Issuu on Google+


Letter from the Editor

“IN DIVERSIT Y WE TRUST� At the start of this year I came back from winter

And so we looked around for people that embody

break, looked the approaching 2009 in the face and

and demonstrate exactly why diversity is so valu-

asked myself how I felt.

able. Check out the music interviews with Nitin

The answer was undeniably optimistic - the main

Sawhney, N.A.S.A and 1 Giant Leap. Read up on

reason for this was that Barack Obama had just

London’s most happening movers and shakers, who

been voted in as President of the United States,

are all from different cultural backgrounds. See

bringing with him a tangible feeling of hope and

how amazing graphic design is in the Arab world

belief that our divided world can possibly come

or how six of the most exciting music producers of

together again. The fact that America has voted in

today embody two different cultures within them-

its first black President is a huge deal and it really

selves.

should give us all hope. Therefore I just really wanted to keep with this feeling, and do an issue that celebrates diversity. The arts (all over the world) have always demon-

Love is the message people.

strated the celebration of diversity the best. Music,

In diversity we trust!

fashion, theatre and literature see diversity in its people for what it is: something that enriches us,

Liz McGrath

something that means we can all learn different

Editor-in-Chief

things from each other, something that intertwines our rainbow cultures, each giving the other something special and truly invaluable. Hopefully those unenlightened pockets of the world will wake up soon and see that they only make themselves poorer with short-sighted attitudes towards issues like immigration and inter-racial relationships and that

I m ag e

Michael Mann

problems at home (especially terrorism) are not to be laid at the door of our neighbours.


4

CONTRIBUTORS

PEOPLE PUBLISHER PRODUCER

THE ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE ISSUE 01/2009

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ISSUE 01/2009

ART DIRECTOR FASHION & STYLE EDITOR FEATURES EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

W E L OVPROGRAM E MANAGER DIVERSITY!

ONLINE EDITOR

THE MULTICOLOURED ISSUE FEATURING BRITISH-INDIAN MUSIC LEGEND NITIN SAWHNEY LONDON ST YLISTS NAMALEE, NIYI, CHARLIE & KABIR GRAPHIC DESIGN FROM THE ARAB WORLD THE TRUE GLOBAL VILLAGE AMSTERDAM AMERICAN-BRAZILIAN HIPHOP GROUP N.A.S.A BALTIMORE BEAUT Y RYE RYE GYPSY-INSPIRED FASHION AND MUCH MORE

PROJECT DIRECTOR ONLINE

THE ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE FOR MUSIC, LIFE AND STYLE

ONLINE MUSIC EDITOR PRESS

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

COVER ARTWORK Lisa Borges ARTWORK / PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE

Toni Kappesz Commandante Berlin Gmbh, Schröderstr. 11, 10115 Berlin, Germany Liz McGrath (liz@electronicbeats.net) Lisa Borges (lisa@electronicbeats.net) Sandra Liermann (sandra@electronicbeats.net) Viktoria Pelles (viktoria@electronicbeats.net) Leona List (leona@electronicbeats.net) Claudia Jonas (claudia@electronicbeats.net) Semir Chouaibi (semir@electronicbeats.net) Carlos de Brito (carlos@electronicbeats.net) Gareth Owen (gareth@electronicbeats.net) Michelle Kramer (michelle@electronicbeats.net) Gareth Owen, Neale Lytollis, Jobot, Camila Schwarz, Paul Sullivan, Lucy Arrowsmith, Aleks Pietrzykowska, Rachel Service, Emer Grant, Viktoria Pelles, Ben Wittner, Sascha Thoma Jared Price, Leona List, Lisa Borges, Rachel de Joode, Dominik Wojcik, Shelby Duncan, Frauke Fischer, Mody Al Khufash, Armando Ello www.electronicbeats.net

JARED

MODY

JOBO T

FRAUKE

PRIC E

AL KHUFA SH

London based photographer Jared, when

Mody Al Khufash is an eager, creative

Long-time Londoner turned Berliner,

Frauke Fischer is a beauty and fashion

not behind his own camera, spearheads

person who doesn’t limit himself with a

Jobot is a relentless optimist who multi-

photographer from Berlin. After gradu-

the lighting department at director /

working title, but instead gets busy pro-

tasks managing artists whilst contrib-

ating as a photodesigner and gaining

photographic creative team, Blinkk.

ducing creative images. He’s styled, di-

uting to and acting as ambassador for

work experience, she started life as

Working on commercial projects around

rected and produced images for fashion

London-based

culture-fuelled

glossy,

a freelance photographer and is now

the world, including Nike, Adidas, Sony,

magazines, advertising and videos. He’s

SUPERSUPER

magazine.

Constantly

represented by Barbara Soltmanowski.

Mercedes, from Iceland to Patagonia,

contributed to material girl magazine,

keeping her ear to the ground for fresh

Frauke, who shot our gypsy-inspired

he recently photographed the London

booklet, Stern and Dummy magazine to

talent, Jobot has an insatiable appetite

fashion feature, has also worked for

Guide for Electronic Beats, and shot the

name a few, and recently worked with

for emerging musicians and visual art-

Die Zeit, Samsung, Sony BMG and many

portraits in this issue for the feature,

fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld for Franz

ists alike, which is why she has chosen to

fashion magazines.

‘Don’t Mind The Cultural Gap’

Ferdinand.

make Berlin her latest adventure.

w w w . fr a u k e f i s c h e r . c o m

w w w . j a r e d - pr i c e . c o m

w w w . m - k h uf a s h . c o m

www.tinykl ang.co m

FISCH ER


INDEX

5

WE L OVE DIVERSIT Y TUNE I N

FEATURES

F OCUS

MOST WANTED

06–19

20–25

26–45

46–49

NEWS . .................................................. 8 ARABESQUE:

DON’T MIND THE CULTURAL GAP.. .... 28

TRIBAL REMEDIES ............................. 46

BERLIN FASHION WEEK.. .................... 10

IN SEARCH OF THE

1

2

DANIEL HAAKSMAN............................ 12

ARABIAN GRAPHIC DESIGN............... 20 1

Sam Moshaver :: [ Iran ] :: [ Persian/Latin ] Poster design :: 2006

2

Mehdi Saeedi :: [ Iran ] :: [ Persian/Latin ] Poster design

GLOBAL UNDERGROUND................... 36

RYE RYE.............................................. 13

SIX MIXED MAESTROS........................ 38

CONQUISTADOR................................. 14

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER....................... 42

ELECTRONIC BEATS LIVE SPECIAL........16 ELECTRONIC BEATS COMING UP........ 18 ASHLEY BEEDLE................................. 19

JET SET TI NG

GET DRESSED

I NTERVI EWS

H EAR TH IS

50–61

62–73

74–87

88–99

GYPSY SWING..................................... 64

NITIN SAWHNEY.. ................................ 76

THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE.. ................ 90

JAMIE CATTO....................................... 80

MUSIC REVIEWS.. ................................ 94

AMSTERDAM, THE TRUE GLOBAL VILLAGE.............. 50

N.A.S.A................................................ 84

MY MUSIC MOMENT: GUY GERBER...................................... 98


TUNE IN There is (quite suitably) a diverse mix of artists in this Tune In. For Ones To Watch we have Conquistador - a moustached Jewish musician living in LA now spreading his mexican-infused electronic sound across Europe - heaven only knows what he will fish out of the rich cultural well we have here. Then we have the oh-so-real Baltimore beauty RyeRye - this teenager is besties with M.I.A. and was tearing up the charts with her in ‘Paperplanes’, and now that her own album is due out everyone is really taking notice. Then there’s the legendary Londoner Ashley Beedle who’s dishing out some Words From The Wise on diversity, while Berliner Dan Haaksman, who runs the Brazilian baile funk label Man Recordings, tells us about spreading the music he loves, which - though it’s Tough At The Top - makes it all worthwhile.


8

EB TUNE IN

Design Hotels & Electronic Beats

Af tershow lounging Electronic Beats has teamed up with Design Hotels to provide fans of music and stylish living the chance to indulge with special offers and activities throughout the coming months. Kicking-off the partnership, in conjunction with Electronic Beats Live Events, there is a chance to win tickets to its opening night of the springnine Festival in Graz, Austria along with a night’s accommodation at a local Design Hotel. Currently on the cards is a stay at the wonderfully sleek but reassuringly playful Augarten Hotel in the city center. Designed by architect, Günter Domenig, the unique hotel structure in glass and metal cuts a bold shape in Graz – a city of gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture. Particular highlights of the interior – think streamlined furnishings with a scattering of individually selected design classics – include the rooftop terrace and the indoor pool ringed by rainbow-coloured ‘Supra Sofas’. Augarten is the ideal place to gear up or wind down before and after the show. Go to electronicbeats.net for more details and to enter the contest. However, if you’ve missed out this time around, don’t despair - just keep a watchful eye on the upcoming events and the next prize draw at electronicbeats.net. Who knows what city or amazing Design Hotel could be next! d e s i g n h o t e l s . c o m / a u g ar t e n | w w w . e l e c t r o n i c b e at s . n e t Text

V IKTO R I A PELLES

Coke light & Manolo Blahnik

Ma stercla ss round two After the succesful cooperation with Zac Posen, Coke light now hooks up with the Pope of shoe heaven, Manolo Blahnik. His design will grace a limited edition of 10,000 Coke light bottles only available at selected fashion events. Once more Coke light is looking for a talented young lady, who wants to experience the world of fashion and design and win a workshop in London with Manolo Blahnik himself. The motto ‘Show us how much you love shoes’ leave no boundaries to creativity. A p p l i c at i o n s at w w w . c o k e - l i g h t. d e Text

Reebok

Doin’ it olfact or y style

S A ND R A LIE R M A NN

For those who are inclined to suffer a bit of the winter-depression in the grey urban jungle here’s a little something to cheer you up! Reebok and Solebox present the ERS Racer 2000 and this is what the shoe can do for you: The comfy, orange, leather lining keeps your feet toasty, but if you now start to think of the common downside to warm feet in sneakers, let us just stop you right there! The sole of the shoe diffuses a fine scent of oranges to keep your olfactory senses happy too. L i m i t e d e d i t i o n ra n g e e x c l u s i v e ly at w w w . s o l e b o x . d e Text

S A ND R A LIE R M A NN


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

9

Tape T V

Wa t c h i n g m u s i c Music television is back! The music video is not only getting a comeback but thanks to Berlin’s Conrad Fritzsch it has also found a new home at tape.tv – yes, online, where else? It’s been 28 years since MTV revolutionised TV with ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ and now its core product, the music video clip, is near extinction. But Conrad, who together with Stephanie Renner started tape.tv in July 2008, is now giving us music television for a new generation. No music incompetent VJs, no dating shows orchestrated by ringtone ads – just music videos non-stop. Ask him about the idea for tape.tv and Conrad bubbles over with enthusiasm: “The best thing about tape.tv is that I can watch the music that I want 24/7. If I’m not in the mood for candy coloured pop-videos I can set up my own non-stop programme or specify a favourite genre, whether, electro, indie, hip hop or a single artist with a few mouse clicks. tape.tv automatically presents me with the newest clips consistent to my taste.” And the video-clip collection is ever growing as Stepanie explains: “Our virtual video collection carries more than 17,000 music videos. Fleet Foxes, MGMT, Slipknot – if we don’t have it, it basically doesn’t exist. And the tireless collecting continues – at major labels, the independents and artists themselves.”

It’s almost unbelievable that the videos are available for free in such great picture and sound quality. This is intelligent music television. Not only does tape.tv come across very stylish with their video stream on an uncluttered black background, in future records, downloads, concert tickets and merchandise keeping with visitors’ individual music tastes will also be offered. w w w . ta p e . t v Stephanie Renner, C o n ra d F r i t z s c h


1 0

EB TUNE IN

B e r l i n F a s h i o n We e k

CATWALK ROOKIE STRIKES AGAIN For the fourth time running Berlin hosted the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, once again at the historic Bebelplatz. According to some vicious pens like the New York Times, the BFW was more about partying than serious fashion: “Instead of distilling a powerful German aesthetic and developing the public relations and commercial infrastructure necessary for real success, people are more focused on blowing Champagne kisses and indulging their caviar dreams.” Caviar? I didn’t get any caviar! But there was certainly no shortage of highlights that would not fail to impress by any international standard.

> Bernhard Willhelm’s spectacular installation was based on the 1976 Olympic Winter Games featuring glasses by Berlin label Mykita > Naked truth Kaviar Gauche surprised with lots of bags, lots of hair and not much else > Sinners & Saints: Michael Michalsky brings holy motifs back to life > Queen of the cool knits: Leyla Piedayesh of Lala Berlin’s first show at the tent > Fasion’s offspring Beck’s Fashion Experience: ‘Kaleidoscope’ by Kamilla Richter & Katrin Switala > C.Neeon with their usual signature prints pleased with the collection ‘One Cannot Live Without Champagne and Gypsies’ > Strong setting, strong look: Dirk Schönberger’s collection for Joop!, ‘Auto Erotic’ Text

S A ND R A LIE R M A NN

B . WILLHEL M I M A GE © L A R S BO R GES

CLOCKWISE


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

11


T O U G H AT T H E T O P : DA N I E L H A A K S M A N

Brazilian Beat Guru A Berlin label that doesn’t deal with house or techno is a very rare thing indeed! Meet Dan Haaksman who set up Man Recordings and is spreading the message (better say the beat) of Brazilian Baile Funk music around the world.

Tell us about why and when you f ir s t set up Man re c o rd i n g s .

Before Man Recordings, I ran the label Essay from 1997-2004. On Essay, I released the CD compilation “Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats” and when I saw how well the CD was selling I noticed that there's a demand and a market for baile funk around the world. Plus I felt that baile funk was such a rich musical complex that it could be musically diversed in many other ways, e.g. put into a larger European club music context. So I decided to start my own imprint Man Recordings. I wanted to release artist related baile funk music from Brazil. And I decisively didn't want Man Recordings to be another Berlin house or techno label. H ow ha s your label evolved?

The label is receiving a lot of attention and it seems the risk I took to release baile funk is paying off. I have released more than 35 records since 2005, including original tracks and remixes by artists like Diplo, Crookers, Bonde Do Role, Sinden at a very early stage of their careers. Plus I introduced the best baile funk producers and artists from Brazil, such as Deize Tigrona, Edu K, DJ Sandrinho, DJ Edgar, DJ Sany Pitbull, DJ Amazing Clay or MC Gringo, to a global audience. My own productions are getting some great feedback, and all artists are working on exciting projects, so the future is looking good. T his issue of Electronic Beats is all about diver sit y. Te l l u s a b it about your under s t anding of t his t heme wit hin t h e m u s i c i ndus tr y, and what you do at Man recordings.

Diversity is an essential part of life I suppose. When it comes to music, diversity is the engine that keeps innovation going. After years of a house and techno ruled homogenity in club music, we can see now a more diverse sound emerging from cities like Rio De Janeiro, Luanda, or Johannesburg, dwarfing anything coming out of Europe these days in terms of energy and innovation. With Man Recordings, I’m trying to give this diversity a platform, creating international artistic exchange and communication. When did you f ir s t discover Br azilian/Baile funk m u s i c ?

I was always a big fan of Brazilian music of the sixties and seventies, and in 2003 a friend who studied in São Paulo brought me a stack of baile funk CDs. I was blown away by the raw energy of the music. The sound reminded me of the first Def Jam records in the mid 1980s and early European rave music. It was made with very basic equipment, yet it had this incredible power and didn't give a shit about copyright laws, sampling everything imaginable in a very fresh way. H ave yo u b e e n i n a fave l a ? A n d wh a t i s t h e re a l d i f f e re n c e b et we e n B a i l e f u n k a n d fave l a f u n k ?

Whenever I’m in Rio, I go to the favelas, as they are the areas where baile funk is blossoming. There are also a lot of baile funk parties in places like Copacabana or Ipanema, but the real shit is in the favelas. The majority of the favelas are ruled by drug gangs - don't go there on your own! - but only a small fraction of the favela residents are criminals. Baile funk and favela funk is the same. In Rio, the music is actually called ‘Funk Carioca’ (Carioca = Portugese for a person from Rio), so in Portugese it actually means ‘Funk from Rio’. W hy d o yo u t h i n k p e op l e a l l a ro u n d t h e wo rl d h ave fa l l e n i n l ove w i t h t h i s m u s i c ?

Baile funk is uncompromising party music that isn’t shy of sampling and big effects. It is fun music with an in-your-face attitude, perfect for dancing. Baile funk can be put into various contexts as it mixes up elements from miami bass, electro funk, early nineties euro dance, rock, rap and Brazilian percussion music – it’s diverse music by nature, that’s why it appeals to a diverse crowd of people. Plus the music is a lot about sex. A n u p c o m i n g re l e a s e t h a t yo u a re e s p e c i a l ly exc i t e d a b o u t ?

I’m looking forward to the release by Feadz in the Funk Mundial series, the FunK Mundial compilation will be great, as well as the Ku Bo remix EP plus my own second EP release. h aa k s ma n . n e t | m y s pa c e . c o m / d j d a n i e l h aa k s ma n TEXT

LIZ M CG R ATH


O N E S T O WAT C H : R Y E R Y E

The B-More Bomb Straight from the notorious projects and club scene of Baltimore, we make way for the new princess of MCs: Rye Rye. She's the new wonderkid raising the bar across dance floors and studios universally. Baltimore’s newest start, with her ‘I can take anything you throw at me’ attitude, is ready to break down the establishment and rewrite the rules.

Rye Rye (real name Ryeisha Berrain) came on to the scene when she was just fifteen after recording the addictive, ‘Shake it to the ground’ track with hip hop producer Blaqstarr. She met Blaqstarr through her sister. When she left an answer machine message rapping to him, he got her in the studio. M.I.A overheard one of her tracks and a star was born. Since this, she has gone on to create some absolute gems, working with Diplo on ‘Wassup Wassup’ and then stunning dance f loors last year with the bouncing ‘Hardcore Girls’ from the much accredited legends Count and Sinden. M.I.A, after hailing her as her protégée, signed her on n.e.e.t records, leading them to releasing the melodic highly original Bmore Club hit ‘Paper planes’, and now she has been signed to Interscope Records, home to legends such as Snoop and Fergie, and is due to release her first album later this year. All that and still only seventeen, it really is hard to believe. At seventeen, she’s got more esteem and repertoire than most rappers could dream of for the whole of their career, yet there is still something remarkably grounded about her. She has managed to balance a year of becoming the rising star of rap on the dance f loor whilst still attending high school – perhaps this is why she talks sense. She is keeping it real, being seventeen and still posting her prom photos on her myspace. It’s pretty obvious Rye Rye has a mission, she wants you to go out there and dance, to break down any inhibitions and have some fun. She wants everyone to have a go. It’s about growing up in Baltimore and the people that live there too. It’s about going crazy on the dance f loor when you hear that tune you love. Her music is signatured by a hard beat that hits you straight away and doesn’t shy away from a message. Baltimore is where it’s at. Rye Rye, alongside artists such as Spunk Rock and M.I.A, is putting Baltimore club, also called ‘Bmore Club’ or ‘Club Music’ on the map. Bmore Club is a blend of hip hop and chopped staccato house music, created in the early 1990s by pioneers such

as Scottie B. Based on an 8/4 beat structure, it includes tempos around 130 beats per minute, so it’s cranked up a notch from house or techno. Similar to ghetto house and ghetto tech, some of it includes samples taken from shows such as Spongebob Square Pants leading to the dance moves accredited to the scene such as the Spongebob, which are definitely worth checking out on Youtube. The video for Rye Rye’s ‘Shake it to the ground’ exhibits some of these moves, alongside wheelies, Bmore Club original footage and other such treats. Rye Rye knows what she’s doing is good, but her confidence is not misguided. Something of an early Ciara with the cuteness of Rhianna and the attitude of Missy, she speaks about how she ‘kills’ dance f loors and describes her style as ‘cute and f ly’. With no props and what you see is what you get, she is different from anything else that’s around at the moment. Rye Rye shows blatant love of performing with an attitude that others could take a lesson from. She places her stamp on every beat and a guarantee that her lyrics will deliver what they promise. An MC with an important message, she cares about respect and speaks fiercely about 21st century feminism in terms that we all understand. She is proud to be a woman and knows the language of booty, but not in the grotesque and clichéd manner we are used to in hip hop, rather from the perspective of a clever seventeen year old who wants to have fun. It’s putting a positive slant on something that has borne so much negativity for such a long time and there is still so much more to come. Could this be the role model for young stars of the future that the music industry needs? Breaking down prejudices, producing mind-blowing beats, succeeding with determination and keeping it real … and oh, did I mention that she can dance? Hell yeah, this girl can move! m y s pa c e . c o m / t h ar e a l r y e r y e TEXT

E M E R G R A NT


It sounds like a bad joke, right? “A Jewish guy, a giant moustache, platform boots, the 1900s and Barry White jump in a time machine, take some LSD and end up in Hackney.” Meet Alexander ‘Conquistador’ Antebi: storyteller, musician and self-described auteur. TEXT

R A CHEL SE R V ICE

I M AG E

Shelby Duncan


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

15

O N E S T O WAT C H : C O N Q U I S TA D O R

To be or Antebi? Musician Alexander Antebi is a man of varied talents. At only 26 years old, this songwriter and front man of funk psychedelic rock outfit, Conquistador, is also a writer of his own comic book series, Mr Moustache, designer of his luxury apparel line, Alexander Antoinette, and most recently, an International Moustache Champion at the 2008 World Beard and Moustache Championships in England. “I would say I am an auteur,” says Antebi of his insatiable appetite for creative projects. “I’m creating my own universe, just like anyone else.” A former trend researcher and stylist for Levis, Antebi has used his marketing background and love of musical greats to build a distinct brand based on a combination of his Eastern European genetics and natural gregariousness. His pseudonym, Conquistador, is a combination of James Brown, David Bowie and Austin Powers all rolled into an Edwardian funk character of sorts. So who better to write, record, perform and produce his debut album, Under The Aff luence, than Antebi himself ? “There are a lot of references of where I’m coming from. Everything from 17th century Spanish inf luences – ‘Conquistadorian’ references, to early nineties hip hop to deco, art nouveau, renaissance, Italo neo realism, psychedelic. I take my cues not just from music, but also from architecture, fine art, or even the rhythms from my car motor. All of these things inf luence me. “Why should the scientists be the ones doing all the innovation? We should be innovative with our music, our art, and not just with technology and with expression itself.” Antebi may owe much of his creative genetics to his family. His grandfather was known as the ‘dancing paperboy’ in his poor neighbourhood in Milwaukee during the Great Depression, because he danced on the streets to keep warm. His mother is a dancer and interior designer, and his aunt taught him how to dress from thrift stores. “We can have a long discussion about nature versus nurture,” he laughs. “From an early age, my brain worked differently. When I was a baby, my mum would hear me in my cradle, singing and humming away. When I got older, I’d dress up in kimonos, wear a beret and Chuck Taylor’s – just to go to out with my parents.” Antebi’s dancing talents, passed down from his grandfather led him to form a friendship with Mexican electronic funk band, Kinky, whom he collaborated with on ‘Sister Twisted’, a track that would later feature on the band’s Latin Grammy nominated album, Reina. Bonding over a mutual love of Brian Eno and

electronic pioneers from seventies’ Japan, Antebi found that the process was just as important as the result. “Logic of perception and logic of construction are things that I always look at, and I liked working with people who saw music differently than me. The way that Kinky looked at music was different. They had a different vantage point and way of constructing songs very different from anything I had seen before. Here are people who had some of the same inf luences as me, yet their music sounded totally different.” Antebi’s work in fashion has led him to forge relationships with celebrities and musicians alike. Nick Cave judged his winning entry at the World International Beard and Moustache Championships (which he hopes to repeat in Alaska, May 2009), Larry King has likened him as his ‘exterrestrial illegitimate son’ and he recently completed a collaboration with Eurovision contest winners, The Ark, after sharing top spots to buy platform shoes in Europe. “As my favourite philosopher Barry White once said, ‘It’s not what you got, but how you use it’,” Antebi laughs. “Music, clothing, all of these things are modes of communication, just like talking and writing. I’m a collector, a collage artist and the way that I dress is musical. How do you wear these things to make them look more like your skin than a costume? By being sincere and ornamenting yourself in an honest way that really is ‘you’ and wearing it well.” Under all the grandiose costumes and charming banter lies an individual, who says that positively representing his culture is just as important as his artistic output. The great great grandson of a Russian Rabbi, Antebi was sent to Chabad as a child to learn about his Jewish roots. “Judaism is not just a religion. It is a religion, a culture, a people. It’s part of who I am as a person. The spectrum of the Jewish people is not very well respected in the media and so I feel I have a responsibility to stand up and represent my people. “I feel a sense of responsibility to the people of this world who are different, who were born different, who think differently. I hope I can encourage people who are different to be role models, to have their own voices. “As a part of a people about whom there is a lot of prejudice, misrepresentation and misunderstanding, I have a duty to smash these preconceptions of what a Jew is, what a man is. That’s my responsibility and I take that seriously.” w w w . m y s pa c e . c o m / c o n q u i s ta d o r



live special

INNSBRUCK Electronic Beats kicked off its 2009 series of Live Events with a great big bang in Austria. Modeselektor and James Yuill were the headline acts for our first Live Special of the year, held in the picturesque city of Innsbruck on the 29th of January. Over 700 music fans managed to cram themselves into the city’s Stadtcafe for an evening of live music mayhem and DJ sets prior to the Billabong Air & Style show starting that weekend. MODESELE K T O R

James Yuill

DSB (DIRT/ LONDON)


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

17

S TA D T C A F E INNSBRUCK

DSB (Dirt/London) and CDB (EB/Berlin) got the evening started with a mix of ‘loose disco’ and house before emerging star James Yuill took the stage. With his charming blend of acoustic guitar, self-depreciating lyrics and live techno, James was the perfect warm up for Modeselektor. This was James’ first time in Innsbruck and he was looking forward to performing to a new audience. “Tonight I might try some acoustic stuff, but I’ll wait and see what the crowd reacts to and change as we go along,” said James before his set. “I don’t mind if they don’t dance as long as they listen attentively and if it was amazing, clap afterwards.” He needn’t have worried – the crowd were vocal in their appreciation, bringing him back for a two-song encore.

Berlin-based Modeselektor are no strangers to the Electronic Beats stage after playing at back-to-back festivals in Bratislava and Prague in 2008. With a third album due out in the spring of this year, we think you are going to be hearing a lot more from these two very soon. Highlights of the Live Special in Innsbruck can be viewed on EB.tv along with a special behind-the-scenes feature on Modeselektor including exclusive footage and interviews. Electronic Beats will be announcing the next live events soon, so stay tuned to the website for more details. w w w . e l e c t r o n i c b e at s . n e t / Ev e n t s

By the time Modeselektor stepped on stage with matching T-shirts displaying their iconic ape image, the crowds were on their feet and ready for action. As they launched into a much longer than planned energy-packed hour and a half set, favourites tracks, old and new, came f lying out of the speakers. The room was pulsating with movement, smoke and lights as fans struggled to contain their excitement. Austria – say hello to Modeselektor!

Text

Gar e t h O w e n

I M AG E S

Or e s t e S c h a l l e r | WWW . O R ESTE . CO M


1 8

EB TUNE IN

E L E C T R O N I C B E AT S I N 2 0 0 9

Coming up! 2009 looks like it is going to be the most exciting year yet for Electronic Beats. With a full programme of events, live specials and artistic projects which we are supporting, we thought we should let everyone know what we have been doing, and where you can catch us over the coming months.

Opening Night Spring Nine Fe s t i va l , G r a z 2 0 . 0 5 . 0 9

E l e c t r o n i c B e a t s Fe s t i va l Cologne, 23.05.09

Once again, Electronic Beats will be in the beautiful city of Graz for the ninth Spring Festival of electronic music and arts. Held at the stunning Grazer Schlossberg with amazing views across Graz, the line up for 2008 included everyone from Chicago luminary Mr Fingers, to fidget house don Trevor Loveys and Buraka Som Sistema. This year, the artist line up is being kept under wraps for now, but expect to see a huge variety of dynamic and exciting electronic music from the best new artists and some of the most well-known names in dance music.

Just a couple of days after the Spring Nine Festival, the Electronic Beats team will be in Cologne for the first proper Electronic Beats Live Special of 2009. Taking place in the amazing E-Werk club, expect to see this space transformed into a palace of cutting edge music, light and sound. With the line up still to be confirmed, we can only reveal that we are working with some very inf luential and exciting artists. Watch this space. This is not one to miss. w w w . e l e ctron i cb e at s . n e t / E v e nt s

w w w . s p r i n g f e s t i v a l . at

Motor FM Sessions Electronic Beats D i r e c t i o n s Vo l . 1 Electronic Beats have teamed up with three exciting awardwinning video directors and asked them to create a short film showing their interpretation of Electronic Beats. Ace Norton, Uwe Flade & Corine Stuebi are the three directors. Be sure to check out their amazing and slightly strange videos on the webside. www.electronicbeats.net.

In December 2008, we teamed up with Motor FM for the new Electronic Beats radio. Electronic Beats is now presented every Thursday from 10pm on Motor FM, so fans can tune in wherever they are and hear the world’s top DJs chatting about beats, bits and music in general before putting down an hour long DJ set. And if you miss it, the mixes can still be downloaded from the Electronic Beats website. The series kicked off with German electro hounds Digitialism and is set to continue all through 2009. w w w . m otorf m . d e

Electronic Beats on tape.tv Online music video site tape.tv, which provides very high quality music video streaming online, is now hosting an Electronic Beats channel. Here, you will be able to watch high quality videos of the performances from our festivals. So even if you missed one, you can still feel like you were there.

w w w. e l e c t r o n i c b e a t s . n e t For more information on any of the events, artist interviews and CD reviews, check out our website at www.electronicbeats.net, find us on MySpace or Facebook, or pick up a copy of the magazine from your local music shop.

w w w . ta p e . t v

Text

Gar e t h O w e n

I M AG E

Or e s t e S c h a l l e r


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

19

A WO R D F RO M T H E W I S E

Ashley Beedle: Loves the London Eclectic Acclaimed UK DJ and Producer Ashley Beedle has been involved in more musical projects than you can shake a stick at. His style is as diverse as his London hometown’s cultural crucible be it reggae, house, rock, techno, hip hop and his productions are been championed by the world’s DJ elite. With his eclectic mix featured on the new Southport Weekender 8 album and a brand new album with reggae star Horrace Andy released, Ashley Beedle shares with us his thoughts on Diversity.

Let’s start with me. A product of a white father and black mother. My mother and father were married in 1962 in a village called Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire. It caused quite a sensation at the time, as a white man marrying a black woman was unheard of! My record collection is as diverse as it gets. It freaks me out sometimes when I am digging in the crates at home and, for example, an old rockabilly 45 pops up and I think to myself, when did I buy that? I love the gigs I do as a DJ. There is real diversity there. I feel blessed to be doing a house set one moment and a reggae set the next. I love London. Since way back, London has been a portal for immigration. When you go for a walk on a Sunday to Brick Lane it hits me that I am proud to be from London, as the diversity of culture that blends together is amazing. The Bangladeshi community sitting in unity with the trendiest straight out of a Sunday supplement crowd as well as every other ethnicity you can imagine – it’s a wonderful sight and an exciting place to be.

Read Billy Bragg’s The Progressive Patriot. A fantastic book. It opens a new angle on what it means to be British in our society today. He’s not paying me for this plug… ha ha! My children’s taste in music is all sorts of varied. They love rock, hip-hop, dubstep, drum and bass, and jazz! My youngest boy, Joe, has a deep knowledge of nineties hip hop which is quite scary. I love reading a wide range of books. Subjects range from musical biographies, religion, the universe, science fiction, physics, crime novels, northern soul records, reggae, and my trusty A to Z. Being in the studio is such a joy. At the moment, I have just finished working with Horace Andy, which is a reggae based project, and I will be finishing another project soon which has a country/ soul feel. Diverse, you say? In addition, I was asked to compile and mix the latest Southport Weekender CD with King Britt. Believe me: that is a diverse bunch of tunes right there. Looking forward to people’s reactions. I had a lot of fun doing it! Not so much now, but my taste in alcohol used to be pretty diverse. I had no problem switching between spirits, wine and beer in one night. Those were the days! m y s pac e . c o m / a s h l e y b e e d l e | w w w. s o u t h p o r t w e e k e n d e r . c o . u k


1

F A R H A D F O Z O U N I ( I ra N )


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

21

ARABESQUE The Arab World and Persia have a particularly rich and valued tradition of calligraphy, yet are comparatively unknown internationally when it comes to contemporary graphic design, illustration and typography. A perception soon to change no doubt, as young designers begin to forge their own path between local visual convention and modern international style. Published by Die Gestalten Verlag, Arabesque explores the exciting creative potential of this region. We spoke to two of the editors, Ben Wittner and Sascha Thoma, to find out more about the project and their experiences living and working in Cairo. TEXT

VIK TORIA PELLES

I M AG E S

A rab e s q u e – G raphi c D e sign fro m t h e A rab World and P e rsia / D G V

I n t e r v i e w w i t h B e n Wi t t n e r & S as c ha Tho m a 1

2

4

The book Arabesque arose out of a project on the hybridization of Latin and Arabic typographic forms (Talib Type), but where did the fascination with Arabic graphic design first start? And how did this lead you to relocate your design studio, eps51, to Cairo for an entire year? To be honest it all happened exactly the other way around. Like most other Europeans we didn't even know the slightest thing about the contemporary design or art scenes in the Arabic world. Our designer and artist friends all had the same question: “What are you doing in Cairo? There’s no graphic design there!” That’s exactly why we decided in the end to make our “headquarters” in the Egyptian capital – we wanted to learn more about it. When we first came to Cairo, we immediately fell in love with the visual landscape, partly because the shapes of Arabic typography and calligraphy were new to us, and unusual. But it was also because the city bombarded us with its f lood of signs, billboards and colourful graphics; the chaotic hustle and bustle on the street. It was incredibly exciting for us and of course we wanted to know more about it. During the course of our work for the Townhouse gallery, we obviously also had to deal with Arabic typography. We were often asked to develop English logos in an Arabic style. This is how we came up with the idea of developing an entire Latin alphabet based on elements of written Arabic. The project TalibType™ was born. 3

1 2 3 4

Hassan Massoudy :: [ Iraq/France ] :: [ Arabic ] “Même si le bonheur t’oublie un peu, ne l’oublie jamais tout à fait” :: Jacques Prévert. “Sur terre il y a place pour tous” :: Schiller “Aucune de nos joies ne demeure et le chagrin ne peut nous rendre le passe” :: Al Moutanabbi. “Aucun homme ne peut prendre la place d’un autre” :: Mahabarata

H assan Massoud y ( I ra q / F ran c e )


1

2

1

2

ME H D I S A EE D I ( I ra N ) H assan Massoud y ( I ra q / F ran c e )

M O U N EE R E L S H A A R A N I ( S Y R I A / E G Y P T ) 3

3

2

1 2 3 4

Hassan Massoudy :: [ Iraq/France ] :: [ Arabic ] “Même si le bonheur t’oublie un peu, ne l’oublie jamais tout à fait” :: Jacques Prévert. “Sur terre il y a place pour tous” :: Schiller “Aucune de nos joies ne demeure et le chagrin ne peut nous rendre le passe” :: Al Moutanabbi. “Aucun homme ne peut prendre la place d’un autre” :: Mahabarata

4


1

J U L I E N B R ET O N ( F R A N CE )

1

2

1 2 3 4

5

2

Mouneer El Shaarani :: [ Syria/Egypt ] :: [ Arabic ] “Come clear, long night” “The song is burnished as a flint” “Serenity is a fruit from the tree of wisdom” “If place is not a position it cannot be counted on”

Wissam Shawkat :: [ Iraq/UAE ] :: [ Arabic ] Wall calligraphy inside a mosque :: 2007 around 4,5 m tall, cut through golden colored marble and attached to white background marble

3

4

3

5

3 4

W I S S A M S H A W K AT ( I R A Q / U A E )

h

Inocuo Design :: [ Spain ] :: [ Latin ]

I N O C U O D E S I G N ( S PA I N )

h

Inocuo Design :: [ Spain ] :: [ Latin ]


What can you tell us about the local graphic artists that you worked with? How did you find them? What countries are they mainly from? Where did they train/study? At the beginning it was really difficult to find any designers at all, since at the time there were still no Arabic design blogs or online communities. We basically relied on word-of-mouth – which functioned fairly well. We managed to find five design studios and a few freelancers in Cairo, and were immediately excited by their work. After a while we got a pretty good grasp of the Egyptian graphic-scene and the rapid developments it has undergone in recent years and started searching for designers in other Middle Eastern countries like the UAE, Lebanon or Iran. It was amazingly great to find out how many Arabs are interested in contemporary arts and visual communication – especially considering typical Western preconceptions about the region. Most people probably either think of war and fundamentalism or desert, camels and pyramids. That's exactly why we created a completely non-political book which shows state-of-the-art graphics. In Arabesque your focus is on the innovative and groundbreaking Arabic design, rather than the old or traditional. Does western visual culture have an inf luence on this modernity or is it an aesthetic movement all its own? Innovative and groundbreaking design – no matter where in the world – is often a result of what we like to call visual 'globalization'. Young artists are inspired by intercultural inf luences and aesthetics of their surroundings. They develop new styles, mix visual elements from the most diverse cultures, and in doing so create modern, innovative artworks and designs that ref lect the spirit of their times. So, yes – I do think, that contemporary Arabic design is also inspired by Western visual culture to a certain extent. It's far more interesting though, how young Arab designers are using their cultural background as a basis for new experiments. Arabic script has been developed, redeveloped, invented and reinvented throughout times and offers various possibilities to experiment with due to its f lexibility and adjustability. This is exactly what makes Arabic and also Persian design so special: the openness to experiments with script. Also Arabic typography has changed dramatically. Unlike before, typography is no longer treated like a poor cousin of calligraphy, but accepted as a craft unto itself, with a completely different set of goals and ambitions. And as a result, in the last few years a dynamic scene of young type designers has evolved, which has gradually begun to satisfy a market that has been hungry for new Arabic fonts. Also, the issue of bilingualism is finally being taken seriously. There is an ever growing number of Arabic and Latin fonts that correspond to one another.

What about Arabic graphic inf luences in western graphic design – how common or where is one most likely to see that crossover? If you look at the graffiti and street art scenes, you will find various references to calligraphy. Especially French artists seem to be highly inf luenced by the Arab visual culture which is most probably due to the fact that the greatest Arab population outside the Middle East lives in France. Artists like l'Atlas or Native and ZenTwo even traveled to Arab countries to study calligraphy and Arabic writing. The design world will also pick up on this – or rather, has already done so. Within the music industry for example Arabic calligraphy styles and hybrid writings are often used for album artworks or logotypes. During your involvement with this project what was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned? Accidentally getting to know Nicolas Bourquin from Die Gestalten publishers in a little coffee-shop in Cairo while smoking shisha and drinking tea. w w w . e ps 5 1 . c o m | w w w . arab e s q u e - graphi c s . c o m w w w . talib -t y p e . c o m A rab e s q u e – G raphi c D e sign fro m t h e A rab World and P e rsia A u t hors : B e n Wi t t n e r , S as c ha Tho m a , N i c olas B our q uin D I E G E S TA LTE N VE R L A G | I S B N : 9 7 8 - 3 - 8 9 9 5 5 - 2 0 6 - 5


FOCUS Let’s mix it up a little shall we? There is an article on some of the most exciting stylists and artists on the London scene - all of whom show how diverse London truly is, and how their rich and varied cultural backgrounds mean they never ‘mind the gap’! Then we look at how having dual-citizenship can be such a bonus; some of the best producers out there right now have parents from mixed backgrounds: Bat For Lashes, José Gonzalez, Yarrah Bravo, Jerome Sydenham, Emiliana Torrini and Maya Jupiter - all prove why it’s a gift. Then we hit the streets of our hometown Berlin, and take a look at all the different faces that make up this wonderful city - people from all over who are proud to say, like John F. Kennedy did all those years ago: “Ich bin ein Berliner”.


DON’T MIND THE MULTICULTURAL GAP The map of the London Underground is one of the city's most iconic symbols. It keeps the capital’s heart ticking and its travelers become enveloped in its contrasting colours. People know this map so well they don’t even refer to the lines by name but by their distinctive colour: the pink line, the yellow line, the green line, the red line and so on. We have chosen to interview the following people, because we see them as binding the colourful culture of London together through their visual expression. They accommodate the many diverse cultures of the world in their own work and give that back (most likely covered in glitter) to London. These inf luential creators paths’ often criss-cross and meet at important junctures yet they are most definitely on their own journey to their own destination. They are multi-coloured in every sense and crazy-busy just like our beloved Tube map. Oh and hell no, they don’t mind that cultural gap! TEXT

jobot

P h oto g r a p h y

JARED PRICE

Niyi Crown Maximus N i g erian b o rn F a s h i o n C o - o rdinat o r / F ree l ance M o de l / D e s i g ner / F ace o f N e w E ra C l o t h in g M en s w ear s pecia l i s t and l o v er o f a l l t h in g s g l i t t er y in B l in g ni y icr o w n . b l o g s p o t. c o m

Which under g round tube line are you?

W h e re’s I T c u r re n t ly a t ?

I am the Piccadilly line because it’s the one closest to my house. I was born in Nigeria and lived there until I was three.

I am currently obsessed with Bond Street because it has all the best shops. There are plenty of jewellery shops to look in the windows of.

What makes Lond on?

W h a t m a ke s yo u u n h a ppy h e re ?

London is made up of everything. The people of different colours and cultures, the places of boredom and interest and the sights to be seen are all part of it.

The people in London are so frozen. Asking for the time can often be a real challenge because a lot of people are too cold.

M os t int eres ting place?

Apart form my accent; my ability to put up with the inconsistent weather is what makes me a true Londoner.

Where wa s home?

Because I have lived everywhere but West London I would say that West London (South Kensington and surrounding areas) is the most inspiring.

W h a t m a ke s yo u a L o n d o n e r ?

W h e re ' s b e s t t o s o c i a l i z e ?

When in London you mus t always remember t o...

You can socialize anywhere in London. That’s one of the beautiful things about it. Anywhere can be turned into a social hot spot.

...ignore the pigeons! They are disgusting and not to be fed.

Best escapes?

Who does t he city attr act?

If you want to escape from London the best thing to do would be to just leave. There is nowhere quite like it so anywhere else would be an escape.

People who want something fresh and new are attracted to London. It’s an adventure for anyone who doesn’t live here and once here you’ll never want to leave.

H ow i s l i f e d i f f e re n t h e re f ro m ‘ h o m e’ ?

Living in London has enabled my career in fashion to excel quite rapidly due to the fact that it is one of the fashion capitals.

Because I was raised in London, I can’t really talk too much about life back home. However, I do know that the cost of living was a lot less and life was slightly more luxurious.

What do you give back?

S e l l t h e c i t y i n f ive wo rd s .

I would like to have a positive effect on the fashion industry here in London. If people around London were slightly friendlier it would help us all.

Balanced, adventurous, busy, loveable, enviable.

H ow ha s London helped you?

W hy d o e s L o n d o n h e l p yo u r c a re e r ?

London has helped my career because being here has enabled me to meet all the right people within the industry and has given me the opportunity to shine in all the right places.


N I Y I C R OW N M A X I M U S

»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

29


3 0

EB FOCUS

Namalee Bolle R ain b o w Warri o r / S U P E R S U P E R M a g a z ine C o - F o under M u s e / J o urna l i s t / Sin g er & S o n g w ri t er w w w . m y s pace . c o m / nama l ee w w w . m y s pace . c o m / t h e s uper s uper

Which Under g round tube line are you?

A n d v i c e - ve r s a ?

The Northern Line.

Brightening up people’s vision on the Tube with my colourful outfits!! And bringing positivity and optimism through SUPERSUPER.

Where wa s home?

Guildford, Surrey. A pleasant home county suburb. With a Sri Lankan mum and Dutch dad.

A ny t h i n g t o ch a n ge ?

Why London?

Build a sunshine machine! The weather is horrible.

I was too bored to stay home and I’d read about Andy Warhol and The Factory and wanted to feel that artistic kind of life.

W h a t wo u l d yo u l i ke t o g ive b a ck ?

Where?

W h e re’s I T a t ?

I live on the infamous Holloway Road. A road that hosts everything from fetish shops to Argos to tile shops and Marks and Spencer’s!! It’s random like me, so I feel at home there.

Connaught St, W1 – it’s a bit posh.

What makes Lond on?

The multiculturalism, the brilliant people, the energy. It feels like the streets are constantly buzzing with electricity.

Pigeons. London can keep them.

W h a t m a ke s yo u u n h a ppy h e re ?

The weather and mean bus drivers who sometimes drive past when they can see you standing there crying in the rain. W h a t m a ke s yo u a L o n d o n e r ?

M os t inspr ing place?

My walk. I’ve got a Londoner’s swagger and when abroad, people can tell my hometown by tracing my footprint positions!

Namazonia of course... and Soho – it’s still so full of mystery.

W h e re ' s b e s t t o s o c i a l i z e ?

When in London you mus t always remember t o...

The Bronze Club at the Macbeth, Hoxton.

... smile at everyone because people are so rude and busy and don’t expect you to be nice. It really throws them and makes me giggle.

Best escapes?

What t akes place here and nowhere else?

H ow i s l i f e d i f f e re n t h e re t o ‘ h o m e’ ?

There are so many people here from so many different cities and in London they are all thrown together and pushed to work together. That’s the brilliant thing about London – the meeting of multicultural minds and ideas.

Less attacks on my dress sense in London. People are certainly not as small-minded here as in Guildford.

Who does t his city attr act?

W h o i n L o n d o n s h o u l d m a ke i t b i g ?

Hardworking people – everything is so expensive! Go-getters who want to make something of themselves.

Josh Weller, The Super Shirani Nightmare Band and The Golden Silvers – all of them are brilliantly talented and lovely musicians.

H ow ha s London helped you?

W hy d o e s L o n d o n h e l p yo u r c a re e r ?

There’s no way that I could have set up SUPERSUPER magazine back home – London inspired us to do it. Singing was something that I would never have been able to pursue back home. Without the underground club scene, I wouldn’t have had the guts to start a music career.

You can be yourself in London and make a career from it. If you want to live your dreams you can, but you just have to work very hard for it. London is the beating heart of everything.

There is no escape! I try and I can’t! There’s a weird magnet that pulls me back.

S e l l t h e c i t y i n f ive wo rd s .

Big, scary, colourful, multicultural, fantastic!


N A M A L E E BOLL E

»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

31


3 2

EB FOCUS

Charlie Le Mindu F renc h Hair C e l e b ri t y S t y l i s t / Wi g M a k er Ber l in P o p - U p Bar b er S h o p P i o neer w w w . c h ar l ie l emindu . c o m

Which under g round tube line are you?

W h e re’s I T a t ?

I am the Central line as it’s the longest one!

Kingsland Road at my house – Shoreditch end, of course, NOT Dalston… 24a Kingsland Road to be precise, as that’s where my salon is. Lady Gaga, please come around for tea with your friend Paris!

Where wa s home?

Bordeaux, France, in a little town with my gypsy family. Why London?

Because I love the freaks here and they are best for my work. I love the rain as well.

W h a t m a ke s yo u u n h a ppy h e re ?

Where?

W h a t m a ke s yo u a L o n d o n e r ?

Shoreditch for the kids – Mayfair to sleep in my f lat!

Being married to JAMIE E17 :)

What makes Lond on?

W h e re ' s b e s t t o s o c i a l i z e ?

ME!

At the Macbeth is the best.

M os t inspir ing place?

Best escapes?

Luton Airport! ...buy mushrooms in Camden!

Not Brighton as there are too many homophobes there! Alton Towers theme park is always fun with a big pizza (and a little vomit) but we’re happy!

What t akes place here and nowhere else?

S e l l t h e c i t y f ive wo rd s .

The rain!!!

Oh my gosh, she’s amazing!

Who does t he city attr act?

W hy d o e s L o n d o n h e l p yo u r c a re e r ?

French and German people who think nu rave is still fun.

Because I love all the gossips.

When in London you mus t always remember t o...

H ow ha s London helped you?

I’m really happy, as for the moment only intellectual magazines in London have written about me –The Sunday Times and The Observer – love it! A nd vice-ver sa?

Since I came here, all of the trannys now have ripped tights?! A nyt hing t o change?

Nothing – it's already great! I just love the English sense of humour. What would you like t o give back?

A big FIST so English people will understand that Berlin is not that great. What would help London t o help ot her s?

Putting money in people’s banks!

The fake bitches it tends to attract!


CHARLIE LE MINDU

»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

33


3 4

EB FOCUS

Kabir S t y l i s t / A cce s s o rie s D e s i g ner Seni o r F a s h i o n E di t o r D rama M a g a z ine w w w . m y namei s k a b ir . inf o

Which under g round tube line are you?

H ow h a s L o n d o n h e l p e d yo u ?

Piccadilly – because that is the station I live near ...

London has never stood up and helped me. Jeez, imagine if London was a person, or a being, it would have to be a he – Big Ben is all I’m sayin’!

Where wa s home?

The countryside up north, Cheshire, fields, hills, plains, owls, foxes, nature, fresh air, beauty! My parents are from all over the world though... but it all started in the same tiny village in India.

A n d v i c e - ve r s a ?

Hopefully, I have made a little part of it more randomly exciting.

Where’s it at?

W h a t d o yo u wa n t t o d o t o L o n d o n ?

Central, it’s the hub, everything is walking distance-ish, from work to play, art to commerce, shopping, ease of access... need I say more?

Take all the good bits and put them in an airy pure f loating bubble in the clouds, leaving behind all the grime, crime and slime!

What makes Lond on?

Noise, filth, pollution, overcrowding, people everywhere at weekends, tourists who stand in the street and get in your way as you are rushing and you crash into them!

Its age, the fact that it’s so organic, the people, the evolution, the blurring of boundaries and the pockets of segregation/specialism. M os t inspir ing place?

You can find inspiration absolutely anywhere, never mind if you are in London or not, but in London there is just so much more of it, due to its constant evolution, cultural diversity, history, the museums and galleries constantly bringing in new and old things to showcase.

W h a t m a ke s yo u u n h a ppy h e re ?

W h a t m a ke s yo u a L o n d o n e r ?

I don’t really consider myself a Londoner yet – but I have only been here four years! W h e re ' s b e s t t o s o c i a l i s e ?

Anywhere with friends, but nowhere too filled with people, especially tourists... Best escapes?

When in London you mus t always remember t o...

Somewhere quiet and green and plush! No people, no pollution.

... watch where you are goin’!

H ow i s l i f e d i f f e re n t h e re f ro m ‘ h o m e’ ?

What’s in London and nowhere else? Who does t he city attr act?

Completely different! Different pace of life. Different culture, different environment, different structure, different colour – from green to grey! Gross!

Everyone and no one!

W hy d o e s L o n d o n h e l p yo u r c a re e r ?

The 2012 Olympics.

There is nowhere else, in Britain at least, where you can work creatively and professionally in the fashion and media world.


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

KABIR T op by

Tim o t h y Jame s A ndre w s

N eckl ace by

M aria F rance s ca P epe

35


3 6

EB FOCUS

In Search of t he Global Under g round T ext

Gare t h O w en

I llust r ations

Le o na Li s t

Music is probably the only true international language. The only thing that is enjoyed by almost everyone, everywhere and the one thing, apart from love, that can bring people together. Being based in Berlin however, it is sometimes too easy to limit the world of music to what is interesting, popular and underground here in Western Europe and America. What about people who live further afield? What music scratches the itch of young people in China wanting to differentiate themselves from their parent’s generation? What is underground, and what is pop? Could there be a whole world of exciting music that we have never heard before or does everything out there conform to the Western ideals of ‘popular music’? With the globalisation of popular culture in the eighties and nineties, one of the first musical exports was hip hop, taking a whole culture along with it too. Simple beats and a low cost of producing them electronically led to a variety of local scenes across the globe talking about local problems, especially in Africa. Hip hop by its very nature is the medium that gives the disadvantaged and disaffected a voice. Looking at how hip hop has developed around the world, two distinct phases can be identified. First there is imitation, where local rappers copy American rhymes accents and all. The second

phase is where hip hop breaks free from the underground, becomes more commercial, and assimilates local cultural factors into it. This has been demonstrated in Korea and Russia, where groups such as Drunken Tiger and Seryoga, have appropriated hip hop with cultural twists. Whereas in Japan, the more hip hop develops, the less credibility it seems to have as an art form. Increasingly acts such as SOUL'd OUT adopt the grandiose posturing of mainstream American acts like 50 Cent and fans even go so far as tanning themselves to appear ‘blacker’.


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

In Africa, local hip hop is a much more developed art form, as it’s been an established medium for longer and there is a natural affinity between hip hop and existing types of popular music that incorporate a lyrical narrative, such as reggae and dancehall as well as traditional African music. In South Africa this fusion developed into Kwaito where elements of house music were used to create a distinctly Johannesburg take on things. Hip hop and electro have also been fused with local music in South America, and sent back as baile funk. But what about other types of music? Who is pushing the envelope of new musical sounds? One act that jumps out is Blk Jks from South Africa. They are one of the few bands that are breaking out of their non-existent local scene and presenting music that is every bit as valid, current and experimental as someone like TV on the Radio. As they stated in a recent interview, the fact they are a guitar band of black South Africans should not be a defining factor. They are a band. Not a black guitar band. Breaking down people’s preconceptions is of course always difficult, no matter what the context. Countries with a large domestic music scene, especially in Asia, usually all have their own pop music prefixed by an abbreviation of their country. So in Japan there is J-Pop, and China, there is C-Pop. In China, C-Pop is actually split into two distinctive categories – Canto-pop sung in the traditional Chinese language and the more popular Mando-pop sung in both traditional and simplified Chinese. C-pop songs, although traditional in nature also incorporate elements of rock, hip-hop and dance music, but they exist as mainstream music. But changes are afoot. Relaxation of China’s cultural restrictions, have led to an inf lux of international DJs to the clubs of Shanghai and Beijing. And this in turn has led to more avant-garde musical experimentation, although this is not without risk as the government has pledged to “purge Chinese society of vulgar music”. However, there is palpable sense of excitement in the air, the feel of an underground scene developing without restrictions. Musically at least. One of the few artists to gain international recognition are Fm3, who are also the creators of the Buddha box –a small machine that loops music and can be combined with other Buddha boxes to create abstract noise patterns; a unique idea that has caught on with music producers in Europe. Experimental music has existed for less than a decade in China, and is focused mainly around a small group of artists in Beijing. But this being China, things aren’t quite what they seem, as one of the countries biggest ‘rock’ stars - Dou Wei, is also one of the most experimental musicians in the country, creating dreamy electronic soundscapes reminiscent of Boards of Canada but incorporating traditional instruments. With China only recently opening its doors to the consumerism of the west, the equipment available to Chinese artists to make music is limited. People are forced to be creative. In fact, as there is no ‘gear’ history as such, people are often not

37

even aware of what equipment is good or bad, or how it should really be used. Out of this environment, rules are broken, made afresh or ignored completely in order to foster experimentation. Elsewhere though, things are certainly different. Although nightclubs, and club music exist in India, it is in the main, commercial house and club music. The exception is Goa where there has been a strong underground music scene for decades but it could be argued that this did not develop naturally, but was imported along with the backpackers who began to f lock there in the 1960s, and in truth natives of Goa are more likely to listen to traditional Indian singer such as Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar. So what about the youth of India, how do they give their parents the musical one finger? Heavy metal, and more specifically; Iron Maiden. Yes, that Iron Maiden. In fact the band (that has gone through a critical reappraisal of sorts recently) played its biggest shows ever in Bangalore recently and they are probably the most popular act amongst Indian youths. Sadly, unless someone can show me otherwise, there is not much in the way of new or experimental music coming out of the second most populous country in the world. The arrival of MTV in the early nineties lit the torch for a scene that was until then focused on beat pop combos and rock bands. It is worth noting however, that in the sixties and seventies India was one of the few non-western countries to have a well-established record industry, where local and international acts were freely available on vinyl. In fact, traditional Indian music has been popular since the 1960s, with bands looking to inject some mystical ‘psychedelica’ into their music. However, things really began to change after MTV, as harder styles of music invigorated Indian youth to explore heavier darker sounds. Heavy metal is also popular in Arab countries, demonstrated by Vice magazine rescuing Iraqi Metal band Acrassicauda. But less dangerous metal scenes exists in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. Whereas in Israel, after a slavish dedication to the music trends of the UK, trance is the music of choice for clubs and outdoor parties. There is a whole wealth of interesting world music to be found everywhere from Cuba, to Senegal, but in terms of what we consider popular here, the most cutting edge and experimental music is coming from the fastest growing, and most populous place on earth, the country that will shape the world for probably the next 20 years – China. It is interesting to note, that of all the countries I looked at China is the most culturally repressive. What’s next, North Korean techno? I hope so. B l k J k s - w w w . m y s pace . c o m / b l k j k s Budd h a B o x - w w w . fm 3 b udd h amac h ine . c o m K w ai t o - w w w . in s ide o u t. o r g / d o cumen tarie s / k w ai t o / A cra s s icauda - w w w . m y s pace . c o m / w w w acra s s icauda s 5 c o m D o u Wei - w w w . d o u w ei . ne t


text

PA U L S U LL I V A N

Six mixed maestros While some bands make a multi-coloured noise by virtue of their multi-cultural make up, other artists embody mixed heritages within themselves. Electronic Beats celebrates six extraordinary individuals raised by parents of differing nationalities – often in a third, unrelated country – who have gone on to create kick-ass, world-class music...

1 B a t Fo r L a s h e s

2

José González


3 Ya r a h B r a v o

5 E m i l i a n a To r r i n i

4 Jerome Sydenham

6 Maya Jupit er


4 0

EB FOCUS

1 B a t Fo r L a s h e s M o t h er i s E n g l i s h | F at h er i s Pa k i s tani | B o rn in Pa k i s tan R ai s ed in Her t f o rd s h ire , E n g l and | Li v e s in Bri g h t o n , E n g l and | M u s ic S t y l e M e l o dic , p h an ta s m o g o ric p o p | F am o u s F o r Winnin g t h e M ercur y P ri z e in 2 0 0 8 f o r “ F ur & G o l d ” b at f o r l a s h e s . c o m | m y s pace . c o m / b at f o r l a s h e s

Natasha Khan – aka Bat For Lashes – was born in Pakistan and raised in Hertfordshire, though as a child she spent summers in Pakistan with her father, a tennis coach who taught the national team. She graduated in music and visual arts, producing multimedia work centred on sound installations, animations and performance, and inf luenced by the likes of Steve Reich and Susan Hiller. Following a brief career as a nursery school teacher in Brighton, Khan went on to record her breathtaking debut album Fur and Gold. The album has its lyrical roots in fairy tales and nursery rhymes and contains themes of forbidden desire and magical kingdoms – themes which, she says, come at least partially from the rich, symbolic stories her (religious) father used to tell her when she was growing up. Though initially released in 2006, Fur and Gold was then signed to Parlophone and rereleased in 2007. In 2008 it won the coveted Mercury Prize, and Khan was also nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Female at the Brit Awards during the same year. After touring with Radiohead and taking time out to write new material, Khan is now all set to release a follow-up album in the shape of Two Suns. The new record includes appearances by psychedelic experimentalists Yeasayer, the legendary Scott Walker and features co-production from David Kosten (the same dude behind Fur & Gold).

2 José González M o t h er i s A r g en t inian | F at h er i s S w edi s h B o rn in S w eden | R ai s ed in S w eden | Li v e s in G o t h en b er g , S w eden | M u s ic s t y l e G o r g e o u s , fin g er - pic k ed g ui tar w i t h a w ic k ed Lat in s t rea k | F am o u s F o r T h at S o n y Bra v ia A d w i t h t h e c o l o urfu l b o uncin g b a l l s j o s e - g o n z a l e z . c o m | m y s pace . c o m / j o s e g o n z a l e z

González was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, after his parents moved from Argentina to Sweden in 1978. He started out in hardcore punk band Back Against the Wall, before releasing his debut album, Veneer, in 2003. The album was made while González was studying for a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg – he never did complete the degree. His trademark sound is classical Spanish guitar with soft vocal melodies, and his work mixes original songs with covers by artists as diverse as The Knife, Joy Division, Bruce Springsteen, Kylie Minogue and

Massive Attack. He has collaborated with UK downtempo duo Zero 7 on their 2006 album, The Garden, as well as Finnish house DJ Jori Hulkkonen. His second album, In Our Nature, dropped in 2007. “I speak Spanish with my family even though I’d class Swedish as my first language,” says the singer/songwriter. “I’ve obviously been inspired by Latin American music both consciously and unconsciously, including Brazilian, Cuban and, of course, Argentinian. I grew up with a lot of folkloric music, stuff that has dramatic vocals and acoustic harmonies. I used to hear that on cassettes when I was young. But Scandinavia is also a big inf luence. Just living in Sweden and having friends that are Swedish… we used to listen to everything from melancholic stuff to loud death metal. I think this is somehow my main culture.” José is currently working on an album with his band Junip.

3 Ya r a h B r a v o

M o t h er i s C h i l ean | F at h er i s Bra z i l ian B o rn in S w eden | R ai s ed in S w eden | Li v e s in Br o o k ly n , N Y C M u s ic s t y l e Hip H o p Wi t h A C o n s ci o u s E d g e | F am o u s f o r One Se l f / S o und C at c h er S o und s y s t em yara h b ra v o . c o m | m y s pace . c o m / yara h b ra v o

As well as being the front woman for Soundcatcher Soundsystem, the founder of the One Self movement, Yarah Bravo is a onewoman powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. She owns her own record label, clothing label, and studio, all under the name Mothergrain. Her performances are famous for their heartfelt urgency, conviction and youthful energy, and with more than four languages under her belt, and as a child of two freedom fighters, you really could call her a renaissance woman with a purpose. Yarah Bravo has a versatile style that slides effortlessly between soulful jazz-inf lected lines and hard hitting rhymes with tonal movements and metre shifts complementing an aphrodisiac voice that was born to be broadcast. “My style is very rhythmical,” she says. “I like to consider myself part of the music, instead of just a vocal on top of the beat. I have been told by my father, who’s Brazilian, that he sees a lot of similarities with Brazilian music in my style. Not necessarily the music I choose to work on, but the way that I choose to work on it, the style that I chose to deliver my words. Lyrically, I have chosen on several occasions to include fragments of my heritage, most notably on my song ‘Freedom Fighters’, to be released later this year, which documents my parents’ story and how I ended up in a different country due to them being exiled. My world-view has definitely been affected coming from a mixed background. I automatically feel an affinity for people who have been taken away from their land, or who have had their land taken away from right underneath them.”


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

4 Jerome Sydenham M o t h er i s Jamaican | F at h er i s Bri t i s h | B o rn in I b adan , N i g eria | R ai s ed in A frica , U K , U S A | Li v e s in Ber l in M u s ic s t y l e D eep, s pace y h o u s e and t ec h n o | F am o u s f o r I b adan / mu lt i - g enre b eat fea s t s a v o k ad o . d k | m y s pace . c o m / i b adan

Jerome Sydenham’s illustrious music career took off in the late eighties when he joined the prestigious A&R division at Atlantic Records. While Sydenham was working with mega stars like En Vogue and Das Efx, his interest in the underground house scene was also burgeoning. He landed his first DJ residency at the legendary New York hot spot, Nell’s, in 1987. In 1995 Sydenham formed the label Ibadan Records and his DJ career went international – by the time Sydenham and Ibadan hit the millennium, he was pioneering a fresh tech-house sound with co-producer Dennis Ferrer: thus the Ibadan Ten Inch Beats series was born, spawning hits like ‘Timbuktu’, ‘Stockholm Go Bang!’” and the crossover smash ‘Sandcastles’. Sydenham is known for his seemingly effortless ability to blend genres of electronic music (tech-house, techno, electronica, classic house, etc.). In 2007 he launched his German-based label Apotek Records and recently set up Avocado Records in Denmark with legendary producer Rune RK. “Having the opportunity and the experience of three continents absolutely affected my musical and personal perspectives in a most positive light,” says the luminary. “Ibadan, Nigeria, was definitely the foundation because of the musical and cultural diversity I experienced, and even socially and politically there was never a dull moment. Then came my schooling experience in England, which further expanded my horizons, as there was a really edgy young pop scene in England in the eighties. And, of course, New York just took it to the top – the place where all my dreams became a reality. Now I am here in Berlin, continuing this most interesting of journeys, and loving it…”

5 E m i l i a n a To r r i n i M o t h er i s I ce l andic | F at h er i s I ta l ian | B o rn in K ó pa v o g ur , I ce l and | R ai s ed in K ó pa v o g ur , I ce l and | Li v e s in L o nd o n , U K | M u s ic S t y l e : Q uir k y, f o l k s y p o p | F am o u s F o r Her l at e s t a l b um , M e & A rmini emi l ianat o rrini . c o m | m y s pace . c o m / emi l ianat o rrini

Emiliana Torrini grew up in Kópavogur, Iceland. Her mother is Icelandic, while her Italian father owns and operates a wellknown restaurant in Iceland. At the age of seven, she joined a choir as a soprano before attending opera school at fifteen. In 1994, she became well known in Iceland after winning a singing competition with a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’. Her

41

teen summers were spent in Germany with her Italian uncle: “My father always listened to tacky Italian pop music and my mother, well, she was happy with whatever went nicely with our noisy vacuum-cleaner. I got into other music rather late because we didn’t have any records. Well, except lots of classical, my mum’s Greatest Love Songs compilation from the TV, and Leonard Cohen whom I love. Then we got MTV. We were the first people in our town to have it and I would stay up all night to record from the late night alternative shows, making tapes to take to school to brag about my musical findings.” Emiliana recorded some jazz and blues songs for her father’s 50th birthday, which then became an album that sold 15,000 copies in Iceland and remained at number one for many months. She gained international fame with 1999’s super-successful Love In The Time Of Science, following up with 2005’s Fisherman’s Woman and last year’s Me & Armini, her boldest and brightest collection yet.

6 Maya Jupit er M o t h er i s Tur k i s h | F at h er i s M exican | B o rn in La Pa z , M exic o | R ai s ed in M e l b o urne & S y dne y, A u s t ra l ia | M u s ic s t y l e S o cia l ly a w are , k ic k - a s s h ip h o p | F am o u s f o r P re s en t in g o n N at i o na l TV & R adi o / Kic k - A s s R h y me s maya j upi t er . c o m | m y s pace . c o m / maya j upi t er

After falling in love with hip hop in high school, Mexican-born, Australia-raised Maya Jupiter passionately pursued a multifaceted career in music. To date, she has rocked crowds alongside Black Eyed Peas, Prince and Common, collaborated with 11-piece Latin / jazz / hip hop band Son Veneno, starred in TV soaps (as a Latin dance instructor) and presented hip hop shows on National TV and radio. However, she’s most proud of co-teaching “Hip Hop For The Ladies”, a 12-week hip hop course aimed at underprivileged inner city girls. “I’ve always thought of myself as having three nationalities,” says Maya. “My mother was born and raised in Turkey, my father born and raised in Mexico, and I was born in Mexico, raised in Australia. A bit of a global citizen is how I look at it. Growing up in Sydney, I was surrounded by people from all different backgrounds; it was typical to be from another land. Musically, my style of hip hop has always carried the inf luence of traditional rhythms and instruments - it’s my way of saying who I am and where I come from. I love to rap in Spanish and have my brother-in-law (Victor Valdes) play Latin American harp live over beats, or dance Salsa in the middle of a rap. It’s about honouring the traditions of the past and celebrating the future.” In 2007, Maya released an album with fellow Aussies MC Trey and DJ Nick Toth (as Foreign Heights). The single ‘Get Yours (remix)’ was nominated for an Aria in the Best Urban Release category. She is currently working on a new solo album – Today - with Quetzal Flores, Martha Gonzalez and Aloe Blacc.


“Ich

bin ein Berliner

A mec h i / 3 0 / P h o t o g rap h er BO R N I N C amer o o n / 5 y ear s in Ber l in paren t s fr o m N i g eria , C amer o o n » b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … D i s c o v erin g m y s e l f. «


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

T ext

C ami l a Sc h w ar z

P h oto g r a p h e r

43

D o mini k W o j ci k

The word on the streets of the world is that Berlin is the city to visit at the moment. From NYC to Istanbul, Johannesburg to Tokyo, Moscow to São Paulo– everyone agrees, the city of Berlin has become the coolest capital in Europe. A creative-melting pot, a fashion-scene meeting point, a music-lovers and movie-making heaven; Berlin is the place to be. All the different people moving and visiting Berlin are creating a wonderful diversity in this famously historical, liberal and freethinking city. Like other metropolises, Berlin has a long history of immigration; Turkish, Polish, and Italian Berliners – the city’s three largest immigrant communities – have long been permanent residents of the city, and we love that! Following the fall of the wall and the Germany’s reunification, the city is once again experiencing a strong inf lux of visitors from abroad. And now these newcomers who fall in love with Berlin and decide to stay are adding to its reputation as a place of true diversity. We wanted to have a closer look at some of the characters that make up the misch-masch that is Berlin. Please meet the citizens, who – wherever they might be from – are proud to say ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’

A ndre / 2 3 / M o de l C l e l ia / 2 0 / mu s ician

BO R N I N A U ST R I A / 3 y ear s in Ber l in

BO R N I N M unic h / 5 y ear s in Ber l in

paren t s fr o m I ndia and A u s t ria

paren t s fr o m F rance

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … Li v I N G m y l ife w i t h a l l i t o ffer s

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … M u s ic ! «

t o me b u t n o t f o r g e t t in g t o ref l ec t a b o u t i t. «


J o h anne s A k ar / 1 9 / S t uden t

N aima / 2 5 / S t uden t

BO R N I N Ber l in / 1 9 y ear s in Ber l in

BO R N I N S o ma l i / 6 y ear s in Ber l in

paren t s fr o m Tur k e y

paren t s fr o m S o ma l i A

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … M u lt i - Ku lt i . «

» b ein g a Ber l iner M E A N S … U nder g r o und . «

Ou s s ama Ya h ia o ui / 2 0 / S t uden t

Ju l iu s F o r g o / 3 1 / S t y l i s t & D e s i g ner

BO R N I N Ber l in / 8 y ear s in Ber l in

BO R N I N Bu k are s t / 4 y ear s in Ber l in

paren t s fr o m Tuni s ia

paren t s fr o m Bu C Hare s t

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … Sex , dru g s and r o c k n ´ R o l l ! «

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … C reat i v e freed o m . «


Yu k i O s u g i / 2 4 / Grap h ic de s i g ner

Pau l / 2 1 / S t uden t

BO R N I N Ya k u s h ima , Japan / 3 y ear s in Ber l in

BO R N I N E i s enac h / 6 y ear s in Ber l in

paren t s fr o m Japan

paren t s fr o m German y

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … F o r t une ! «

» b ein g a Ber l iner mea N S … H o me . «

E ric / 2 0 / A c t o r

S t e v ie / 1 8 / A z u b i S k at e s h o p

BO R N I N Pari s / 1 0 y ear s in Ber l in

BO R N I N German y / 6 y ear s in Ber l in

paren t s fr o m Pari s and Ham b ur g

paren t s fr o m A frica A N D German y

» b ein g a Ber l iner meanS … J o b l e s s and free . «

» B E R L I N I S TH E M OST B E A U T I F U L C I TY I N TH E WO R L D ! «


TRIBAL REMEDIES PHOTOGRAPHY

Rachel DE JOODE

PRODUCTION

SANDRA LIERMANN

Ghana Beaded Neckl ace @ Africa Art Gallery/Berlin | Greece Slippers @ ok-Versand, www.okversand.com | Morocco Green Science firming eye Cream with fair trade organic Argan oil by Aveda | Mali Earrings @ Africa Art Gallery/Berlin | USA Fair trade citrus orange Pure-Castille Soap by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps | Russia Thé du soir N°50 by Kusmi Tea | Oman Cream Gold with frankincense and heath rose by Amouage | Morocco Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil with fairly-traded argan oil by Kiehl’S (From Top to Bottom)


Bali Decoration by Puri, www.puridesign.com Japan T wo sided pens by Muji Turkey Wild rose moisturizing mask and creme with Turkish organic rose oil by Weleda South Pacific Silky dry oil with natural exotic oils by Comptoir Sud Pacifique Paris Turkey Wild Rose face water with Turkish organic rose oil by Weleda Russia Anastasia earl grey tea by Kusmi Tea Peru Baby shoes @ ok-Versand, www.okversand.com


4 E 8 B FOCUS Egypt Feather duster @ Shisha St yler/Berlin Carribeans Carribean Therapy Body Cleanser with exotic fruit and nut oils by Aveda Philippines Mascobadogel with fair trade mascobado sugar by Less is More Kenia Napkin ring @ Shisha St yler/Berlin Amazon Paddle @ Speciosa, www.speciosa.de Germany Teddy bear by Steiff @ www.steiff.de


M O S T WA N T E D USA Fair trade unscented baby-mild Pure-Castille Soap by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps UK Shower Gel “Fresh Ocean” certified organic extracts by Organic Surge Kenia Napkin ring @ Shisha St yler/Berlin Japan T wo sided pens by Muji China Thermos Fl ask @ ok-Versand, www.okversand.com China Jade face roller Sumatra Beaded box by Puri www.puridesign.com

49


AMSTERDAM

FOTO

E nri c o W e b ers

THE TRUE GLOBAL VILLAGE TEXTS

A L E KS P I E T R Z Y KOW S K A

FOTOS

E nri c o W e b ers / A R M A N D O E L L O

I L L U S T R AT I O N

LEONA LIST


Amsterdam’s lifeblood – like that of Venice – has long been its aquatic terrain. It’s built around water and waterways, fighting a constant battle to claim and reclaim land from the sea. But as opposed to Venice, the Netherland’s capital isn’t just one big museal, tourist joint but a vibrant, breathing metropolis. A network of canals, 165 to be precise (more than Venice, ha!) neatly divide the city into 90 small islands, which are linked with the characteristic bridges. Amsterdam’s geographic centre, the notorious red light district, is ringed by the four 17th-century canals: Singel, Herengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht, which a visiting Albert Camus found to resemble the circles of hell. The first six decades of the 17th century was the Golden Age of Amsterdam and it was considered the richest and most powerful trade town in the world. Today tourists are the goods transported slickly around the canals. But although the city is hit hard by visitors it still manages to feel quintessentially Dutch, not only due to charmingly crooked gabled houses and historic brickwork lanes but also because of the open-minded friendliness of its inhabitants. Relax is the name of the game,

and relaxed they are in this capital that is one of the wettest in Europe. As soon as the clouds clear, sun-starved Amsterdamers spill out onto the streets to sit at one of the pavement cafés or take a cruise on a bike (the bicycle to people ratio is 2:1). There is also no better place to tackle on foot, as Amsterdam is nicely f lat and compact. Possessing a good dose of small town charm, Amsterdam is considered a liberal haven by many and though there is a tolerant approach to prostitution and cannabis, the tolerance has restrictions: While you’re there try avoid walking on the bike path and cycling on the sidewalk. Drinking alcohol in public spaces is also not a good idea. Not that there’s really a need though, the eclectic mix of hotels, restaurants and bars really do cater to every need. Reason enough to come for a laid back time in this most global of villages.


5 2

EB JET SETTING

PH OTO BY BA S LOOS E KOOT

ARNE TOONEN DI RECT OR, PAI NTER & GALLERY OWNER

Arne Toonen moved to Amsterdam from Boxmeer in 2000 to pursue his profession as a director of commercials, music videos and other works of fiction. Arne is also a painter and together with his wife Birgit Schuurman (a Dutch singer and actress) runs the online gallery, Prints and the Revolution, a hobby enterprise that got out of hand and now provides a platform for young artists to sell their work. WWW.PRINTSANDTHEREVOLUTION .NL HAZAZAH. COM/ARNETOONEN

OUR AREA

THE SPRIT OF AMSTERDAM

I have lived both in the west (WESTER PARK AND TH E BAARSJES ) and the east ( O O ST ER PARK AREA) , but now we have found a house we like and can afford in the PIJP. At the moment it’s still a wonderful mix of multiple cultures, but I’m afraid it’s slowly falling victim to gentrification. I really hope the Turkish grocery stores and Islamic butchers can stay.

To feel the spirit of Amsterdam I recommend visiting in summer, buying an instant barbeque and lying in the park all day, slowly getting drunk or high. Perhaps even better is to see Amsterdam from the canals. Just rent yourself a boat and go out and play – just stay away from those canal cruises! Just recently they laid new asphalt on the V I J Z E L ST R A AT . This equals super-smooth skateboarding material. Get the headphones on and feel the breeze – this is freedom! The SARPHATI PARK is my favourite destination in summer. In winter the MAGEREBRUG around sundown offers one of the most magic views of Amsterdam architecture and the Amstel river. The WESTERT OREN , which has recently been restored, is a great icon for Amsterdam; I love the blue colours and its history, all the times that tower has seen.

THE INSPIRING VILLAGE Amsterdam is actually more like a giant village than even a small metropolis. In New York you can walk around the city and not bump into someone that you know. In Amsterdam you always run into someone that you know. Foreigners love to romanticise Amsterdam as this super-liberal place, something which I don’t really feel is there anymore; we are really drowning in so many new rules and regulations. Nevertheless, all in all, it’s a sweet place to live. Amsterdam is very inspiring compared to the rest of Holland. I’m always on the alert for new ideas and impulses, and I do feel this city gives them to me.

FAVOURITE PROVIDERS For the ultimate feed in Amsterdam, I recommend the THAI on the Zeedijk. Go for number 35, the Panang Nua, the absolute best. In terms of bars, the SUZY WONG is very nice, although quite posh. The JI M MY WOO club is good, except on Saturdays. Otherwise, I like the KI NG FISH ER on Ferdinand Bol street for a casual drink. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do like to smoke a joint here and there. I don’t stay there to hang out, but the DA M P F K R I NG is my favourite provider. It’s featured in Ocean’s 12, where Clooney, Pitt and Damon come for a visit. S NACK BA R B I R D

UNDER CONSTRUCTION For time out in this city I head to the SKATE PARK I N A M ST E R DA M NOORD . If I was to name one unfortunate thing about Amsterdam it’s the constant work on the streets. The city is always under construction. It distracts from all the beautiful buildings, as you constantly have to watch where you walk or ride.


»WHERE TO SPEND IT« 290 SQUARE METERS

SPRMRKT

Pimp your wardrobe and bike

Haute Couture grocery shopping

Today it’s a shop, tomorrow it could be a museum. This concept store carries a unique range of men’s and women’s wear, sneakers, cosmetics, magazines and all kinds of items that lend serious street cred. Always keen to experiment with new concepts they host art exhibitions that relate to their not so mainstream products. Here you’ll find Marimekko, Kid Robot, Henrik Vibskov, Wood Wood, Camilla Norrback to name a few. The astonishing sneakerwall shows only the most exclusive Nike shoes. The owner is also a bike fanatic, which means you can get your bike customized here.

With the aim to offering something exclusive and special, SPRMRKT carries a range of high-quality products. Here you’ll find vintage design furniture, clothes from select labels as well as vintage and customised items: accessories, perfumes, books and art. All selected with a critical eye to match with the lifestyle that SPRMRKT supports: contemporary, rebellious and always different. To take everything to a higher level of exclusivity, the shop-within-ashop SPR + offers you that little bit extra with Martin Margiela, Henrik Vibskov, and Rick Owens.

HOUTKOPERSDWARSSTRAAT 3 | 1011 AMSTERDAM

TEL.+31(0) 203305601 | WWW.SPRMRK T.NL

ROZENGRACHT 191-193 | 1016LZ AMSTERDAM

TEL.+31(0) 204192525 | 290SQM.COM

LAURA DOLS MENDO

Vintage extravaganza

Visual & literary arts

Spread over two shops with a huge collection of remarkable and original clothes from 1920s to 1980s. From glamorous Hollywood-style glitter dresses, brightly coloured ballroomgowns to stylish tuxedos and suits for men, accompanied by numerous accessories, hats, gloves, bags and shoes to complement your party outfit. For more casual types there are also wonderful pants, jackets, shirts and blouses. And, don’t forget to have a look at the great collection of old linens, lace and embroidered tablecloths, pillowcases and old Dutch duvets.

Completely built from black Mendo books, this place is really a one-ofa-kind for art and book lovers. Not only does it provide a distinctive selection of superior and special art books, it also exhibits famous artists and new talent from home and abroad. The removable black books from the shelves create a display for their artworks. BERENSTRAAT 11 | 1016 AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 206121216 | WWW.MENDO.NL

WOLVENSTRAAT 6 | 1016 AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 206249066 | WWW.L AURADOLS.COM

290 SQUARE METERS

SPRMRKT

LAURA DOLS

MENDO


»HAVE A BALL!« SUZY WONG

VYNE

Bar As Aphrodisiac The favourite cocktail lounge of Amsterdam’s glitterati. The elegant and sensual surroundings evoke the glamourous eroticism of the Moulin Rouge. An eclectic interior and photographs by Patricia Steur creates both an intimate and mildly provocative setting. Sip from your world class cocktail or try from the extensive range of champagnes, while listening to carefully selected sexy and soulful sounds. The deliberate choice of not using live DJs, makes the ambiance more intimate and cosy. Suzy Wong will certainly make your heart beat faster.

A Taste Sensation In this luxurious winebar everything revolves around the ultimate combination between wine and exquisite food. Guests can choose from a wide selection of red and white wines, rosés and champagne. A large section of the bar is taken up by the display of exclusive wine bottles. The bar has a warm atmosphere, with a smooth modern touch. The small menu with regularly changing delicacies is specially designed to let you experience the perfect blend of f lavours.

KORTE LEIDSEDWARSSTRAAT 45 | 1010 AMSTERDAM

TEL. +31(0) 203446404 | WWW.VYNE.NL

PRINSENGRACHT 411 | 1016 AMSTERDAM

TEL. +31(0) 206266769

JIMMY WOO FLEXBAR Nightlife Gem After considerable renovation, the legendary West Pacific reopened under the name Flex Bar. Known as a place where artists, musicians, journalists and other creatives came together it still attracts the same kind of in-crowd. A team of creative entrepreneurs, who have been part of the music industry for many years, have been very attentive to the latest developments on the international nightlife scene. With an innovative program that features a mix of local and international DJs, they sure know how to keep a party banging. As a leading insider spot, this intimate club is a real asset to Amsterdam’s nightlife.

Be Illuminated This will take your breath away. Jimmy Woo radiates an extraordinary taste for luxurious style and glamour. In a modern oriental atmosphere, a mix of beautiful people get down. Professional bartenders prepare you the best cocktails, all created exclusively for Jimmy’s. On the weekend, DJs play an eclectic mix of urban house music. Mingle on the dance f loor and be illuminated by thousands of little lights in the spectacular ceiling - you really must see this once. Dress smart, and you’re likely to get in without incident. KORTE LEIDSEDWARSSTRAAT 18 | LEIDSEPLEIN TEL. +31(0) 206263150 | WWW.JIMMYWOO.NL

PAZZANISTRAAT 1 | 1014 AMSTERDAM TEL. +31(0) 204862123 | WWW.FLEXBAR.NL

VYNE

SUZY WONG

JIMMY WOO

FLEXBAR


»A M ST E R DA M , T H E T RU E G L O BA L V I L L AG E «

55

JOEY ELGERSMA FA SH ION MULTI-TALENT

The multi-talented Joey Elgersma is a freelance director and consultant in the fields of photography, film, fashion advertising and marketing – a man of variety to say the least. Along with his entourage of beauty experts, designers, photographers, promoters, models and club owners, otherwise known as the notorious Amsterdam Clubkids, Elgersma has created super styles and concepts for shows, videos and editorial photography. WWW. JOEYELGERSMA.COM

FROM GHETTO TO YUPPIE I was born in New York, but raised in a Dutch village called Amersfoort – left after college and never went back! As a Dutch creative, Amsterdam is the place to be, though I did actually move here for a girl I had a big crush on. That didn’t work and these days she’s a mum with four kids. I started out living in the west part of town, called the BOS & L OM M ER area. It’s a little bit ghetto, but I loved that aspect to it, a lot of different people mixing. A big fight with my landlord sent me over to DE PIJP, which is kind of considered the yuppie part of town, well-known for the A L B E RT C U YP M A R K ET and the cute bars and bistros.

Bolstraat 10) make insane homemade cakes and pie – made to be loved! I’m a big sushi fan so when I want to eat myself happy I go to KOBE, TEM PURA OR AI KIT SU . And when money is no object, I go for Japanese at the OKURA HO TEL – wow!

BEST BARS When it comes to bars, I’m not really into all that fancy stuff. I like to take my dates to the CA SA ROSSO or t he BA NA N E N BA R , the most authentic theatre and bar in the Red Light district. One time I picked my lady up in the PI NK ELEPHA N T M A S CO T SUIT from the Casa Rosso – it worked. For a casual drink the WOLVENSTRAAT, CAFÉ KOOSJE, BALTHA SAR’S KEUKEN, E S P R I T CA F É

MY AMSTERDAM Amsterdam is an extremely cosy big city, everybody knows everybody! Main thing is that there is a lot of creativity here; I find it similar to Berlin in that way. I highly recommend visitors to hook up with the locals when they’re here though. Otherwise you end up missing the f lyest things. My favourite street in Amsterdam is the road going to my place, PL ANTAGE M I DDENL AN , it’s not too busy, beautiful buildings, great restaurants and the best Zoo in the world!

WHERE TO EAT D E 9 ST R A ATJ E S is my favourite area in the centre. All my friends work here and this is where all the coolest shops, restaurants and bars are. At lunch you’ll find me on the terrace of BROODJE BERT (Singel 321), which is kind of a shitty looking place, but they have the best sandwiches. DE TAART VAN M IJN TANTE (Ferdinand

AND BAZAR

are all good bets.

PEACEFUL PLACE I’ve worked in the most chaotic cities around the world, and I can say that Amsterdam is certainly not so chaotic. Only during Queensday, gay pride and New Year’s Eve. For the future I hope Amsterdam survives the economic crisis and all these small, irritating new laws. And no matter what – we must hold onto all the coffee shops and the red light district!


5 6

EB JET SETTING

PETROVSKY & RAMONE PHO T OGRAPH ERS

The photographic duo Petrovsky & Ramone consists of Morena Westerik and Petra van Bennekum. Driven by a need to express their emotions, their images are often a mix of fashion and documentary. They create dynamic photographic mood stories, “mostly editorial but some commercial stuff ”, and right now business for the dreamy duo is booming. PETROVSKYRAMONE.COM MYSPACE.COM/PETROVSKYRAMONE

AT THE RED LIGHT We are both from small Dutch villages and moved to Amsterdam for the work and inspiration you can find here. As Petrovsky & Ramone we operate from the RED LIGHT FA SH ION DISTRICT , we have a whole building in the red light district, our studio is on the first f loor and Petra lives on the third. The Red Light is like a little village; you clean your street and windows and drink a coffee with the neighbours. We both travel a lot and so when we’re back we really appreciate this homely feeling. What makes it extra special of course is that our neighbours are hookers and porn shop owners.

ter it is best to hide out at the STEDELIJK MUSEUM , the pub or possibly at home in the bath. Any time of year there are many great restaurants to choose from. Some favourites include: R A I NA R A I (Prinsengracht 252) for the best Mediterranean food ever! T H E WALDORF (Elandsgracht 2) for a quick cool bite and G O L D E N TEM PLE (Utrechtsestraat 126) serve great vegetarian food. T H A I BI RD in the Red Light district is fancy-free Thai but definitely the best in town. For something more fancy there’s the B R I X in Wolvestraat. And for out-of-this-world Japanese, the YA M A Z AT O AT OKURA HO TEL is an absolute must.

BARS & CAFÉS OUR AMSTERDAM Amsterdam is not really a metropolis; compared to New York, London or Tokyo it can feel like a village. That’s one of the reasons we love living here and one of the reasons we love to leave. Living here you rarely leave the city lim its and so you can also somehow feel as thought the rest of Holland doesn’t really exist. The typical Amsterdam moment invariably involves a bicycle, like biking to the atelier in the morning and then having a little chat with our pimp neighbours or spontaneous days that go from a coffee date to being invited to join a birthday party in the VO N D E L PA R K , where we might stay until sunset with some wine from the supermarket. The evening then carries on at some squat party… these are the Amsterdam days we love – they just f low with no planning.

To impress a date we’d recommend JI M MY WOO , which has this spectacular light installation on the basement ceiling. Otherwise, HARRY’S does have the best cocktails in town and for something different the MAL OE M EL O on the Lijnsbaangracht is one of the best jazz dive bars in Amsterdam. STRUI K on the Rrozengracht has nice music and is a good meeting place. VOLK SKRA NT G E BO U W on the Wibautsraat has great crowd and location. B L AU W E T E E HUIS in the middle of Vondelpark is a super building with great terraces in beautiful surroundings. We also like to check out what’s going on at the PARADISO , which often has a refreshing line-up. If it’s not so good there, we move on the BIT T E R Z O E T on Spuistraat. When it comes to cafés, we like CAFÉ DE W I NK E L on the Noordermarkt on Saturday mornings in summer. Everyone you would want to meet is there – old and new. Afterwards you can check out the markets for some very nice organic food.

FAVOURITE SPOTS There is an area of nine little nice streets in the Jordaan called the ‘ 9 ST R A ATJES’ where you can find funny little shops and restaurants. In summer being on A BOAT I N TH E CANAL S is super and at night just moving between the Westerpark and Vondelpark. One of our favourite Amsterdam landmarks is the M U Z I E KG E BO U W on the Ij river; it’s a beautiful building and a great place to have a drink on the waterfront in the sun. In win-

ESCAPES Not that life in Amsterdam is overly hectic but nevertheless there are times when you need time for yourself. We like going to TH E MOVI ES, a cinema in the Haarlemmerstraat, and eating a lot of chips. Also in Haarlemmerstraat is the &V SPA , and this is just the place to really get back to yourself again!


»BE INSPIRED« STEDELIJK

FOAM

Art on the move

Photographer’s choice

Characterized by a contemporary programme and eye catching presentations, the Stedelijk Museum leaves the Post CS building. Until December 2009 it will be on tour in urban Amsterdam with ‘Stedelijk goes to town’. This experimental program is presented at unexpected locations, launching collaborations in a refreshing way. The aim is to confront people with contemporary art, to keep it progressive. Regardless of the nomadic period, the museum should not be overlooked. Check the website for current events.

For photography enthusiasts there is Foam, a source of inspiration located in the heart of the city. The juxtaposition of artists is surprising, here you will find established names right next to new talent. With a variety of changing exhibitions, an eye for detail is key. Their aim is to show the quality of photography in all its forms. Be inspired and enjoy. KEIZERSGRACHT 609 | 1017 AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 205516500 | WWW.FOAM.NL

ARCAM

NO CURRENT ADDRESS | WWW.STEDELIJK.NL

All about architecture

DROOG@HOME Design in the f lesh

As the name suggests, this is where Dutch design collective Droog is based. The experience of design is the central theme of this project space. Droog is definitely more than a brand. It stands for humor, simplicity and innovation. By organising a large variety of exhibitions and events, they encourage a change in perspective and give design a new meaning. At the same time, they receive immediate feedback about the products from their visitors. Along with the whole collection this home of Droog also houses a library and office spaces.

Amsterdam Centre for Architecture is located in a striking building in the centre of the city. Visitors interested in architecture and urban landscaping can receive directions to buildings and sites in the city. There is a wealth of information in the shape of architecture books, magazines, folders, maps and a collection of newspaper cuttings. The exhibition programme is varied and focuses on topical issues and developments, fuelling discussions about the future. For an exciting historical overview of Amsterdam’s finest architecture, check out the Arcam Panorama. PRINS HENDRIKKADE 600 | 1011 AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 206204878 | WWW.ARCAM.NL

STAALSTRAAT 7A-B | 1011 AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 206269809 | WWW.DROOG.COM

Arcam

DROOG@HOME

FOAM


»RECHARGE« ULIVETO

ESPRESSOFABRIEK

Mouthwatering moments In an atmosphere of understated luxury, a huge counter displays antipasti and other tasty Italian specialities. Fresh ingredients and good-looking food is the credo. Although the main aim is to offer a takeaway service, you can sit down for lunch at a long table. The walls are decorated with culinary heros like pasta, risotto, wine and olive oil from various regions in Italy. A fat cat also accessorizes this charming place. We recommend to get some guidance with your choices; don’t be intimidated by the Italian attitude -the lady is an angel.

Ultimate recharge What used to be an electricity house at the former gasworks, is now definitely the best place to have a delicious cup of coffee. Espressofabriek is a specialist of the finest coffees, and the delightfull sweets that go with them! With the best selection of beans, ‘bling-bling’ espressomachines and the perfect creamy milkfoam on your cappuccino, they have made coffee into art. This place definitely still powers - energy in a steaming cup. GOSSCHALKL AAN 7 | 1014 DC AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 204862106 | WWW.ESPRESSOFABRIEK.NL L ATEI

WETERINGSCHANS 118 | 1017 AMSTERDAM

LATEI

TEL.+31(0) 204230099

DE BAKKERSWINKEL Baker’s delight The area of Westergas is home to quite possibly the loveliest place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or even high tea. Bakkerswinkel is just the spot for long, lazy mornings with your friends and where bread connoisseurs can enjoy the best French sourdough bread ever. Delicious sweet and savoury pies are prepared with craft and care. Their fabulous scones with traditional English clotted cream and tasty jams are the perfect complement to a nice cup of tea. And last but not least, there are the superb sandwiches, salads and soups served by the music-loving owners, who plan to hold a number of ‘breakfast concerts’ in the future.

Coffee & antiques One of Amsterdam’s most unusual coffee houses where tasty sandwiches, great coffees and teas are served in a slightly chaotic but warm atmosphere. The unusual part? Nearly everything you see - from the coffee table where you sit to cup from which you drink - is for sale. All original sixties and seventies items you’d normally find in your grandma’s house evoke happy nostalgia. Stories of the ‘good old days’ pop up and it’s almost impossible to walk out empty handed. Take note, the girl at the counter is priceless. ZEEDIJK 143 | 1012 AMSTERDAM TEL. +31(0) 206257485 | WWW.L ATEIS.NET

POLONCEAUKADE 1 | 1014 DA AMSTERDAM TEL.+31(0) 206880632 | WWW.DEBAKKERSWINKEL.NL ESPRESSOFABRIEK

LATEI

DE BAKKERSWINKEL

ULIVETO


»A M ST E R DA M , T H E T RU E G L O BA L V I L L AG E «

59

PH OTO BY B E S EV

SANDRIEN DJ / PRO DUCER

Moving to Amstersdam from a small village near Utrecht in 1996, Sandrien completed her studies, focused on her music and is now one of the biggest rising stars of the Dutch dance scene, playing at the major Dutch festivals like Mysteryland, Lowlands or Awakenings. As well as enchanting crowds across Europe with her charming self and her freaky blend of minimal techno and deep sounds, Sandrien is also a busy producer – working on solo projects and as one half of Amsterdam Assholes together with Wouter Hisschemöller. DJSANDRIEN.NL MYSPACE.COM/SANDRIENMUSIC PHOTO BY BESEV

MY AMSTERDAM

TOP LOCATIONS

The first 10 years I lived in AMSTERDAM OUD WEST upstairs from an old Amsterdam café - CAFE DE KWAKER - where I went regularly to chat, play billiards, bingo and drink beers. The owners of the café, Bob and Janna, became my Amsterdam parents. Oudwest is a cool part of the city, where different nationalities merge but where you also get a sense of old Amsterdam. Now I live in Amsterdam Westerpark and like it better. You have a lot of space here, which is unusual in Amsterdam. I live very close to the W E ST E RGA ST E R R E I N , a place full with clubs, galleries, bars and a nice park. I feel really relaxed in this part of town.

In summer I love to go to the WESTERPARK . It’s super nice, and they often have concerts in the park. Last summer Radiohead was playing there; I can remember sitting on a hill, drinking wine and barbecuing while listening. Pure perfection! PACI F I C PA R K is a nice spot; they have a fireplace, where you end up for hours. On summer nights I love to sit on terraces. ALVERNA in Oud West is a perfect terrace with sun all day. I also love to go to the B L AU W E TH EEHUIS , it’s in the Vondelpark and NA SSAU CAFÉ . Then later we go to clubs such as SUGAR FACT ORY, FLEX BAR, W E ST E RU N I E , STUDIO 80, PARADISO OR M ELKWEG . In winter the STU B N I T Z BOAT is in Amsterdam and that’s one of my favourite places to go to. It’s located in the NDSM area in the north of Amsterdam, which is a great big industrial area – very raw. They used to do a lot of parties over there, but it’s gotten less because of problems with permits and licences.

THE OPEN-MINDED CITY I think Amsterdam has all the ingredients of a metropolis; it’s just much smaller and cosier. You can go everywhere by bike. And you can smoke pot here of course, but I think that’s mainly a tourist occupation. For me Amsterdam is the most open-minded city of Holland. Some parts of Holland are really old fashioned, Amsterdam is the only place where I can be who I want to be, and live the way I want to live.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… For me the quintessential Amsterdam experience would involve a record shopping tour on a Thursday, running into some friends, having some impromptu drinks and dinner and then going to clubs where you meet everybody else. What I really like about Amsterdam is that I don’t necessarily have to make a date in order to meet up with someone. You can easily go somewhere on your own because you know everybody else will be there. Another favourite Amsterdam moment was in winter when there was ice on the canals. We’d organised an ice hockey tournament and skated on the canals the whole day.

BEST EATS AND DRINKS At the YAMAZAT O RESTAURANT at the Okura hotel you can have the most perfect, Michelin star awarded sushi. Killer! My favourite everyday sort of place is the SI NGEL 404 ; they have the best sandwiches – big and tasty! It’s hard to name a favourite bar, there are several that I go to, like SCHUI M, GETAWAY CA F É and the bars around NOORDERMARK T . My favourite café is the Cafe TH E KWAKER . It’s the cafe that I used live upstairs from. I love it because of the people and the true old Amsterdam feel there.

TIME OUT When I’m stressed I love to take the bike and just start riding. I usually end up in the area of AMSTERDAMSE BOS. It’s a forest, but also has a polder landscape. It’s so beautiful over there and so quiet. There’s nobody! I stay there for an hour and a half, feel a hundred times better and can go back to the city again.


»EET SMAKELIJK« FIFTEEN

BAZAAR

NEVY

ENVY

ENVY

FIFTEEN

Gourmet comes in small sizes Envy is all about fresh products, high quality bites and a great glass of wine. An open kitchen and a wall of refrigerators showcasing a variety of cheeses, oysters, jams and chutneys immediately stimulate the appetite. Seeing food is conducive to eating food! They serve only entremets, which means you can taste a bit of everything without eating too much. With a stylish but not pretentious atmosphere, this place has the vibe of a little Italian deli. PRINSENGRACHT 381 | 1016 AMSTERDAM

Jamie Oliver’s Disciples Based on the successful concept by Jamie Oliver, where youngsters are educated as chefs, Fifteen Amsterdam is huge but cosy with oodles of charisma. The dishes have a Mediterranean touch and vary every few weeks, as the staff obviously need to practice a variety. If you are only in for a quick bite, sit down in the Trattoria for delicious fresh antipasti and pasta. All food is prepared with love and the wine menu shows a discerning taste. The enthusiastic staff is very caring and you may get lucky and hear a few anecdotes.

TEL.+31(0) 203446407 | WWW.ENVY.NL

JOLLEMANHOF 9 | 1019 AMSTERDAM TEL. +31(0) 9003438336 | WWW.FIFTEEN.NL

BAZAAR Taste The Orient What used to be a church is now a setting to meet the world. The colourful tables, bright lights and vibrant acoustic create an atmosphere of a busy market somewhere in an exotic land. The dishes are mainly from North Africa or the Middle East and pleasantly priced. All the meat in this restaurant is halal. You can also enjoy a very extensive breakfast or a special lunch. Just sitting down at the cosy bar, drinking a fresh mint tea and enjoying the delightful surroundings is also a treat.

NEVY

ALBERT CUYPSTRAAT 18 | 1073 AMSTERDAM

WESTERDOKSDIJK 40 | 1013 AMSTERDAM

TEL.+31(0) 206750544 | WWW.BAZARAMSTERDAM.NL

TEL.+31(0) 20344 64 09 | WWW.NEVY.NL

Seafood Deluxe Nevy focuses entirely on high-quality fresh seafood. The menu varies from day to day, depending on what is in stock. Little details bring classic old fish markets to mind. In the ‘rawbar’ fresh fish and shellfish are displayed on ice containers. Make your choice and it will be prepared at your table just the way you like it. Bright colours, a huge terrace and the wide views of the Ij river ensure a Côte d’Azur-like atmosphere.


»GET SOME SLEEP« HOTEL DYLAN

LLOYD HOTEL

Pure Escapism Fashion-conscious travelers stay at the Dylan, a landmark in terms of style and service. The historical 17th century building in the heart of Amsterdam is an architectural highlight, which embraces both the past and the future. Each of the rooms and suites are individually designed to provide the ideal blend of color, texture and atmosphere. Daring and dramatic, offering style, elegance and a sensational personal service for its guests, the Dylan creates a stylish and intimate residence for every purpose.

Home Away From Home If you really want to experience something different, this is the place. The buzzing Eastern Docklands district is home to the unconventional Lloyd Hotel, which houses one to five-star rooms. This is more than just a quirky design hotel. With its innovative view of tradtional accomodation it is characterized by Dutch cutting-edge design and architecture. Every room is different and inspiring, combined with a relaxed atmosphere that will soothe the creative mind. There are many wonderful eccentricities, and much to love.

KEIZERSGRACHT 384 | 1016 AMSTERDAM

OOSTELIJKE HANDELSKADE 34 | 1019 AMSTERDAM

TEL +31(0) 205302010 | WWW.DYL ANAMSTERDAM.COM

TEL. +31(0) 205613636 | WWW.LLOYDHOTEL.COM

MIAUW SUITES

HOTEL V

The Real Deal These luxurious apartments in an charming old-style Dutch monument will make you feel an inhabitant of Amsterdam. This toplocation in the nine streets area, is surrounded by quirky shops, nice little bars and good restaurants. The suites are extremely spacious and bright rooms, decorated with a perfect blend of stylish modern furniture and vintage ones, give a comfortable, warm feeling. The suites comprise a separate bedroom, bathroom and living room plus an open style kitchen. The freedom and ambiance of home, makes it suitable for a longer stay.

‘V’ For Very Comfy Hotel V is a comfortable, unpretentious design hotel, just within walking distance of all the places to be. The rooms are fashionably decked out in earthy hues with quirky detailing like bathroom walls made of pebbles and the key-tree, from which the room keys hang like ripe fruits ready to be picked. Coming back from a long day of walking around town, there’s nothing better than relaxing at the round fireplace with a drink and the sound of some funky music.

HARTENSTRAAT 34 | 1016 CC AMSTERDAM

WETERINGSCHANS 136 | 1017 AMSTERDAM

TEL.+31(0) 204220561 | WWW.MIAUW.COM

TEL. +31(0) 206623233 | WWW.HOTELV.NL

MIAUW SUITES

LLOYD HOTEL

HOTEl V HOTEL DYLAN


leggings shoes b e lt

m a r c e l o s t e r ta g

vag a b o n d mAlene birger


GYPSY SWING Photogr aph y

ProduCtion Styling Model

F RA U K E F ISC H ER

Sandra Liermann

MOD Y AL K H U F AS H

J U LIET K OT H E / SEEDS

HAIR & M A K EU P

STE F AN K E H L / BLOSSOM

S t y l i STS A s s i s ta n t

SAM GANT

P h o t o GRA P HERS A s s i s ta n t Sp e c i a l t h a n k s t o

NOEL F Ä S K ORN

F95 storE


m u lt i c o l o r e d d r e s s

c.neeon

b l ack s k i r t

Y3

whitE skirt

E l i z a b e t h hu r l e y

sca r fs shoes

pieces vag a b o n d


l e f t pag e hea d sca r fs

r i g h t pag e

veromoda + mAlene birger

c h a i n t o p/ n e ck l ac e

Arielle de Pinto

l i g h t p i n k ta n k t o p skirts

wood wood

D r yk o r n

ca r di v e st

D r yk o r n

neckl ace malene birger leggings

A d i d a s s i lv e r

b l ack s c a r f

Gail sorronda


n e t t e d g o l d/ w h i t e t o p b l ack d r e s s

objects

Gail sorronda

Sc a r f

D e s i g n e r r e m i x b y Ch a r l o t t e E s k i l d s e n

shoes

gold bianco foot wear

e a r r i n g s a n d n e ck l ac e

Rh e a n n a l i n g h a m @ F 9 5 s t o r e


left

r ighT

c h e ck e r e d t o p vest

H e N d r i k V i b s kov

mamalicious

p i n k / b l ack Sc a r f

h e n d r i k v i b s kov

dr ess off w hite

m a R c e l o s t e r ta g

c h e ck e r e d b l u e d r e s s Cashmer e sca r f

g o l d e n n e ck l ac e shoes

wood wood

E r fu r t @ F 9 5 s t o r e Rh e a n n a l i n g h a m

vag a b o n d

f l ow e r p r i n t l e g g i n g s

m a r c e l o s t e r ta g


left b u t t e r f ly d r e s s shoes

m a r c e l o s t e r ta g

Ru p e r t s a n d e r s o n

pa n c h o

MA l e n e b i r g e r

sca r f 1 + 2

selected Femme


I N T E RV I E W S Starting things off is 端ber-producer/ musician/ DJ/ composer: Nitin Sawhney, who as a British-Indian had a very personal and sensitive response to the London bombings, and made an album about it. Next we have N.A.S.A. (North America South America) a project from American Squeak E Clean and Brazilian DJ Zegon that is all about bringing the most diverse people and worlds together - it takes in artists from over 40 countries and has taken them almost six years to make! Major props to them for their dedication to celebrating diversity! Last but definitely not least is Jamie Catto (of Faithless and 1 Giant Leap fame) who together with Duncan Bridgeman has created a unique new band called What About Me - they visited 50 countries in seven months and have recorded the most inspiring visual soundtrack imaginable. Enjoy these very special interviews!


N i t i n S aw h n ey

LONDON UNDERSOUND


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

I N T ERV I EW

L i z M c G r at h

I M AG E

77

S T E V E G U L L IC K

Nitin Sawhney is an artist who has always been intensely interested in the topic of diversity. Just a glance at the titles of his past eight albums ref lect this – with names like ‘Migration’, ‘Human’, ‘Beyond Skin’ and now ‘London Undersound’ it is clear he is passionate on the subject. Nitin Sawhney has never shied away from topics like racism, immigration, poverty, prejudices. Yet his albums aren’t heavy going – they have moments light as air often owing to his choice of collaborating singers who come from all sorts of backgrounds and enrich his work with their beautiful and unique voices. Then there are also many funky and danceable tracks thanks to his love of dubstep and drum’n’bass – he is truly as versatile and diverse as they come. Sawhney’s heritage is Indian and he is a master composer, who weaves classical Indian music through almost all his albums. However, Nitin Sawhney is first and foremost British, as we discuss at length in this interview. The album London Undersound is about his reaction to the London bombings that shook the city centre in July 2007. It’s a remarkable album that captures London at this moment in time – he collaborated with many talented rappers and singers and it’s a brave comment on how, as an Indian-British citizen, he is watching his city of London become polarised and governed by suspicion and fear. Ever the optimist though, Sawhney believes this current situation can change. He will always hope and believe that we can do better and eventually will come together again to see diversity as something to be celebrated, not something to be afraid of.

I love how you have addressed t his dif f icult t op i c w i t h a n a lbum, and found all t hese dif ferent s t or ies t o ex p re s s w i t h s o many dif ferent contr ibut or s - do you t hink n ot e n o u g h h a s been done yet by ot her ar tis ts t o address t he ch a n ge t h a t L ondon ha s gone and is going t hrough?

Well I kind of do what I do and the artists have contributed a lot of ideas to the album in terms of capturing a feeling about London. I can only speak for myself in saying I’m really into the idea of music that really engages with your context and your identity. It’s hard for me to judge other people’s work though. My favourite artists are those who embrace cultural diversity and London to me is culturally a very diverse place, although I do think London has changed a lot in the last few years. Partly for sure the reason I did the album was because I thought it was time for an artist to address the subject. I ’ m a Londoner myself t hough I’ve been ba sed in B e rl i n fo r year s. However when I visit ed London af t er t he b o m b i n g s , I did notice t his new sense of suspicion and fear i n t h e a i r t hat wa sn’t t here before. And I t hought it wa s s tr a n ge t h e re h adn’t been any media campaign by t he Gover n m e n t t h a t

l o o ke d r a c i s m i n t h e fa c e a n d s a i d s o m et h i n g a b o u t l i ke ‘ l o o k we k n ow yo u’re s c a re d , b u t c e r t a i n ways a re n ot t h e way fo r wa rd ’ - b u t n ot h i n g l i ke t h a t h a s c o m e a b o u t . W h a t d o yo u t h i n k ?

Well that’s interesting because I also think that at the end of the day people who are in Government want power, and I don’t tend to trust people anyway that want power, I trust people who want justice, equality and humanity. The problem is people who want power run the world, and the thing is if you want to keep power, as Noam Chomsky said, it’s good to keep people scared. And what’s happened in the last few years is there’s been this real attempt by governments to blame immigrants for all sorts of problem at home, from joblessness to terrorism and I think that’s allowed them to put street-cameras on every corner and build up a big-brother sort of society – a suspicious society, as you said; the feeling of watching everyone else, and knowing the government watching you. It’s getting to the point where across the world there is this Protectionism movement, and the governments do a lot to contribute to that, even though later try and hold their hands up and say it’s not us, we haven’t done this. But actually all their laws, all the way they work, really can


7 8

EB INTERVIEWS

encourage racism to thrive, and that’s why right-wing groups like the BNP have been able to f lourish – in countries like Great Britain and now also in Russia – they don’t want to take responsibility and they want to blame other people for their country’s own economic failures. So I don’t really trust governments. The fact that are our government, together with America, went into Iraq and murdered that many women and children was for me the ultimate act of racism. War is a racist act. I’m not saying that music has to respond to things like that specifically but it is a very powerful force and it is a uniting language and just by making music that is a collaboration project involving people from other cultures and by making music that is really about humanity, you automatically make a response against that kind of paranoid thinking.

own right, and learn about the great figures in their society. It’s only if we bother to educate ourselves with the way the world really is. In 2001 I travelled around the world and met Aboriginal Australians, native Americans, as I needed my own perspective on it. Because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on Fox News or CNN anymore. Their equation is if one person dies in America, it’s equivalent to 50,000 in India in terms of how the news report it. So we are brainwashed into believing that some people are more important than others, which is bullshit. That’s why no one understands Islam properly because they have never been educated properly about it. It’s an odd thing because what is a terrorist? A terrorist is often someone who is fighting back with stones against someone else who has nuclear bombs? And America and England have more nuclear bombs than any other

“The point is people who blow other people up are crazy. It’s not about saying they’re Muslim or Jewish or Christian, we should just be saying, ‘These people are mad; but it doesn’t mean we can tarnish everyone else from their religion with the same brush. S eeing a s for obvious rea sons t he Asian communi t y a re h avi ng t he mos t dif f icult time in London r ight now - a re t h e re a ny specif ic t hings you t hink t he Asian and Musl i m c o m m un ity should do t o improve t his dif f icult situation t h ey h ave fo und t hemselves t hr us t int o?

I mean I come from a Hindu background so it would be difficult for me to comment specifically on the Muslim community. Having said that it does strike me that there has been an unfair targeting of Muslims. It started when right after 9/11 you had George Bush turning around and announcing to the worlds media, ‘We mustn’t blame the Muslims’ and I thought why are you even saying that in the first place? After the Oaklahoma bombings no one turned around and said, ‘oh we mustn’t blame Christians’. I mean the point is bombers are crazy. People who blow other people up are crazy. It’s not about saying they’re Muslim, or Jewish or Christian, we should just be saying, ‘These people are mad. They’re dangerous people, they’re crazy people’, but it doesn’t mean we can tarnish everyone else from their religion with the same brush. That would be crazy. A very large proportion of the world is Muslim. And almost all of them are peaceful Muslims. Allah means peace. It has nothing to do with jihad and terrorism. There is definitely a lack of decent education in the Western schools about the Muslim world and its religion. I was only taught about India in relation to colonialism, Africa in relation to slavery, the middle-east in relation to the crusades. We don’t ever learn about those cultures in their

country in the world. We use this word terrorism as if it’s the ultimate act of evil, but in my eyes having so many nuclear bombs is the ultimate act of evil. Sorry if it sound like I’m going off on one now. But it all relates because for me music is the language of humanity, it allows you to feel and engage with what’s around you. My heroes were people from public enemy, Bob Dylan and John Lennon, people who had things to say about their world around them – that’s what I want to do. O bv i o u s ly yo u r f r i e n d Na t t y wh o yo u c o l l a b o r a t e d w i t h o n t h e f i r s t s o n g ‘ D ays o f f i re’ h a d a ve r y c l o s e s h ave b ot h t i m e s wh e n t h e b o m b i n g s we n t o f f . H e wa s i n L o n d o n’s Tav i s t o ck S q u a re i n f ro n t o f t h e ex p l o d i n g b u s a n d t h e n h e wa s t wo c a r r i a ge s b e h i n d wh e n t h e p o l i c e w ro n g ly s h ot d e a d s u sp e c t e d t e r ro r i s t C h a rl e s d e M e n d o z a . W h a t wa s i t l i ke t o wo rk w i t h h i m o n t h a t ?

Well it was a very weird coincidence that he was at both events; it was quite amazing to write a piece of music with him. He is a really interesting artist and both of those experiences came through pretty clearly in that track. It’s a very honest track. I f yo u eve r h a d a ch a n c e t o s p e a k t o a b o m b e r wh a t wo u l d yo u s ay t o t h e m ?

The problem is who is the bomber? I would say to George Bush, please stop blowing people up. Seventy-three percent of the wars since World War II, have been waged by America. It’s interesting


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

79

you phrase it like that, and I’m just trying to make you see that there are other ‘bombers’ in this world like George Bush who just get a free pass to bomb whoever they like, simply because they are in power.

I s aw yo u a t G l a s t o n b u r y a f ew ye a r s a g o a c t u a l ly – i t wa s wo n d e r f u l t o h e a r t h a t c l a s s i c a l I n d i a n m u s i c i n t h a t c o nt ex t a n d i n s u ch a g re a t op e n s p a c e.

Your song EK Jaan st ar ts with the line ‘So I a sked them if they wouldn’t mind removing the veil, so I could t alk t o them’. What’s your opinion of the veil’s position in Wester n society?

Ye a h . A ny way … o bv i o u s ly yo u h ave b e e n ve r y i n f l u e n c e d by d u b s t ep a n d d r u m ’ n’ b a s s f ro m w i t h i n t h e L o n d o n c u l t u r a l s c e n e. A ny t h i n g e l s e t o a d d ?

Well, that track is really about diversity. And that is a recording of the Labour party minister Jack Straw when he said ‘the veil is a mark of separation’ as if that was automatically a bad thing. My point is that cultural diversity is something that the government is supposed to be celebrating. The Race Relations Act that the government passed is meant to be about celebrating diversity, so for him to turn around and say it’s a mark of separation is completely two-faced. Why do we have to make everyone the same? EK Jaan is my response to Jack Straw saying that.

Yeah, exactly. I love dubstep and drum’n’bass, Dex and Scream are great drum n bass people that I like. There are so many different movements that come out of London, garage too obviously, and the east end of London is great for producing new sounds. I love a lot of new German producers at the moment too – Jazzanova have done some really good work- the remix they did with Jil Scot of ‘Long Walk’ was incredible. There���s a lot of great stuff that comes from all over Europe, but of course there are especially a lot of movements that are coming out of London that are so varied, exciting and culturally diverse.

A nd are you t alking about t he veil t hat cover s t he wh o l e fa c e o r jus t head scar ves?

I mean lets look at it this way, no one would ever ask a Christian nun why they are covered up, it just would never happen. But nuns are very covered up, they at least wear a headdress covering their hair and high-necked long dresses – when they’re in a convent they have a headdress that covers their whole head and neck with just their face showing. But you don’t see nuns attacked on the tube. But women wearing the veil on the tube in London are now victims of racial attack. People become aggressive to these women wearing veils, which is so strange. The media is not helping, they don’t educate people and encourage them to feel curious about why; they encourage people to feel aggressive towards them. It’s a very odd atmosphere at the moment. B eing bot h Indian and Br itish, how would you de s c r i b e t h e d if ferent par ts of you? Or would you not even loo k a t i t l i ke t hat?

Well, I’d say my heritage is Indian but my context is British, but I don’t really like definitions based on nationality anyway. Nationality for me is a bit of a red herring because it’s not something that you can contribute towards. It’s something you have to be born into by chance – but culture is something you can contribute towards. That’s why for instance I’m interested in Indian classical music, or Indian art or poetry. But I’m not really interested in ‘Indian-ness’ or ‘being Indian’ per se, I kind of see myself as interested in lots of different cultures. I’m interested in Brazilian culture, I’m interested in Spanish f lamenco culture, in Cuban music, all sorts. I don’t limit myself with national definitions; I prefer to define myself within a cultural identity. I love t he cla ssical Indian music t hat you weave t h ro u g h your albums by t he way.

Oh cool. Thank you.

Oh really? That’s cool! It’s a great place.

D o yo u h ave a m e s s a ge fo r t h e yo u n g p e op l e o f L o n d o n ?

I always say, just be yourself. Don’t allow people to try to make you feel that who you are or where you come from, your background or history is any way less important than anybody elses. Unfortunately the world always tries to convince you of that regardless of where you come from or what your background is, and if it’s not issues of race there’s issues of class. Don’t be afraid of that. Love yourself and each other. w w w . n i t i n s a w h n e y. c o m


JAMIE CATTO AROUND THE WORLD IN SEVEN MONTHS


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«


For this issue on diversity, I speak to Jamie Catto. Founding member of dance supergroup Faithless, Jamie is the creative catalyst, producer, director, multi-talented, lateral thinking, creative wizard (with partner Duncan Bridgeman) behind album, film and TV project 1 Giant Leap (as I draw breath here!), oh, and not to mention two Grammy Award nominations, plus The Observer Ethical award nomination for his latest venture What About Me. Travelling through all five continents over seven months, Jamie and Duncan recorded in over 50 locations to create the most inspiring visual/soundtrack they could imagine. What About Me gathers insights into universal themes through the most illuminating and inspiring people they could find, from spiritual gurus to political activists, film stars and the ordinary Joe. If there is one person suited to talk about diversity, it’s Jamie Catto. I wanted to find out more about the amazing What About Me and what makes Jamie tick. I N T ERV I EW

L U CY ARROW S M ITH

What made you make t he jump f rom Fait hless t o 1 G i a n t L eap?

I’ve always been inspired by things, you know, books and beautiful things. I’ve also been exposed to a lot of stuff in my life. I’ve been into Ram Dass and Kurt Vonnegut for a long time, but most people in the mainstream don’t really know who they are. We wanted to showcase all the great African singers, Indian drummers and people that we loved, as most don’t really like world music. If we’re honest, no one does. Yep, world music is supposedly uncool isn’t it?

Yes, it’s professional suicide! S o how did you make it cool?

We made it our music and people were guesting. Baaba Maal is an incredible singer, but if you heard his album it sounds ‘clinky clonky’, so you don’t get the feel of how great he really is. But if you put our Pink Floyd-type backing track under it and he sings over it, then it’s in the western context; you can’t deny how fucking amazing it is. That’s what we are trying to do; we try to showcase things that are important, interesting, inspiring in an entertaining way. What gave you t he idea in t he f ir s t place? Did s o m et h i n g i nspire you?

I’ve always been into that kind of stuff, so when I left Faithless and could basically do what I wanted, I wanted to gather together everything I thought was brilliant into one form, and blow people’s minds through the most inspiring thing ever made. This ‘need’ to inspire people, was it to do with your upbringing?

More to do with my wounding actually than my good qualities. It’s my process against my feeling of isolation and wounding, it’s

why we make all our stuff. It’s to reach out and make a connection with the world, not just for the world, but also for me, me and Duncan. I s i t h e l p i n g yo u r wo u n d s ?

I don’t know. That’s a good question, I’m pretty addicted to most things. I get yanked from this compulsion to that compulsion. At least I know I’m doing it, so that’s a slight improvement. It must be helping in some way. Yo u r n ew ve n t u re W h a t Ab o u t M e i s o u t n ow, b u t wh a t’s t h e d i f f e re n c e b et we e n 1 G i a n t L e a p a n d W h a t Ab o u t M e ?

1 Giant Leap was about universal subjects. Our fascination with exploring the unity of humanity through music and philosophy. This time we wanted to make it more personal. What About Me is about individuals. The way we’re insane, the ways we hurt ourselves. Obvious things we never talk about. It’s about how we are connected through our creativity and beliefs and most of all through our collective insanity. T h e s e p ro j e c t s a re h u ge a n d c o s t ly, h ow d i d yo u get f u n d i n g fo r i t ?

Easily really, I was working on Annie Lennox’s new video, Bare. Annie is managed by Simon Fuller, the man behind 19 Management. He asked what I was doing for the next 1 Giant Leap, and I asked if he had seen the first one. He said he had a copy, which of course I was chuffed about. So I told him about my idea for What About Me and it costs about this. I’m looking for a 50/50 deal with someone, our genius and their money. Simon said go and do a budget. That was it! Chris Blackwell from Palm Pictures fame (the man who brought us Bob Marley and U2) helped with the first 1 Giant Leap. It was his idea to make an album and film. All we wanted to do was travel around the world making music with people on the streets, like cab drivers,


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

you know, all our greatest inspirations. Chris thought it was a great idea. Who are you inspired by?

Millions! All the people in the film, especially Ram Dass, he’s the old guy at the end talking about death. He’s the greatest inspiration in my life. One of the biggest catalysts in my life for my studio awakening. Also, Michael Stipe from REM, he really made me feel ok about being an artist when I was leaving Faithless. I felt in my own right I had some energy.

83

D o yo u t h i n k yo u’ l l p u t o n a b i g s c a l e c o n c e r t l i ke L ive A i d ?

Yes, I would love to, if we had a budget and I thought we would get enough people to show up. Yes, I would love to get all the artists to come together and create one big Giant Leap bonanza. We’ve done a little something like this before, we’ve done one of the Womad’s, and that was brill, and one gig at the Festival Hall in London. I want to do more, more, more. If people would stop worrying abut the credit crunch and give me some more money (laughs), people don’t give money like they used to. W h a t a r t i s t s h ave yo u i nvo lve d i n W h a t a b o u t M e?

Wa s Michael a hero of your s t hen?

He wasn’t before I met him. I quite liked the singles, but you know, they were just another band I quite liked. When I met him, I realised what he meant by authenticity. REM never ever go on a show and mime, they will only play live or they won’t go. Which is cool– they’d rather not get the exposure than mime. You’ve worked wit h so many t alent ed people, is t h e re a nyo n e e lse you want t o work wit h?

I’d love to do something more substantial with Stephen Fry; he’s one of my most favourite people on the planet. Emiliana Torrini, she’s one of the greatest. You should go and get her new album, it’s called Me And Armini, it’s sublime. To be in a room with Paul Simon, Bob Dylan or Woody Allen, that goes without saying. Missy Elliot I think is cool. T r avelling around t he world can be a tr icky t hin g i n i t s e l f , b ut you were making amazing music on t op of t ha t . H ow d i d you do it?

We had a laptop and small mixing desk that ran off camera batteries so we could record anywhere. Out in the rainforest, jungle, or rooftops with no electricity and get eight hours worth of studio time. That’s one of the genius parts of the trips. When we say mobile studio we don’t mean a truck, we mean a backpack. Yo u m u s t h ave s e e n s o m e we i r d a n d wo n d e r f u l m u s i c a l i ns tr uments on your tr avels?

Yep, we did. My favourite is the doubuk; it’s an Armenian oboe. It’s used a lot in Hollywood now, Gladiator being one of the films. It has the most amazing haunting sound. You set out t o tr y and achieve ‘unity t hrough dive r s i t y ’. D o you feel you have done so?

You don’t need to achieve unity though diversity, the world is unity but people don’t realise it. You don’t need to achieve it– it is. I’m just trying to reveal it. I get people writing to me after watching the films and telling me they have changed their path in life, which is fucking cool. I should call you Sir Jamie? L OL

Yes, I wasn’t going to mention that! (laughs)

Will Young, Maxi Jazz, Tim Robbins, Billy Connolly, Michael Stipe, Ekhart Tolle, Baaba Maal and loads of other amazing artists. J u s t re f e r r i n g b a ck t o i n s a n i t y, wh a t’s t h e m o s t i n s a n e t h i n g yo u’ve d o n e ?

It’s what I’m about to do. I’m about to take on the American criminal system. I’m trying to make a film about how one in three black men are in prison. How it’s a sweatshop empire and the second biggest economy (money-wise) in America after the military and no one knows about it. S o u n d s l i ke yo u h ave a t o u g h f ew m o n t h s a h e a d o f yo u . A f t e r t h a t , wh a t’s n ex t ?

You’ll love it, it’s so cute. I’ll tell you, but don’t tell anyone… w w w . w h ata b o u t me . t v. m y s pa c e . c o m / j a m i e c at t o mus i C


N.A .S.A .

NICE AND SAFE AT TITUDE TEXT

Gareth Owen

Squeak E Clean, real name Sam Spiegel, is a DJ, music producer and the brother of cult film director Spike Jonze. He first gained worldwide acclaim in conjunction with Spike creating a lullaby soundtrack with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the award winning Adidas film Hello Tomorrow. He has produced artists such as Fat Lip, and Crystal Castles, as well as running his own commercial studio providing music for adverts, films and video games. And then there is N.A.S.A. N.A.S.A, as well as being the name of North America’s space programme, is also the name of the long running project of Sam and his partner-in-crime, Brazilian DJ Zegon. They began to work together over six years ago, with the idea of bringing together musicians and artists from completely different backgrounds that were not constricted to any musical style, literally the point where musical worlds collide. With over 40 artists contributing to the album, their names read like a leftfield who’s who, with David Byrne, Tom Waits, Karen O and Lovefoxx all making appearances. With this issue being about diversity and people from every background working together, I wanted to find out some more about what it’s like to work on such a broad and interesting project.


8 6

EB INTERVIEWS

After eventually getting hold of Sam on a very crackly phone line, and explaining who I was– as for some reason he wasn’t expecting my call– I spent an illuminating half hour finding out all about N.A.S.A, what it’s like working with Tom Waits and what’s in store for their coming world tour. H ey Sam, t hank s for t aking t he time t o speak t o m e. W h a t a re you up t o r ight now?

I’m heading to New York as I’m going to play a show there tomorrow, and then after that I am off to Amsterdam. Then I come back to L.A for a bit, then England, then all over the world! T hat sounds hectic…

Yeah it’s pretty crazy! S o what’s your backg round – I t hink you are pro b a b ly a b i t m ore known in t h e US t han here in Europe.

Yeah, indeed! Well, musically I actually grew up playing quite a few different classical instruments. Then after that, I started getting into hip hop and making hip hop beats in high school. I had actually got into DJ’ing a bit before that, I grew up in New York, them moved to LA, and when I got here, I started working with various hip hop projects – Fat Lip, and a few other people. At the same time I was doing rock stuff with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In between, I should probably add that I also started do scores for pictures and films, some skate films, one called Yeah Right!, and I was also doing music for commercials. I actually have a commercial music company for commercials, video games, that kind of thing. S o you produce your own music, but you also score t h e m u s i c fo r ot her people’s projects. Do you see t hose two t h i n g s a s c omplement ar y? Or do you work on t hem separ at e ly ?

Yeah, they are definitely complementary, for a number of reasons. Because it’s really, like, doing music for films teaches you a lot. A lot about feelings, as you really learn lot about that. Manipulating people’s feelings, sometimes doing the opposite of what is expected to make it feel a certain way. And then I think in terms of making records, you learn a lot about dynamics, in terms of energy, builds, drops, and that is definitely important in both. So, yeah, they are definitely complementary. S o, t ell me some more about N.A .S.A , what is t h e c o n c ept b ehind t he projec t?

Well, N.A.S.A stands for North America South America, and it’s a project I am doing with DJ Zegon from São Paolo. And really, the concept is about bringing people together from totally different worlds. It kind of started in 2003, when we started making a track and came up with a name. One of the first tracks we made was with Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Fat Lip and Karen O. Right when we made that track the concept kind of came together. We decided that on every song we were going to find the craziest

combination of people and put them together to make a track. Also, people that you would just never expect to see together, but somehow work together. So we started like that, and out of that concept a very unifying thing came out, in terms of not having boundaries between different types of music and different types of people. So that really came into being part of the concept of the record, and we just tried to expand upon that and keep the record cohesive with that idea throughout all the songs. T h e p e op l e yo u h ave ch o s e n t o c o l l a b o r a t e w i t h a re a ve r y u n u s u a l c o l l e c t i o n o f a r t i s t s . Wa s i t yo u r w i s h l i s t o f p e op l e yo u wa n t e d t o wo rk w i t h ? H ow d i d yo u ch o o s e t h e p e op l e ? To m Wa i t s , fo r ex a mp l e.

It was just people who we were fans of, people whose music we loved, and then the people that just fitted on a given song. We didn’t really write any of the songs for someone in particular, but we would write the song, and be like “OK, who does this one feel like?” We always tried to come up with people from adverse worlds that fitted in the songs that felt like them. A n d wa s i t d i f f i c u l t t o d e a l w i t h ove r 4 0 d i f f e re n t a r t i s t s ? I i m a g i n e t h e i r i n d iv i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s we r e r e l a t ive ly s m a l l . 4 0 t h i n g s f ro m 4 0 p e op l e, a n d ex p l a i n i n g t h e c o n c ept 40 times.

Well, creatively it wasn’t hard, as everyone on the record without exception was just amazing. All of the collaborators invested something emotionally into the project. But logistically… it was not easy. It was very difficult; I mean that’s why it took almost six years! We didn’t just want to send people stuff and then they just email it to us. We wanted to be there with them in person to collaborate. We wanted the record to sound like one piece, not just a random collection of songs, and also we tried to get the artists who were collaborating together in the same room as much as possible. It was tremendously difficult, but incredibly rewarding. It was amazing really to be working with all of these people who I consider to be my heroes. We re yo u s u r p r i s e d by a ny o f t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s ? D i d t h ey bring anything t o the t able in t er ms of music of lyrical cont ent?

Absolutely. Pretty much, with a few exceptions, we would always already have a chorus or an idea behind the song ready. But David Byrne, for instance, was constantly putting ideas in. The People Tree, for instance, totally came from David’s consciousness, he just started writing. The way he worked was to first create a lyric-less melody, and then he was the only one who actually sent us something. He said he wanted to do it on his own. So we would listen to this vocal, with no words, give our comments and then he would change it a little bit, bring it back, and then he fit words to his melody, and they totally came out of his subconsciousness. But, they had a really strong meaning to me and fitted in with the record: Adam and Eve creation versus


»W E L OV E D I V E R S I T Y«

87

“We decided that on every song we were going to find the craziest combination of people and put them together to make a track!” evolution. At the time, I was reading a book on Darwin, and then we have this song, which is to do with a conversation between God and man, and we have Chali 2na, with his deep and booming voice being God. That was a really fun and creative process. We were asking questions of God, you know like, why does hate exist, but it was done like a call and return thing, that was so much fun. It was a creative process to which absolutely everyone contributed something.

every ounce of strength he had, in that performance. What happened is, we reached out to him, and he was really into it and surprised us by saying yes, because, ya know, he never does collaborations or anything like that. We went up to this log cabin studio that he likes to work at, in the middle of nowhere. He just came by with his wife, and they are just wonderful people. So, yeah, we just kinda hung out all night and wrote music. It was maybe only four hours.

So did you have to go to meet the people you were working with?

A n d o n t h e M . I . A . t r a ck, wa s s h e i nvo lve d i n t h e m u s i c ? I t s o u n d s q u i t e l i ke a M . I . A . re c o rd .

Oh yeah, we travelled everywhere: Brazil, Jamaica, Canada, Sweden, Houston, Oakland, California, New York, Hawaii. We travelled a lot on this record! A nd in t he pa s t six year s, have you been per fo r m i n g a s N.A .S.A?

We have been DJ’ing, but we have only really got our performance together in the last couple of months with the full visuals and dancers, and we have these crazy dancers dressed up like aliens, which is really fun. We also created visuals that we can play with our turntables. C ontrolled wit h tur nt ables?

Yeah, what we have is four decks and all of our original stuff, or remixes of our remixes, and then we edit the videos. With the new version of Serato, you can actually control video as well, so we play our songs and our videos, but we can control the video and the music with scratching and stuff. Also, with the dancers we try and keep with the concept of the record, of bringing people together, so we get dancers in every city who are friends, or friends of friends, and when we get to a city we get in contact with them and they come, put on the suit and dance with us! It’s different people every night, it’s really fun – we have a met a lot of very cool people.

It’s interesting you say that, because actually what happened [with M.I.A.] was that the track sounded completely different when she sang on it, and she made a bunch of suggestions. I was working on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album at the time, and she was like, “Why don’t you take some left over stuff from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs record, and chuck that in there....?” And, I was like, “OK, sure, sure.” Later on though, I realised that this song was not feeling right, and we were sitting there trying to figure it out. So we thought about trying it with some guitar in there, and Nick from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was in town, and it was about one a.m., I called him up at his hotel and tried to get him to come over … which he didn’t really want to do! I was trying to pump him up, saying we could make music history and all this, and eventually he came over and played some guitar for us. So in a way, even though I didn’t expect it, M.I.A. was totally right about the song in that didn’t feel right, and a guitar would sound great on it. S o i t’s Z e g o n yo u wo rk w i t h ? H ow d i d yo u m e et , wa s i t i n Brazil?

S o I guess you are now pretty excit ed about sh ow i n g t h e p roject?

We actually met through a friend of ours on Ed Banger, that French label. He was finishing a record with his band, so he was in LA at the time. Zegon was living there in Mario C’s house, the Beastie Boys producer, and we just met at an album wrap-up party, talking bout Brazilian music, and the next day we were hanging out making music together! I think literally a week or so later, we made the first track in the N.A.S.A album!

Yeah. It’s extremely gratifying to play for people, and seeing how people like it and react to it.

So it’s fair t o say N.A.S.A st ar t ed at the point where you met?

What I am really int eres t ed in par ticularly is Tom Wa i t s ! D i d you a sk him t o sing like t hat?

Haha, nah man, Tom just did his thing! Yeah, that was amazing, I have never seen someone put so much into a performance as he did. Every toe, everything was going into his voice. He used

Oh definitely, there is no N.A.S.A without both of us. It’s something we totally came up with together.

m y s pa c e . c o m / n a s a


8 8

EB HEAR THIS


89

HEAR THIS Ready to hear some diverse sounds? Because that is what you’ll find in the latest Hear This. Check out the eclectic playlist of our Collector’s Guide, or up-and-coming Tel Aviv DJ and producer Guy Gerber’s Music Moment. And of course all the many new releases that you need in your record bags, pronto!


9 0

EB HEAR THIS


MUSIC REVIEWS THE

R’ CTO E L COL UIDE G TO

S

91

MUSICAL DIVERSIT Y TEXTS

Vik toria pelles

ILLUSTRATION

LEO N A LIST

ARCTIC ELECTRONICA

INTERCONTINENTAL LADY HIP HOP

GusGus – Monument (For the Masses 1998)

Neneh Cherry – Inna City Mama (Raw Like Sushi 1989)

The trying and complex aspects to negotiating a multicultural society is best felt in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s heartfelt film, Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1973), which depicts one of the most unlikely and sweetest interracial relationships in movie history. Perhaps a tenuous link to one of the best covers of a Depeche Mode track, but the name of this Icelandic electronic outfit is a reference to Fassbinder’s film, in which a female character cooks couscous for her lover pronouncing it gus gus.

Born in Sweden, the daughter of a Swedish artist and a drummer from Sierra Leone, Neneh Cherry grew up travelling the world with jazzlegend Don Cherry, her stepfather. The mixed lineage and world-travel obviously helped make Neneh a gorgeous woman of admirable female strength who, with her wit, assertiveness and talent, totally outshone Madonna in the nineties; her Jean Baptiste Mondino styled shoots and videos are a true goldmine of inspiration for nineties-style enthusiasts!

INCA PRINCESS EXOTICA

TROPICAL TECHNO FUNK

Yma Sumac – Taki Rari (Mambo 1955)

Recloose – Turkish Delight (Deeper Waters 12”)

Those with a predilection for winter-depression should definitely familiarise themselves with the miraculous four-and-a-half octave range of Peruvian ultra-diva and alleged Inca princess Yma Sumac; her out-of-this world voice accompanied by mambo beats and happy trumpets is pure intravenous positivity, and will for a few moments surround you with bright colourful f lowers and birds. This might partly explain Sumac’s unexpected popularity in the former Soviet Union.

Detroit bred Matthew Chicoine, who according to Detroit legend slipped Carl Craig a demo tape in his sandwich, is practically a New Zealander these days and his characteristic upbeat tunes are now served with delicious Aotearoan f lavour. The Deeper Waters 12” features Joe Dukie of Fat Freddy’s Drop fame, and the live version of Turkish Delight more than delivers on its name.

AFRO MAGNETIC ELECTRONIC SPIRITUALISM MAINHATTAN MICROHOUSE

Sa-Ra – Hey Love (The Hollywood Recordings 2007)

Isolée – Beau Mot Plage (Rest 1999)

With a name of Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) origin that means “offspring of the most powerful energy in the universe” and a genre they themselves have named “afro magnetic electronic spiritualism”, Sa-Ra was never destined to bring out some sort of run-of-the-mill trash. Instead the music industry heavies from South Central and the South Bronx are responsible for a wholly fresh sound that’s really magical, sexual and free.

The meticulous genre classification system of electronic music is nothing if not amusing. In a prime example of the minutiae of sub-genre labelling, microhouse is described as a more layered variety of minimal techno. Beyond the jargon however, we have 1999 summer anthem ‘Beau Mot Plage’ by producer Isolée (aka Frankfurt-born, Algerian-raised Rajko Müller), a track credited as one of the first microhouse productions, which carries a sound vibrant with variation, hidden structures and airy departures that sound excellent no matter which way you name it.

NYC DOWNTOWN ROCK Lissy Trullie – She Said (Self Taught Learner EP 2009) Much of the online buzz around NYC’s Lissy Trullie focuses on the inconceivable cool of its eponymous front woman. And while Lissy’s elegantly simple aesthetic and aloof manner is truly magnetic, it’s her androgynous voice and smart lyrics delivered alongside a super polished Velvet Underground-ish sound that should be at the centre of all the hype.

FINNISH REBEL AFROBEAT Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu – Global Party (4th Dimension 2009) The recorded catalogue of Finnish producer Jimi Tenor is immense, eclectic and eccentric. After the club-hit ‘Take Me Baby’ in ’94, Jimi turned to jazz, and he continues his exploration of afrobeat on his latest album 4th Dimension, which features Berlin-based Kabu Kabu and, of course, Jimi’s talent on – amongst other things – the sax, f lute and synth.

EURO FOLK ROCK POP Lisa Li-Lund – In That Bar (2008) It’s actually not so surprising to hear that Ms Li-Lund’s ancestry includes France and Sweden. Her breezy, smile-inducing melodies kind of encompass all the positive associations you might have about either nationality. The little sister of the Herman Dune boys gets around all over the globe though, working a lot out of New York City and releasing – amongst others – on Brazilian label Bazuka Discos.

CROSS ATLANTIC PSYCHEDELICA The Earlies – Morning Wonder 2004 With half the members from western Texas and half from northern England, The Earlies amazingly composed their debut album swapping fragments back and forth across the ocean, resulting in a very successful blend of English folk-psychedelica and American harmonies. ‘Morning Wonder’ is their standout symphony featuring an at once dense and delicate cascade of sound paired with the time honoured power of repetitive beats.


9 2

EB HEAR THIS

MUSIC REVI EWS F

OUR TE URI AV O

REVIEWS

G a r e t h O w e n / N e a l e Ly t o l l i s

TOKYO BLACK STAR “Black Ships”

TELEFON TEL AVIV “Immolate Yourself ”

DJ KOZE “Reincarnations”

N.A.S.A “The Spirit Of Apollo”

(Innervisions)

(Bpitch Control)

(Get Physical)

(Anti)

New album and new artist(s) for Dixon’s Innervisions label. Tokyo Black Star is the New York/Tokyo axis of Alex from Tokyo and Isao Kumano. I have heard a lot of techno albums recently, and whilst I would never profess to be the world’s leading expert, I know enough to know that the album format is not where techno exists most happily. But of course, there are exceptions, and TBS definitely fit into that category. It brought to mind the measured space funk of Brian Bennet towards the end, which is definitely where the more interesting elements are to be found. GO

The death of Charlie Cooper has certainly made listening to this album an event tinged with sadness and scuppered my objectivity. However, I had already formed an opinion prior to the news that Charlie had taken his own life and although the fourth darkly bittersweet album from the American duo has a sad and ref lective quality, it is delivered in a format laden with hope. Songs such as ‘Stay Away From Being Maybe’ and ‘Immolate Yourself ’ now have an added dimension of melancholy that means this is probably something I won’t enjoy again for a few months. GO

Remix albums are everywhere at the moment, thrusting their dirty wares in your face with the promise of a cheap thrill and a head full of regrets. DJ Koze is a bit classier than that though as demonstrated by his choice of artists on Reincarnations – Sasha Funke and Ben Watt to name but two. He mutates my favourite Battles track from a terrifying cacophony of rhythm in to an electronic lullaby and forces a German torch song through his strange electronic vision. And it’s all great – Koze imprints his own touches, sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic, but consistently effective. GO

I could use all of this space just to tell you who has collaborated on this album. But, I’m too lazy, so here are three – you can Google for the rest; Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and George Clinton. N.A.S.A is the cherished project of hip hop producers Squeak E Clean and DJ Zegon, calling in favours, rinsing contacts and abusing friends. Is that Tom Waits I hear rapping? I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes. I was partly wrong. This is sonically inventive, lyrically engaging hip hop, that brought a smile to my face more often than it made me grimace. In fact I only grimaced once. Go


MUSIC REVIEWS

93

JOAKIM / VARIOUS “My Best Remixes”

GRACE JONES “Hurricane”

SCOUTING FOR GIRLS “Scouting for Girls”

(Tigersushi)

(PIAS)

(Columbia)

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few years, you cannot have failed to notice the steady ascent of Joakim’s star into that galaxy of super producers, remixes and performers that have the ability to redefine what we consider inventive at the drop of a hat. To call these his best remixes is bordering on understatement. They are some of best remixes period. Joakim’s approach of exploring the different directions a song could have taken sets his remixes well apart from most of the pack, always staying sympathetic to what made the songs good in the first place. However, he mutates, modifies and tweaks to the point where you feel as if you are inhabiting a parallel universe where everything is seen though 20:20 3D goggles. Being a gun for hire is clearly not in his remit. Pretty much essential. GO

Miss Jones’s first LP in almost twenty years is a strong contender for Most Stunning Comeback Ever and reassuring proof that one of the music industry’s most intriguing characters hasn’t lost any of her streetwise magic. Lead single ‘Corporate Cannibal’ sees Grace at her sneering menacing best; ‘Williams Blood’ is a stomping gospel-infused number. While the deadheads are raving about uninspired dross by Crystal Castles and Ting Tings, you can take a well-earned seat on your high horse, safe in the knowledge that one of the best records of recent years has been written and produced by a woman old enough to be your gran. NL

You know that indie band that you first heard on the radio about three years ago and thought, oh wow, not bad, can’t wait to hear more from them? Then a few months tick by and you’re treated to something new on Myspace, then perhaps the occasional clip crops up on Youtube. And by the time they finally get around to getting a deal and releasing a record, you really couldn’t care less about them. Was it Scouting for Girls by any chance? NL

TELEPATHE “Dance Mother” (V2 Records)

Full of cutesy vocals, stuttering off kilter melodies and jerky beats, this has a strong thread of ‘weird’ running through it. Check out band member Busy’s mother doing her best there with an impersonation of Devil’s Trident. NL

A CERTAIN RATIO “Mind Made Up” (Le Son du Maquis)

Before Joy Division and Happy Mondays there was A Certain Ratio, the original Factory Records signing. 24 Hour Party People and Control have kicked off a factory revival while the musical tide is turning away from the plastic happiness of Kitsuné and Modular. This mix of new wave melancholia and Young Americans-era plastic soul could be just what’s needed to widen the appeal of this band beyond the hardcore fans who have been bopping to this since ’78. NL

BLACKBELT ANDERSEN “Blackbelt Andersen” (Full Pupp)

Blackbelt Andersen shoots lasers from the hip, and takes no prisoners on his debut, album. The Eskimo-supported label Full Pupp has really come into its own in the last year, shrugging off the conventions of what electronic music can be, and central to that is Blackbelt Andersen. As throbbing bass lines, aquatic sweeps and insistent electronics melt together to take you on a safari though the stratosphere, you can be sure that this is not a collection of random 12” releases cobbled together – this is a complete journey. It just so happens that you can dance to all of it, though to complete the cosmic effect you may want to paint yourself green, put a fishbowl on your head and communicate with the dog via telepathy. Go


9 4

EB HEAR THIS

DANA RUSH “I Run Iron I Run Ironic”

COMMIX “Fabric Live 44”

RONE “Spanish Breakfast”

(Hunger To Create)

(Fabric Recordings)

(Inf iné)

The second album from the strange and twisted world inhabited by Dasha Rush and a bunch of broken sounding machines. Whilst her first album was cast from a more conventional template, I Run Iron I Run Ironic comes from a weirder, and definitely more interesting place. Like Pole or Pete Namlook injected with a dose of wry feminine humour, Dasha weaves a thread of inky blackness through the layers of her sonic collages. GO

The 44th release in the Fabric Live series sees Cambridge duo Commix take the controls to showcase their skills and selections for the London label. Drum and bass is one of those genres of dance music that seems to be lived through and defined by those people in the scenes that create it. And woe betide anyone who steps outside that close knit community - just ask Pendulum and to some extent Commix. What was once such a fertile ground for experimentation, can often be marred by infighting, conservatism and general bitching about those who step outside the confines of the genre. Having not really listened to drum and bass in anger for a long time, I was intrigued to see what the Commix mix would be like – as much as I pay attention to what labels like Hospital are doing and was aware of Commix , none of the “nu-skool” acts or labels have really grabbed me by the balls and demanded my attention. Which is not to say that Commix’s mix did, but I certainly enjoyed it. Clearly, they have been listening to a lot of different music – there are clear nods to techno and house, and their track selection skips from rolling basslines and two-stepping beats to straight up old skool, with the best and most grown up tracks – ‘Photek’ and ‘Instra Mental’ – saved for last. Another winner from Fabric. Go

Excellent stuff. French producer Erwan Castax is only young but the film maker and music producer gives the impression he has been crafting electronica for ever. Deftly skipping between worlds of melody and beats for the feet, my only criticism is that it feels at times that he is reigning his creativity for the benefit of a more conventional electronic song structure. But with a debut album as polished as this, only someone with a heart of stone would pick faults. GO

HARMONIC 313 “When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence” (Warp)

As the title suggests, this is not an album of f luffy melodies and catchy hooks. Neither, though, is it a bleak view of dystopian future, where machines have taken over and enslaved the human race as tasty snacks and disposable servants. The bass sounds are out of this world - warm, chewable and with just enough gut wobble to make sure you feel them as well as you hear them, they provide a nice counterpoint to the spacey sonics. The only thing that lets this album down is the rapping, which luckily is confined to weaker tracks such ‘Battlestar’. It actually came as a pretty unwelcome intrusion to hear about “axe murdering niggas” after being so completely immersed in a blanket of warm analogue sounds. Still, you can’t win em all. Go

DJ SNEAK “Back In The Box” (NRK)

Sneak goes straight for the jugular here with two straight-up mix CDs with little let-up from start to finish on either. Sneak fills the two discs with the vibe and energy of a great house party. Quick, choppy mixing that is sometimes a little rough around the edges, only add to the feeling that Sneak is in his studio, chillin’ with friends, smoking blunts and playing for fun. There are, of course, some stand out tracks such as the Daft Punk mix of I-Cube, and the Mark Grant mix of Chicago Connection’s ‘Dancin’’, but this is not the sort of mix where you skip to your favourites. This is the sort of mix where you make a drink, roll up, get Sneak on the speakers and have a dance with ya lady like no one else is watching. Or maybe that’s just me. Go


MUSIC REVIEWS

CIRCLESQUARE “Songs about Dancing And Drugs”

95

DJ SPRINKLES “Midtown 120 Blues” (Mule Musiq)

(!K7)

First coming to the attention of the music-loving community at large with a series of sought after releases on Trevor Jackson’s Output label Circlesquare, or Jeremy Shaw to his postman, actually recorded this, his second album, over a year ago. In the quickly shifting ebb and f low of the world’s musical arteries, a year is long enough for a trend to be created, saturated and over before it filters down to the wider public. And it’s usually, creatively questionable –remember Nu Rave? Happily, Circlesquare seems as interested in musical trends as I am in football. What interests Jeremy is “future music”. And where I may challenge the use of the word future, I would be reluctant to challenge anything else he says, as Songs About Dancing And Drugs (they are) is at turns, melancholic, sad and ref lective. There is more than a dose of the Magnetic Fields woven into the electronics, but with a more playful outlook, a nod and a wink, if you like. Sad music to make me happy. Go

As the T-shirt says: house, house and more fucking house. DJ Sprinkles, also known as Terre Thaemlitz, hailing from New York, presents his first full-length album on Mule Musiq, in the vein of that city’s most famous label, Strictly Rhythm. Inspired by the sanitation of Times Square and the difficulties facing the city’s gay, trans-gender and alternative communities, Midtown 120 Blues soundtracks a sad time for clubbing in the city that never sleeps. House music may be having its perceived renaissance, but the clubbing institutions where it was nurtured have long faded into distant memory, and it is that sense of sadness that prevails through this album, continuing themes explored in 1998’s Sloppy 42nd’s. This is sure to make a lot of people happy with its slinky beats and jazzy passages where the depth of feeling is ref lected by the quality of the sounds. No boundaries broken, but then, that was never the point. Go

FILIPPO MOSCATELLO “Pagliaccio” (Moodmusic)

The man once known as DJ Naughty has thrown off his alias, ditched the electrodisco shenanigans, and come up with something distinctly more grown up. Having put the naughty boy to bed, Filippo Moscatello has now turned his focus to the richer, deeper house and techno sounds that were his first love. Released on Sasse’s Moodmusic imprint, Pagliaccio picks up the story where the World Of A Woman EP, released last year, left off. Where he doesn’t quite succeed in erasing the disco (if, in fact, that was really what he wanted to do) this is certainly more hypnotic in nature, but no less engaging than his previous releases. In fact, tracks like ‘Loft Co Loco’ engaged me quite intensely, with its unsettling noises and metronomic bleeps. Go

JESSE ROSE “What Do You Do If You Don’t” (Dubsided)

Debut artist album from one of the UK’s hottest producers. Often credited with the creation of what is loosely known as fidget house, Jesse Rose’s sonic palette reaches much further than just glitchy delays, brash bass lines and relentless beats (though it has all of those in buckets). How this album will stand the test of time – a future classic, or 2008/9 time capsule – is still not clear, though for my money I would bet on Jesse being around for a long time to come. Go


9 6

EB HEAR THIS

SECRET MACHINES “Secret Machines”

FEVER RAY “If I Had A Heart”

VARIOUS ARTISTS “D. H. Presents Funk Mundial”

VARIOUS ARTISTS “Round Black Ghosts ”

(Cooperative Music)

(Rabid)

(Man Recordings)

( Scape)

Bands whose mission seems to be to come up with brand new genre names to describe their sound in precise detail isn’t an easy task and is often a fruitless endeavour anyway. For ‘nu rave’ read ‘pretentious wank’ while ‘minimal techno’ can be likewise interpreted as ‘one long yawn on a CD’. Secret Machines class their particular brand of danceable guitar and drum abuse as ‘space rock’ which, if this new record is anything to go by, can also feasibly bear the moniker, ‘yum yum’. NL

Fever Ray is the debut solo album from Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife. If I Had A Heart is a very Nordic sounding affair – the title track sounds like it should be sound-tracking moody images of Vikings setting sail against a setting sun and a gathering storm. The rest of the album, however, is injected with a bit more pop, done in that particularly Scandinavian way, incorporating slick layers of production with inventive f lourishes that bring to mind Yellow Magic Orchestra. The weirdo pop factor does get a bit tiring after a couple of listens of the whole album, but songs such as ‘Keep The Streets Empty for Me’ or ‘Dry and Dusty’ elevate this way beyond the sugary pop of Scandinavian contemporaries. GO

Ready for something fresh? Daniel Haaksman is about to release a compilation which mates together banging ntunes, heavy on bass of course, with dancehall inspired vocals directly from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It brings together producers like Jesse Rose, Feadz, Oliver $ and Crookers with MCs like the eight-year-old Wesley or Deize Tigrona, the queen of baile funk. I can see Brazilian kiddies banging their heads and going completely nuts to these tunes. So why not the rest of the world? Although this hybrid called Funk Mundial doesn’t really suit my taste, I’m sure it will cause a lot of head-, leg- and other aches, sweaty tees, pants, bras, whatever and serious damage to dancef loors all around the globe. Shabba!

Number two in the Scape compilation series is what is best described as future dub – if you are familiar with Pole and Scape, you probably have some idea what to expect from this label compilation. If not, think Burial, and work your way back to Lee Scratch Perry, with perhaps a stop-off in Berlin on the way. With Kode9, Scuba and Martyn providing the material, this collection is pretty far away from the dancef loor antics of people like Hessle Audio. Like most genres it’s around the edges that the interesting stuff happens, and if we are talking about dub step, then those shady fringes are inhabited by the likes of Pole and his crew of glitchy dub musketeers. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Go

text by remo Bitzi


MUSIC REVIEWS

97

SITUATION LECLERQ “Glaxo”

IDJUT BOYS “Night Dubbin”

WHOMADEWHO “The Plot”

(Alison Records)

(BBE Records)

(Gomma)

Hamburg-based electro outfit Situation Leclerq have an unfair advantage in that they’re German and the Germans are usually always great at music produced on a computer, and melody-wise they’ve come up trumps with a tasty mix of electro-rock-disco firecrackers seemingly designed to work only in collaboration with anything resembling a dance f loor. On the other hand, when Germans decide to sing in English – often sounding like a Babel Fish translation – the results can frequently be mindbogglingly terrible. But these bastards can even do that properly! NL

Slick mix of Easy Street type electro from the Idjut Boys. No weirdo-beardo disco to get stuck into, just a well-executed mix of delay and echo heavy proto house, post-disco fun. Lots of pissed off sounding Divas, and eighties effects. Not much more to say – a bit of a diversion from the Idjut boys, and certainly tuned in to ‘now’ but it’s far from a cash-in. GO

Whomadewho bounce into the New Year with a shiny new LP. Things kick off with some bizarre medieval f lute abuse which soon cascades into a tasty Krafwerk-inspired electro thump and some ominous Ian Curtis-esque vocal delivery. Things quickly settle into a scrumptious pattern as the remaining twelve cuts on the album wander between super smooth comedown electro and crunchy, jagged dance f loor masterpieces. It’s nice to have the boys back. NL


9 8

EB HEAR THIS

MY SIC MU T MEN MO

Guy GeRber I nterview

Emer Grant

Guy Gerber is the name really putting Israeli techno on the map. In Tel Aviv he runs the label Supplement Facts, home to artists such as David K, Reshuff le, Reboot, Varoslav to name a few. With a unique artistic slant the record sleeves all feature an individual design. Once a professional soccer player Guy has gone one to achieve one of the most unique sounds in dance music today; his live shows are best described as ‘hypnotic’, a world with no rigid rules where mystery and excitement lurch in every corner. This is his music moment! I played the Sunday School for Degenerates party at the Pawn Shop for the closing party of the 2008 WMC (Winter Miami Conference.) It was a defining moment in my musical career for so many reasons. Everyone had been partying hard for four days solid, so it was a big deal that this was the end to it. All the people that are in the electronic music industry were there, the line up was great, I was playing with Jamie Jones, Dixon, and Marco Carola to name a few. Emotionally, it was one the best feelings I’ve experienced from playing. I was not totally prepared for the set and had been partying hard for four days, but for some reason everything just came together: the sun, the people, the light and the whole atmosphere. My music is much more related to the sun than, say, perhaps minimal techno. The two strongest moments of the set were when I played my ‘Sea of Sand’ track which is a very moody track that represents a lifestyle of somebody living by the sea, and ‘Bellydancing’ where the melody is very Arabic. My music is made up of different elements, and sometimes they fit together and sometimes they don’t, but all the elements of that day harmonised to perfection to create this unbelievable moment. I realised that this was the unique opportunity for my music, because usually I play in clubs and there are not usually so many opportunities to play outdoors. 800 people, dancing in the sunshine, I was in love with them and everyone was in love with me.

I could never have imagined it to be like this, I never knew it could be this good. I actually grew up on indie rock and so my vision was almost limited. I turned to making techno after listening to Daft Punk and realised that there was more rock ’n’ roll in electronic music than in rock and roll! That day made me feel like I was part of the rock ’n’ roll, that it was happening there and then. It felt that day that I was part of something that was happening for the first time.This is the moment I look to recreate in the studio. People like Luciano, myself and others are trying to push the scene to go much more in the directions where after-parties are much more like this, in open places and in daytime and not in these small dark rooms where everyone is really messed up. I’ve been trying to do this in Tel Aviv, I’m trying to pioneer better after-partys across Europe! I was really happy to be part of this moment of techno music, it was such a beautiful moment for so many people – all the DJs, everybody on the dance f loor. It’s not like what techno exists like in normal circumstances, less boundaries between the DJs and the crowd, you can speak to everybody and it makes you feel really good. This party was for me the way all after-parties should be, and showed me what techno could be about and what my music can do. w w w . m y s pa c e . c o m / g u y g e b e r



Electronic Beats Magazine - Issue 01/2009