikely to ever evolve into something approaching fine-dining, and that’s why the simple kebab wins the Euro Fast Food competition every time. It makes me want to get drunk and go for a wander just thinking about it.
of your Europe
A f t er-par ties
B endy banana s
C ucumber control
H ard hats
Size matters where this fruit/veg hybrid is concerned. Some Euro crackpot has decided that a cucumber of less than 12 inches is a danger to society. Shouldn’t that be the other way round?
A must for all those working at height according to directive EN397, which is all very well for builders but what about tightrope artists and acrobats? Hard hats and spangles is not a good look.
J ay walking
A dying breed in Europe it seems, after tough new legislation has put an end to all-day raves in Ibiza. This summer, clubbers will have no choice but to head to bed on the Party Isle once the clock strikes 6am.
For some reason the EU Commission is determined to rid the world of crooked fruit. Regulation (EC) 2257/94 states that our bananas must be: “free from abnormal curvature”.
Legislation passed by the EU honchos in Brussels to, supposedly, improve our daily lives.
The term Brits need to adopt in place of ‘spend a penny’ if they’re to qualify for the single currency.
Bars and pubs might be filled with fart gas post smoking ban but, apparently, it’s our cows that need butt-plugging. Their anal emissions account for almost 25% of Europe’s CO2.
Still Europe’s biggest and best rock festival, even with the heightened health and safety regulations.
A reality of modern European life which seems to get politicians all hot and bothered.
While the Brits are fiercely protective of their right to cross the road where so ever they choose, this practice meets with harsh penalties in Poland and dirty looks in Germany.
»W E A R E E U RO P E ! «
K ilt s
S moking ban
M etr ic
Unit ed St at es of Europe Vi b r a t o r s
The EU caused Celtic outrage several years ago when they dared to consider reclassifying Scotland’s national dress as ‘womenswear’. Whatever would William Wallace say?
The latest weapon in the fight against obesity? According to the optimistic EU health commissioner, knowing how bad something is for us will stop us scoffing. Hmmm….
The measurement system adopted by most of Europe with one notable exception – those Brits just won’t say goodbye to their pints.
A trait common among Modern European leaders, especially those papp’d poncing around with supermodels. And we’re not talking about Angela Merkel.
O pen border s
Most EU states can look forward to a future of passport-free travel. No more last minute panics.
P et er Mandelson
Former political sleaze-bag now enjoying cosy retirement in Brussells as EU trade commissioner.
Can the monarchy survive in this modern age? Apparently so, no less than 12 member states still have some semblance of a monarchy.
R ec ycling
Countless directives have been passed trying to turn us into greener citizens. What’s next? A directive on where to compost your toe clippings?
Stubbing it out is now common practice across Europe, but some states take it more seriously than others.
Potentially the union’s newest recruit. Fingers-crossed their feud with their Greek neighbours really is over. Only time, and Eurovision, will tell.
Is this the future?
Those fun-loving commissioners are urging ladies to recycle their used love-toys before buying new ones. Is nothing sacred?
20 of the 27 EU states currently have some form of Minimum wage. The rest, including Germany and Switzerland, rely on trade union argy bargy to ensure fair pay.
A once Europe-wide malaise now mainly practised by Burberryloving Brits abroad.
Y ugoslavia Z eal Gone but not forgotten.
religious, nationalist or other. Too much of which tends to be at the root of most European troubles.
EURO -VISION Nine photographers/ artists present their unique vision of Europe in images that both contrast and complement each other, offering a fitting tribute to the conf licting character of the continent itself.
K A I JA KO B F RO M H I S B O O K » ST R E E T A RT I N B E R L I N « JA RO N V E R L AG , 2 0 0 8 / W W W. K A I - JA KO B . C O M
MICHAEL MANN »BERLINER STRASSE« BERLIN FILM SETTING / WWW.MICHAELMANN.INFO
HANAN SMART »MINI EUROPE« / WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/HANAN
D E N I S P E R N AT H » F I E S TA G I R L S « / W W W . P E R N AT H . D E
JESSI POOCH »UNTITLED 1«, »UNTITLED 2«
C E M Y Ü C E TA S » E V E N T S U N F O L D I N C H A I N R E A C T I O N S , C U LT U R A L A N D E C O N O M I C B O R D E R S H A V E V A N I S H E D A N D C H A N G E S O N O N E E N D H A V E A N I M PA C T O N T H E W H O L E . « / W W W . E N M A S S E . D E
L ARS BORGES »LIKE SWANS« GERMAN-POLISH BORDER IN FRANKFURT(ODER) / WWW.L ARSBORGES.DE
KAI JÜNEMANN »AMERICAN IN EUROPE« / WWW.KAI-JUENEMANN.COM
JA N E STO C K DA L E » LOV E C O U R AG E H O N O U R D U T Y « / W W W. JA N E STO C K DA L E . C O . U K
AIPOTU/ ANDREAS SIQUEL AND & ANDERS KJELLESVIK »EUROPEAN CITIZEN«,TOUR OF EUROPE, 2004 / WWW.AIPOTU.ORG
R I C K A R D S U N D » F I S H A N D C H I P S « S O LO U N I KO LO N D O N , C O L L E C T I O N S / S 2 0 0 8 / W W W. R I C K A R D S U N D . C O M
SPRINGEIGHT SPRING EIGHTGRAZ GRAZ ELECTRONIC ART & MUSIC * 21-25 MAY 2008 GRAZ AUSTRIA WWW.SPRINGFESTIVAL.AT
So long, Farewell, Auf Wieder sehen, Goodbye?
TEM PELH OF AI RPORT
Famous British architect Lord Norman Foster once described Tempelhof, built in 1923, as the ‘mother of all airports’. And it is a dear relationship between Berliners and their city-airport. In 1948/49 Stalin closed off all supply routes between West Berlin and the other zones controlled by the Western powers. For 11 months, every 90 seconds, an allied aircraft touched down, carrying food and fuel for the locals. This airlift was one of the greatest feats in aviation history. Due to financial reasons and in order to bundle together all the air travel into one big airport by 2010, the city council decided to shut Tempelhof down by the end of this year. But 200 000 Berliners have already signed a petition for Tempelhof to live on, giving way to a non-binding referendum to be held in April. Good luck Tempelhof!
SPECIAL THANKS TO
S M A RT T R AV E L L I N G
C H E C K O U T T H E I R C I T Y - G U I D E S O N W W W . S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G . N E T
T R AV E L B AG BY P O R S C H E D E S I G N T R AV E LS E T ‘ N E W AG E T R AV E L L E R ’ BY M O LT O N B R O W N C A S H M E R E S O C K S BY JOHNSTONS BOOK ‘THIS IS MY N E W Y O R K ’ B Y M . S A S E K S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G
SNEAKERS ‘INDOOR TENNIS CLEAN’ BY ADIDAS ORIGINALS H O O D E D S W E AT S H I R T B Y Y - 3 A H E D O N I S T ' S G U I D E T O . . . L I S B O N S E E N AT S M A R T T R A V E L L I N G F A C I A L F U E L E N E R G I Z I N G M O I S T U R E T R E AT M E N T F O R M E N B Y K I E H L’ S F O R T I F Y I N G ‘ B A O B A B ’ S K I N T H E R A P Y M O I S T U R E T R E AT M E N T F O R M E N B Y K I E H L’ S S H O E B A G B Y P O R S C H E D E S I G N C A M E R A C Y B E R - S H O T D S C -T 2 BY SONY
FLIGHT ESSENTIALS ‘I GELS’ AND ‘HANDY TOOTH CLEAN’ S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G
S U I T C A S E T O PA S G O L D C A B I N T R O L L E Y B Y R I M O W A CASHMERE SOCKS BY JOHNSTONS CASHMERE BL ANKET JOHNSTONS F I L L- A B L E S S E T A V E D A
T R AV E L WA L L E T BY Y- 3 C I T Y B O O K PA R I S M O L E S K I N E N A M E TA G S B Y F L I G H T 0 0 1 S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G S U I T C A S E T O PA S G O L D C A B I N T R O L L E Y B Y R I M O W A
T R O L L E Y B A C K PA C K B Y Y - 3 M P 3 P L AY E R W A L K M A N N W Z - A 8 1 5 B Y S O N Y W A L L PA P E R C I T Y - G U I D E S B Y P H A I D O N S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G S W E AT PA N T S B Y N I K E
B A B Y - A L PA C A B L A N K E T B Y R I T T E R - D E C K E N S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G T R A V E L S E T F O R N O R M A L / D R Y S K I N BY D E R M A LO G I CA V E RY ST Y L E G U I D E B E R L I N S E E N AT S M A R T-T R A V E L L I N G
I N T E RV I E WS Techno and house heads will both be satisfied here. Paris-based techno vixen Miss Kittin talks about life in the BatBox, her darkly fabulous new album, while Seattle-born but Berlin-based Bruno Pronsato talks about his inf luences and inspirations for his album ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us?’. And Jay Haze, yet another Berlin based American, talks about his move to a more funky, soulful sound on his gorgeous new album ‘Love + Beyond’.
I N TH E BAT BOX WITH M ISS KIT TI N TEXT
Meeting Miss Kittin in person is exactly as you would imagine: black hair, black clothes, black nail polish, tattoos creeping from the bottom of her sleeves. What is surprising, however, is how relaxed and friendly she is. Her voice is high and she sounds almost Russian, although she originally comes from Grenoble in France. Besides that, she also has a very charming and mischievous look in her eyes, like a naughty little girl which, letâ€™s face it, she probably is!
Miss Kittin seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. The last eight years have seen her connected to everyone from Felix Da Housecat to T. Raumschmiere and her debut album (‘I Com’ with partner-in-crime Hacker) made her an instant success all over the world. When I ask her about this, she describes it all as a ‘happy accident’ and tells me that she doesn’t even enjoy being the centre of attention. “I hate people looking at me, which is why I prefer to DJ when I can. Behind the decks I can dance, have fun and be safe.” I tell her how ironic it is that often the very people who shun the spotlight have fame thrust upon them. She merely smiles, shrugs her shoulders and sips her peppermint tea. As a DJ, Miss Kittin is known for hard, fast techno and for getting the party started. Even on her website she writes that DJing is her ‘first and main love’. She definitely seems to know what the crowd wants, proven by the fact that she is being booked now more than ever to spin all over Europe and even America. It is difficult for most artists in the music business to keep one career alive, let alone two, but like everything with Miss Kittin, it all appears quite unintentional. “I love all music – playing it and making it.” The new solo album ‘Batbox’ is the first time she will be releasing her music independently without the support of a major label behind her, but she doesn’t seem at all worried about sales. “If people like it, they will buy it and if they don’t, it doesn’t matter,” she says. “I’m not doing it with the intention of selling.” The music on Batbox is quite different to I Com, it’s far less electronic and more song-based than anything she has done before. A lot of this is to do with the fact that she made the album with producer Pascal Gabriel (www.melophobia.com) who has previously worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Boy George and Sophie Ellis Baxter. She tells me “At first I was very hesitant to work with him. I’m really not into pop music, but when I saw his studio and how he works, I realised I’d been very judgmental and it was actually a very creative experience.” The album was pieced together in Pascal’s studio in London over several months and Miss Kittin had the opportunity to really experiment with her songs before committing them to tape. “Pascal is very crazy and very free in the way he makes music. He never told me what to do; he just let me play with everything and encouraged me. He even let me play bass guitar on a few tracks even though I don’t consider myself a real musician at all. It felt like the right way to create something fresh.” The result is fresh – an unusual but cool blend of beats, dark synths, deep bass lines and very clear vocals. In fact, Miss Kittin’s voice has never sounded better. She tells me: “Until I worked with Pascal, I never realised how vocals were even meant to be recorded. Before him, I used to record everything so fast and simple. It was a joy to be able to have the time to do everything so completely.” The lyrics are almost gothic at times – although she disagrees when I use that word – and always slightly paranoid. Sometimes, her voice sounds like an alien calling from another planet...
‘Eyes staring at me, people looking unhappy, let’s be deaf and blind....’ This is highlighted by the vocal effects on many tracks, using delay and reverb to make the voice sound ghostly and distant. At times, the arrangements are a little eighties, perhaps not so unusual for a man who once worked with S-Express, but it never sounds cheesy or too trashy. To my ears, it is electronic music for people who don’t normally like electronic music. She agrees with this statement and tells me “People would be surprised, most of what I listen to is guitar bands or mellow things like Nick Cave. I grew up listening to punk music, that was my first love and even today I would prefer to listen to something made with real instruments than techno.” The best thing about Batbox is that is really well produced without sounding commercial, which is perhaps one of the hardest tricks to pull off. What will be interesting to see is whether the music is embraced more by the electronic community or by the mainstream. Miss Kittin does not seem to mind either way: “I make my music only for myself. If I like it then that is what’s important, not how much I sell or to whom.” The artwork for the album also has a special story as it was made by Rob Reger, creator of Emily The Strange, the little dark animated girl who has in past years become an icon. If you haven’t heard of Emily before, you should definitely google her and have a look. She actually kind of looks like a teenage Miss Kittin! “Rob never usually makes album covers, though everyone has asked him in the past,” Miss Kittin smiles proudly. “It just happened that I was playing a gig in San Francisco and he was there. We got talking and he’s a fan of my music, so the discussion just came about naturally. I love his work, so of course I was thrilled when he told me he would do it.” She tells me that most of the good things in her career have developed in the same way, connections becoming friends, and friends helping each other out. “There is no longer so much money in the music industry, so it’s important that everyone helps out when they can.” All too soon, Miss Kittin’s manager sticks her head around the corner and informs me that my time is up. Ironically, the screaming children have just left the cafe and Miss Kittin herself is getting very relaxed, telling me travel stories and reeling off a long list of what new bands and artists she has recently discovered. Before I leave, I ask her about her upcoming gig at TAPE club in Berlin. She says “Berlin was one of the first places I ever played, way back in 1999 with Hacker at Club Discount. The people here are tough because although they are relaxed, they have high expectations, so you have to be good. So I’m looking forward to it, but I am little nervous!!” I thank her for the interview and she feigns wiping sweat from her brow and smiles that naughty smile back at me “Mission accomplished!”
W W W . K I T T I N B AT B O X . C O M
I M AG E S
L AURENT BOCHET
S e b a s t i e n Te l l i e r
M A ST E R O F SEDUCTI ON
“Everything is perfect for me! I think I’m living the better part of my life,” purrs the ever dapper, permabearded Parisian, musician and actor Sebastien Tellier. His joyous affirmation is hardly surprising considering the cinematic upward arc of a career he’s enjoyed since his debut ‘L’incroyable Vérité’ (The Incredible Truth) released back in 2001. From working with the Coppolas, acting in Roman’s ‘CQ’ and providing ‘Fantino’ for Sofia’s Lost In Translation soundtrack respectively, to tugging tears from eyes the world over with string-laden ‘La Ritournelle’ back in 2005. One could find him anywhere, from playing stages with The Magic Numbers to hotel lobbies for art festivals such as Paris’ Nuit Blanche, or the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Simultaneously, with his iconoclastic take on the hirsuit, tailored suit and sunnies ensemble he became a fashion icon, publicly adored by Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs and Chanel. Not bad for an artist whose work verges on the conceptual, focussing on the drives at the core of humanity as the titles L’incroyable Vérité and Politics attest.
Always languid, but never lazy, the green-eyed lady killer took 2007 by storm, scoring Mr Oizo’s (aka Quentin Dupieux) f lick Steak with Q. D. himself and Ed Banger’s boy-wonder SebastiAn, whilst spending evenings at “the same party at Le Baron.” However, the highlight of the year, and perhaps a testament to his achievement, is Guy Manuel De Homem-Christo (one half of Daft Punk) offering his production skills for the first time ever outside of Daft Punk on Tellier’s third LP; the goosebump inducing, sensual jam ‘Sexuality’. A match made in modern Gallic heaven, what with the affecting tones and melodies of Tellier and the wit and drive of Homem-Christo, he more than completes the goal of the record of explaining to the world “the latent concept of sex”. If there were an award for Album Most Likely To Spontaneously Induce Activity of an Adult Nature, this would win hands down. With that in mind, let’s talk about sex, shall we? There seems to be something about this album that’s ‘super-sexual’. I love US r’n’b. The music has to be cool, and it was a really big problem for me as a French person to do it well. We haven’t got that same feeling and it was this problem, this ‘confrontation’, that grew in my mind until in the end, I decided to make a sexual record. Mainly because I love US music but not US lyrics, so I wanted to add not ‘intelligent’, but sensitive lyrics. I tried to make intellectual r’n’b. I try to explain to the world the latent concept of sex and that’s the goal of the record. I’m very happy to be in a sexual society. My previous record was called ‘Politics’ and of course it was about politics. At that time, I thought it was the most important rule in the world and now I think that sex is the most important rule, because seduction is at the centre of everything. So for me, sex is more important than politics. That’s
why I talk about sex in my record. I always try to find the core subject matter to talk about. It’s funny that you say sex is not part of the French heritage… I’m talking about music. In the US, the music is a bit obvious, but me, I need a little intellectual thing. You know it’s so sad when you go to a party, a discotheque or a club, and you have sex with a girl but the day after you feel a bit dirty. I hate that feeling. For me, real sex is when you have the feeling and then the sex, not the sex and then the feeling. After all that, I love nasty sex too but I want something more. Is that why you hooked up with Guy Manuel De HomemChristo? The only place in France where you can find some good food for the spirit is in the electronic world. On my previous record, I did very seventies music – however sex is a sophisticated thing. For me, to have a good ‘sex party’ you have to follow what is special now. I know in my heart I am a seventies guy, but I don’t want to have seventies sex. So I made this record electronic because I wanted to have a sophisticated album. G. Man knows the world. He knows fashion. He knows what I don’t know, so I needed his skills on this album. G. Man is very important in the respect that we used drum machines and synthesizers, but I don’t care about his fingers [on the consoles], I care about his mind. What was important was not the notes played, but the discussion between us. G. Man is such a good producer. He can sing exactly what he wants played and always, whatever he sings, is wonderful. I was always a fan of Daft Punk and wanted to work with G. Man and now, with him I can reach the levels of Daft Punk. What a great feeling that is.
Did you know him prior to your collaboration? No, not really. He did a wonderful art movie called ‘Electroma’ and they used one of my songs in the movie. So I said to myself ‘Daft Punk love my music’ and was confident to ask them if they would like to work with me. Without them using my music in their movie, I don’t think I would have been confident enough to ask G. Man to work with me. In fact, I never asked him directly. One evening, Guy came to my apartment, we listened to some demos and that was the beginning of the work. So there’s quite a community in Paris then? Ah well. You know it’s always the same party in Paris, it’s always the same club like Le Baron, then after that it’s the same party in the same apartment. If you imagine in the UK countryside it’s a bit like Paris. Okay it’s a big city, but the pace is a bit like the country. At the same time it creates such an ambience to make a good record. You can take your time and people have admiration and love for musicians. It’s a very comfortable position to be in as a musician in France. What came first? Steak or Electroma? Ah, Steak! That was a very interesting adventure. I’m a very good friend of Mr Oizo. The thing is, London is a paradise of the music world, but Paris is a very small world. It’s so small you end up knowing everybody, so in the end Daft Punk, Oizo, Phoenix, St Etienne, Air are all known because it’s so small. Though, to be honest, I can’t remember which came first or who introduced me to who. Without mentioning Sarkozy, do you think France is a little conservative? Hehe, yes! There are a lot of problems with change for French people, for me too. Every change is hard. French people like tradition, with wine and cheese and the ‘spirit’ that goes with that. But me, I try to break this spirit inside me, to be different for each record. If you make a record with the same mindset as before, there is no point in making a new record.
There seems to be an affinity to cinema and the cinematic in your work… Yes, the cinema is a kind of obsession for me. When you’re a filmmaker you have to imagine you are making a record, so a movie with energy and emotion. When you make a record you have to follow the rules of movies like suspense, surprise, tension. I think that a musician has to work like a filmmaker and a filmmaker has to work as a musician. There is a kind of crossover. Can you mention some of your favourite films and soundtracks which work together? Certainly. A Clockwork Orange with some tracks by Wendy Carlos. In fact, before he was a guy and she’s a woman. I love that! A musician, a transsexual, it’s beautiful. I also like Morricone’s songs in Sergio Leone movies. Oh, and if I could work with John Woo! I would love that. I also love the music from the Miami Vice TV show. What do you think about the new electronic producers of now? I love SebastiAn, Mr Oizo, Phoenix. I love the sound of synthesizers – it’s completely outside reality because it’s a fake sound. You can’t put an image with the song and I love that. It’s a new discovery for me because before I was only playing a guitar. I don’t want to live in the past, I don’t want to live in the present either, I want to live in the future. For me, all these guys – SebastiAn, Oizo, perhaps even Justice – are the future. Well, Justice are okay, but there is nothing behind the facade. SebastiAn though, it’s a new kind of music but you can find some spirit behind it. W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / T E L L I E R S E B A S T I E N
HAZE ABL AZE TEXT
L I Z M C G R AT H
Jay Haze talks to Electronic Beats about his much anticipated new album ‘Love & Beyond’ – a rich, layered, emotional album that references multitudes of styles, not least hip hop, funk, and house and is quite a departure from his previous sound. Love & Beyond shows just why Jay Haze is the trailblazer he is.
How excited are you about your new album’s imminent release? Very excited and a little nervous too I guess, but that’s natural, especially when you’ve been working on something for such a long time (three and a half years). I didn’t think Jay Haze got nervous?! Of course I get nervous! I get nervous all the time. Because this album is such a different step and direction for me. It’s a bit shocking, even to myself. Why did you move away from minimal techno? I still love that music, but I guess the honest answer to that is that its just a natural part of my development. I like how for the CD release you have 1 CD for vocals and 1 CD for instrumentals. That’s 28 tracks altogether which is really quite a body of work. Did you feel like you really had a lot to say? First and foremost I think now is a time to be innovative, and the music in this industry has become so boring and oversaturated. I strive to be different and do things that are unexpected. I didn’t want to restrict myself. Like in pop, artists are very restricted because the labels want every song on their album to be a single, and in dance music, you’re restricted because you try and keep yourself fitting within one genre. So you have these cliché electronic albums, and I wanted something that has everything….I wanted to completely and freely express myself because that’s what music means for me. On this album there is f lamenco, rock, hip hip, techno – there is no way I can take all I feel and compromise it into one CD. The way you talk, that reminds me of meeting Jamie Lidell to talk about his first album on Warp. Yeah….funnily enough our last albums came out at a similar time, I’ve always wanted to hook up with him but he never really got back to me. Maybe he’s not interested. And the really funny thing I have just found out is that his new album is coming out on the exact same day as mine. Im sure the press will jump on that opportunity and try and make us out to be up against each other. But seriously, I hope I do meet him soon, I love his music. I heard you lost your Berlin studio in a freak fire – what happened? It’s rebuilt now. Just old shady Berlin electricity. The power was going out for sometime so we were always changing fuses, and then I went to go there one day, and the whole street was shut down and there were fire engines everywhere, it was crazy. Did you lose a lot of stuff ? I lost quite a bit, but nothing I would really cry about. I think in a way it was a new start. I don’t get so caught up in ‘things’. I don’t wanna sound hyper spiritual, but I really don’t care about material things. The fun of making something is more important
to me than whether I can release it to the public. I did lose a lot of tracks but I wasn’t so upset about that. I guess it was just supposed to happen. The ironic thing is that same night that my studio burned down I had to f ly to London and I had the party of my life. I really lost my head that night, something I only do a few times a year. I was playing with Ricardo at Fabric, and then we had an afterhours at Room 3 and we played live together for hours and hours and hours. Then after that it was Superbowl Sunday, so we watched that live on cable TV, and Prince was performing there, and we just had such a laugh. So I didn’t let a little fire get me down! And Ricardo always know how to bring out the party animal in people, that’s one of his powers! Haha! You work a lot with D:exter on this album – how did you meet him? We worked together on the track ‘Appreciate Me’ for my last album and the song was a big success. So I wanted him in again. He just has soul, it’s very authentic, he’s a short fat black man with an afro; that’s what he is and that’s what he sounds like. In funk and soul you always have the fat dudes and the skinny dudes and with some of the songs, you really need the fat dudes to sing because they can just sing from this big stomach they have, and it sounds great. I tried to make an album that has something for everyone. Like if you look at the vinyl LP version which just has eight tracks on it, there’s a house song, there’s a Detroity techno song, and everyone has their own favourite. ‘Ass to Mouth’ is getting a huge response when it’s played in the clubs. That song makes me smile, it was just a joke, that’s why its called Ass to Mouth! The whole album is pretty sexy, and loved up. So the question I have to ask is, are you in love or just having lots of good sex, or both? (haha!) I am definitely in love, sure. Have been for a number of years, with my girl. I do love sex but I love sexiness a little bit more. I love the sleaze for sense of humour, but I like romance too, but not the obvious kind of thing. Romance for me is nothing clichéd, romance is just a point when two people are together and they feel that their time together is special. Feeling like no one else in the world matters, it’s just you two. What are you planning for your live show then? You planning something special? I don’t really like to sing live, because when I’m in a smoky club, it really kills my lungs and my voice. I’m not the healthiest guy, I’ve had health problems since I was a baby, and I still get bothered by them today. The fact is if I DJ in a smoky club, when I come out I can barely talk! I’m really looking forward to the smoking ban. But I’m in the process right now of producing my live show, and we are going to a club tour and then a summer tour for the festivals, which will be the soul thing. I will be performing but not singing live. I have some ideas. Lets say this much, for my live show, the Gorilaz have been an inspiration for me!
P E Y M A N FA R A H A N I
CONTEM PL ATI NG RHY TH M Steven Ford aka Bruno Pronsato has a manipulative approach to rhythm. In another lifetime he was a drummer from Seattle and now he’s an acclaimed Electronic Music artist based in Berlin who indeed ‘has got the ultimate Funk!’ [Magda in an interview for EB]. Ever since early releases on Orac, followed by esteemed records on Philpot or Telegraph and eventually Hello?Repeat, Ford has always created idiosyncratically fashioned rhythms to disorient a dancer’s mind. Now his second album ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us’ goes deeper and beyond the dance f loor where you listen closely and contemplate. It’s more like electronic Free Jazz.
How’s life in Berlin? I know this question is becoming superf luous, but still, why did you leave Seattle behind for Berlin? Berlin is great. I have some great friends here and I’m getting a lot of work done. Sammy Dee and I [the duo’s called Half Hawaii] have really picked up the studio schedule the past month or so, and it’s really nice working and hanging out with him. Seattle was a good place to work, but eventually the inspiration level waned. I needed a place with a little more activity, and of course, Berlin was the next best bet. What in your artist career ever since being a drummer in Voice Of Reason set the course for Electronic Music? Voice of Reason was a band I was in for a few years. It was with my brother and a couple of other friends. We started up some time around the early nineties. Over time I got a little tired of dealing with 4 people’s schedules, different tastes. Being in a band became more of a chore than a musical adventure. I started to get into the stuff on Mego [experimental Electronic Music label based in Austria] a couple of years later, which then set the course for Electronic Music for me. More on the experimental side I guess. Then I discovered Pantytec [Perlon founder Zip together with Sammy Dee], and said to myself, this is really something that I wanna do. I’m sure your new album will be categorised as ‘minimal’ again, although it’s so multi-layered and intricate. Isn’t that term just overused? ‘Minimal’ to me is really just a simple term used to easily classify a certain new breed of Techno. Musically speaking, I think it’s pretty boring, this so-called ‘minimal’. But it does have its place. Somewhere, on some dance f loor. I can enjoy it (sometimes) like many others, but I’m not so into the debate about what it is, or how it is or isn’t destroying Techno. In general, it’s the people that decide what stays and what goes. And the opinion is pretty strong that people are tired of the sound. What, would you say, initiated the rise of so-called ‘Minimal Techno’? For instance, we’ve been facing for a couple years now, a new school of artists particularly from the US and all the way down to Argentina (though most of them live in Berlin now)? Well, like all genres, Techno was looking for something new. It found it in the so-called ‘minimal’ sound. A lot of this owed to the easy access of music programs. On the one hand this is good, on the other, we have an overdose of the same sound. I think what happens is really something of an average. We have a million people using the same software, using the same sounds. As a ‘scene’ or culture, we have sort of adapted ourselves to this. And what we have adapted ourselves to is pretty much mediocrity. Now, people are taking a step back and saying ‘wait a minute, are we growing, or are we standing still?’ And I guess we all know the answer to that question.
Why did you choose Hello? Repeat to release your second album? I have always had a good relationship with Jan Krüger. We’ve done two previous records together. He is not only a great record boss, but a good friend. So I thought it was the next logical step after a couple of EPs and a steady friendship. Your debut album ‘Silver Cities’ on Orac isn’t quintessentially different from ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us’ – yet your second album sounds more developed and complex, sort of musically more mature, whereas ‘Silver Cities’ seemed to have quite more a focus on the dancef loor. From your perspective, what has changed? Well, a great deal has changed. Mainly a more focused approach to music. I want to be a little more musical, expressive and contemplative. Less of a sound-design approach. I have grown as far as that goes. Keep the four/four rhythm, but explore more ways to make it interesting for the listener and, of course, for myself. I wanted to make something more personal, something with a little more depth to it, not just a collection of dance tracks. The album sounds very personal. As if you’ve transformed impressions and emotions into sound and made it all rhythmic. The album title ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us’ is emotionally very strong. The same with the track titles. What’s the background? What and who are you referring to? The background is really hard to say. I was working for a couple of months trying to figure out which direction that I wanted to take. It actually worked in reverse. The first track that I decided I would use for the album was ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us’. After I established that mood, I knew the direction that I was going to take the album. Something moody, I guess. The title is sort of a reference of how ‘we’ view ourselves in a relationship. The ideal ‘us’. The question of ‘Why Can’t We Be Like Us’, is just me/us asking, why can’t we be like that?! Why are we fucked up... I’m glad you can see the personal side of the album. I really wanted it to have that feel. What’s your focus now? In music, in your career, in life… I’m really just letting things happen around me. At the moment, I’m just enjoying playing and making music. I don’t wanna stress myself out too much with a goal or anything. I just wanna let things happen. ‘ W H Y C A N ’ T W E B E L I K E U S ’ P R E V I O U S LY R E L E A S E D O N H E L L O ? R E P E AT. W W W . H E L L O R E P E AT. C O M WWW.UNDOSOUNDS.COM
THE O C C I D E N TA L TA I L O R S
Photographer LARS BORGES Styling RAINER METZ Production SANDRA LIERMANN Art Direction LISA SCHIBEL M o d e l s B R I VA E L L E ( V i v a ) R E C E P ( M e g a ) E L E N I Hair- & Make -Up FRANZISKA (Ba sics Berlin) Assistant STEFFI ROSSOL Jeweller y SABRINA DEHOFF Shoes NIGHTBOUTIQUE
M A R C E L O S T E R TA G D E VA N D E R VA R
TXELL MIRAS L ACQNE
ALEXANDRA MOURA ROZALB DE MURA
BARTEK MICHALEC RICKARD LINDQVIST
The Occidental Tailors are: Txell Miras
TXELL MIRAS (31) / FINE ARTS, BARCELONA UNIVERSITY, LLOTJA SCHOOL BARCELONA, MASTER IN FASHION DESIGN IN DOMUS ACADEMY (MILAN)
“ Books are wonderful. New worlds and new ideas come out of the pages. Their shapes and their textures are also beautiful. A world of books has inspired the s/s 2008 collection ‘Reading Orlando’. Orlando is the name of a book by Virginia Woolf and the name of the main character. Orlando lives for several centuries. He is born as a man and she dies as a woman. A novel about identity generates a collection about identity. Old and new, joy and sadness, ambiguity... I think my style is not typical for Spain; it’s very personal and my influences come from the northern countries.” WWW.TXELLMIRAS.EU
Rozalb de Mura
Miercurea Ciuc, Romania
OLAH GYARFAS (33) / WEST UNIVERSITY, TIMISOARA / ROMANIA AND UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED ARTS, BUDAPEST/ HUNGARY
“The Rozalb de Mura s/s collection 2008 reiterates my secret pleasure in undermining the stiff caution of the classical. Gray and various tones of white become a neutral canvas for details and additions that do have a vaguely perverse air about them. I think I benefit in every way from my mixed heritage - Romanian and Hungarian. Plus I’m a person of the world, glad that I don’t suffer of a sort of local myopia and at the same time I’m really proud of my roots. I belong to a small country, so the scene is quite small, and definitely quite conservative and underdeveloped. It’s all supposed to be either very sexy or kitsch without humor. I think it’s a sign of the times and the long years of communist regime. There is not much infrastructure or support for developing a business and sometimes this situation makes things quite hard for a young label. Our link with the art community is strong and authentic as artists are inspired by our work and vice versa.” WWW.ROZALBDEMURA.RO
TINA VANDA SCHOU & SOFIE EDVARD NIELSEN (31) / DENMARKS DESIGNSKOLE, DESIGNSKOLEN KOLDING, THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM
“Our s/s collection 2008 is inspired by the ancient Chinese fantasy novels ‘Journey To The West’ and ‘Monkey King’ by Sun Wu Kong. The story was originally written by Wu Cheng-En sometime in the middle of the 16th century. We were inspired by the whole atmosphere of the book. Both by the story and its very refined beautiful illustrations and fruity colourings. The use of colours is not typically danish, but the graphical and clean expression is quite Scandinavian.” WWW.MYSPACE.COM/DEVANDERVAR
Wa r s a w, P o l a n d
BARTEK MICHALEC (22) / ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS IN ŁÓDZ
“My s/s collection 2008 ‘Sinus Frontalis’ is inspired by my illness called Fernand-Widal syndrome. The shape of each dress imitates a sinus shape. The collection is about the ideal organic shapes of human organs. I represent a style which comes from Polish art from the fifties and sixties. Minimal, conceptual, geometrical and a little bit organic. On the other hand there is a lot of glamourous fashion and red carpet aesthetics in Poland. There are many designers who make tailor-made pieces or couture. For example Gosia Baczynska, Maciej Zien. There are also designers who make collections each season and sell them abroad like Ania Kuczynska and myself.” WWW.BARTEKMICHALEC.COM / MYSPACE.COM/BARTEKMICHALEC
RICKARD LINDQVIST (29) / MEN'S TAILORING, BA IN FASHION DESIGN, SWEDISH SCHOOL OF TEXTILES / HISTORY, HISTORY OF SCIENCE
“My collection ‘Did they know just who they loved?’ is inspired by photographs of my great grandfather, who was a tailor in Gothenburg in the beginning of the 20th century, and from the masterpiece ‘People of the 20th century’ by photographer August Sander. I would say that my collections are really untypical for Sweden, at least when compared to the current fashion scene.With greater perspective, I believe that the Swedishness can be seen in my designs. My final collection while in school was actually based on a study of the national identity in relation to fashion design. The Swedish fashion scene has really experienced a tremendous expansion both within the country and abroad. To be critical, much of design coming from my country tends to be very moderate and there are too many brands doing the same thing.” WWW.RICKARDLINDQVIST.SE
MARCEL OSTERTAG (28) / CENTRAL ST. MARTINS COLLEGE, LONDON
“My inspiration is the ladylook of the late seventies, designed for the moment, in a mix of fabrics. My collection is too modern to be just German. I think the five years I spent in London have inf luenced me deeply. The thing which makes me German is perfection, I always want to create a perfect look! Fashion in Germany will be more interesting soon, but to be honest there has to be something new, because I can’t stand Berlin design anymore. There are a lot of cool innovative cities in this country, so please keep looking out for designers who are creative and new and stop looking after designers with a huge Berlin stamp on their asses!” WWW.MARCELOSTERTAG.COM
ELEFTHERIA ARAPOGLOU (31) / SURREY INSTITUTE OF ART AND DESIGN, LONDON
“The s/s 2008 collection ‘True life hero’ is characterized by a minimalist approach to colour, light and sophisticated forms. Contemporary designs with a hint of androgyny, for everyday women, for true life heroes. My style is definitely not typical for my country. There is a very small number of young designers who ‘fight’ the Greek fashion clichés. Usually Greek designers stay content with repeating predictable, very commercial and very ‘easy’ designs. The Greek fashion system used to be very conservative, but with the beginning of the new decade it seems that creativity, individuality and experimentation are more encouraged. Maybe it’s because the people’s perspective is changing, maybe it’s because of the designers efforts, the fact is that the future of Greek fashion seems bright.” WWW.LASCOSASWARDROBE.COM
L i s b o n , Po r t u g a l
ALEXANDRA MOURA (34)
“My s/s collection 2008 is called H(air)mony. The concept has to do with the sensation of air moving around and adapting to the body. The collection references the first scientific studies about bird f light, f lying machines and helicopters developed by Leonardo da Vinci around 1510. It is a wondrous context inhabited by insects, planes, delta wings and air balloons. The shapes create a f luid and ethereal silhouette, like something that is f lying but at the same time touches the earth. My style has no direct connection with my country, but it is inf luenced by my culture. I think that on the one hand the population recognises the importance of fashion in an economic and social sense, on the other hand we are a country with a weak buying power that turns to more accessible and mass production solutions. That said many are opening their minds to concept projects.” WWW.ALEXANDRAMOURA.COM
EB JET SETTING
VIK TORIA PELLES FOTOS
I L L U S T R AT I O N
L I S BO N
city of light and longing To declare Lisbon the Rio of Europe may be a comfortable parallel to make (there’s the vicinity to the ocean, the Portuguese language, the giant statue of Jesus…) and has evidently proved irresistible to a great many travel writers on the subject, but in reality Lisbon’s appeal is far more mysterious, complex and subtle. Firstly, Lisbon doesn’t swing its hips to Samba beats, but instead sighs deeply to Fado tunes, a music which essentially expresses an undefined yearning that cannot be satisfied. Though this rather fatalistic world-view might inhabit the soul of Lisbon, on the surface it’s a city with a vibrant social scene. The Portuguese are famed for their love of food and eating forms a pivotal part of socialising; there seem to be more restaurants than street-lamps. So Lisbon is a city of contradictions where a sultry climate is inhabited by reserved characters and modernity meets with unwavering tradition, making it an incredibly charming and intriguing city to explore. Traditional Lisbon is well established with picturesque charms around every corner and while urban Lisbon is still in development, it both surprises and impresses with originality and style. Though hard to believe, Portugal was up until 1974 governed by a quasi-fascist dictatorship, and it is no longer the power-player it was in the 1500s. This history has made Lisbon something of a European outsider and perhaps left a melancholic streak on its people, but at the same time it has allowed the city to develop away from mainstream inf luence and in that created a character as captivating and mystical as the light and fog that dress this touching city.
Jorge Bragada MAKEUP ARTIST/BUSINESSMAN W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / J O R G E B R A G A D A SE BECAU ISBON L E V , E O I L Y, S I Z BEAUT Y M OF ITS D HT AN R, LIG ! E S C O LO U R U CO DS OF FRIEN
Bica: The birth of a new bairro Just south of Bairro Alto the new area of ‘Bica’ is taking shape. ‘Area’ is perhaps a little optimistic. At the moment it’s little more than a street and city guides will consider it a part of Bairro Alto. But as in all cities locals make up the rules, and according to professional make-up man Jorge Bragada there is a definite distinction to be made: “Bairro Alto was cool in the eighties with its nightlife and punks and other alternative sorts. Now there are just a lot of drug-dealers and ugly people!” Having recently opened his own shop, Face Off, on the Rua da Bica Duarte Belo, Jorge is passionate champion of the area as the new centre Lisbon’s most colourful and creative: “You have to come at night, the whole street just really comes alive. The artists, journalists and actors that used to hang around in Bairro Alto now prefer to spend their time in Bica.”
Lisbon is best experienced in Baixa Chiado which is the hub of creation in this city, it’s where everything happens and here you can also see the different light changes during the day – the light here is very special.
And he is right, the difference is really that of night and day. During the day, though apparently the film location of a new soap, there is little evidence of what at night turns into an inspiring crowd of young, arty types – drink in one hand, joint in the other. The three bars, Fumicular, Baliza and Bicaense – responsible for keeping the revellers refreshed are not open during the day though this is something Jorge hopes will change in the near future, “It’s just what the street needs to better bring this new creativity together.”
E L E VA D O R DA B I CA
PA S T E I S D E B E L E M
PA S T E L A R I A
CAFÉS Les Mauvais Garçons Although relatively new to the area, gorgeous old leather sofas and a varied menu (breakfast options too) make this an instant old favourite. Owner David Gonzales also offers a beautifully decked out apartment right in the heart of the Bairro for shortterm rent. RUA DA ROSA 39, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 433 212
Delidelux This well-stocked deli/café has done all the hard work for you and is just the place to pick up the best of the local wine varieties. AVENIDA INFANTE DOM HENRIQUE, ARMAZÉM B. LOJA 8, SANTA APOLONIA, +351 218 862 070, WWW.DELIDELUX.PT
Padarias e Pastelarias Pastelarias are plentiful in Lisbon. This particular one is a neighbourhood favourite with its straight-up service and ornate interior. RUA DOM PEDRO V. 57, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 224 356
Nicola A beautiful café in art-deco style, the café Nicola may be a little touristy and pricey, but the inspiration of drinking coffee at the counter while taking in the beautiful wood and steel design and a statue of its most famous customer (poet Manuel Mia Barbosa do Bocage) is absolutely free. PRAÇA DOM PEDRO IV 24, ROSSIO, +351 213 460 579
Bar at the Lisboa Regency Chiado Unless you’re staying at the hotel you’d probably not know about this very comfortable café/bar on the seventh f loor. From the terrace or through an absolutely gigantic window, there’s a great view of the Tejo river and Saint Jorge’s Castle. RUA NOVA DO ALMADA 114, CHIADO, +351 213 256 100, WWW.REGENCY-HOTELS-RESORTS.COM
BARS Purex Offering classic cocktails in a more mellow environment, this is just the place for quiet drinks and intimate chats. The crowd is a mix with lesbian leanings, and DJs spin electronic beats on the weekends. RUA DAS SALGADEIRAS 28, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 428 061
Maria Caxuxa Friendly bar with more inside seats than usual, but the crowd still spills beyond the doors and there’s often a hazy, crazy cloud of smoke around, if you catch our drift. RUA DO BARROCA 6-12, BAIRRO ALTO
Clube da Esquina This chic and friendly corner bar is the ideal meeting or starting point for a night of Bairro Alto bar-hopping. RUA DA BARROCA 30-32, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 427 149
Kama Sutra A cosy bar with mixed electronic sounds courtesy of DJ Castle on Fridays and Saturdays. TRAVESSA DA ESPERA 22-24, +351 213 428 295
Speakeasy Bar Restaurant In a unique location right on the water, the jazz and blues music policy of this great live music venue has little to do with the owner’s father, who happens to be one of Portugal’s most famous Fado singers. Not a bad place for a romantic dinner. CAIS DAS OFICINAS, ARMAZÉM 115, +351 213 909 166, WWW.SPEAKEASY-BAR.COM
ZDB – Galeria Zé Dos Bois This is a place for alternative and contemporary art, which is open at night and offers a really diverse programme that often includes alternative music concerts. The building is a little run down but contains a bar which exudes a sort of gritty charm. RUA DA BARROCA, 59, BAIRRO ALTO
O século This light and breezy establishment not only serves inspiring breakfasts of waff les, muesli, fresh fruit smoothies and shakes, but also provides a steady diet of aural/visual treats. Check the website for their newest video projects. RUA DE O SÉCULO 80-88, BAIRRO ALTO, WWW.OSECULO.COM
EB JET SETTING
H o j i Fo r t u n a ACTOR
The place that mosts represents Lisbon to me is Rossio square.
N LISBO I LOV E NY ASON A E R T A E TH NE K A LO HT N WAL OR NIG IS I CA Y A D HE T F OF O TIME AFRAID BEING T U O H WIT ING. ANYTH
Rossio Square and a slice of urban myth Downtown Lisbon is pure theatre and the Baixa’s central square, Rossio, in particular provides some of the best free entertainment in the city. Lisbon’s masses drift across Rossio’s psychedelic mosaic paving surrounded by whizzing traffic. To Lisbon local Hoji Fortuna it’s the place that most represents the city: “You find all kinds of real people here – tourists, immigrants, artists, addicts, homeless people, prostitutes, lovers, bystanders, police officers, taxi drivers and of course the figure of the imposing Dom, though some claim he is not the man we think he is…,” which brings us to a little piece of Lisbon urban myth (or truth?). Rossio square is formally known as Praça Dom Pedro IV and a 27 metre high statue of the man dominates its centre, but legend has it that the statue, sculpted in France, was not in fact of Dom Pedro at all but some emperor of Mexico. It is claimed the statue
was making a stopover in Lisbon when due to the untimely death of the Mexican and an uncanny likeness, it was decided that the statue would serve as Dom Pedro and a deal was made. Either way the square, which has been the setting for everything from revolts and executions to bullfights and celebrations, is still a kind of epicentre of downtown life with an eclectic mix not only of people, but architecture too. There are the art-deco coffee shops like iconic Café Nicola and the north side is dominated by the rather grandiose Teatro Nacional de Dona Maria II in neoclassical style, but most unusual is the interlocking horseshoe arches of Rossio train station at the northwest, which in its neoManueline style looks more like a grand theatre or exotic palace. Rossio square is the definitely the centre of Lisbon in more than one aspect and in Hoji’s words, “It portrays the diversity of this city well”.
FLEAMARKET »FEIRA DA L ADRA«
FLEAMARKET »FEIRA DA L ADRA«
E L E V A D O R D E S A N TA J U S TA
AV E N I DA DA L I B E R DA D E
CERVEJERIA DA TRINIDADE
B I C A D O S A PAT O
RESTAURANTS Bica do Sapato It’s unusual for a restaurant to be so unanimously recommended, but Bica do Sapato is simply the place to eat at in Lisbon. Started up by Lisbon style guru Manuel Reis and famously part-owned by John Malkovich, the locale is split into three parts: upstairs a sushi-bar, downstairs a less formal area with a bar serving more basic and typical Portugese dishes, and finally, the impressively decorated fine-dining room. The excellent reputation is welldeserved with beautiful dishes and wines that more than live up to their prices, an interior that manages modern and trendy without losing warmth and comfort, and professional staff without a hint of the kind of attitude one has come to expect from such a venue. Believe the hype! AVENIDA INFANTE DOM HENRIQUE, ARMAZÉM B, SANTA APOLONIA, +351 218 810 320, WWW.BICADOSAPATO.COM
Casa do Alentejo In Lisbon, the picturesque awaits around every corner and so you quickly use up your superlatives, which is really frustrating when you then come across something even more amazing. Like, for instance, the cultural centre for the Portuguese region Alentejo, the modest exterior of which belies the fantastically opulent halls and courtyard inside. Also houses a small bar and restaurant serving basic and typical dishes. RUA PORTAS DE SANTO ANTÃO, 58, +351 213 405 140, WWW.CASADOALENTEJO.PT
Restaurante Bota Alta A reputation for consistently excellent quality (traditional seafood and other local dishes) means the tables are always packed at Bota Alta, and, it seems, attracting this and the other ‘scenester’. TRAVESSA DA QUEIMADA 35-37, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 427 959
Caldo Verde – Apontamentos de Fado Bairro Alto is littered with Fado restaurants, and though some are vaguely touristy it’s worth throwing your elitism to the wind and settling into one place for the night. Eat, drink and soak up the this particular brand of Portuguese pathos.
Canthino do bem Estar Lisbon is known for the many small typical Portuguese restaurants called ‘tascas’ serving typical specialities. Before you find your own favourite, this is a good bet.
TRAVESSA POÇO DA CIDADE 40, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 422 091
RUA DO NORTE 46, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 464 265
Sul With a slightly more modern interior than its neighbours, Sul offers friendly service and a fusion kitchen.
Restaurante Eleven On the more upscale side of things we have Eleven, run by Joachim Koerper, a man whose kitchens have been awarded with enough Michelin stars to put any gustatory worries at ease. So let us instead focus on the quite amazing venue, which is both modern minimalist as well as organic with views over Lisbon and the river Tagus.
RUA DO NORTE 13, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 462 449
Cervejaria da Trindade This ancient beer hall is huge inside, housing rows and rows of merry drinkers and dinner guests between walls with some of the most beautiful tile designs to be seen. Rua Nova da Trindade 20c, Chiado
RUA MARQUÊS DE FRONTEIRA, JARDIM AMÁLIA RODRIGUES, +351 213 862 211, WWW.RESTAURANTELEVEN.COM
Olivier This cosy modern Mediterranean restaurant offers a menu to be relished with all the senses, so lean back and enjoy the parade of delicacies such as silky foie-gras, octopus carpaccio and what is allegedly the best chocolate pudding in the world. This is a popular place among the stylish Lisboetas, so make sure to book.
+351 213 423 506, WWW.CERVEJARIATRINDADE.PT
RUA DO TEIXEIRA 35, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 431 405, WWW.RESTAURANTE-OLIVIER.COM
B I C A D O S A PAT O
B O TA A LTA
Ana Patricia STUDENT AND PL ASTIC ARTIST
IS... SBON OVE LI L I N ASO AIN RE S’ THE M FONIC S ‘COPO AT E D A L S N A R H LY T R ICULA T G R U A O P R ( E CS) TH I D N N O A H -O-P INKING DRINK OF DR N ART INGING LISBO S IONAL OCCAS
Cais do Sodré – sailors and afterhours There is a certain gritty romance to cities with a seafaring tradition that bring to mind tattooed sailors, big-hearted and fierce prostitutes, drunken bar brawls, lost loves… In Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré – admittedly with some power of imagination – something of this ambience remains. The shady ladies are still on the corners and bars with names like Copenhagen, Jamaica, Hamburg and Tokyo (so that the out of town sailors could feel more at home) line the streets. The area, like Bairro Alto, has been embracing urban young people since the eighties. People like Ana Patricia, a student and plastic artist: “The Bar Lounge in Cais do Sodré, which is connected to Club SOUK on the way to Adamastor, is a place I often end up. And Bar Europa is an afterhours shack, which is very much alive.”
Lisbon I think is best represented by Adamastor. This is a greek-type mythological character invented by the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões in 1572, as a symbol of the forces of nature Portuguese navigators had to overcome during their discoveries. Adamastor is also the unofficial name for lookout point Miradouro de Santa Catarina, because of the large stone statue of the mythical figure that presides over the space.
Ana unfortunately dispels any preconceptions you may have had of Lisbon as a sort of European Rio; “The Lisboetas are friendly, but a little detached and are really not enthusiastic dancers. I mean in actual clubs of course, but there’s little or no dancing in smaller music venues, let alone the street.” A Lisbon local for the last four years, Ana has seen a few of her favourite institutions close down, but it seems new brews are always bubbling in urban Lisbon: “Since it’s quite hard to make a creative living in Lisbon, people don’t take a lot of risks. Lux is kind of the only place that offers something unexpected on the dancing arena, but there are the odd semi-amateur events that continue to spawn from the arts community, which I tend to prefer to clubs and bars.”
L O J A D A ATA L A I A
C I N E M AT E C A FLUR O S E C U LO
SHOPS Loja da Atalaia Genuinely unusual, overscale Eastern Bloc modernist furniture is combined with more well-known Scandinavian, French and Italian designs in this aesthetic wonderland of an antique store right next to Bica do Sapato.
B E L E M C U LT U R A L C E N T R E
AVENIDA INFANTE DOM HENRIQUE, ARMAZÉM B. LOJA 1, 351-218 822 578, WWW.LOJADATALAIA.COM
Embaixada Lomográfica Lisbon stockists of the legendary Soviet-era Lomo camera. The shop carries 14 different models plus a section of other funny gadgets. RUA DO ATALAIA 31, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 421 075, WWW.LOMOGRAFIAPORTUGAL.COM
Sneakers Delight The walls of this funky shop with classic Adidas models and limited editions are covered in designs by French artist Skwak. Creative shoppers can contribute to the art by painting on what’s left of the white walls.
CULTURE African Contemporary A gallery exhibiting modern and contemporary works by African artists. The collection consists of established names like George Lilanga and Bernhard Matemara, as well as other emerging artists. RUA DA ROSA 218, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 918 501 234, WWW.AFRICANCONTEMPORARY.COM
The Loser Project Eccentric clothes designs for men and women, including handcrafted men’s shoes in a huge range of colours which are really quite excellent.
Face Off Need a moustache for the evening outfit? Or perhaps a quick shot of botox before dinner? This recently opened shop in Bica combines a professional beauty salon, where you can attend make-up workshops or get a creative make-over, with a wellness studio offering everything from facials and waxing to massages and manicures.
RUA DO FERRAGIAL 1, CHIADO, +351 213 421 861, WWW.THELOSERPROJECT.COM
RUA DO BICA DUARTE BELO 12, BICA
Storytailors Tailored, one-off creations with more than a touch of the fairytale, all in a beautifully turned out 18th century warehouse atelier which doubles as a shop. Not for the conservative aesthetic.
Cinemateca Portuguesa Should you happen upon a rainy day in Lisbon, the charming Cinemateca, which houses a film museum, movie theatre, changing exhibitions, bookshop and coffee shop, will provide hours of entertainment.
RUA DO NORTE 30-32, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 479 976
CALÇADA DO FERRAGIAL 8, CHIADO, +351 213 432 306, WWW.STORYTAILORS.PT
RUA BARATA SALGUEIRO 39, MARQUÊS DE POMBAL, +351 213 596 200, WWW.CINEMATECA.PT
Flur Flur, which occupies one of the warehouse spaces next to hip LUX and Bica do Sapato, stocks a big range of music styles and is considered one of the best music shops in town. AVENIDA INFANTE D. HENRIQUE, ARMAZEM B, SANTA APOLONIA, WWW.FLUR.PT
Aleksandar Protich With beautifully crafted designs for women using conceptual fabrics, Belgrade born Aleksandar Protić adds a more avant-garde edge to the face of Lisbon fashion. RUA DA ROSA 112, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 225 199
Carhartt On Rua do Norte there is one hip little street-wear shop after the other. The Carhartt shop sells more than just its own brand and is worth a visit if only to check out the cool wall art or the charming guys behind the counter. RUA DO NORTE 64, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 433 168
Belem Cultural Centre (CCB) A little away from the narrow street hustle and bustle is the Belem Cultural Centre (CCB), which produces and hosts cultural events ranging from dance, theatre, classical music, jazz, opera or cinema, and also accommodates the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art within its impressive, minimalist structure. FUNDAÇÃO CENTRO CULTURAL DE BELÉM, PRAÇA DO IMPÉRIO, 1449-003 LISBOA, +351 213 612 400
Museu do Chiado This museum specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century contemporary art. Most of the works are Portuguese, with a few international works including some by Rodin, and French sculpture from the late nineteenth century. There is also a gallery of temporary exhibitions and a good café looking onto a garden and terrace with a view over Lisbon. RUA SERPA PINTO 4, CHIADO, +351 213 432 151
EB JET SETTING
Aleksandar Protić FA S H I O N D E S I G N E R
The azulejos (tiles) and calçada (mosaic style cobblestones) I feel gives Lisbon its special character.
Bairro Alto – welcome to the centre of the cooliverse Design entrepreneur Manuel Reis, responsible for international jet-set locations like LUX and Bica do Sapato, has not only done much to modernise the profile of Portuguese design, but it was also he who in 1982 opened the doors to Lisbon institution Frágil in Bairro Alto. Past the unassuming looking entrance – where careful selection reigned – this club, which quickly became the living room of Lisbon’s artists, intellectuals, personalities and hangers-on, established itself as the centre of Bairro Alto’s cooliverse. Reis, who is still considered the city’s arbiter of chic, also opened the design shop Loja da Atalaia setting the trend for many others.
A LISBO I LOV E OF E S U A BEC OF ELING THE FE E T E L COMP OM! FREED
More hip restaurants, publishers and shops moved in and so the revolution of modernity was in full swing. The Bairro was no stranger to the after-hours trade, but it used to thump to the beat of printing presses rather than disco music with several newspapers having made their home in between what were for many years illegal drinking dens. Today the Bairro is where everyone goes, tourists and locals alike, though they all have their favourite corner. Aleksandar Protić, a fashion designer originally from Belgrade, has his fashion store on arty Rua da Rosa, lives virtually around the corner and doesn’t think much of the claims that the Lisbon’s creative elite are seeking greener pastures elsewhere: “This is where the people with ideas have been coming since the early eighties and it is simply still that way.”
AV E N I DA DA L I B E R DA D E H E R I TA G E A V E N I D A L I B E R D A D E
CLUBS LUX Lux is without a doubt one of Lisbon’s hottest venues. The former warehouse now sports a theatrical and quirky interior with a labyrinth of interconnected rooms to lose your mind in, and the line-up is consistently excellent. You really don’t need much more.
AVENIDA INFANTE DO HENRIQUE, ARMAZÉM A, SANTA APOLONIA, +351 218 820 890,
Heritage Av Liberdade A lovely boutique hotel on a corner of the Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s answer to the Champs Elysées, the Heritage Av Liberdade offers professional, friendly service in a fully restored late eighteenth century building. The interior is tasteful and comfortable, courtesy of Miguel Câncio Martins, but it’s the little details like fresh apples and the lovely tea-bar for guests that really make it.
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE 28, 1250-145 LISBOA, +351 213 404 040, WWW.HERITAGE.PT
Kremlin This popular after-hours venue is known for attracting the most varied crowds in Lisbon, with call girls, yuppies, gays, straights and the odd celebrity all accounted for. The décor has more than a touch of gothic church, and the music varies but is mainly deep house.
Lisboa Regency Chiado The Regency is central with an interior in a kind of Asianmodern which is pleasant enough, but it is the killer-view from the seventh f loor bar that makes this a winner.
ESCADINHAS DA PRAIA 5, SANTOS, +351 213 957 101
Frágil When it opened in 1983, this was one of the city’s first clubs and is credited as the birthplace of Bairro Alto as Lisbon’s alternative and bohemian centre. Still a landmark in Lisbon nightlife, the clientèle is largely gay but essentially mixed, and the sounds electronic and all quality.
RUA NOVA DO ALMADA 114, CHIADO, +351 213 218 100, WWW.REGENCY-HOTELS-RESORTS.COM
Bairro Alto Hotel Nicely situated directly between Bairro Alto and Chiado is this five-star boutique hotel in eclectic, minimalist and colonial style. Museums, cafés, bars, shops… it’s all on the doorstep and tram no. 28, renowned for its picturesque route, passes just outside the door. PRAÇA LUÍS DE CAMÕES 2, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 408 288, WWW.BAIRROALTOHOTEL.COM
RUA DA ATALAIA 126, BAIRRO ALTO, +351 213 469 578, WWW.FRAGIL.COM.PT
Bicaense Currently a Friday night favourite with the young and hip Lisboetas, this lounge bar is on the steep street climbed by the Bica elevator and swings to the hip house sounds of resident DJ Luky. RUA DA BICA DUARTE BELO 38-40, BICA
Bedroom This is a unique little DJ bar decorated with – as the name would imply – beds! Cosy up in the corners or take a spin on the small dancef loor to some hip hop or electro depending on the night. RUA DO NORTE, 86, BAIRRO ALTO
H EAR TH IS There are mountains of the latest album reviews to read through, then check out the Collectors Guide to the best of European Electronic Music (there are bound to be some songs on there that are new to your ears!) and My Music Moment comes from the Israeli-Swiss, Berlin-based, and seriously in-demand artist and DJ, Samim - who reveals how he came to find that unique sample for his hit â€˜Heaterâ€™.
OR' ECT L L CO DE GUI
T EX T
L I Z M C G R AT H
T H E C O L L E C T O R 'S G U I D E
European eclecticism is the style of this playlist – from German minimalism to eastern European techno to Swedish tech-house to UK nu rave there is so much amazing electronic music from all of these countries that it is very hard to just choose one track – but we did it somehow! Get discovering what more Europe has to offer. GERMANY Loco Dice
BELGIUM Vive La Fete
‘Raindrops On My Window’
Dark, funky and hypnotic, ‘Raindrops On My Window’ is one of Dice’s finest recent moments. Originally from Tunisia, he grew up in Dusseldorf, and you would never guess it but he actually began as a very successful hip hop DJ! Now he is known for his skills in both house and techno – the latter proven by his releases on m_ nus. Raindrops was Co-produced by Hannover’s Martin Buttrich and released on Cadenza. If you ever get a chance to see him live, take it, he is quite the performer!
Kavinsky certainly lives up to his comic book character used on his artwork – his music is a blistering bastard mix of eighties inf luences such as Georgio Moroder mixed with a good slice of modern neon electro with a nod to Daft Punk. When his epic soundscapes kick in, as it does in Wayfarer (from his aptly titled 1986 EP), you could almost be eight years old again and watching David Haselhoff talking to Kit in Knightrider. Which would be no bad thing – happy days.
Vive la Fete (‘long live the party’) are goth-esque Danny Mommens and little blonde minx Els Pynoo – a strange combination that works. Their 2005 Album Grand Prix saw them step into a whole new league, and La Verite is still our fave track. The fact that neither of them are French (they are from Belgium), doesn’t bother them, they just like singing in it. We cant tell you much about what the lyrics really mean, but it’s a great piece of Rock’n’Roll Electro – they are brilliant live. Sweaty, and brilliant.
This 26 year old from Denmark has hit the money with his album Re:Connected, and the tune ‘Expander’ shows off his talents at their sharpest. It brings you urgently, immediately, into the middle of a dark sweaty dance floor out of your mind and lost in space, the beat is addictive, rumbling on and building up pace throughout this epic tune.
W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / L O C O D I C E
W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / K A V I N S K Y
SWEDEN Aril Brikha
ITALY Marco Carola
‘ Golden Skans’
‘I Cling remix’
The Mercury Music prize-winning Klaxons, burst onto the scene last year and the UK music scene hasn’t been the same since. Synths, guitars, electro madness - plus killer lyrics – was it rock was it electro? Who cares? It was brilliant. They ushered in nu rave, became loved, hated, and somehow managed to rise above it all with their long awaited album ‘Myths of the Near Future’. Golden Skans was one of their first songs but it’s still our firm favorite – we defy anyone not to feel uplifted by that “Ooooooooh Oooohhhhhh-Ahhhhhhhh” chorus.
Aril Brikha, who hails from Stockholm, first found fame under the moniker Art of Vengeance. He sent off his EP to Derrick May back in 98, who released it and he hasn’t looked back since. Most recently Kompakt have released his Winter EP. The single we’ve chosen from him is a remix: ‘I Cling’ – and it’s a masterpiece of remix production. It has a soul and funk groove brought to it by the gorgeous vocal but Brikha roots it in techno – it’s more of a chilled number but its beautiful.
Hailing from Naples, Marco Carola can easily claim to be one of Italy’s best and most inf luential techno exports. His own label Design Music was the first purely techno label in Italy – and he became something of a superstar. He gigs all around the world and plays with three (yes three) sets of decks. Re:Solution sounds like the tune m_nus wished they could create – it’s techno with some serious funk to it thanks to those drums and the surprising popping sounds – it’s exactly the sort of track to make clubbers f lip out, and you know they do to this.
W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / K L A X O N S
W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / A R I L B R I K H A
W W W . M Y S PA C E . C O M / M A R T I N E Z _ OUTOFORBIT
SPAIN Damian Schwartz ‘Tu y yo;’
At only 24 years old, Damian Schwartz is already one of the rising stars of the Madrid DJ scene. Hes been producing for fivge years already on some of Spains most exciting techno labels. We love ‘Tu y yo;’ released on Mupa, this is a dark and forceful track, pulsating with a rhythmic beat you just gotta obey, designed for the dancef loor and full of surprised. It’s a great slice of techno. W W W . M U PA . B I Z
ROMANIA Rhadoo ‘Forest’
Much has been made recently of new talent coming from Romania, and if you listen to this track from Rhadoo, you will see why. ‘Forest’ is wonderfully understated, moving along at it’s own pace – until suddenly that base kicks in, and the whole track lifts off. WWW.MYSPACE.COM/RHADOOMUSIC
EB HEAR THIS
MUSIC REVI EWS REV I EWS
G A R E T H O W E N / P E Y M A N F A R A H A N I / N E A L E LY T O L L I S
OUR TE URI AV O
HERCULES & THE LOVE AFFAIR ‘Hercules & The Love Affair’
NEON NEON ‘Stainless Style’ (Lex Records)
Take equal parts Anthony Hegarty and Dinosaur L, add a touch of DFA punk disco swagger and you’ll probably end up with something like Hercules & The Love Affair. Everyone from New York to London seems to be going crazy over current single Blind, essentially an updated Love Me Again for generation Y. Running the gauntlet between No Wave Funk, New York Disco and Chicago House with a digital twist, this is one of the freshest things I have heard in ages. First classic of 2008? G O
Is this a concept album? Is this a joke, or a work of genius? Neon Neon is the brainchild of Super Furry Animal’s front man Gruff Rhys and LA based producer Bip Boom. Stainless Style is probably like nothing else you will hear this year. Every song based around the life and times of playboy engineer John DeLorean. Yo Majesty and Spank Rock guesting on heavy crunk beats, and video game bleeps, power ballads, a dash of Italo here, a splash of techno there, big doses of smiley weirdness everywhere. This is pop music at its creative, inventive best. Genius. G O
PROSUMER AND MURAT TEPELI ‘Serenity’
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Computer Incarnations For World Peace’
Berghain residents Prosumer and Murat Tepeli fire off their first debut LP together on the still relatively new Ostgut Ton imprint. Not a bad collection of techno tracks ranging from decidedly minimal to something a bit more danceable but at the end of the day, it’s Panorama Bar music and unless you’re listening to it in Panorama Bar battered on… er…Coca Cola at two in the afternoon, then it just doesn’t quite work in the way it potentially could. NL
It seems that it is impossible at the moment to escape the inf luence of early eighties Disco. It’s certainly been f lavour of the month, for quite a while now. and a lot of producers and DJ's are finding inspiration in the spacey beats of early eighties dance music. This compilation on Sonar Kollektiv easily raises itself above the status of bandwagon jumper, with all new (ish) tracks cutting their musical cloth from the fabric of Disco. Highlights include the dreamy funk of Woof ley’s Odyssey and the amazing Maruce Faulton mix of Take A Break by Rollmottle. GO
EIGHT LEGS ‘Searching for the Simple Life’
ROBERT OWENS ‘Night-Time Stories’
FOXY SHAZAM ‘Introducing’
(New Weathermen Records)
If Los Campesinos! are f lying the f lag for exciting, new music from the Kingdom of the United, then rubbish like Eight Legs are throwing spanners into the works by re-using the same, tired old formula that Sham 69 were doing a hundred years ago. The fact that they’re all about 12 does not excuse such mediocrity and their ancientsounding, tortured indie rock is the kind of dross that can only come from London. And even though there’s eight of ‘em on offer, they don’t even have nice legs. N L
2008 sees the release of the first Robert Owens album in 10 years. ‘Night-Time-Stories’ is an incredibly cohesive collection of collaborations with some of contemporary dance music’s well-known names. This album is futuristic House made for Owens’ sacral voice with its sublimity, its deeper than deep emotionality, not least due to his career singing in church gospel choirs. He’s a true survivor, the classic House preacherman. In an interlude followed by Wahoo’s uplifting ‘Happy’, Robert Owens says with disarming belief: ‘Happiness is the only thing that really matters. Put happiness in your day’. – Just one of many blissful moments… P F
The old adage “Never judge a book by its cover” is certainly true in this case. You look at this guy reclining on a bunch of fans with that sultry, come-tobed expression and think “You wanker”. Then you listen to the album which is full of gravely vocals, heavy guitars and heady dollop of butch swagger and think “You genius” and suddenly those guys aren’t even worthy to touch you anymore. These guys are bringing back macho like no one has done since Zep. Shazam indeed! NL
TETINE ‘Let Your X’s Be Y’s’ (Soul Jazz)
Boom. This hits like a smack in the face with the party stick. Bassline shouty lyrics and whole Carioca Funk, Post Punk Electro f lavour seep out of this dance-f loor bomb. Tetine have been active on the Brazilian Funk scene way before it became popular across the Atlantic, releasing eight albums of tummy rumbling, dance-in-the-sun BailleBass. CSS name-check them as a major inf luence and it’s easy to see why. Here they provide a remix that makes Let Your X’s Be Y’s sound, well, quite like CSS. But that’s no bad thing. Is it nearly summer yet? G O
WHITE RABBITS ‘Fort Nightly’ (Fierce Panda)
It’s one of those age-old urban myths that the car crash which killed Jayne Mansfield decapitated her. It didn’t. Same with all that nonsense about Richard Gere shoving hamsters up his arse and Marc Almond going to hospital with 10 different kinds of semen in his stomach. It’s all rubbish. Same as the myth which says that a band who call themselves something girly and wet like White Rabbits have to be shit. They don’t. NL
LOS CAMPESINOS! ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’ (Wichita)
Proof that a record can come out of the UK and NOT be an embarrassing waste of time as Hold On Now, Youngster proves. Finally a band who well deserve their good press and the buzz they generate. The seven Cardiff-based scallywags have come up with a perky, fresh album full of enthusiasm and sparkle with some neat boy/girl vocal swaps. If it weren’t for the 14 million other problems with the island, this album would almost have completely restored my faith in all things British. Well, Welsh at least. NL
EB HEAR THIS
LOUIS XIV ‘Slick Dogs and Ponies’
STEVE BUG & CLE ‘Dead Mans Hand’
JUNIOR BOYS ‘Body Language Vol 6’
(Atlantic/Pineapple Recording Group)
Louis XIV came to power as King of France in 1643 shortly before his fifth birthday. Bless. Fast forward to 2008 and this Louis XIV have some neat lyrics, snappy melodies and a suitcase full of imaginative riffs, clicks and pops. The only thing letting this down is the wuss of a singer, who delivers every vocal like a strangled 14-year-old boy going through “the change”. Or a five year-old come to that. NL
Dead mans hand is the name of a two pair poker hand, apparently held by Wild Bill Hickok at the time of his death in a bar room shoot out. It is also the name of Poker Flats excellent new double CD. CD1 is a straight up compilation from label head Steve Bug, giving an overview of the suitably varied sounds of Poker Flat. Included is the massive Sebo K remix of Let Me Dance, by Martin Landsky and the excellent Relapse by Jeff Samuel. On CD2 Berlin legend Clé of Martini Bros presents a hypnotic techy mix of past and future Poker Flat classics. A great overview of where Mr Bug's label is right now. G O
Latest in the series from Get Physical. This time round Canadian duo Junior Boys get the opportunity to present a more personal, expressive mix. Well known for a love of all things deep, Matt and Jeremy (to their parents...) bring us a subtly balanced mix of the old and the new, the terrace and the warehouse. As you would expect, if you are familiar with the series, this is a perfectly edited, well thought out mix that blazes a trail from the classic DJ Hell Mix of Deer In The Headlights, to the sunset house funk of Studio’s Life’s A Beach. Intelligent electronic pop from Mathew Dear and ex Junior boy, Stereo Image, matched with an outstanding slice of proto disco house in the shape of ‘Don’t Take Your Love Away’ from Pushe make this my favourite Body Language yet. Things really couldn’t end much better than with the unsettling ‘bl3w r0d30 d3m0’ from f0st3r and the gorgeous When Your Dream Of Perfect Beauty Comes True by Bill Nelson. Ace. GO
DJ HELL ‘Ellboy’ (International Dj Gigolo)
‘Ellboy’ is Hell’s newest mix CD compilation. A time machine taking you back in the era of early eighties Italo Disco. Nothing contemporary included, only classics featured such as Charlie’s ‘Spacer Woman’, Moroder’s ‘Chase’, Cerrone’s ‘Supernature’ or My Mine’s ‘Hypnotic Tango’. And yes, of course you can expect to hear Donna Summer’s ‘I feel love’ in Patrick Cowley’s everlasting remix. Wait a minute, Hell’s ‘Control’ gets to go on this journey?! Maybe it’s the souvenir from the future?! However, ‘Ellboy’ teaches you anything about Italo Disco in less than 80 minutes and proves almost anything contemporary is just a replica of the past. P F
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO ‘Clock Ep’ (Wichita)
SMD are back. This, their new EP, is surely a taste of things to come. James Ford and Jas Shaw have changed the formula slightly from last years massive Attack Delay Sustain Release with a more polished, grown up sound. Out with the big room electro and in with a much more varied palette of tracks. And that’s no bad thing to me. The four songs here range from the Kratwerk beeps and bleeps of ‘Clock’, to the epic space ‘Techno of State Of Things’. ‘3 Pin din’ is a more mature electro track, with an old school f lavour and Simple sounds like a long lost piece of proto rave. Great stuff. G O
KOMBINAT 100 ‘Wege übers Land’
ADAM FREELAND ‘Hate EP’
Kombinat 100 have been lubricating dancef loors across Europe for some time now with their House and Techno meets Jazz meets Disco live act. ‘Wege übers Land’ can be seen as a culmination of all those live shows, as every track seems to have been honed to perfection. From the wistful piano lead opener ‘Flieg Kleine Taube’, to the Roy Budd meets Patrick Cowley disco stomp of ‘Out Of My Space’, accordions, congas, crisp beats and a definite French f lavour are order of the day. Whilst this might not be to everyone’s taste (it certainly brought to mind the Gotan Project in places), as an album of contemporary house, it’s hard to fault. G O
Adam Freeland’s first release on his Marine Audio label in over two years, Hate is a peak time slice of slimy, grimy, minimal funk. Freeland has been using this track as a crowdbaiting peak time monster in his live set up for the best part of a year, and it’s clear why. Fat brooding synth stabs coupled to a stripped-to-the-bone breakbeat, and a climax that could induce heart problems in the weak, this has cross over appeal in buckets. Maybe I am getting old, but elsewhere, ‘Where’s Your God Now?’ made my ears hurt, and ‘Glowsticks’ is, as you can probably guess, big room pseudo rave. With added glitch. It’s not that it’s bad – slick production, crisp beats, but something’s lacking ... soul. Still, it’s worth it for the title track alone. G O
CAT POWER ‘Jukebox’ (Matador Records)
Except for two tracks, Miss Power releases yet another covers album and save for the rather dreadful version of Sinatra’s New York, New York (some songs should just remain unsullied by unnecessary covers) this is a dreamy, velvety collection of tracks which you could happily lose yourself in for hours on end. If you didn’t buy into the Cat Power hype first time around then now’s the time to do it while things are nice and quiet. NL
BASTIAN ‘IV’ (Supertracks Records)
After the stresses of 21st Century living, the disappointment of failed romances, the grind of the capitalist machinery, the injustices of modern politics….well, after all that who wouldn’t want to forget it all by getting into a pair of silver roller boots and spandex pants and hopping aboard the USS Starship Gay and heading off for the weekend to the planet Disco? N L
EB HEAR THIS
THE MAE SHI HLLLYH (Moshi Moshi)
THE KILLS ‘Midnight Boom’ (Domino)
This is a rare example of this humble reviewer actually making the time to listen to this album through twice before putting pen to paper to write about. Brimming with über cool hand claps, lazy vocals and battle-rousing drum lines, this is probably one of the most stylish, low-key, interesting efforts we will hear this year. N L
London-based Moshi Moshi have a knack of picking winners (Lo-Fi-Fnk, Zan Lyons and Au Revoir Simone are all from the MM stable) and The Mae Shi are no exception. Hailing from sunny LA, this record is indeed dripping with sunshine, filled with stomping singalong anthems with a bleepy chiptune sensibility which mercifully doesn’t grate à la Crystal Castles. The fact that their lead singer often sounds like Miss Piggy is more endearing than offensive. NL
JUSTUS KÖHNKE ‘Safe And Sound’
NEWWORLDAQUARIUM ‘The Dead Bears’
Justus Köhnke skips singing on ‘Safe And Sound’ except for the sparse vocals on ‘Alright’. But he’s still on a future-balearic Space Disco trip with sparkles in the eyes, hands f loating in the air, the body drifting to the vibe. Even the coldest season becomes summery hot with Justus’ heartrending melodies and synth sequences. He’s a likeable romantic, sometimes overemotional and euphoric, sometimes quite melancholic as in the beatless Ambient piece ‘Tilda’ or the downtempo title track. Köhnke recalls longforgotten spaced out Disco curios though his third album for Kompakt lacks the unpredictability that made that lost era of bizarre dance music so unique. Rather ‘Safe And Sound’ with no big surprises, but ecstatic. Justus Köhnke offers escapist dance music. – Oh, and he covers Michael Rother’s (Neu!, Harmonia, Kraftwerk) ‘Feuerland’… P F
Although some of the tracks on this album such as Trespassers and NY have been released as 12” vinyls as far back as 2000, this is in fact the debut album of newworldaquarium, alter ego of Amsterdam-based Jochem Peteri. Deep electronic music with sparkly, mesmerising edges as well suited to late night lounges as early morning dancef loors. Moving from slow mo head funk of ‘The Force’, through the ethereal, dreamlike daze of ‘Noworldbutu’, shades of ‘Detroit in Avon Sparkle’, and a slow, fat, almost hip hop beat on title track ‘Dead Bears’, Peteri delivers an album of outstanding hypnotic house. It’s clear that some musical DNA is shared with the likes of Moodyman and Theo Parish, but with their gently mutating grooves and slow motion loops, the Dead Bears easily stands apart with their own unique sound. GO
HEADMAN ‘Running Into’
CADENCE WEAPON ‘After Party Babies’
(Time Gomma Records)
(Big Dada/Rough Trade)
Infectious catchy rock infused disco electro. Call it what you will, this is music made for packed clubs and sweaty dance f loors. The long awaited new single from Relish ringmaster Robi Insinna, his first since ‘On And On’, almost a year ago, is one of the highlights of a recent crop of highly danceable electro tracks coming out of Berlin. Teaming up with Toronto-based wordsmith Don Cash for vocal duties, Headman has created the perfect mix of analogue, electronic, pop and rock. autoKratz wins the remix battle, with a more atmospheric electro tinged re-rub, whilst rounding things up are the harder disco beats of ‘New’. G O
Is hip hop capable of doing anything new? A moot point, and open to a million different answers from a million different people. I have to admit hip hop is not my genre of choice, and I certainly don’t listen to as much new stuff as I listen to old stuff. However, after thoroughly enjoying After Party Babies, the second album from Canadian Rapper Cadence Weapon’s I may have to change my attitude. No ho’s bitches or gangsters in sight, and beats that owe as much to Aphex Twin and TTC (Para One…) as they do to Timbaland. This is fresh and exciting and definitely worth checking if you want some new hip hop. G O
HUSHPUPPIES ‘Silence is Golden’
Good old Danny Saunders knows how to wow the crowds. You just add an O to the end of a real word and it immediately transforms it into something red hot. Just think how boring words such as perfecto, mondo and…er…sexo would be without that extra O. They’re even signed to Domino for God’s sake! The Glasgow lads are so unpretentious and unstylish you can’t help but fall in love with their drippy, sensitive songs. Extra points also for the mighty, “The tarmac has cooled.” Not many songs I can think name check tarmac. Now if he’d called it tarmaco we’d really be rolling. N L
When governments spend more money on nuclear arms than social security, when people in the 21st Century still can’t see a doctor for free, kids in high school still don’t need to learn foreign languages, pensioners are thrown into shabby care homes to rot away and people care more about some transsexual on Big Brother than their neighbour then it’s clear the experiment known as the Human Race is all going wrong. So we might as well listen to something perky while the ship goes down. NL
L I Z M C G R AT H
DAV I D B I E N E
Samim is of Swiss-Iranian descent and has been living in Berlin for two years, so it’s no surprise he draws on music from all over the globe for his inspiration. Here he tells us how one crappy night in London was saved by him ending up finding ‘that’ Columbian accordion sample for his smash-hit track
the world when you’re there. That’s part of its magic, I feel. Anyway, it ended up being a shitty gig but in the end a very positive thing came out of it. Which was that one of these guys I met gave me some records, and on one of those records was the accordion sample I used for ‘Heater’. It was simply a totally lucky accident. The sample is from a Columbian song called ‘La Cumbia Cienaguera’ – this music was very popular in the 1950’s in Columbia, but it has spread all over the world. So the moral of the story is, every shitty club has a silver lining, haha!
‘Heater’. “About one and a half years ago I was going to play in a really small stingy club in London. I was really not very enamoured with the club but I ended up making a few friends there, which was great. That’s one of the things you have to love about London, is that you always end up meeting people from all over
Seriously though, for me this was just a great example of how multi-cultural metropolitan cities are. It’s one of the things I love most about DJing – travelling around and meeting new people. I’m looking forward to getting more knowledgeable about the whole of eastern Europe and I’m going to go to Portugal soon for the first time, which is really exciting.”