THE ELECTRONIC BEATS MAGAZINE ISSUE 03/2007
WE COULD BE
THE SUPER POW ER
FEATURING COLDCUT, PA RIS TRADIN G, NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB , CLE, KANO, EVA B, MODESELEK TOR, THE CUBAN BROTHERS AND MANY M ORE!
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It was a surprise to hear that earlier this year, David Bowie, long-haired revolutionary and music icon who asked ‘Is There Life On Mars?’ turned 60 years old. Somehow it’s always a shock when your heroes continue to grow older and become further removed from the immortal youthful image that you have of them in your mind. Icon he may be, but it makes you remember he is human after all (unless you believe those alien rumours.)
in the music scene and ask them who their heroes are and why. This proved inspirational, as although many cited long-gone icons of music, culture or science, many also reminded us that there are still real heroes out there today, alive and kicking and ‘saving the day’ for many. For some such as Dixon it’s Spike Jonze, for Paris Trading it’s his super pal Sadie Frost and for Coldcut it’s Brian Wilson, and a handful picked their mum or dad – awww! Good to know heroes are so close to home for some.
Bowie’s birthday got us wondering, who are the heroes of today? We started looking around and began to feel a little bit despondent; our generation isn’t exactly overflowing with heroes although often in this strange day and age it feels like we need them more than ever. This is a question that Paul Sullivan and Kevin Braddock take to task in their essay ‘Where Did All The Heroes Go?
Returning to Ziggy Stardust, photography team David Spaeth and Patricia Kempf stepped up to the challenge of making a homage to David Bowie for our special ‘We Could Be Heroes’ fashion shoot. The pictures focus on different elements of his life and work and were all shot in Berlin, which was such an inspirational city for Bowie; he penned ‘We Could Be Heroes’ whilst living here, which is all about a love affair across the divides of the Berlin wall.
Everybody has (or should have) a hero – that special person who you can continually look to for inspiration and always come back thinking ‘wow’. Particularly in the music business, which can at times be so trying and so thankless, it’s always important to have someone who in your mind you can turn to like a talisman, and think ‘that’s how you did it, now show me how’. Therefore we decided to talk directly to some of our favourite people
We hope you get a super-powered kick out of these pictures and the issue as a whole, because don’t forget: We can be heroes, just for one day.
CONTRIBUTORS ON THE COVER MODEL: GILLES (BRODYBOOKINGS) PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID SPAETH STYLING: RAINER METZ TRENCHCOAT: CAROLA EULER | SHIRT: DOUBLE | TROUSERS: JEAN-PIERRE BRAGANZA | SHOES: REFINED BY BOBBIE BURNS | BELT: FAUSTO COLATO
DAVID SPAETH & PATRICIA KEMPF
LULU LE VAY
Ben lives in Hackney, London and he shoots for various publications including Dazed, Vice and Intersection.He likes hanging out with his cat elliott and playing the banjo. Ben has a book coming out this winter with Real Gold. www.wearerealgold.com www.benrayner.com
Paul Sullivan is an itinerant writer/photographer who has contributed to four books (including two Hedonist Guides: www.hg2.com). He comes from Canterbury but now lives in Cologne. He writes regularly about music, travel and culture, and hates shaving his eyebrows. www.photgrafik.co.uk
David Spaeth works as a freelance photographer and is based in Stuttgart. His main focus is fashion and beauty photography, extended by visualisation of sophisticated concepts. He and Patricia shot 'We Could Be Heroes' and they were inspired by the legendary David Bowie (who turned 60 this year). They wanted to interpret his life and work in the context of modern fashion and contemporary art. To show the duality of one character, the motives switch between activeness and passiveness, between gender, between sanity and frenzy. They relied on quotations from and about David Bowie as their leitmotif. Patricia Kempf studied architecture and now works as a freelance exhibition designer and project manager. She joined David Spaeth as an art director, conceptional designer and project manager. www.davidspaeth.com
Lulu writes regularly for the Independent On Sunday, Dummy and edits ‘love & lifestyle’ website staganddove.com. She also finds the time to manage bands Spektrum and George Demure as well as promoting events and teaching music industry skills to young people across London. If that isn‘t enough she runs electro label defDrive and runs mararthons in her spare time. Phew! www.lululevay.com
PUBLISHER TONI KAPPESZ
PRODUCED BY COMMANDANTE BERLIN GMBH, SCHRÖDERSTR. 11 D-10115 BERLIN ELECTRONIC BEATS TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
FASHION AND STYLE EDITOR
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTION,
DESIGN & ILLUSTRATIONS
FPM FACTOR PRODUCT
ONLINE EDITOR SEMIR CHOUAIBI SEMIR@ELECTRONICBEATS.NET
PROGRAMM MANAGER CLAUDIA JONAS
ONLINE MUSIC EDITOR PEYMAN FARAHANI PEYMAN@ELECTRONICBEATS.NET
PRESS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
NEALE LYTOLLIS, DANNY MCGUINNESS, PAUL SULLIVAN, CHRISTINE ARNEFORS, LAURA
ALEX DE BRABANT, DAVID SPAETH, PATRICIA KEMPF,
DUNKELMANN, PEYMAN FARAHANI, JOHANNES BONKE, LULU LE VAY, KEVIN BRADDOCK,
ATTILA HARTWIG, BEN RAYNER
EMMA MCLELLAN, ROWAN CHERNIN
............................................................. NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 THE TIME IS NOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 ENVIRONMENTAL SUPER HERO . 11 SOHO DOLLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 PACIFIC! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 CRYSTAL CASTLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 MARK BARROTT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 CROATIAN CLUB CRUISING. . . . . . 16 ELECTRONIC BEATS FESTIVALS . 17
............................................................. SÓNAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 GLASTONBURY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
............................................................. WE COULD BE HEROES . . . . . . . . . 24 MY HERO IS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 WHERE DID ALL THE HEROES GO . 42
............................................................. POWERFUL ESSENTIALS . . . . . . . . . 46
............................................................. WYCLEF JEAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 MODESELEKTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 DON CASH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 SWAYZAK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
............................................................. “I´LL BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT” . 62
............................................................. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME . . . . . . . . 78
............................................................. THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE . . . . . . . .90 MUSIC REVIEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 MY MUSIC MOMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
TUNE IN As always in Tune In we bring you news about some of the most exciting music and people around. You can read about two amazing new bands in Ones To Watch - Soho Dolls and Pacific! Then electro bad kids The Crystal Castles give you some nuggets of wisdom and Mark Barrott gives you some insights into his 眉ber-successful business Music Styling (which all began with one i-pod!) Then enjoy the pictures from S贸nar (sunny as always) and Glastonbury (muddy as always) and read up on all the latest from the various Electronic Beats events that have been going on and are still coming up all around Europe.
ICELAND AIRWAVES IS BACK!
OXFAM GETS JAMMIN'
The Airwaves Festival in the land of ice and cream returns this autumn for the ninth time. During the week of 17-21 October, international festival-goers will crowd the streets and various venues in the centre of über cool Reykjavik. Coming at a time when everyone feels the fun of summer is over, it is a very welcome chance to party and enjoy some of the 170 acts on offer. Due to the huge variety of acts playing across venues mainly within a 10-minute walk of each other and the fact that it lasts five days, Airwaves has grown in intensity each year and this year promises to follow. The ever exploding Bloc Party have pencilled it in amongst their hefty ongoing world tour, along with confirmations from Iceland’s own GusGus, mum and FM Belfast (who we rated very highly after our visit to Airwaves last year), with transatlantic drop-ins from New York band !!! and quirky Canadian rapper Buck 65. Airwaves has however built its strong reputation on a mixture of up-and-coming local talent amongst the more international headlining acts and we all know there’s nothing like getting in on new music before everyone else. BY DANNY MCGUINNESS www.icelandairwaves.com
You may know Oxfam for its charity shops, places where you pick up a bargain or two, perhaps a vintage cardigan here and a cool waistcoat there, with all the proceeds helping charity and aid work all around the world. Well, now meet Oxjam - a 'festival' which sees thousands of gigs, club nights and events happen right across the UK throughout the month of October. Oxfam estimates that roughly 3,000 events will take place, involving about 40,000 musicians, DJs, MCs and producers, raising around £1 million for Oxfam. This money would be enough to provide safe water for almost 1.4 million people, 20,000 emergency shelters or essential medicine for 10,000 villages. This is actually their second year (they have doubled in size) and they are building on their success from last year, with high-profile musicians such as DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Klaxons and Hot Chip all getting involved. Plus any new young bands taking part in any way in Oxjam have the chance to appear on MTV and Xfm who Oxfam have partnered up with. Oxjam is a festival with a difference: thousands of events put on by music lovers – from large-scale festivals to local sponsored DJ nights – during October will produce the equivalent of 500 days of continuous music, all raising money to fight poverty around the world. Joe Goddard from Hot Chip says, “I spend most of my time doing trivial things in the name of pop music, so doing my bit for Oxjam is undeniably a good thing. We should all try to slip a few good things into our otherwise selfish lives, so please get involved with Oxjam in some way if you can.” So come on folks, get involved! This is people power and a rare chance to help others whilst having a right old laugh at the same time. We wish Oxjam the best of luck. BY LIZ MCGRATH
www.oxfam.org.uk/oxjam, www.xfm.co.uk/oxjam, www.xfm.co.uk/oxjam
EARCANDY THE RIGHT TONE
RETURN OF‘HEROES’ TO TV SCREENS
ELECTROMA is the directorial feature film debut from the Frenchmen behind the robotic masks of Daft Punk: Thomas Bangalter and GuyManuel de Homem-Christo. The film follows the two robots on their mission to become human. The two robots come across a Southwestern American town of similar beings living relatively normal suburban lives. They get an opportunity to cover their robotic heads with latex shaped into human faces, giving the illusion to their neighbours that they are actually human. All goes well until their new faces begin to decompose in the heat of the sun. When the others begin to see, they are unhappy with the fakers and begin to give chase. The two robots have to escape the town and embark on a long and treacherous desert hike, leaving behind all their hopes of becoming human. ELECTROMA has no dialogue and is more of a sensual electronic shower of audio and visual work from some of today’s most respected artists. From this perspective the film works and is an interesting direction for the mysterious Daft Punk to have taken. However music fans only need apply; other film-goers may think it was a daft idea. Steven Baker put together the soundtrack, which includes the work of Brian Eno, Curtis Mayfield and Sebastien Tellier. The film has been on release over the summer by because.tv in selected cinemas across the UK. Catch it on DVD from 3 September 2007.
Capes at the ready? The waiting is almost over for fans of Heroes, which will be returning to our screens very soon. Heroes is the latest hit American TV drama to get the addictive juices of the worldwide Sky and Cable fan base flowing. After gaining three Critics Association nominations (including programme of the year) for its first season, the second series is hot on its tail and will soon be arriving on America’s NBC (and the internet for the canny of you out there). What’s in store for the favourite characters of Hayden Panettiere (who plays the invincible cheerleader Claire Bennet) or Milo Ventimiglia (who plays Peter Petrilli who has many different powers – one of which almost made New York explode in the last series)? Of course many of you may prefer to wait for the DVD box set to come out and then watch it in one cola-drenched, tortilla munching session. The most heroic act here would be to avoid the addiction, but really, can you?
BY DANNY MCGUINNES
The era of Paris Hilton-style glitter-studded accessories might never be over, but one can be glad that there’s life for crystals after the heiress. Swarovski, the label famous for glamorising everything from gowns to gadgets, is launching in cooperation with Philips electronic devices that are functional and well-designed with just the right amount of sparkle. The earphones in particular emphasise the new sphere of Swarovski-design: just a single shiny stone is used for one ear, which seems pretty minimalistic and might only be seen at second glace, but is luxurious enough to be the best alternative for stylish girls’ ears. Ordinary grey, black or white that fades into a dirty yellow tone, crappy plastic and a look that isn’t even
Also coming to TV screens soon is Who Wants To Be A Superhero, a US Sci Fi Channel reality TV show run by ex-Marvel Comics main man Stan Lee. He created Spiderman, Daredevil, the Incredible Hulk and many other comic book heroes and at 84, this is his latest creation. He chooses 11 finalists from thousands to battle it out over six one-hour weekly shows for their chance to have their alter ego immortalised in comic book form. Like many reality TV shows, this also includes the highly entertaining audition stages, during which you get to watch many Americans making right fools of themselves by performing their absurd and hilarious superhero alter egos dressed in their homemade creations. Classic TV viewing. The second series is now in production and you can check out some of the brilliant auditions at the site below. BY DANNY MCGUINNESS superhero www.nbc.com/Heroes www.scifi.com/superhero
practical – why hasn’t anyone done this before? For many, earphones are a tool used daily just like a mobile, so it was definitely time for this collection. But this is not just a fancy accessory; thanks to the experts from Philips the quality of the sound is as brilliant as the crystals. There are four different types of earphones to choose from, with ear-clip or necklace and silver cables, as well as a selection of memory sticks that look like precious jewellery and hide their function beautifully. We can only hope that no one will tell Ms Hilton. BY LAURA DUNKELMANN www.active-crystals.com
THE TIME IS BY ROWAN CHERNIN
Ever seen a Batboat? Caped crusaders are grown-ups with a special clothing passion they can’t/daren’t articulate. Instead they use superhero gatherings as a foil to break out of the toy cupboard. Central Indianapolis welcomes THE AMERICAN SUPERHEROES MUSEUM, featuring thousands of Superman and Batman toys, games, posters, puzzles, figurines and collectibles. And if that’s not enough, the 1966 Adam West Batboat will soon be available for viewing at www.heroesmuseum.com. Collecting Star Wars figures is just as sad, especially when you thought you had the full vintage set, then someone tells you about the vintage Mexican collection, oh yes. The Mexican C-3PO has removable legs, WWW.STARWARS.COM. If you’ve already Googled Pokemons, VIC 20s, ZX Spectrums, Ataris and football stickers you are beyond therapy. DON’T visit TRANSFORMERS.COM, just have kids instead; they love toys.
Celebrate Halloween in Las Vegas beneath the backdrop of mountains at the third annual VEGOOSE FESTIVAL. The event includes a Dollhouse Saloon and a Costume Shop to encourage ghouls and fancy dress. Queens of the Stone Age, Daft Punk and Iggy Pop & the Stooges are amongst the pop-monster line-up. 27-28 October, www.vegoose.com. CMJ MUSIC MARATHON & FILM FESTIVAL lands in Greenwich Village on 16-19 October aiming to showcase the big noises of 2008, www.cmj.com. ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is the thinking man/woman’s festival dedicated to music rather than the middle-aged spread as recently witnessed at Glastonbury. Curated this year by Portishead, this is the fourth voyage into the ironic and claustrophobic setting of Butlins’ very British holiday camp. Expect cold weather in Minehead on 7-9 December and an icebreaking line-up of underground and leftfield indie where the warped and experimental lineup features Aphex Twin, Fuzz Against Junk and Jah Shaka Sound System. Ever worried about the size of your CARBON FOOTPRINT (www.direct.gov. uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving) on the dancefloor? MANCHESTERCLUBBING.BLOGSPOT.COM claims to be the city’s first carbon neutral website. Alternatively charge a battery while you dance.
Episode 2 of MAINTENANCE is due for release on THEALIENSMUSICBLOG. CO.UK. Following the release of their album Astronomy For Dogs, the Aliens took on the lead role as the hapless engineering crew on board the Starship Enterprise and break the recording facility on the captain’s log. See THEALIENS.MUSICBLOG.CO.UK for more off-record adventures. If you’ve spent the summer nights listening to the psychedelic Beach Boys riffs from PANDA BEAR, hear more on WWW.MYSPACE.COM/RIPPITYRIPPITY. Then the electronic noodles from MUM on Fatcat Records, fat-cat.co.uk, is the next step in musical daydream therapy. ‘Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy’ is Mum’s subliminal assault for lovers of music who don’t mind ending up in the horizontal position. But if you need to go mental on your feet, the Swiss purveyors of the finest blues, trash, swamp, rockabilly and industrial doowop boogie will not let you down, www.voodoorhythm.com. Their Texas madman singer John Schooley and His One Man Band is pure Brylcreamfever for the ears.
Fancy yourself as a bit of a club promoter but don’t want to lose any money? WWW.UKCLUBS.TV is asking its readers to ’mastermind’ the ultimate clubbing experience online. A bit like fantasy football, though we’re not sure what the point is. Maybe it’s a subliminal health warning? DIRTYDIRTYDANCING.COM is still the best looking glass reflecting London’s freakland renaissance on the dancefloor. From BOOMBOX every Sunday at Hoxton’s Bar and Grill to TRAILER TRASH, the sleazy rave box that pounds out nasty electro booty shake every Friday at On the Rocks, Shoreditch. But if all this tinnitus and vogueing in luminous hot pants is not your forte, try ROTA AFTERNOON – DISCOVER CLUB PRESENTS. This weekly Saturday afternoon get-together runs from 4-8pm on Saturdays at Notting Hill Arts Club, www.roughtrade.com. It's free, features new live bands each week and still leaves time for you to go home and get fluro’d up ready for the podium. Is it cool to be weird?
Cinema is about to enter a golden era of comic absurdity. Forget the hobbits and Harry Potters; bloodthirsty men-eating sheep are the latest beast to enter the realm of schlock horror. BLACK SHEEP is set in New Zealand, where a cruel genetic experiment goes wrong, resulting in an organic farming community being eaten alive by a flock joined by a giant ‘weresheep’ (a man crossed with a woolly back), www.blacksheep-themovie.com. Back in the USA, the boundaries of cinema are stretched even further when the obese washed-up table tennis hero Randy Daytona is recruited by the FBI in BALLS OF FURY. This outrageous comedy is based in the criminal underworld of extreme ping-pong where the losers are executed, www.ballsoffury.com. Even Quentin Tarantino gets in on the silly film act with a flick based round a deadly penis extension in the second part of his Grindhouse venture, DEATH PROOF, www.grindhousemovie.net. Stuntman Mike is a killer with a fetish. From behind the wheel of his muscle car, he lures foxy ladies to their death. You’ll find more sense in your popcorn.
QUIET REBELLION amongst the girls is about doing your own thing and looking beyond the labels. Think grunge balanced with an elegant edge. Mix vintage clothing with the high street’s take on it – who never fail to miss a trick - and choose fabrics made from recycled materials (we’re not talking Glastonbury, so no bits of string). Drop the brash palette and look for chilled, light hazy shades with dark tights and wide belted coats; see www.beyondretro.com, www.absolutevintage.co.uk. Will you choose the second-hand shop or the high street? FUTURISTIC APPAREL is still a dominant feature of menswear, with a new take on bombers and flight jackets from YMC www.youmustcreate.com and HENNES www.hm.com. The fur trimmed collar is key and a strong feature on the classic split hood from Schott’s new range of heavy duty jackets designed to avoid any icy blips in the Gulf Stream, www.schottnyc.com. But if you can find/afford one, the genuine WWII bomber jacket will still set you apart. RETRO ALPINE SKI WEAR is again making its once-a-decade resurgence; see www.gucci.com. Giant snowflakes on heavy knitted jumpers with shawl collars and belted cardigans, worn like outerwear. Just DON’T go all Eighties, not for another 10 years at least.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUPER HERO
BY SANDRA LIERMANN
EVERY LITTLE EFFORT CAN HELP SAVE THE PLANET – THAT’S THE MESSAGE WITH THE NEW CAR FROM SMART. WITH JUST 88 GRAMS OF CO2 PER KILOMETRE, THE ‘SMART FOR TWO’ DIESEL IS THE NEW GREEN HERO. WE MET DR. FRANK RUFF OF DAIMLER CHRYSLER TO TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY, HORSE MANURE AND THE WORLD’S GREEN TIPPING POINT.
HOW DOES THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY, SPECIFICALLY IN TERMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, LOOK LIKE? There are many answers to that question.
Joseph Beuys once said ‘Before we know what we need to do we have to know how to think’. So in order to understand the actual and futuristic change in society and mobility we have to think about these topics. That sounds a bit abstract at first. INDEED. WHERE SHALL WE START THINKING? Let’s do a little time travel.. If we would have met in a city like London for example 130 years ago, the streets would have been full of horse carriages and pedestrians. Which environmental problems moved the city at this time? On a daily basis there was far too much horse manure on the pavements. They estimated back then that with an increasing volume of horse carriage traffic the streets of London would be fully covered with one metre of horse manure by the year 1961. This prognosis was based on a linear advancement of the technical possibilities at the time. We know these days that this problem has not been solved by a ban of horse carriages but through the invention and introduction of new means of transportation like trams, metros and.. AND THEN CAME GOTTLIEB DAIMLER..Yes. About 13 years after this prognosis our company was the first to introduce Gottlieb Daimler’s motor carriage to the market, which was then developed into an automobile. This invention caused a massive surge in innovation in the field of individual mobility… AND EVENTUALLY LED US AFTER A SERIES OF GREAT VEHICLES AND A LOT OF FAHRVERGNÜGEN TO NEW PROBLEMS CONCERNING MOBILITY THAT WE ARE FACING TODAY? True, eventually at the end of the 1980s about 100
years after those days of horse carriages there were new basic discussions starting in European societies about the future of traffic and mobility also concerning environmental issues. And once again, on the terms of linear forecasts the fast approaching end of mobility was diagnosed.
that’s 3.3 billion, will live in urban areas. In the year 2022 nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. That is four out of five inhabitants in the industrial countries. Based on these estimates we tried to create different scenarios of the future. SO HOW IS OUR FUTURE GOING TO LOOK LIKE? Looking at these scenarios there are some things that are safe assumptions. There will be shortages in urban living spaces also when it comes to traffic and parking areas. Individual lifestyles and changes in the working world will lead to new patterns of mobility. The classical commuter who only drives to work in the morning and back home in the afternoon will do extra short drives to different working places and to pursue sports, cultural and leisure activities. Finally the service factor will gain in importance with delivery services as well as healthcare and nursing services for elder people. HOW DOES THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR THIS KIND OF SCENARIO LOOK LIKE?
Well that was actually the most exciting part of our discussions in the innovation workshops. We knew we wanted to come up with a vehicle that is very compact in size but spacious inside and safe at the same time. Luckily our engineers could use research work of a two-seater from the early eighties. You know the result of these first steps when in 1998 the ‘Smart For Two’ was introduced which changed the mosaic of urban mobility. WHILE DEVELOPING THE ‘SMART FOR TWO’ CAR, DID ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES PLAY A BIG ROLE? The efficient use of resources played a very
important role from the very beginning of the developments of the Smart. Otherwise the outcome would not have been the most eco-friendly vehicle on the market. However we could not be sure if the social ecological debate would set new impulses. From our market analysis we knew that the ecological aspect was not considered to be the most important factor when buying a car. Especially when it comes to higher costs because of that. DO YOU THINK THIS SORT OF BUYING BEHAVIOUR IS ANY DIFFERENT TODAY?
IF NOT WITH LINEAR THINKING HOW SHOULD THE DISCUSSION BE APPROACHED? We started an innovation workshop back then and to us it
was important to change the line of vision, to think from the outside in. Instead of asking ‘how many vehicles will there be in the future?’ The question was more like ‘how will the living and economic situations in urban surroundings look like in the future?’ WHAT RESULTS DID YOU COME UP WITH? It is estimated that already next
year in 2008 humanity will reach an invisible but meaningful turning point. For the first time in history more than half of the world’s people,
Yes, I think this year will make history as the green tipping point. The Stern review on the Economics of Climate Change, the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore and events like ‘Live Earth’ will cause a change in peoples ecological conscience. We are in the middle of a change of path in the world of mobility and energy. If we would not have developed the Smart already it would now be the time to do so.
ONES TO WATCH
IN THE DOLL’S HOUSE
Ladies and gentlemen! Please conjure up, if you will, the images you see when you think about the old streets of Soho, London. Some people may see the area as being dirty and seedy, rife with London’s sex trade and hidden goings-on. Others may see it as a place of curiosity and culture, an idealistic resemblance of the real London. Either way, the electronic sounds and Victorianesque stylings of the aptly named Soho Dolls truly reflect the contrasting sides of Soho whichever way you look at it. Nevertheless, they are not entirely what you would expect from the current wave of electro bands surging through England’s bursting capital. They don’t hold any airs and graces, don’t want to compete with the other bands on the circuit, and their hero is none other than Shane MacGowan from the Pogues! Don’t be misled, there’s more to this band than just being out and out nice guys; frontwoman Maya has a fetish for creating makeshift bras out of gaffer tape (ooww!) and flirting with the other band members! “I think when there’s alcohol involved there’s definitely some sexual tension within the band, especially when you’re all stuck together in a tour bus. But then everyone’s forgotten about it the next day.” When talking to Maya, you get the distinct feeling that she’s a woman who knows exactly what she wants. “I started the band after being in various indie bands. I was fed up of not getting very far and my friend said I should stop trying to fake things like copying the boys! After a recommendation I met Tony the guitarist so I got him in and then together we found Steve on myspace, and then we advertised on myspace as well for a drummer.” Seems like myspace is turning into a bit of a musician cattle market! “We knew Matt the bass player from another band that we used to hang out with,” in other words they stole him! “I’ve always created my own bands, but this time I specifically wanted there to be a lot of electro in it as well as rock’n’roll because I’ve always been in rock bands before now.” So now it’s clear: there’s just one female boss in the band. But does it bother her? “It doesn’t really bother me being the only girl in the band, I mean we’re all band members, I fart and burp just as much as the boys do, there’s no boundaries. Everyone’s forgotten what everyone’s sex is!”
The Soho Dolls had a luckier start than most, first being signed to Alan McGee’s Poptones label. “I just handed our demo tape to him at Death Disco and he called the next day to offer a deal.” Then came the first two singles: ‘Prince Harry’, which sounds like a mutual love affair between the Robots in Disguise and Ladytron and sped rapidly up to number seven in the British indie charts, and then ‘Stripper’ – and with a title like that it had to be a success; it became an underground favourite in electro clubs around Europe in 2006. The band have also developed a rather elegant sense of style, and the boys are even more fashion conscious than Maya. “The stage wear comes from us. The boys like to shop a lot; it’s fun to go hunting for clothes, they go shopping more often than I do! Steve especially, he loves his clothes! I guess me and Steve are the ones that take longest to get ready before a gig.” Even with all this glam and preparation, refreshingly there’s not even a hint of arrogance from Maya or worrying about the potential competition from other bands on the scene. “We’re too busy to look around at what other people are doing; I think the important thing about us is that we have good songs and we’re very, very good at playing live, which is a big part of Soho Dolls, even more than recording. It’s all about the show!” Talking of shows, they’re just about to start a UK tour to coincide with their new album Ribbed Music for the Numb Generation, to be released on 3 September. “We’re really looking forward to playing again and especially looking forward to going to Glasgow, Scotland. We sold out there last time and the crowd is always friendly. The best part of being in the band is being on the road.” Soho Dolls clearly possess an irresistible English charm and London cheek that’s already earned them great success and will continue to capture the eyes and ears of many unsuspecting electro music fans hiding in the underground scenes of Europe. BY EMMA MCLELLAN
ONES TO WATCH
INTO THE BLUE You’ve spent a sun-drenched day relaxing on the beach and you’re looking out at the ocean – see that very strong bright light on the water? That’s what new band Pacific! are all about, and it’s a warm sunny emotional feeling that imbues all of their music. “We have been very inspired by that light and we wanted to capture it in our songs,” explains Danny. Pacific! hail from Gothenburg in Sweden, and consist of Danny and Bjorn who were actually in school together from when they were seven years old (they are now 35). Danny explains, “We were good mates when we were younger but in our teens we sort of drifted apart, but then three or four years ago we met up again by chance and just clicked. We spent a lot of time drinking coffee and talking about stuff and what we were doing. Bjorn was with a band called White Seeds and I was involved in some other projects. So we decided to get a place together, a sort of studio that we just filled with lots of instruments, and we started writing music together and it just sort of developed very organically. It was a great friendship-building process.” So for the past year they have been grafting away in their sort-of-studio and have made a trilogy of rather wonderful 12” EPs; the first, Sunset Blvd, garnered them an immediate fanbase and myspace following – it’s now sold out. The second, Hot Lips, is out now and is building on the success of the first, and their fanbase is swelling. With the third EP out late September, you can expect Pacific! to be the name on everybody’s lips.
It is no wonder they are already beloved to so many – it’s both music you can dance to and music you can really listen to. Each tune is a brilliant shimmering slice of pop and melodic funk that references influences as wide as French turn-of-the-century Renaissance composer Claude Debussy as well as Air, Phoenix, Daft Punk, Justice, Royksopp, Death in Vegas and the Beach Boys. “We were definitely influenced by the whole French contingent; we love that music and vibe. We were also listening to a lot of traditional American West Coast music, so Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys and all that West Coast psychedelia was important.” Listen out for the “woooo-hooos” in the background to ‘Sunset Blvd’ and you will know exactly where they are coming from. “We are also inspired by the South Pacific and Asia – Japan especially. So we felt the name Pacific was a name we could swim about in, ha ha ha!” As luck would have it they chanced upon (over myspace no less) a talented illustrator, Stephane Manel, who has since become their main collaborator, creating beautiful dreamy pencil drawings for their trilogy of EP covers, as well as doing their press photos, the new animated video for ‘Hot Lips’ and the forthcoming album cover too. “We love him. It’s a marriage made in heaven; we are so happy about it. He invited us to come to Paris and meet him at an exhibition he was having and it was so weird, it was like walking into the visual equivalent of our music.” While you may expect that this music might go down best in a concert hall type venue, they actually love playing the club scene. “The best gig we ever had was on a barge here in Gothenburg; the club is called Gloryboat, and they have had Justice, DJ Mehdi and all that crowd playing here. It was great to play in that club environment; I think actually we prefer it to the traditional band-on-stage-with-guitars thing.” Their current plan is to finish the third and final EP and then release their album early next year. “We want to keep quite a low profile,” claims Danny. However, they are off to Japan soon to play some gigs to their “small but very dedicated” Japanese following… we suspect they won’t be able to keep a low profile for very much longer. BY LIZ MCGRATH
Hot Lips is out now on Doloresrecordings. www.myspace.com/musicpacific www.doloresrecordings.com/
A WORD FROM THE WISE
CRYSTAL CASTLES (THAT’S ETHIN AND ALICE) BURST ONTO THE SCENE LAST YEAR WITH THEIR EP ‘ALICE PRACTICE’. LOOK OUT FOR THEIR NEW RELEASE ‘CRIMEWAVE’ WHICH IS PURE OLD SKOOL ACIIIIIIIID! HERE THE CHEEKY TWOSOME GIVE YOU SOME UNIQUE WORDS OF WISDOM.
Comb your veins daily. Your mother is a figment of your imagination. You’re not fat enough for anyone's love. 2pac and Biggie are asleep in my bed. Blowdry your eyeballs every morning. If you cut off your arm it will grow back. The internet is our grandmother so be nice. Knitting circles are the new indie dance night. Appreciate photosynthesis. We are your demise. Crimewave is released on Trouble Records |www.myspace.com/crystalcastles
TOUGH AT THE TOP
MARK BARROTT MARK BARROTT HAILS FROM SHEFFIELD AND IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE ARTIST FUTURE LOOP FOUNDATION. HIS COMPANY MUSIC STYLING BEGAN WITH ONE IPOD PLAYLIST. NOW THEY DESIGN MUSIC FOR 500 OF THE BEST HOTELS AND BARS IN THE WORLD AND HAVE OFFICES IN VANCOUVER, ENGLAND AND SOON IN HONG KONG. HERE HE TALKS TO US ABOUT HOW HE ESTABLISHED AND BUILT UP HIS LUCRATIVE BUSINESS. BY LIZ MCGRATH
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST SPOT THE GAP IN THE MARKET FOR A MUSIC CONSULTANCY? The story begins in Milan in 2002 with a hotel called the
Diana Majestic that made their own album compilation and used one of my tracks. I went there for the launch of the CD and the party was packed full of fashionistas and all the glitterati and I realised it looked like a pretty nice scene. I went up to the manager and told him I should DJ there. So I started DJing and it went well and after about six months I bought one of the early iPods, and the manager asked me about this one day and he said, “oh this could be you when you’re not here” and I said, “yeah, it could be.” So he asked me to compile all sorts of music for the hotel, so I made playlists for all sorts of times of the day, and it worked so well that he mounted it on the wall in the bar and that’s what was used whenever I wasn’t there. I still didn’t think, “oh what a great business opportunity”, not yet. After a year lots of things started happening very quickly, the Park Hyatt was opening in Milan and I was told they had a quote for the music that was really excessive, and that I should go and see the manager. So I went there and I undercut the competitor’s offer by 5000 euros, and I got the job. Things snowballed from there; next I was presenting to people at Park Lane Hotel in London, and then I got Sheraton hotels, and then I got the deal for Hyatt Worldwide and W Hotels. DO YOU LISTEN TO TONS OF MUSIC EVERY DAY THEN? Well I just did the first
bit of programming I’ve personally done this year, because It got to the point where I had an iTunes library of 20,000 songs and I could talk to you about everything from lounge and chill-out to Shanghai Jazz of the Forties to Indonesian pop music and all sorts of weird niche little genres. But it’s important to take a break because your ears can get tired. HOW MANY STAFF DO YOU HAVE? Altogether I have 11 staff working for
me – which is great because I can stay at home more these days. I’ve got through two 30-page passports in the last two years. HOW DOES THE DESIGN PROCESS WORK? Basically you get to the hotel and you spend around a week there. You meet the manager and all the staff, you observe the guests, you just soak up the atmosphere. I hear you get other companies going into the hotels we’ve done with Dictaphones recording what we do!! Ha ha ha!
you do that psychologically through nostalgia, and the way you engender nostalgia is through music and scent. The reality is people do want to be branded, people do want to be part of a club; it’s the whole Groucho Marx thing, no one wants to be part of a club that wants them. Hotels are no different from other organisations who have marketing strategies. It’s a competitive marketplace; hotels want to brand people for life, they want guests that keep on coming back. The way to do that is to sensory brand people, which is essentially what Music Styling does … help corporations create a cohesive brand message. WHY IS MUSIC SO IMPORTANT TO BRANDING? Frank Zappa said, “Life is
just a series of destinations, without music it’s just a journey with no end” and it’s very true, and regardless of myspace, the MP3 dirge, music is one of those things that will always captivate people and capture a moment in time and that’s why music is so powerful in the branding scenario. WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU LOOK FOR IN YOUR STAFF? ARE THEY MUSIC JUNKIES? DO YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE STUDIED MUSIC? I’m really happy for
example that the guy we have working for us in Canada is a musician. He’s DJ’d and played the double bass in a funky drum n bass live thing, and that’s important – but they also have to be good in front of the client and eloquent. Sometimes you get told stuff in America like “lounge is too advanced here, we need jazz” and so if you’re not so knowledgeable about jazz then you just have to go out and buy say 500 dollars worth of jazz records and just learn, fast. You have to be a quick study. WHAT CALMS YOU DOWN WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED? I do yoga every day and
that certainly helps. I also trampoline every day when I’m at home. I’m also a great believer in keeping your thoughts organised. I’m Mr List. And I’m a believer in the way of the Tao, that in life good and bad doesn’t exist, there’s only learning and experience. Good and bad is a game of duality and once you step beyond duality you’re actually free from the constraints of life and you can commune much more with the universe. My whole business is built on universal flow. You might call it coincidence or fate, but I call it where everything just comes to you at the right time and that’s how my whole business has gone from day one to today. WHO ARE YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Steve Wright
SO WHAT MUSIC TRENDS DO YOU CURRENTLY SEE DEVELOPING? Well
lounge is dead now that’s for sure. I like intelligent pop now like Pet Shop Boys and a-ha. I think the next sound is a more realistic sound; the Café Del Mar stuff isn’t really real, it’s time to move on. I think it’s really important that hotels become aware of this because it’s a key element of design. I do some lecturing too on what I call ‘sensory branding’, which is how to brand people through what they see, touch, hear, taste and smell and
and Duran Duran. WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD? Everything from Acid House Kings to Beach Boys to Charlotte Gainsbourg to the Editors to early Human League to Sigur Ros… and that’s your lot! INTERVIEWED BY LIZ MCGRATH
CROATIAN CLUB CRUISING It’s alright for some! Ian Pooley and Friends have spent the end of July and early August making their way along Croatia’s stunning Adriatic Coast and the islands for the Electronic Beats Clubtour. Kicking off the tour was the club Crossroads on the island of Krk. Fans were waiting for Ian at the unique indoor and outdoor location and at 3am Tonka joined his longtime friend to keep the crowds dancing and cheering until sunrise. Enthusiastic locals (many of whom had travelled from nearby islands) and suntanned tourists mingled together and the party was agreed to be one of the best in a long time! Novalja, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Brac and Prosika were next in line. In Dubrovnik the legendary ruins of the Hotel Belvedere by the sea were an atmospheric location – they only open for special parties in the summer period, and the Electronic Beats party was just one of four exclusive parties to be held this year. In Zadar an extra special guest joined Ian Pooley to entertain the crowds: Howard Donald – better known to many as one member of reformed pop group Take That and now known to all who saw him in Zadar as one hell of a good DJ. We grabbed a few minutes with him before the event and talked music, touring and his passion for DJing. BY SEMIR CHOUAIBI
HOWARD DONALD INTERVIEWED ON LOCATION IN ZADAR IS THIS YOUR FIRST TRIP TO CROATIA? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Yeah, first
time ever. I’m really excited about coming. It’s always exciting to come to a place that you’ve never been to. MOST PEOPLE KNOW YOU AS A VOCALIST. TODAY I AM MEETING YOU AS A DJ. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST? The category you
would put it in would probably be a pop star (laughs). But it sounds a little stupid. I don’t know. I was DJing before - since ’87. That’s when I first started getting interested in club music. So I’m both really. The problem is that the DJing and production side of it, it’s really hard to get the time to do it as much as I want to, now that this has happened again. For the 10 years since we split up in 1996, I was DJing pretty much three times a week. I HEARD THAT YOUR ROOTS ARE IN HIP HOP. IS THAT TRUE AND HOW DOES THAT INFLUENCE YOUR SETS? Old school hip hop, yeah, not the new style,
and more breaks and beats; and electro, what was then classed as electro and Chicago house. That’s what I was into. I think obviously the music that I play today is influenced from the early days but it’s all progressed. Without the early music it would never be what it is today. SO HOW THEN WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC? More electro style. Sometimes it depends on the night. I can go a little bit tougher or keep it more funky electro. AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TONIGHT? I don’t know. We’ll see... Depends on the crowd and how many people are there. The crowd can influence you and make you more daring I suppose. Sometimes they can make you play a better set, and encourage you to go in other directions than you first wanted it to. YOU ARE ON THE ROAD ALL THE TIME. IS THE TRAVELLING STILL FUN OR MORE A NECESSARY HASSLE TO YOU? AND HOW DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE? I don’t know how I do it (laughs). It is a necessary evil. I
have two daughters in two different countries, I have the Take That thing going, I have DJing and production as well. I’ve just finished a house track production with two other guys in Germany, and you gotta find the time to gain interest in the track and also one day get it released. It’s a bit of a juggling act.
AS A DJ YOU SEE A LOT OF CLUBS WORLDWIDE. WHICH ONE IN PARTICULAR WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AND WHY? One of my favourite clubs that I have
ever been to but I haven’t played at is Fabric in London. Maybe it was just a good night out. The feeling was good - I had consumed enough alcohol but not too much (laughs). Yeah, and the music was fantastic. In Germany I have been playing in a club called Creme21 in Heilbronn, which was a fantastic night. I mean you come to some clubs and there’s just people drinking at the bar but the people there are just really interested in the music. ISN’T IT GENERALLY THE WAY THAT IN THE BIG CITIES PEOPLE TEND TO BE BORED OF THINGS AND IN THE SMALLER CITIES THEY FREAK OUT JUST BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON? Yes, I mean I like smaller more
intimate clubs better! I find playing in front of 500 people is better than playing in front of 1500 people. More packed and more close together and the DJ box kind of on the same level with the people. Sometimes you can play for a crowd and you kind of stand on the first floor. And when you’re looking down on them, there’s no feeling really - no connection. T-MOBILE WILL SOON LAUNCH A NEW SERVICE IN GERMANY WHICH OFFERS A DISCOUNT ON FIVE NUMBERS THAT YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR ‘MY FAVES’ LIST. WHAT FIVE DJS WOULD YOU PUT ON YOUR LIST? Jochen Pasch, who is
from Heilbronn - because he is a friend; Joey Negro - a great producer and DJ; Richard F; and Dave Spoon. And there’s an up-and-coming guy who is a resident at El Divino called Filthy Rich - an English guy. He gave me a CD with all of his remixes and I listened to them and they’re so good. And this guy is only in his twenties. WHAT ARE THE THREE TRACKS THAT YOU WOULD DOWNLOAD ON YOUR WALKMAN PHONE THIS WEEK? 1: ‘The Trombone Track’ by U&K; 2: ‘Space’
by Micha Moor (Klass club remix); 3: ‘Pick Up’ by Beckers.
ELECTRONIC BEATS FESTIVALS COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU! Prague, Vienna and Bratislava, brace yourselves: Electronic Beats Festivals are coming to your city and are ready to rock you with some truly stunning line-ups. Vienna gets the treatment first on 29 September and there you can expect an extra special treat because the line-up is killer: 2ManyDJs are headlining along with Trentemøller, Goldie & MC LowQui, DJ Koze and the Cuban Brothers. Damn! Prague is up next on 27 October and there you can expect the legendary Underworld, plus dance stars Booka Shade, Alter Ego and more. Finally on 31 October Bratislava will be rounding
things off in style with a Live Special which will include another performance from Underworld and this time the fabulous Modeselektor will be joining too – with more acts to be confirmed. Keep logging on to www. electronicbeats.net for updates and ticket information. These venues sell out fast so get booking if you haven’t already and as you can see, the lineups are all killer, no filler! We hope you enjoy the music!
IN STOR E SEPT S: 28th .
ELECTRONIC BEATS COLLECTABLES VOLUME ONE
An eclectic compilation album that includes all of Electronic Beats’ favourite artists who have been with us for the journey so far - party classics to new electro wonders and disco madness. A wrap up of some of the most absorbing music of the moment.
SÓNAR 2007 This June the whole Electronic Beats team decamped to barcelona for Sonar festival - for three sun-drenched days spent listening to some of the best new music around! The Beastie Boys were headlining this year and they didn‘t disappoint, producing a stunning instrumental set and an electrifying live show where a staggering 5,500 packed the Sonar by Night auditorium. Sabotage! Personally for us another highlight was seeing Justice, DJ Medhi and Uffie perform at Sonar by Night - that whole French Ed banger posse are just tooooo fierce! On the Saturday late afternoon we held our own Electronic Beats Soiree, on the top of the B Hotel with views overlooking Barcelona. Martin Scharrenbroich from Kompakt and Tini DJ’d superb sets that had our naughty guests shaking some serious booty and jumping in the roof top pool...we loved it. See ya next year Sonar! www.sonar.es
ARTISTS IN ACTION AT SONAR 2007, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: THE BEASTIE BOYS, MISS KITTIN, UFFIE, JUSTICE
FEELING GRAND While we are on all things Barcelona, we must mention the stylish and elegant new design hotel to open up recently. Nestled in between the ultra cool Born and Gothic districts, the Grand Hotel Central is the new ‘It’ hotel on the map. Originally built in 1926, the hotel has been completely renovated and has echoes of the grand hotels that used to exist in the 1920s when they were used as homes from home by grand aristocrats, Bohemian artists and exploring travellers who were moving through Europe. Nowadays the clientele is certainly still cool and exotic. Many a DJ has been seen ensconced in the comfort of the sofas in the darkly luxurious lobby, mobile phones glued to their ear and dark shades on. Those who could handle some sunshine after a hard night’s partying at the Sonar were seen hanging out by the rooftop pool and enjoying some much-needed fresh air, stunning views and drinking a hangover-curing fruit smoothie. We do have a feeling however that during Sonar the fitness room didn’t see much use! Next time perhaps… For bookings see www.grandhotelcentral.com or call +34 93 295 79 00.
The mammoth Glastonbury Festival returned this summer with 133,000 people managing to cram in for possibly the biggest mud bath ever! Amongst the sludge, entertainment was served up by Arctic Monkeys, The Who, Dizzee Rascal, Bjork, The Gossip, Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris, Pete Doherty and many more. Because this was the first Glastonbury festival for two years and due to strict new ticket regulations, this yearâ€™s event was hotly anticipated. Despite all the wet weather, peopleâ€™s enthusiasm and spirits refused to be dampened. Glastonbury, we salute you! PICTURES BY BEN RAYNER
FOCUS For our Focus section ‘We Could Be Heroes’ we really went to town and looked for a great selection of outstanding artists, DJs, creatives, singers and musicians who we knew for a fact that many of you out there hold as heroes. The question we put to them was who are their heroes? Who do these artists look up to? Because no matter how successful you get, everybody starts off somewhere. Anyone who is truly creative is always learning and therefore always has someone who they hold above themselves, to look up to for guidance, lessons and inspiration. Everybody, even the great and good, need a hero! We trawled Berlin and London and came up with a truly inspiring and varied group of people: From Coldcut to Kano, Crispin Dior to Paris Trading, Cle to Dixon to Clara Hill - and they had heroes from Nelson Mandela to Sadie Frost, Albert Einstein to Brian Wilson. Next we pose the question ‘Where Did All The Heroes Go?’ ( Don't despair, there are still some around if you look hard enough!) Enjoy this extra special Focus on Heroes.
MATT BLACK COLDCUT
A N H S I R K
MATT BLACK IS ONE HALF OF THE UK DJ/PRODUCTION DUO THAT IS COLDCUT. THEY’VE BEEN ON THE SCENE SINCE THE MID-80S AND HAVE BEEN HEAVILY INFLUENTIAL IN THE UNDERGROUND BREAKBEAT, HIP-HOP AND EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICA SCENES, RELEASING ON THEIR SUCCESSFUL LABELS NINJA TUNE AND NTONE. LAST YEAR SAW THE RELEASE OF THEIR LATEST ALBUM ‘SOUND MIRRORS’.
I think religion is coming back into fashion, like marriage. There was a lot of hypocrisy and baggage associated with it and people just said ‘no’ and left it all behind. So we all zoomed off down this rationalist, hedonist path. I don’t think it’s too right wing to say that there’s this awful void in the middle of a lot of lives, certainly in Western civilisation. People are looking around madly for something to give meaning to their lives. God is a dirty word that I’d like to reclaim. People have a clear idea of the God they don’t believe in. They seem trapped in this clichéd anti-image of the bearded guy in the sky, and seem unwilling to get out of that and think about something
different. Why not just use God as a phrase to describe the universe? You don’t have to get into the Ten Commandments. Life is just complex and beautiful as it is. Krishna represents the Supreme Intelligence of the Multiverse. God of love, music, opulence (that’s the spiritual variety, not bling) and other funky things to play with. Dances with beautiful gopies who are all in love with him but he doesn’t actually have to shag them – the dance is enough to bring all concerned to a cosmic climax of divine self-realisation. Now that’s class.
TEXT AND PHOTO BY PAUL SULLIVAN
ON S L I W BRIAN
GEORGE DEMURE IS THE SUAVE KING OF ELECTRO-CROON. HAVING RELEASED RECORDS ON UK IMPRINTS OUTPUT AND DEFDRIVE, HIS DEBUT ALBUM IS NOW FINALLY ABOUT TO GET A RELEASE THIS OCTOBER ON TRK RECORDS.
“I first discovered Brian Wilson from deep inside a flatmate’s record collection in my twenties. I passed out on my mate’s coach after a heavy night, and the sound of ‘Pet Sounds’ by the Beach Boys flooded down the stairs into the living room where I was recovering from a chronic hangover. I was half asleep and feeling anxious, but as soon as I heard this music I let my guard down – it was really quite an amazing feeling. Brian Wilson, bless him, was not only a pioneer, but a pioneer against almighty odds. He was not only a performer and a composer but a groundbreaking producer – he created phenomenally individual and beautiful music on an entirely new plane whilst his family, his group and his record label were all conspiring against his ‘vision’. On top of all of this he was coping with an increasingly debilitating mental illness. And all before the ripe old age of 25. I have chosen Brian Wilson as his music still to this day profoundly touches
me, both personally and professionally. Apart from teaching me about harmony, composition, production and the connection with people through melody and harmony, his life story has been an inspiration, particularly in regard to finding my own voice, which I now feel I have. Brian Wilson and his music have changed me more than I could have possibly imagined. The thing that I see in myself now that I have learnt from this great is the overpowering wish to create the finest and most deeply affecting music possible – within my grasp of course. I feel that Mr Wilson is a talent well beyond the norm. I think ‘heroes’ are a healthy thing to have in one’s life – it’s important to be humbled by your goal. Reach for the stars and all that. And if someone ever thought that I was a hero? Well, thanks for the compliment but aren’t you a bit weird?” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
L O L A OLAFISOYE
I T U K ELA
LOLA OLAFISOYE IS THE STEAMY FRONTPERSON OF UK PUNK/FUNKSTERS SPEKTRUM. THEIR NEW REMIX ALBUM DEATH OF THE GYMKHANA CLUB IS OUT THIS OCTOBER ON STOP/START RECORDS.
“Fela Kuti’s music was always around my house in south London when I was growing up. My family are from Nigeria, so my dad had loads of his records at home. It was only natural that he was to become a great influence in my life. I remember the first time I listened to Fela’s music properly – I was nine years old and I felt the hypnotic vibe of his music running through my whole body. I didn’t understand what the words meant, but the music really grabbed me – it knocked me into a trance. When I got older and I understood what he was saying, it just reinforced my feelings towards him and his music. I felt proud being Nigerian and supported what Fela Kuti stood for – his political stance against a life of corruption and the fact that he was able to make an impact on the mainstream music market was quite amazing. African and ‘world music’ had a stigma to it, but a lot of people now know who Fela Kuti was. He has become a well-known artist in the music canon, and brought African music to the forefront. He was often called the ‘African man’s Mozart.’ Another thing that inspired me about Fela Kuti was that he was not part of any particular religion. He wasn’t Christian or Islamic – and this is some-
thing I have personally taken on board. I am about to go back to study and do an MA in Religion, and would say that Fela Kuti definitely sparked this interest. Music is a spirit, which you hear through the drums, the heat and the ritual. It fascinates me. As for me writing music, there is naturally an African influence there. Not just in the sounds or the message that we use in my band Spektrum, but in my performance and the way I am on stage – there is strong dance and a strong visual, as in African dance, which captures the audience. I feel this way when I see footage of other artists I strongly admire, such as Tina Turner, Bette Davis, Eartha Kitt and Janis Joplin. Watching the lives of so many musicians has encouraged me to keep on going, no matter what. But you know what? It‘s hard to have just one ‘hero’. I have many influences in my life so it’s really hard to pick just one. I remember being gobsmacked watching Debbie Harry on TOTP in a skimpy bikini singing ‘Denis’ – I knew at that precise moment I wanted her job.” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
CRISPIN D I O R
K A O L E I R GAB
CRISPIN DIOR IS ONE OF THE MOST WELL-DRESSED AND RESPECTED DJS AND PROMOTERS IN THE UK. AS WELL AS PLAYING RECORDS ALL OVER THE WORLD, MR DIOR IS THE BRAINS BEHIND THE NOW LEGENDARY KNEE-UPS ADVENTURES OF THE BEETROOT FIELD AND DRUZZIS, AS WELL AS THE NEW FESTIVAL ‘FIELD DAY’, WHICH MADE ITS DEBUT THIS AUGUST IN LONDON’S VICTORIA PARK.
“I discovered Gabriel Oak when I read Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd seven years ago. By my own sad admission I rarely complete books I start. It requires something very special to keep me occupied and this captivating novel really did it for me. I’m a self-confessed romantic and at this point in time I was searching for the love of my life – and the character of Gabriel Oak provided hope. The novel’s hero is a farmer, shepherd and bailiff. He is marked by humble and honest ways, has an exceptional skill with animals and farming, and an unparalleled loyalty. Gabriel is characterised by an incredible ability to read the natural world and control it without fighting against it. He occupies the position of quiet observer throughout most of the book, yet he knows just when to step in to save Bathsheba (the beauty for whom he works and desires) and others from catastrophe. The ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ was my hero when I was five years old. By 10 it was James Bond, by 12 it was Debbie Harry, by 18 Max Beckmann, Gauguin and Picasso, and by 21 I was living in awe of various jazz drummers. But all these previous heroes of mine represented a desire for a mas-
tery of technique that was unobtainable. I admire high standards – probably too high – which is why I gave up trying to make music a long time ago. In contrast, Gabriel Oak’s struggle with life was something I could relate to. This character Thomas Hardy brought to life brought me comfort – and for this reason I feel he’s fit for the title of hero. Gabriel Oak showed me that a simple, humble man could win the heart of a true beauty. I’m governed by my heart, not my head – I’m a dreamer. Since I discovered this character I started living vicariously through him, hoping that I too would end up with a beauty. And I did. I got married to the woman of my dreams earlier this year. Gabriel Oak taught me there’s a time for everything. He gave me confidence in being true to who and what I am. It’s a good thing to have heroes, as long as there are more people dreaming of John Lennon, Gandhi and Marx rather than the not-so-great Stalin or Charles Manson. And to some people a ‘hero’ may just be the best footballer in the team they support, which, of course, is just as great. TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
DJ TAG TEAM YANNICK LABBE AND DANIEL BECKER AKA TRICKSKI HAVE BEEN LIGHTING UP DANCE FLOORS ACROSS BERLIN, LONDON AND PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE ELSE YOU CARE TO MENTION IN EUROPE OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS. THE HECTIC HOUSE LOVERS HAVE ALSO HAD A NUMBER OF WELLRECEIVED RELEASES OVER THIS TIME, WITH THEIR 12 INCHES FINDING THEIR WAY INTO MANY A DJ’S RECORD BAG. TRICKSKI HAVE RECENTLY PUT TOGETHER A NEW COMPILATION FOR SONAR KOLLEKTIV, CALLED MEMBERS OF THE TRICKS, WHICH WILL BE OUT IN SEPTEMBER.
TRICKSKI Yannick: “Our joint hero turned out to be Freddie Mercury. When we discuss him, we just go ‘oh yeah!’ Queen was the one band we were both into when we were kids. From the ages of 12-16 I listened to pretty much nothing but Queen, and it was definitely Queen that got me into music. I was imitating Freddie Mercury at home, doing all the poses in the mirror. He seemed so manly to me at the time, but I think my dad was a bit worried! Unfortunately though, I only discovered the band and of course Freddie Mercury after he had died. Daniel: “I actually did a rendition of a Freddie performance in front of my class once; I thought I was so cool! Queen was also the one band whose music I was allowed to play in the car, so it’s perhaps the only music that both me and my dad can agree on. Yannick: “Freddie Mercury had so many ideas about where a track should go musically, as well as being an amazing performer. You know when you listen to some music, as soon as it starts you pretty much know where it
Y R U C R E M E I D D E FR is going to finish. That is never the case with Queen, and even now we are sometimes caught by surprise. This has definitely been an influence on us as Trickski, perhaps giving us the confidence to try a number of different styles within what we do, which broadly speaking is house music. Sometimes we will do a downtempo track, other times something more for the dance floor. The way they took all these musical styles, played many different types of songs, but always had the Queen style has had a lasting effect on our approach to making music. However for us it’s definitely Freddie Mercury that is the key to Queen – we could never have John Deacon as our hero! For us Freddie Mercury IS Queen.” Daniel: “I actually received the DVD about the making of Night at the Opera for Christmas, which I think is like Queen’s White Album, and probably my favourite. I never tire of watching all the studio recordings and seeing how the songs came together; to see Freddie working on the songs is just amazing.” EVA BE IS NOT ONLY A DJ WHO THREADS TOGETHER THE MORE OBSCURE ELEMENTS OF HOUSE, ELECTRO AND DUBSTEP, SHE IS ALSO WHAT YOU COULD DESCRIBE AS A DUB ACT IN HER OWN RIGHT. WORKING WITH PRODUCTION PARTNER BORIS MEINHOLD (MICATONE) AND COLLABORATING WITH ARTISTS SUCH AS JOE DUKIE OF FAT FREDDYS DROP, EVA MAKES TUNES THAT ARE BLISSED-OUT, SMOKED-OUT SLICES OF HEAVEN. WITH BASS TO MAKE YOUR TUMMY RUMBLE AND GROOVES TO LOLL YOUR HEAD TO, EVA IS OWNING THE BERLIN DUB SCENE. AND QUITE RIGHTLY TOO; SHE IS ACE. EVA BE’S NEW ALBUM MOVING WITHOUT TRAVELLING IS OUT NOW.
EVA BE “The first Audrey Hepburn film I saw was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and I was like ‘wow!’ I think I was about 16 when I saw this, and then I became much more interested in her. Her character in this film was kind of a role model for me, then and now, in terms of looking for the best man in my life, but never meeting the right one, and as a reaction to this always going partying! I feel like sometimes there are two hearts beating in my chest, which I identify with her. I have a lot of biographies of Audrey Hepburn, and watch a lot of documentaries. For me she is such a great, interesting person and a very beautiful one as well! I also like her style and her clothes very much. I also love the way she was able to wear men’s clothes, a turtleneck, a suit or something
URN B P E H AUDREY like that, and still look very feminine. I watch her films all the time especially on a Sunday; I have seen Breakfast At Tiffany’s so many times on a Sunday! Not every Sunday, but almost! When she died 11 years ago, I was so sad. In some ways she had such a tragic life; she had three miscarriages, but then she found the right man in her life and dedicated her life to helping other people. So finally she found this thing she wanted to do but then got cancer and died. That is so sad. Maybe when I am older I would definitely like to emulate this, and try and dedicate my life to helping other people. TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
M O D E SELEKTOR
AD D Y M LMUT H EHMIDT SC
MODESELEKTOR, BETTER KNOWN TO THEIR PARENTS AS GERNOT AND SZARY, ARE THE GENRE-DEFYING ELECTRONIC ACT OF THE MOMENT. WITH THOM YORKE OF RADIOHEAD NAMING THEM AS HIS FAVOURITE BAND, AND COLLABORATIONS WITH ARTISTS AS DIVERSE AS APPARAT, MAXIMO PARK AND TTC, MODESELEKTOR ARE ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE ACTS AROUND RIGHT NOW. THEY ARE SO HOT IT HURTS. THEIR NEW ALBUM HAPPY BIRTHDAY IS OUT ON 10 SEPTEMBER ON BPITCH CONTROL.
Szary: “My hero is actually a politician, Helmut Schmidt. He was a very important figure in bringing East and West Germany together, as well as the USA and Russia. I was still quite young, maybe 13 or so when I first became aware of him, which was when he was most active between the ages of 73 and 81. He is about 90 now and smokes a lot, about 120 cigarettes a day! He is a very tough guy. I really like to listen to him speak; he is very intelligent, a Social Democrat, and to me, his mind, his ideals, they are perfect. He has very good views and manages to have a good sense of humour. Every month he still goes to America, he is still writing essays for newspapers all of the time, he is still active. I think he is a very inspirational person. I would love to meet him.” Gernot: “Maybe it’s a bit boring, but my hero is actually my dad. I have never actually told him this, but he has a very important story he told me. He was born into a very poor family. His dad and his mum were butchers, and they lived in a small town in East Germany. The town was totally destroyed and fucked up; there was no food. It was a really tough time. This was in the late 1940s just after the war. After he had completed his minimum education, his parents told him he had to leave school and work in the butchers with them. His whole childhood he had to work in the butchers in his spare time. But he told them he could not do this the rest of his life; he wanted to learn. His grandmother, who was a bit like a princess, like a blond Mrs Munster, ran a mental hospital and was always pushing
my dad to learn more. She told him he should go to Pankow in Berlin to a particular school. My father’s parents however would only allow him to go to a different school, to learn farming. However, he didn’t go, instead he went to the school in Berlin, which really, he was too old for. He arrived with no shoes on his feet and told them that he wanted to study there. All the people in the school just laughed at him. Except one teacher. She was so moved that this young boy had come to the school, with no shoes, no money for the books, without his parents knowing, just because he wanted to learn. So she went with him to his parents and persuaded them to let him come to this school. The end result is that he now speaks nine languages and teaches in a university. He doesn’t tell people this, though. He is a really cool, low-profile guy. For me this is something that I didn’t appreciate till I was much older, because I knew this story my whole life. When I think about it now though, I see my mother and father are very different. My mother is an artist, an extrovert, she taught me a lot of things about music etc. But with my dad, he has taught me something just by what he has done. For me, that is why he is my hero.” Modeselektor will be playing live at the Electronic Beats festival in Bratislava on the 31 October. Don’t miss your chance to see them perform. Fore more info see www.electronicbeats.net
TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
TAHITA BULMER NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB
N O R Y B D LOR
TAHITA BULMER IS LEAD VOCALIST OF HIP NEW RAVE ICONS THE NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB. RECENTLY NOMINATED IN THE RACE FOR THE MUCH-LAUDED MERCURY PRIZE, THESE FRISKY YOUNG PONIES ARE ABOUT TO BE PROPELLED TO THE DIZZYING HEIGHTS OF CHART STARDOM.
“I first encountered Lord Byron when I was 16 and I did GCSE English – we covered lots of different poetry but his struck me the most. My interest in his work back then hit a real peak, but it wasn’t until I read his life story later on in my twenties that I really decided he was my hero. Not only was he a very talented poet but he was highly principled. Yet by contrast he was also a complete libertine who was chased out of England for having a clandestine affair with his sister and numerous homosexual relationships. As a hero he hasn’t so much influenced my life as inspired me to not be afraid of doing things that are incredibly daunting, or to stop myself from doing things just because other people might not like them. Byron has also inspired me to try and write great poetry. I may be the front person in a band, but secretly I’m very shy. I would probably never have stepped onto a stage without the inspiration of someone like Byron around me, who was far less paranoid than me. I think it is really healthy to have heroes in our lives, particularly if your
situation in life is a difficult one. It’s good to know that other people have had similar experiences which you can identify with, who have come through them well and have managed to achieve great things in spite of their problems. It’s easier to walk in someone else’s footsteps, so without heroes, those of us who are less determined would probably remain disheartened or complacent. To become a ‘hero’ one should have achieved something despite the external forces that have worked against them – to have lived through a scenario that is pertinent to those who respect them. A hero is someone who has made a difference to the lives of those around them. The NYPC have become more in the public eye recently, and if there are young people out there who look up to us as I have looked up to Byron, all I would say to them is try and take advantage of the good times that you have and not dwell on the bad times – they are meaningless in the end.” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
P A R I S TRADING
T S O R F E SADI
LEEDS-BRED SINGER/SONGWRITER PARIS TRADING IS THE LATEST ADDITION TO LONDON’S INDIE POP SCENE, AND IS ABOUT TO CLEAN UP. ONE-TIME MEMBER OF THE KOOKS, PARIS TRADING HAS TALENT AND LOOKS THAT WOULD MAKE PETE DOHERTY BLUSH WITH ENVY. WATCH THIS SPACE.
“I first met Sadie Frost about three years ago through a mutual friend. We instantly got on as we had very similar views and experiences on life and music, which was instantly bonding for both of us. I recall we were both pretty drunk, but to be frank, I can’t actually remember where it was! But we are still friends now so I don’t think anything disastrous happened! To me, Sadie is a legend. She seems to be there for everyone in her life, obviously for her four amazing kids but also the many bigger kids she has adopted in her life through time – like myself! She’s a mediator, referee and counsellor all rolled into one. I chose Sadie as my hero as she has never let me down. But also so that I would get on her good side and she would let me stay in her house for another week! I’m currently homeless. But in all honesty, I really do truly respect her. I’ve been going through a bit of an odd spell of late. The music side has been really positive, but stuff has been kicking off in my personal life and Sadie has been there to kick me up the arse and make me see the
more important things in life, which has really helped me on a creative level. Another thing that I admire about Sadie is her varied taste in music. She likes anything from the Moldy Peaches through to Edith Piaf, so she has opened my eyes to lots of new music. It’s also been fascinating to be around her and her children. I’ve been taking notes and learning a lot about being a parent, so if I ever have a family, I will certainly be more clued up than I was before. The good thing about having ‘heroes’ and people in your life that you admire and influence you is that it stops you from talking about yourself all the time! Our society runs on other people’s fortune and other people’s mistakes, so if we didn’t have these heroes in front of us having public ups and downs, we would have a very dull one-dimensional life.” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY | PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
M A B T S WE
HE IS A DJ AND MUSIC PRODUCER, KNOWN SIMPLY AS FETISCH. HE RUNS THE RECORD LABEL TERRANOVA RECORDINGS AND IS ALSO ONE PART OF LOTTERGIRLS WITH BAXTER WILDERBEAST AND PRINCESS SUPERSTAR. FETISCH HAS HIS OWN UNIQUE WAY OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD AROUND HIM AND THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC INDUSTRY WITHIN WHICH HE OPERATES. THERE IS QUITE SIMPLY NO-ONE ELSE LIKE HIM. WITH COLLABORATIONS ACROSS THE MUSIC AND FASHION WORLDS, MOST RECENTLY WITH CARSTEN FOCK AND ADIDAS ON THE BUT PLEASE FUCK THE SYSTEM PROJECT, HE SURE KNOWS HOW TO TRAVERSE BETWEEN THESE TWO SCENES. FETISCH’S LIMITED EDITION BOX SETS OF BUT PLEASE FUCK THE SYSTEM EP AND SWEATSHIRT CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE WEBSITE WWW.BEINGHUNTED.COM.
“WestBam is a kind of hero to me. The May Day parade he does, a techno parade, where 100,000 or so kids come and pay like 60, 80 euros each, is massive, but he then went and made music which just scares the shit out of these people, and I really really respect him for that. You know he started doing this band, and it was like at first I thought he was being cynical, but then you just realise he has been fucked over by the people in the industry, the people that have been making money off his music. Also, and it will probably sound quite techie and boring to some people, but it’s absolutely essential to techno, is his way of producing certain elements of the track. The way the melody is done is very quick, but there is this tight-
ness that very few people will notice that is like the engine of a car, it is that important to the music. It is something that makes the music last; it is the relationship between kick drum and bass. He has had the same studio for like 20 years, just concentrating on these elements of the music; it’s like the Camp David of kick drums! I am actually releasing a track of his on TNT, called ‘Road Rage’, and that is such an honour to release a track by my hero.”
TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
C L E MAERTINI BROS
H T I M S ELLIOTT
THE BROTHERS KNOWN AS MAERTINI, WHO ARE NOT ACTUALLY BROTHERS, ARE SOMEWHAT LOCAL HEROES HERE IN BERLIN. THEY FIRST STARTED DJING TOGETHER BACK IN 1998 AT AUDIOPARK, HELD AT THE NOTORIOUS SUICIDE CLUB, AND HAD THEIR FIRST RELEASE THE SAME YEAR. WITH DJ SETS THAT INCORPORATE LIVE GUITARS, PERCUSSION AND SINGING AS WELL AS REMIXES FOR ARTISTS SUCH AS TIGA, IVAN SMAGGHE AND MR BROOKS, NOT TO MENTION A FEW WORLD TOURS UNDER THEIR BELTS, IT’S A WONDER HOW THEY MANAGE TO KEEP RELEASING TRACKS OF SUCH HIGH QUALITY. BUT THEY DO. THEY ARE ALSO THOROUGHLY NICE GUYS. THEIR CURRENT EP IS OUT NOW.
“Elliott Smith is for me a hero in terms of music. He stabbed himself when he was like 32 or something, which is so tragic. An older guy I worked with in an electronic/hip hop record shop about 10 years ago played me one of his albums. I love music, I like a lot of stuff, but when I heard the first song, I was like, damn! I wanted to know everything about this guy. It was very lo-fi, with very honest lyrics. You get the feeling when you hear his music that he’s not wearing any mask. I wouldn’t say I have managed it yet, but this is something I try and do with my work, this ‘honest’ approach to making music. When you listen to him, it’s like he is totally naked and vulnerable. I would love to be able to express this through knobs and faders, which I think is almost impossible! I still listen to him every single day. I
remember when I was reading the Spiegel, and then I saw his pictures in the obituary and I was just so upset. For me the favourite piece of work of his is actually something that was released posthumously. I don’t know if he would have actually agreed with it being released, but it is a collection of his works comprising outtakes, and so you can see the blueprints of songs on other albums. It is just him, a guitar and an 8-track tape recorder. And you know, because I love him so much, I love his work so much, it just really grabbed me. It’s sad, but then when you listen to it, the music is just so affirming.” TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
N I E T S N I E T R E B L A
GORDON RAPHAEL IS THE PRODUCTION TALENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STROKES’ FIRST TWO ALBUMS THIS IS IT AND ROOM ON FIRE. GORDON LIVES IN BERLIN BUT HAS RECENTLY BEEN WORKING IN HIS EAST LONDON STUDIO WITH SLEEK-HEADED SINGER SKIN FROM SKUNK ANANSIE AND SINGER/SONGWRITER GEORGE DEMURE ON HIS FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM BOOMTOWN MEDALLION, OUT THIS SEPTEMBER ON TIRK RECORDS.
“When I was 14 I began keeping lists of my heroes. I thrilled in scribbling down their names in my workbooks at school in order to keep me focused on what it was possible to do in life. I now realise that part of hero-worshipping is a process of projecting secret hopes and ideas about oneself onto other people so that they can be more easily seen and recognised. Having read a lot about my heroes, and even meeting a few in person, It is clear that the fantasy I had about them is sweeter and more fabulous than what I felt about them when actually in their presence – in short, it’s always a bit of a letdown. Albert Einstein was the first hero that I can remember dreaming about. His hair! It was so out of control and antigravity, and this was in the conservative Fifties. Albert’s wild white frizzy mop really caught my eye. Later on Harpo Marx and Jimi Hendrix also entered my pantheon of heroes – I think their crazy curls triggered a memory of my love of Einstein. The idea of someone in the world who seemed so damned smart without trying too hard, and whose mental brilliance confused, shocked and impressed people, really appealed to me. I thought my daddy was supersmart ’cause he was a scientist and a doctor, and since he went to the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx –whilst Einstein was still alive – I reckoned that if Albert was smart enough to teach my dad then his brain must have been extremely gifted. Einstein would have dreams and would wake up suddenly to write down huge mathematical formulas, which would describe that wherever we stand in the universe determines the perspective that we see things from. The idea that certain things seem to be constant throughout the galaxies, and other things are completely subjective and relative to where you happen to be at any given time, says volumes to me about the dangers of assuming that what is ‘real’ for me is supposed to also be correct information for you, or anyone else. Albert Einstein also played the violin, promoted vegetarianism, world peace, and had the children in his neighbourhood sneak out and deliver secret supplies of chocolate candy (sweets) to him when no-one was looking. How cool is that?” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
K A N O
N M O U S M N I Y M ROSE ROB MEL
KANO HAS LONG BEEN ONE OF THE LEADING LIGHTS OF URBAN MUSIC IN THE UK. NOW, WITH HIS NEW ALBUM LONDON TOWN, FEATURING COLLABORATIONS FROM STAR LINE-UP CRAIG DAVID, KATE NASH AND DAMON ALBARN, HE’S ABOUT TO TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM.
“My mum Melrose is my biggest hero. She was a single parent raising us two boys and was able to make a success of it – a lot of parents don’t manage it. I’ve seen a lot of chaos where I grew up in East Ham. We didn’t do anything bad so she clearly did a good job. Any parent that can manage to raise children on their own I really respect – it must be so hard to do it by yourself. I think it’s good to have a good family around you, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I haven’t seen my dad for a couple of years, but I bumped into him the other day on the street and it was cool. I have no resentment or issues against him. A lot of people would gripe about their dad not being there – the lack of a father figure – but I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. Maybe if my life wasn’t as it is now, then I might have a problem with him, be angry that he wasn’t there. But me and my brother kept on the straight and narrow, so it’s all good. My mum still works as a PE teacher at the school I went to, and she mentors young people, which is something I have also started to do. I go back to my school at the end of each year and hand out awards to the kids who have done well. I even took 30 of them to my studio in Battersea to record
backing vocals for ‘Feel Free’, a track on my new album I worked on with Damon Albarn. Me and my mum spend a lot of time together. I’m a home person so we hang out a lot. She was the one who gave me the bug for music – she played music like Buju Banton around the house the whole time, and took us to Jamaica every year since I was about four. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be making music today. She has supported everything that me and my brother were into – she took us to football every week, and we’d see her on the sideline cheering her head off. We never really saw lots of parents there, and when you did it was usually the dads. Mum would never miss a game. Even when I finished art & design college and decided not to go to university she never tried to dissuade me from making music. There must have been a point where she was wondering what I was doing with my life – she knew I was up in my bedroom making music the whole time but she never interfered.” TEXT BY LULU LE VAY PHOTO BY BEN RAYNER
RHYTHM KING AND HER FRIENDS, OR LINDA AND PAULINE AS THEY CALL EACH OTHER, ARE A SUBVERSIVE ELECTRO POP ACT STRADDLING PARIS AND BERLIN. THEY SING THEIR SONGS IN FRENCH, ENGLISH AND BULGARIAN, AND FILL THE MIDDLE GROUND BETWEEN LE TIGRE AND THE B-52’S MAKING IT ALL THEIR OWN, PRODUCING INTELLIGENT, THOUGHTFUL AND MOST OF ALL RATHER GOOD ELECTRONIC MUSIC WITH GUITARS AND DRUMS FOR GOOD MEASURE. WITH SHOWS THAT ARE ALMOST STRAYING INTO THE REALMS OF PERFORMANCE ART, BUT ALWAYS WITH BEATS TO MOVE YOUR FEET TO, THESE LADIES WEAR THEIR INFLUENCES ON THEIR SLEEVES AND ARE ALL THE BETTER FOR IT. RHYTHM KING AND HER FRIENDS’ NEW ALBUM THE FRONT OF LUXURY IS OUT NOW ON KITTY-YO.
RHYTHM KING AND HER FRIENDS Pauline: “Gertrude Stein is a writer and a poet from the beginning of the 20th century. She wrote one book in particular, called The Making Of Americans. Her idea was to write the best book of the 20th century, a description of who Americans are. She was an American Jew who emigrated to France in the 1920s. She became very famous within Paris, and was very good friends with Picasso for example, and entertained the avant-garde of Paris one day a week in her salon. She was the only woman who had an influence over this scene, and that is quite inspirational. There is a very interesting biography of her written by Alice Toklas, her girlfriend, but it is funny because Gertrude actually wrote the biography herself, but wrote it from Alice’s point of view! Most people know her through the phrase “A rose is a rose is a rose,” but I became aware of her when I first read her autobiography about 10 years ago. She is more an inspiration for me in terms of how I live my life, more than my music for example. There is one thing that she did that I try to emulate: she wrote every day for three hours. The rest of the time she relaxed and ate. A lot! Taking the time to write every day is something I try and do myself, in my own life, though I am not always as successful. The period of the war was quite difficult for her; she was in hiding in the south of France, but she survived the war. She was working her whole life, but only became famous later in her life for the work she did when she was younger. Her work is very complex, so you can always go back to it and find new things. She is one of the people whose writings inspire me creatively.”
N I E T S E HOLL D U R T R E G PHIE SC SO Linda: “Sophie Scholl is my hero from my early youth. She was born in the 1920s and lived in the south of Germany. When the Nazis gained power she was still a child and wasn’t aware of politics. I think she and her brother were even members of the Hitler Youth. When Sophie started to study in Munich, she realised what was happening, so she formed a resistance group called the White Rose with her brother and some friends. They started writing and printing flyers that deeply criticised the war and the Nazi ideology and they distributed them secretly. For that time it was very difficult; there were no copy shops of course, so they spent their nights writing these by hand. It was such a courageous thing to do, and they were really young. When Sophie and her brother went to distribute their sixth flyer in the university, both were captured and executed the next day, as well as their friends. I was a child when I became of aware of Sophie by visiting the local library. There were a number of books about her. She was also a poet, and she drew pictures. To me it seemed very strong and inspiring, the way she stood up for her ideals. She and her friends could have conformed in front of the court when they were captured, but they didn’t – they stood by what the believed in. It has always been really inspiring for me, though I have never done anything strong like that. I like the idea of fighting for your beliefs. Sophie always stood by her friends; she didn’t reveal their names and was only 21 when she died, but she was an inspiration to other resistance groups all over Germany until the end of the Second World War and until now. I am not in a political group or a strong activist, but we try to be political within our music by naming things, playing at antiracist or feminist and queer events, and as a graphic designer, I try to do a lot of jobs that make sense to me, like for the workers’ unions.” TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
D I X O N
L L A R E H T A E W W A N DKREEJ O N Z E SPI
STEFFEN BERKHAHN, BETTER KNOWN AS DJ DIXON AND ONE HALF OF ELECTRO SOUL OUTFIT WAHOO, IS A BERLIN HOUSE MUSIC LEGEND. FROM RUNNING THE BENCHMARK HOUSE NIGHT AUDIO VIDEO DISCO AT WMF TO HIS CURRENT MONTHLY SHINDIG INNERCITY AT WATERGATE, DJ DIXON HAS ALL THE MUSICAL BASES MARKED HOUSE COVERED. HIS EPIC BUILDING SETS TOUCHING ON ALL AREAS OF THE GENRE HAVE SEEN HIM IN DEMAND THE WORLD OVER AS A DJ AND REMIXER. WAHOO’S NEW ALBUM TAKE IT PERSONAL IS OUT THIS SEPTEMBER ON FINE RECORDINGS.
“Personally, for me a better word is idol. Someone who is a great songwriter or a great footballer is not a hero to me. When I think of a hero, it is quite superficial, like a comic book character. So for me an idol is much more suitable, someone who does something I don’t understand that makes me want to find out much more about that person. For me Spike Jonze is an idol, and also Andrew Weatherall. Andrew Weatherall for example always changed himself, but at the same time stayed true to himself. He can do an album that is very much ‘me’ but then do something completely different, but you know he is always staying true to his vision.
The same with Spike Jonze. The ‘Weapon of Choice’ video (Fatboy Slim) has quite a simple concept, but when you see how it is executed, it is amazing. He stays true to his vision, and that for me is something I really really respect, and these guys are my idols for those reasons. I have always taken an interest in their work, and perhaps when I was younger I may have called them heroes, but really now they are people that I would say I admire, because I just don’t understand how they do what they do! People who stay true to their vision and yet continue to surprise me I guess are quite heroic. Not bowing to the pressure of your fans and the record companies and so on. That is a heroic act to me.”
E K A R D NICK
CLARA HILL IS WHAT YOU COULD DESCRIBE AS NU-FOLK. OR JUST FOLK. WHICHEVER WAY YOU LOOK AT IT, SHE MAKES MUSIC THAT IS HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL. ALTHOUGH SHE STARTED HER MUSICAL CAREER AS A VOCALIST IN MORE UPTEMPO ACTS SUCH AS STEREOTON, CLARA’S WORK ON HER SOLO PROJECTS IS SET TO GIVE HER HER BIGGEST SUCCESS SO FAR. A LONG-STANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH JAZZANOVA HAS SEEN TWO ALBUMS RELEASED TO DATE WITH HER LAST ALBUM, ALL I CAN PROVIDE, WELL RECEIVED BY CRITICS AND THE PUBLIC ALIKE. CLARA’S NEW ALBUM CLARA HILL – FOLKWAVES/SIDEWAYS IS OUT ON 10 SEPTEMBER ON JAZZANOVA.
“I would say Nick Drake. He is a really big idol for me. If you compare the Beatles to Nick Drake for example, the Beatles had a vision of something they wanted to create, but Nick Drake was just himself and I really like that. I listen very often to Nick Drake. Perhaps that is not very healthy, as it makes me very sad sometimes. But sometimes his music is just so beautiful. Nick Drake is very open, yet fragile and introverted as well. It moves me a lot. I definitely want to emulate that level of honesty in my music. When you listen to his albums you hear his words, his breath on the recordings. For the forthcoming album, I wanted to be like that, to write and play music in that way. My interest in him came from Stefan [Stefan Leisering – 1/6 of Jazzanova]. About five or six years ago, he played me an album and the first time I
heard it I got goose bumps. From then I went forward into the music and discovered a lot about how he created music, just with his voice and a guitar. It is not always necessary to have a big production, to make music that is very special, that creates a good feeling. The way he uses his words and writes his lyrics is very inspirational. It makes me very sad that he was only 27 when he died. When I think of Nick Drake I see him as a watcher, someone who sees things in a certain way. I would say I am a watcher, an observer as well. I can often relate to what he was writing, but sometimes I don’t write as much as I would like to. Sometimes I will only write two lines, in say three weeks.” TEXT BY GARETH OWEN | PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
UK CHAMPION BEATBOXER
He knew what he wanted, he knew what people wanted, he refused to compromise his dream and never took any shit from anyone. He was a true artist, made his own path and didn't follow the accepted routes to anything. True, he did start as a typical, albeit exceptional, RnB artist, but he followed his soul to such an extent that he ended up carving out a new style of music, and kept doing it till the day he died. His voice is amongst the most recognisable and regularly sampled sounds in the world. Generations have tried to do what he does - all have failed. He could sing ballads better, and with more soul than anyone else on the planet, had more stage confidence and charisma than anyone else in
history and spoke for unity and love without ever sounding cheesy or like a stoner. His music is impossible not to like. No-one can understand what he's talking about, yet it still touches you. Admittedly his piano playing was good but not great, and he was quite violent towards his wife, and rather too into the church for my liking, but he was raised in a brothel and was shining shoes and dancing for dimes by the time he was six. He was gonna be a pro baseball player, the first in a white league, then some racist thugs broke his knees. But he still went on to be the most influential dancer, and singer and performer of all time. Fucking. Legend.
I was 12 when I first became aware of Nelson Mandela. As part of a school project we had to write about a historical event and I decided to focus on the 1976 Soweto protests and subsequent massacre. The more I researched the more I learnt about the wider Apartheid struggle and Nelson Mandela's personal role in it. At the time he was still in prison and I remember admiring his dignity and the strength of his convictions; never willing to compromise to ensure his early release. Here was a man who spent 27 years in prison and could have been released a lot earlier if he just agreed to sell out his people and renounce the struggle. I can't imagine many modern day politicians making such a sacrifice. I vividly remember watching his release on TV with tears in my eyes. The whole experience felt so unreal and made a mockery of the belief that
DJ/PRODUCER (UK DMC CHAMPION, 2007)
by simply locking up this man for this period of time they truly believed they could kill what he stood for. How he acted once he became president was again truly remarkable. He knew the only way to heal the country was not by seeking revenge on his persecutors (no matter how tempting) but to unite the whole country through a system of reconciliations and amnesties. His actions proved that idealism is not just some nice fairy tale. His life story inspired me to take an active interest in politics and more and more I started to learn about my own father (my other hero) and his role in the struggle for Sudan's independence. With the current pessimistic state of politics today figures like Nelson Mandela are sorely missed.
Q-BERT I would choose Q-Bert because he's the best turntablist I've seen so far. He's been breaking the boundries of scratching and showing it to the world. Whenever I feel the need to learn some new scratching techniques I go on YouTube and type in the name: Q-Bert.
TEXT AND PHOTO BY PAUL SULLIVAN
JIM “2 TALL” COLES
MONKEYMAN DJ / PERFORMER
I find it difficult to label people as a hero, I think because most of the people I would call “hero” or “inspiration” would probably call themselves “ordinary people”. Growing up though, I’d say that my heroes were DJ Hype, as we didn’t have pirate radio so much out in Berkshire, so all we had was tape packs, Hype was and still is one of the godfathers of Jungle and Drum n Bass, and his own style of cutting up over DnB and dropping a capellas over tunes always impressed me so much as a kid. Then when I found out about his show on kiss 100 back in about 96/97 I was hooked. Other than that, I have to mention Bill
RJ KROHN (RJD2)
Hicks, who I only really discovered after hearing his name so much in 2003, I think. It was a shame he had to go, but I think the cancer came about by him not being able to live on this planet - he was just too far ahead. Madlib is my other current hero, who continues to mash up samples in the most raw, fresh and exciting ways, I have been a fan since Lootpack and pretty much everything he has done has scored top 5 on my charts.
Henson was so devoted to his craft and he produced a huge amount of art that really has affected millions of lives. He also did the kind of art that is accessible for kids as well as adults. He was a total genius that left the world a better place than he found it. I always liked The Muppets as a kid and I think part of it was that caustic tone to the humor. It was just great viewing. And then when I got older, the Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas was a story that really hit home for me; the puppets were great, and it was just so cool - it drew on all sorts of things, from stoner hard rock, to real family issues, and was still a show that had an innocent feeling to it. So the artistry of Jim Henson, I was sold on. When I bought the Dark Crystal DVD, I watched the extras, and this really made Jim Henson into more of an icon and less of a guy I
was a fan of. He talked about all the hard work he put into the whole thing, and devoting five years of his life to realize this piece of art, and you really leave the thing with this sense that he was on a very noble mission - to present something to the world that could make people's lives a little bit better. He was also very handson, talking about how he had to do some of the puppeteering himself, which involved bending over and running around for hours upon hours, and the physical strain he put himself through, just to make sure the vision was realized the way he wanted it to be. He really made me aware that art can be somewhat of an altruistic career, which was really inspiring, ‘cause sometimes the world of music just feels like we are all these little automatons bouncing around just trying to sustain our own careers for selfish means.
NELSON MANDELA My parents were born and lived in South Africa for over 30 years and used to go on anti-apartheid rallies. They even got criminal records for their demonstrating. So Nelson Mandela has a very personal connection for me having gone to Africa as a kid for many years and seeing first hand how the country began to change. He inspired a whole nation and is one of the world’s most important figures of the last three decades. TEXT AND PHOTO BY PAUL SULLIVAN
wh FRI he o is END wh has a f ilm , VEI oth at h grea dir T HE er s e w t t ect LM So f ia at ant alen or i ER ,2 t he s w t. s m 4, act sam hil He y h res s e t st b goe ero, im ein s f be e. g r or c esp ex ause ect actl ful y of
ER K BOWcks ass ande C A J / i D k us ERLAN he alwa ys HER, beca nce H T U OT RS ssa use KIEFE hero, beca nd MY BR rn Renai e A is my the day! te mod ing! a h s save he ultim t ever yt a t t a s ’ e e r h g , he’s grapher man oto Cer r
MY HERO IS... Be
P c a n ch A U L Be us ex SA no it, e h ist R 39 e w en TR ,w or a s tial E ks in so ist I.T . da ) is rn m cle y h ve ero r! .
. ing th was y er ev she m e se l t h ecau l e t b
ER se I O TH ecau A SIM A F ND ly, b IN RA mi e N .
G fa lov er MY d my d I ilblaz an an tra O h ch a 2 3 su lyne, e Ev
r ti n,
s E, an IM T r P R t h e ner U S r o f c desig T I M d e g raphi
ma r hi ip. e d i ns IE r sh BOW don’t co ests wo D I V g I DA ough o’ sug r a l t h a s ‘ h e igner es o h e r shion d , fa
fo rm er s!! !!!
FRIEND MY BOY I love him! se Becau 1, student in Joseph
TEXT AND PHOTO BY DANNY MCGUINNESS
y hero r y) is m scieno e h t e ing BRIA rote about str ly helped mak l w a o e (wh has r r. se he becau s a lot easie ve tists li mist (right)
NE N GREE
6 , ch e
o CLANE y ultimate her want around M N H O d l J d) is m u wou
lu vo o re or s He y f e! wa on he t le r p ed pu nd l e t h ic a t o us . CE n m sts IN ow op rti or PR w d ed p er a advis Bo nis oth tient tio ny 35, pa
o ar (Die H sor t of guy y e g! h n t i d ’s l He bui g ft) n i n r ing (le in a bu orks in advertis Tzveta
, 26, w
h RIX cause D N e B HE ! IMI ero. ace
S IAM s, L L I nd LW
u RREL d so er PHA eats an his new ds. to is b un
u is m
f h o t stuf al s den y of riet . chord minim music stu a v e e 7, .R.D mor Jonas, 2 e th I lov his N.E f rom
yh r sp i s m o u t e r ight er y m fro 28, cop Ch
THE AND CHEMIC Bec JACO AL BRO a P lif t use t he ASTO THERS R my y moo are t IUS Rob in o
LSTOY EO TO t a s
L os e alm rk ar and lived o w d r i ch fe an ter. his li was born great wri or e s u a Bec e how he fe; he’s a nzhaf, 35, act a li I lov tian B dest Chris one. a mo
TER) ARAC me smile. H C E ing INES
CH ays mak L KEI ( VISUA hero for alw is my Kisak
t all y un
t en e r ch f f d i roa ny l app a m ua s o pir it s U ixe ly s AD e m real B H h a KA se s has ic. Y R E e c a u a n d m u s nt B l e s i n g stude s t y m a k music t o a, 21, r No
BACK IN ’77, HUGH CORNWELL AND HIS POST-PUNK OUTFIT THE STRANGLERS ASKED THIS QUESTION: “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HEROES?” IF THE ENQUIRY WAS RELEVANT THIRTY YEARS AGO, IT’S EVEN MORE PERTINENT NOW. COMPARED TO THE SEVENTIES – EVEN THE LATE SEVENTIES – OUR CONTEMPORARY ERA IS NOT SO NOTABLE FOR ITS LITANY OF LEADERS, LUMINARIES, EXEMPLARS AND ROCK & ROLL GROUNDBREAKERS – AS A GLARING LACK OF THEM.
BY PAUL SULLIVAN AND KEVIN BRADDOCK
If we grab our metaphorical binoculars and scan the 21st Century hero-horizon more closely, we see…what? A steady stream of major and minor celebrities? Television personalities? War-mongering politicians? Successful advertisers and marketers…? Come to think of it, who in this age of radical, me-first individualism, chooses to orient their life around a semi-mythical figure they’ll probably never meet, and might not like all that much if they did? And why do we need heroes, when so many of the individuals who are elevated to positions of power, prosperity and influence, turn out to be everything we hoped they weren’t: usually vain, arrogant, often shallow, almost always immoral and, in general, a bit rubbish? If these are meant to be our heroes, you can keep ‘em. Sure there are a few inspirational individuals kicking around; a smattering of eminences, a rag-taggle of role models. But where are the truly Great Men and Women, the kind whose actions and lives lit up the turbulent 20th century with such verve? If centuries were personalities, the 20th would be a schizophrenic motherfucker. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot et al really broke the mould when it came to acts of inhumanity and maleficent destruction. But despite – or perhaps because of - these harbingers of hatred and their ushering in of new shades of darkness, the good guys shone extra-bright.Wartime heroes like Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle; revolutionary freedom fighters like Trotsky, Mandela and Che Guevara; peace protagonists like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama; civil rights leaders like MLK, Desmond Tutu and Rosa Parks; sporting heroes like Muhammed Ali and Jesse Owens; earthly saints like Mother Teresa - all did their bit to stop the 20th century spinning right off its axis. Academia and the arts, too, were brimming with all kinds of innovative movements, from the Situationists and Surrealists, the Modernists and Magic Realists to the Fauvists, Futurists, Cubists, Collagists, the Punks, Ravers, Beatniks & Bohemians, Existentialists & Expressionists… These movements spawned a stream of groundbreakers so renowned that today their surnames alone suffice as benchmarks for artistic achievement: Bacon, Burroughs, Coltrane, Kahlo, Picasso, Pollock, Dali, Dylan, Hendrix, Warhol, Stockhausen, Sartre, Woolfe, Lennon, Guthrie…the list is exhaustive. So where are today’s moral sages? The philosophers and truth-seekers, electrifiers and galvanisers? The forces against darkness, tyranny and cultural stasis?
HEROES & ERAS
It’s been said that every era gets the hero or heroine it deserves. What do we have? Homer Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Harry Potter and The Hoff: either faulted, erratic characters who are more reflective of our own anxieties than anything closer to the classic ideal, or otherwise, semi-fictional constructions that are good for a few laughs. Of course there have been many hero-types down the ages, from the epic heroes of Ancient Greece (Odysseus in The Odyssey; Achilles in The Iliad), folk heroes and outlaws [Billy The Kid, Dick Turpin, Ned Kelly, Rob Roy), and even comic book superheroes, There are many hero types because there are many ways of being heroic: displays of exceptional courage or strength; standing up for what you believe in; helping others less fortunate; defying authority; creating world-changing ideas; campaigning for political, civil or environmental rights…Which is why when Cornwell came to pen his prescient tune he was able to string together such a wide range of disparate personalities from an array of eras - Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, comedian Lenny Bruce, Hungarian-born master forger Elmyr de Hory - even old Billy Shakespeare. In recent centuries clever men with colossal sideburns have dwelled on the Hero question. The German philosopher Hegel (using Napolean as his particular example) introduced the idea that an individual can embody and exemplify a particular culture’s Volksgeist (and thus the Zeitgeist)
– that is, he or she can be a carrier of transcendent ideas, or “next stages” of history. Thomas Carlyle went a step further by explaining all history through the roles of specific individuals such as Oliver Cromwell or Frederick The Great: “The history of the world is but the biography of great men,” went his theory, which was already starting to disintegrate around the middle of the 19th century. (Tolstoy – a hero not just of literature but of follicle excess - dissed it thoroughly in War & Peace), Historians have increasingly brought different factors into play - social, economic, political – to explain the historical process from a broader, more complex perspective. “New Historicist’s” like Stephen Greenblatt now veer in the opposite direction, arguing that whole societies play roles not only in history but even in artistic creations normally accredited to one individual.
CHANGING TIMES, CHANGING VALUES
Therein lies the crux of the issue: the times have changed, and so have our heroes. The towering titans of last century were endowed with impressive moral, spiritual or military prowess. These figures overcame fascism, racism and imperialism and showed the world what could be achieved with some willpower, an elevated moral perspective and some personal charisma. Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity helped shatter 19th century ‘absolutes’, fragmenting the coming century into tiny cubist pieces. The relativism of the 20th Century is still with us, but has joined forces with intense commercialization to create a hyperreal world full of what Umberto Eco has called “authentic fakes”. The past twenty years have witnessed the triumph of US capitalism. Ruled by technology and saturated with information, today we know too much, see too much and absorb too much. In a world where pornography is ‘realer’ than sex, it is not so easy to discern between reality and fantasy. Original experiences are pre-empted and mediated by advertisers and mass media; politicians have become celebrities and vice versa; old school heroism has, in part, been replaced by new-school hedonism. With politicians no longer able to command respect and religion a dirty word, it’s no wonder that we look towards popular culture for our ‘heroes’. A sports ‘personality’ like David Beckham or Tiger Woods, or a pop star like Madonna or Bono are more likely to provide inspiration in an era defined by the twin towers of Wealth and Fame. The problem with following this train of thought is that’s is so easy to see how we ended up in the shameful place we are in now: discussing Paris Hilton as if she were really of any importance on the 6 o’clock national news. Where yesterday’s heroes were lauded for doing something extraordinary – Jesse Owens and Mohammed Ali were political reformers and activists as well as athletes; Ghandi was a moral and spiritual guide as well as a politician - today’s luminaries are mostly famous for being, well, famous. The counter-culture that flourished so poignantly in the sixties has been hijacked by commerce and has become “over-the-counter” culture. Instead of Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Martin Luther King and JFK, we have Blair, Bush and Bono. Instead of Picasso or Pollock shocking us with new ways of viewing the world, we have Damien Hirst and his diamond-encrusted skull. A meditation on death and money? Or just a big joke: now they are even selling bling as art?
THE DEATH OF THE SUPERHERO
Last month Marvel killed off Captain America. Further evidence, perhaps, that our old heroes are increasingly redundant, that old-fashioned paradigms of good versus evil are no longer applicable. It was Nietszche that created the modern superhero, believing that the death of God (and the inhibitions of Christian thought) would allow man to rise up and assume their true powers, creating a race of Supermen [ÜberMensch]. It took a hundred years for this idea to be translated into comic form, and when he did arrive in the 1930s, Superman had become not so much a transcendent symbol of post-Christian values as patriot and protector of a fragile world. Superman spawned a glut of fellow superheroes, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and Wonder Woman among them. These characters too have changed over the decades. Batwoman has been reinvented as a lesbian; X-Men deal with specific minorities rather than supernatural mysteries; Spidey has been demystified and beset by personal angst. The same process has been occurring in the arts. Modern filmmakers favour anti-heroes over classic heroes, ( just look at anything from Tarantino) while post-modern fiction goes in for hyper-complex plots and fast-paced writing rather than strong lead characters, a process literary critic Chris Woods has described as “Hysterical Realism”.
There are still those who adhere to the hero qualities of old. Our century, fortunately, is new enough for us to claim some of yesteryear’s heroes. Ghandi and Guevara might be gone, but Mandela and the Dalai Lama are still here, as are die-hard counter-culturists such as Tom Waits, David Bowie and Bob Dylan. And can’t we see echoes of last century’s idealism in contemporaries such as Kofi Annan, Maya Angelou, Germaine Greer, Stephen Hawkins, Noam Chomsky and Al Gore? The fact we still have heroes – of the old and new school types – surely means we still need them, even if they do morph with the times. In fact, today’s dearth of role models has been increasingly noticed and lamented, creating a sense of nostalgia for older and perhaps more innocent times. In our postmodern, mediated age, the only heroes we find it easy to invest with our admiration are the ones who live in the screen, in the pages of a novel, in the past or amid the grooves of a record or CD. Comic book heroes never disappoint in the way real humans can because they’re not real. Films containing film stars don’t always have a happy ending, but at least they do have an ending and some kind of closure; if only real life were that simple. A number of people in the comic industry are aiming to recapture a sense of old skool or ‘pure’ heroism in their characters; X Men was one of the biggest superhero box office hits of all time; while one of the most popular shows in America right now is NBC's Heroes, which draws in 14 million viewers a week with plots of ordinary people who discover their ‘abilities’ and powers.
Despite our ironic times, where cynicism is used as a catch-all defense against anything too serious, sentimental or supernatural, it appears we can still find room for a bit of magic. Will we continue to find space in our myspaced obsessed societies for inspirational people? Will we, in the immortal words of Bonnie Tyler, “hold out for a hero ‘til the end of the night”? Or will we follow Bowie, who told us “we could be heroes, just for one day…”? Or…will we sell everything out to the man and end up in a giant global hyper-market, browsing the aisles for meaning and value, as Tina Turner plays prophetically through the system: “we don’t need another hero…we already know the way home…” Ultimately, punk, acid house, MySpace and the cheap fantasy heroism of reality TV have all played their part in dismantling the myth of the hero and suggesting that anyone should play the lead role in their own lives, and do so with imagination and energy. Punk suggested you didn't need to be talented to be successful; acid house that the crowd of individuals was always bigger than the supposed “superstar DJ”; MySpace permitted anyone to re-imagine and project their personalities as bigger, brighter and better than their real, everyday selves. And if Big Brother proved anything, it was that anyone could get on TV provided they were stupid enough to want it so badly in the first place. But for anyone with an ounce of idealism and ambition, heroes still serve a purpose. They show how high the bar is raised so you know how far you need to reach to push them off their pedestals. Then they show what the rules of their particular game are, so you know what you need to learn before you break the rules and create your own game. And quite apart from that, it’s nice to have their pictures pinned up on your bedroom wall. And that, after all, is how any artist, poet, thinker, musician, DJ, filmmaker, stylist, photographer or sculptor has carved a name for themselves onto the guest list to infamy and respect. Because to be truly timeless, it's never enough to learn the rules of what worked in the past and stick to them. The difference between being generic – operating according to a set of pre-existing codes - and being genuinely transcendent (bending the genre to fit your own unique vision) is the difference between being Oasis and The Beatles, and it's why the Chemical Bothers will never match the achievements of Kraftwerk. It may be that we’re so swamped with nostalgia, too respectful of the past and too fearful of the avant-garde to entertain much in the way of genuine, visionary and pioneering heroism today. Either that or we're to busy become heroes in our own lunchtime to notice. That’s probably a very good thing. In the end, the punks were probably right: Kill your heroes, and do it before anyone else does it. But not before you’ve ripped them off first.
0700-ACHTBALL / INFO@EIGHTBALL.DE
3 20 22
Photography : Attila Hartwig / www.attilahartwig.com Backgrounds: Nina Lemm / www.liganord.de Assistance: David Dรถrrast Production: Sandra Liermann
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Poudre sur Mesure, semi-loose powder natural radiance by YSL Beauté Lip Twins, Spf 8 by YSL Beauté Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol by Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy uplifting botanical pulse point therapy by Aesop Sunglasses by Linda Farrow Vintage Black Onyx, nail laquer by OPI Lustre lipstick by MAC Lash Queen, wild black mascara by Helena Rubinstein High-Potency serum, anti-aging facial gel by Cellex-C Fluid Shine Nail Polish by Armani Cosmetics Yatra, aroma spray by Aveda Silk Nectar Serum by Ecru New York W910i, mobile phone by Sony Ericsson Caplio GX100, compact digital camera with 24 to 72 mm equivalent wide zoom and removable electronic viewfinder by Ricoh Heels by HUGO 8800 Sirocco Gold by Nokia Bag by Lara Bohinc Bracelet by Lara Bohinc Earrings by Lara Bohinc 12 Glove by HUGO Necklace by Sabrina Dehoff Aromessence Ongles, strengthening concentrate 100% natural with essential oils by Decléor
4 17 12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Bag by American Apparel Air Zoom Autoclave Bball by Nike Decane by Y-3 Bain Vital Haute Tolérance shampoo für sensitive scalps by Kérastase Noctocalm night serum, intense rebalancing and soothing for sensitive scalps by Kérastase Rêves d’Homme Skin Difference, close shave + smooth and firm skin by Clarins Ice Men, Eau de Toilette by Thierry Mugler Under Eye-Toning Gel, reduces dark circles & puffiness by Cellex-C Déodorant Stick, with aloe vera, alcohol - free by Decléor Mild Balm, After Shave by Nivea The Ultimate Men’s After Shave Balm and Moisturizer by Kiehl’s Refreshing Hydro Gel by Nivea Necklace by Fafafa Hat by Rike Feuerstein Keychain by Marc Jacobs MDS-65, Table - Speakers by Sony Ericsson DSC-G1, Cyber Shot by Sony MDR-710LP, Headphones by Sony W880i, Mobile Phone by Sony Ericsson Silver Musk, Extrait de Parfum by Nasomatto 18 2
10 19 9
INTERVIEWS Got your capes at the ready? Because kicking off our Interview section is a real hero - none other than Wyclef Jean himself talking about going back to his home of Haiti, making a difference and never giving up the hope that life can get better for people there. More interviews from the masters of the electronic music scene including the surprising Swayzak, those maestros Modeselektor and a fly dude called Don Cash, who you will be hearing a lot more of we reckon.
by Johannes Bonke, Pictures by Alex de Brabant
“I KNOW THAT I CAN’T SAVE EVERYBODY” THE MISERY OF THE ISLAND OF HAITI IS ONLY A SHORT FLIGHT DISTANCE AWAY FROM THE JET-SET LIFESTYLE OF MIAMI: DICTATORSHIPS, GANG FIGHTS, POVERTY, DEPRIVATION AND VIOLENCE SHAPE THE IMAGE OF A COUNTRY THAT THE UNITED NATIONS CATEGORISE AS ‘THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE WORLD’. SUPERSTAR WYCLEF JEAN WAS BORN IN THESE SLUMS – TILL MUSIC BECAME HIS REFUGE AT THE AGE OF NINE. SINCE THEN HE HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO FORGET HIS COUNTRY. WE TALKED TO THE 34 YEAR OLD MUSICIAN ABOUT THE PROBLEMS IN HIS HOMELAND, POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND HOW HE COMBINES HIS CAREER WITH HIS FOUNDATION. MR WYCLEF JEAN, YOU ARE ORGANISING A LOT OF SOCIAL PROJECTS IN HAITI. BUT DO YOU ACTUALLY GO TO THE SLUMS TO SEE WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON? I was born in the slums, so I
always go to the slums first. HOW DO PEOPLE REACT IF YOU TURN UP? Like when Muhammad Ali went to Zaire. It’s not even about coming and making it around the world. The passion they have for me is that I came back and constantly go back. I want them to touch me, I want them to hold my hands. I don’t want them to think it’s impossible that they can achieve anything that they want to achieve. And I feed that personal connection. I can’t sleep at night knowing that there is a group of kids which I could have a possibility of feeding and I didn’t. It’s just not gonna come across well in my mind. WHAT COMES TO YOUR MIND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT HAITI: DO YOU FEEL SAD OR HAPPY? I
always feel that there is hope. It always feels like that when I look in the eyes of those kids. Angelina Jolie for example: I brought her to Haiti. What she said was: “Man, this is the only third world country I’ve been to where the kids are so happy. They don’t have anything, but there is this energy. Look at them dancing!” That’s the spirit I come from and I think that’s the spirit that we need to drive. And with that spirit we can help to pull more people out of the poverty.
SO YOU ACTUALLY THINK THAT THERE IS A SOLUTION? WHEN PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT AFRICA FOR EXAMPLE, YOU ALWAYS HEAR THAT THE PROBLEMS ARE BASED SO DEEP IN THEIR MENTALITY THAT THEY ARE REALLY DIFFICULT TO SOLVE. Good boy, you hit that on a dot.
That’s why we just purchased the television station in Haiti. I thought, how can Haiti have not a single TV programme that focuses on education and ethics? For you to build a house it has to come from the infrastructure. So the mind is the infrastructure. Until you get into these people’s minds, their way of thinking will always be the same. Normally once people go to America and make it they never come back to Haiti. That place doesn’t exist for them any more. Now people see me coming back and they see me open my foundation. And suddenly they realise that it can happen that someone who made it is taking care of them. It’s not a short process and I know that I can’t save everybody. But I can pull out a few. And a few that you pull can make a change. Everyone says that if there were five Wyclef Jeans, Haiti would be a changed place. We just need to take our time. HAVE YOU EVER HAD THE FEELING THAT YOUR STRENGTH AND POWER AS AN ARTIST IS ALSO BASED ON THE PLACE WHERE YOU COME FROM? BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS ANOTHER, MUCH MORE REAL LIFE THAN ALL THE CELEBRITY STARDOM? The greatest thing for me as an
artist is to know that I was born in Haiti and that I used to go to school on a donkey. HOW DID MUSIC BECOME YOUR REFUGE? I started playing with cans on the street when I was three years old. It was the only place I found refuge, the only place I felt that I can escape and be anywhere around the world. YOU MOVED TO BROOKLYN, NYC AT THE AGE OF NINE. HOW DID IT HAPPEN? The country Haiti
was going through a lot of political problems and my dad came over to the States illegally when I was a baby. Immigration tried to get him but he ran away and escaped. Then he had a kid in the States and that made his stay legal. Then he and my mother came back and got me and my brother. But till I was nine I thought that my aunt was my mother. Suddenly she told me, “Your parents are coming and bringing you to America.” She said about the country: when it rains, diamonds fall from the sky. So I went to my little community, I was kind of the leader, and I said to my boys, “Listen, I heard that there is a place called America, and I heard that they have diamonds. I will collect them and bring them back to you.” This is what I told the kids at the age of nine. The next time they saw me was 1997 – fulfilling my promise. HOW IMPORTANT IS MONEY TO YOU? It’s not
about money; economics is important. You have to have a level of wealth if you wanna make eco-
nomic changes. With some form of capitalism you are able to provide job opportunities. Right now, what we are trying to do is to transform all of my money, all of my success into possibilities to make the world a better place. ’Cause for people to respect money, they have to work for it. And the Haitian people are willing to work. The problem is that no-one wants to give them work. And that’s what we are trying to change. YOU EARNED MOST OF YOUR MONEY WITH THE FUGEES. WITH WHAT FEELINGS DO YOU LOOK BACK AT THOSE DAYS? It was one of
interesting stories with a lot of twists in it, and these are the things we plan to work on. YOUR SOUNDTRACK FOR THE DOCUMENTARY GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL IS ONE EXAMPLE. THE MOVIE SHOWS WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN THE SLUMS OF HAITI. This movie is really hardcore.
These directors really risked their lives. They were inside of gunfires. First of all I think it’s courageous to show an image that hasn’t been seen before. I came in because I wanted to balance it out. I knew they would show one
my best experiences ever. I mean here were some high school kids, just doing their thing and then it blew up, so yeah I loved that whole vibe.
like I’ve even started talking about Haiti yet (laughs). I mean obviously if the work was done, more people would know more stuff. I think that film is very important so now we’re merging music and film together, so the next five years you are definitely going to be hearing a lot of music and a lot of films from us. I think different stories can be brought to the film world, told from the Haitian point of view which has a lot of
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF GOING MUSICALLY IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS? Probably where
Gershwin or Quincy Jones went: a lot of orchestration! We like to sit back and study and look what the way is, and then come back and hit you hard. I feel orchestration would be good in the music because everything is sort of the same now and so I feel it would be good to take music and raise it up sometimes.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? After all my experiences, travelling around the world, working with a million and one artists, if I could come back and write the tale in music form, what would it be? Carnival 2 is definitely going to be a vacation CD, so when you put it on it’s like you enter the movie, it’ll transcend you like Carnival 1, it’ll take you to a place.
der ourselves as reunited, because no Fugee would ever say that we officially broke up. It’s sort of like, you have a big superstar group, but you’ve got three minds. Everybody is a strong thinker. At the end of the day, for a Fugee album to come into place, the three thinkers have to meet at one place of thought. That has not happened yet. Will it happen? I have faith, I think it will. Can I promise it? No. But if any of the guys are reading this, I invite them to do something together so I’m waiting to hear from them, you never know (laughs).
DO YOU FEEL YOU STILL HAVE A LOT TO SAY ABOUT HAITI IN YOUR MUSIC TODAY? I don’t feel
yeah, I’ll definitely direct something. We’re not just working on music, we’re trying different things. Sometimes you’ve got to go for the next level.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT? Carnival 2.
AFTER A LONG BREAK THE FUGEES RECENTLY DID A SHOW TOGETHER FOR MICHEL GONDRY’S MOVIE BLOCK PARTY. WAS THAT THE BEGINNING OF A REUNION? We don’t consi-
UNTIL THEN... I continue with what I feel is my pulse. I show you an example: the record I recently did with Shakira is the biggest record of all time. We even left Elvis and Michael Jackson behind. Is that record important for this century and everything else that is going on in the world? No. But is it relevant to my little sister who is 18 years old? Is it relevant for the little Spanish girl next door? Yes. So you have to see how the world is. So at times certain things balance out, the yin and the yang.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DIRECTING A FILM? Oh
YOU’VE HAD PHENOMENAL SUCCESS OVER THE YEARS. ARE YOU SURPRISED AT WHERE YOU STARTED AND WHERE YOU ARE NOW? Well, I’m
side of Haiti and I knew that I was able to show another side: the music. I wanted to channel a spirituality around all this violence and make people feel that sense that there is hope. But I think what the director has captured needs to be seen, because it has never been seen on screen. People are not really aware of Haiti. They don’t really have information of what’s going on the same way when the movie City of God was shot, certain movies about the Sudan were shot, Hotel Rwanda was shot. All it does now, it puts an eye on Haiti. So once you start talking about it, we could come in and start to make progress and start educating people. We’ve got to make you want to get interested, so I think you should see the most shocking thing of what is an hour and a half from Miami. This is what’s going on in your backyard! So if you’re talking about homeland security and you really want to help, how come you’re not really putting funds into this and helping to build infrastructure, economics, schools and things like that?
a dreamer. All we can do is dream. The cards are there and whatever is really going to happen it’s already started, it’s going to happen. We can only try to do our best. But you know success will be judged in the eyes of God at the end of the day. ARE YOU RELIGIOUS? Yeah, I was brought up in
the Christian religion and some of my friends were brought up in the Muslim religion. So half of my crew were Muslim and then we grew up Christian so I used to be like what’s that you’re studying, and they actually taught me Arabic like the Lord’s Prayer and stuff like that, and that’s the stuff I’m talking about with travelling: it’s understanding others, you know. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW? I’d say family.
My wife, my daughter, and my immediate family. Because at the end of the day if anything goes wrong, you’ve got to rely on your family; it’s the only thing that’s pure around you. So what we try to do is we keep a tight family base and everything else is just going to add up, so it’s a beautiful thing. (September 2006/Toronto)
BIRTHDAY BOYS MODESELEKTOR By Lucia Udvardyova
ESCHEWING THE SERIOUSNESS THAT’S SO PROMINENT IN TODAY’S TECHNO, SEBASTIAN SZARY AND GERNOT BRONSERT AKA MODESELEKTOR PREFER TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH AND MAKE MUSIC THAT TURNS PUNTERS INTO INANE DANCING MONKEYS, LIKE THE ONE THEY HAVE ON THEIR RECORD SLEEVES. NO WONDER CRITICS STRUGGLE TO PIGEONHOLE THEIR SONIC OUTPUT, WHICH RANGES FROM BUOYANT EUROCRUNK TO DUBSTEP TO SUBLIME IDM-INSPIRED ELEGIES. WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE BERLIN BOYS TO TALK ABOUT FATHERHOOOD AND THEIR SOPHOMORE ALBUM HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WHICH FEATURES COLLABORATIONS WITH THE LIKES OF THOM YORKE FROM RADIOHEAD AND MAXIMO PARK.
WAS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE WHOLE RAVING THING? THERE ARE SHOUT-OUTS TO RAVERS ON THE ORIGINAL TRACK. WAS IT INTENDED AS SOME SORT OF MESSAGE? G: No. The
message is the whole album. It’s more like a joke, to count all the ravers and DJs, it’s just so ridiculous. The idea of the original track was so funny in the end that we had to do a cover version of it. It’s just nonsense. S: We had to find the right place for this track on the album, that was not easy. DID THE GUYS FROM SCOOTER LIKE IT? G: Yeah,
of course. They gave us the permission to do this cover in the end. It’s an official cover version. SO MAYBE A COLLABORATION IN FUTURE THEN :)? G: Who knows…(laughs) … Maybe...
SO, HOW ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR NEW ALBUM? G: I guess I really like it. In the begin-
ning, I couldn’t listen to it any more, as we’d heard it so many times. HAS THE FACT THAT BOTH OF YOU ARE BECOMING FATHERS SOON INFLUENCED YOU? G: Not
really. It was a good feeling, but it wasn’t the main inspiration. We found out that we were going to be fathers in the middle of our production process, so the music had been written already by that time, there was just no time to finish it. It wasn’t too much of a surprise to us either because we’d wanted to have babies for a long time.
CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT ‘THE WHITE FLASH’, THE COLLABORATION WITH THOM YORKE? G: We did a remix for him for
a track from his solo album Eraser last year and asked him if he could imagine singing on our album. He said yes and I sent him a track with an idea I had; it was an old melody, which I made more than a year ago. He recorded his vocals on a very rough song idea and we finished it in our studio in Berlin. AND WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK ‘I CAN’T SLEEP (WITHOUT MUSIC)’ WITH MAXIMO PARK? G:
YOUR PREVIOUS ALBUM WAS CALLED HELLO MOM; THIS ONE IS CALLED HAPPY BIRTHDAY. SO THERE’S A CONTINUATION THERE. G: Exactly.
That’s a funny story actually. They were on the cover of the NME a few months ago, when they released their new album Our Earthly Pleasures, and one of the band members was wearing a Modeselektor T-shirt. When they came to Berlin, we contacted them, met them in a bar before they played and had a few beers together. We then produced the track in our studio and sent them the instrumentals without the vocals. The guys recorded their vocals during two of their gigs in Spain; they rented a studio especially for this recording. We never asked them personally, it was just a coincidence. We met up, liked each other and did something together.
Like Hello Mom part 2. Around the time we did Hello Mom, I’d just left my parents’ house and now with Happy Birthday I’m becoming a parent myself and we have our own families.
YOU SEEM TO HAVE QUITE A LOT OF FANS AMONG MUSICIANS. THOM YORKE HAS NAME-DROPPED YOU IN INTERVIEWS IN THE PAST. G: I don’t why
DO YOU THINK THAT YOU OR YOUR MUSIC WILL BECOME MORE MELLOW BECAUSE OF THIS EXPERIENCE? G: I don’t know why people say
that once you become a father and have your own family, everything is getting slower. My life won’t be slower than it was before. When you have a kid, you always have someone around you who wants to know and learn everything. It’s an interesting inspiration for me.
THERE IS A TRACK CALLED ‘HYPER HYPER’ WITH OTTO VON SCHIRACH ON THE NEW ALBUM. IS IT IN ANY WAY RELATED TO [GERMAN EURODANCE BAND] SCOOTER WHO HAD A TRACK OF THE SAME NAME? S: It’s the first official cover
version of Scooter’s ‘Hyper Hyper’. G: I really liked the idea of having a ‘Hyper Hyper’ cover version sung by Otto von Schirach and made by Modeselektor. I like to have these crazy ideas and materialise them later.
that is. Perhaps it’s because people see that you can be successful with what you’re doing, that you can stay original and true to yourself without following hypes. I guess it’s really important for young people to find their own way of how to express themselves. Lots of hypes or music styles are based on a big bubble, a sort of virtual reality, which doesn’t exist. That’s one of the reasons why we called our first album Hello Mom. We wanted to show the world that reality is not about fancy haircuts or nice T-
shirts. Maybe you can hear this in our music. We are not fixed in one style or music genre. CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT AN OLDER RECORD OF YOURS CALLED ‘DIE TECHNOPROST ITUTIONSMASCHINE’? G: That’s a weird record.
We did it in 2004. The original title is ‘Ganes de Frau’ which means something like ‘makes some jokes’ in Spanish. Finally we had a few serious tracks for it, like this IDM track ‘Don’t Panic’ and on the other side we put ‘Die Techn oprostitutionsmaschine’, a fun song, a homage to nothing. WHY DID YOU CALL IT ‘DIE TECHNOPROSTITUTIONSMASCHINE‘? G: Ellen [Allien] asked us to
do some dance tracks. At this time, we couldn’t do any dance tracks. This track was an attempt to make a cheesy dance track and we called it ‘Die Technoprostitutionsmaschine’, which was like an answer to this request – “do a record for the people”. Usually the producers in Berlin or in techno record and release records in order to have a hit, to be charted by DJs, to have bookings at festivals and this is not what we are about. We are more like a band, I guess. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MINIMAL SCENE THAT’S BEEN SO BIG IN BERLIN? G: I have never
heard this word ‘minimal’ before (laughs). I’m not a big fan of minimal music. We don’t think it’s very innovative. ARE YOU PLANNING ANY TOURS IN SUPPORT OF THE ALBUM? G: We will have a few record-
release parties all over Europe, in Paris, Berlin, Glasgow, London… WHAT ABOUT YOUR BABIES? G: Szary will become a dad in October and I’ll have a baby in December, which will be in the middle of our record-release tour. After the birth of our children, we don’t want to leave the continent. Then in spring 2008 we will go on a big world tour, including Australia, South America, North America, Japan and New Zealand. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE RELATED TO RECORDING AND RELEASING THIS ALBUM? G: The main difference to how
we usually make music was that we produced this record by day; usually we produce during the night. Originally, we planned to record this album in a mobile studio, but we didn’t do it this way in the end. The house where we had our studio was being reconstructed, so we needed to set up the studio in my house. We recorded the album every day from 10am to 6pm. There were lots of things, lot of funny, mad stories. The whole experience is still not over. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILL BE RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER ON BPITCH CONTROL.
DON CASH By Gregoire Marino
MEET THE DON AFTER BLASTING THE DISCO WRECK EP ON RELISH RECORDINGS, CANADIAN ROCK/RAP WHIZ KID DON CASH IS MAKING WAVES IN EUROPE AND IS FINALLY STANDING OUT FROM TORONTO’S UNDERGROUND NIGHTLIFE AND PARTY SCENE, WHERE HE HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE FOR A LONG TIME. HIS NEW FULL LENGTH ALBUM II, OUT AT THE END OF JANUARY ON RELISH, IS A HOME-GROWN AND FUZZY MUSICAL TOUR DE FORCE MADE UP OF SO MANY INFLUENCES THAT NOBODY HAS YET FOUND THE RIGHT WAY TO DESCRIBE IT. SOMETIMES COMPARED WITH PRINCE, GREEN VELVET, MARC BOLAN, DAVID BOWIE OR MANTRONIX, THE SOUND OF MR CASH IS CONFUSING HIS LISTENERS AND DAZZLING MANY OBSERVERS. ELECTRONIC BEATS HAD A CHAT WITH HIM ABOUT HIS MUSIC AND TRIED TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY AROUND HIS PERSONA. AND WHERE SOME PEOPLE SAW A BIG EGO IN DON CASH’S MUSIC AND STYLE, CANADA’S LATEST MUSIC SENSATION ANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ART AND HIS LIFE WITH HUMILITY AND SIMPLICITY.
HOW WAS JOSEPH A. FERRON’S LIFE BEFORE BEING THE DON CASH WE DISCOVER TODAY? My
life has always been the same... daydreaming, watching baseball, cooking food, listening to music, watching TV. I have always liked to use my imagination to build new things. IN FIVE YEARS YOU RELEASED 11 ALBUMS. YOU ARE A TAILOR OF YOUR MUSIC… HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN SUCH PRODUCTIVITY? I guess I can only
explain it with one word: inspiration. I was inspired to write songs and they turned out to sound completely different than anything else out there... that inspired me even more. I’m excited to hear what I come up with next. Sometimes you start making a song with one idea and it turns into something completely different than what you set out to do. Most of the time it’s better. It’s a very addictive feeling, especially when your only limitation is hard drive space. BEFORE RELISH RECORDINGS YOU RELEASED YOUR ALBUMS ON YOUR OWN LABEL STERE-OEAGLE. WHY SUCH A CHOICE? LAZINESS OR DESIRE FOR INDEPENDENCE, OR SOMETHING ELSE? WHAT’S THE STORY WITH JAMES MURPHY’S DFA THAT EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT WITHOUT ACTUALLY SAYING ANYTHING CONCRETE ABOUT IT? I con-
sider my records to be art projects. Stereoeagle was founded as a place where I could collect my songs and release them on my terms. Some of the albums, maybe only 50 or 100 copies were released. One album, Heavy Light, is all MP3s and has around 70 songs on it depending on the version you have. Still the first album I officially released, On the Bus, from last year was on Stereoeagle. The idea is when it says Stereoeagle you know it’s got something special going on. A couple of years ago, one of my records was making the rounds in certain circles in NYC. James Murphy from DFA heard it and was keen to sign me to a deal. However, there were delays in negotiations and I think their vision of what they wanted the label to be changed over time. After about a year or so of playing footsie, we decided it would be best if we went our separate ways. Of course six months after that the label blew up, so I felt a little idiotic about the whole thing, but they are still my friends. I’m proud to say those dudes are friends of mine and I’m so happy to see them succeed; I know they’re rooting for me to succeed as well. HOW DID YOU MEET HEADMAN? WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK FOR HIS LABEL RELISH RECORDINGS?
I met Headman in Toronto at one of his DJ gigs. I gave him a copy of On the Bus. The next day he called and said he wanted to put out a single. A week later he said he wanted to do an album. It all happened really fast. I love putting out records on Relish. Headman sees the artistry in what I do, he understands the textures I’m working with when it comes to production; he’s not insistent that I
sound like whatever hipster-of-the-month is hot this week. He has confidence in me and my music. Still, he has great connections when it comes to remixes and things like that, so I get the best of both worlds. It takes some of the pressure off me knowing that every track doesn’t have to be some club banger -- we can get a remix to do that job for us. I love Headman’s remix of Disco Wreck; I always play it instead of my version when I’ve done shows this year. NOBODY HAS FOUND THE RIGHT WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC; SOME SAY PART PRINCE/ PART GREEN VELVET, SOME SAY IT’S ROCK, SOME TALK ABOUT NEW WAVE/ELECTRO RAP... HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR STYLE? I would define
to confuse the reactions of others to my music with my own opinion of myself. I really can’t help it if people love my records and say I’m like Prince or like Bob Dylan. I’ve never put myself in the same league as these people. I read some of the hype about me these days and I’m just amazed. Really, I’m just flattered that DJs like to spin my records. Still, if you’re in a situation where people are constantly putting you down and saying you can’t do this and you can’t do that, the very act of saying „yes I can“ might strike some as egotistical. All the way around, this is a hard life to live. There’s no right or wrong way most of the time. I just hope that people can find some inspiration in my words and music. I’m happy if people are inspired.
my style as rock’n’roll, pure and simple. Perhaps I sound like a lot of people; still, no one really sounds like Don Cash. It’s a blessing and a curse, I suppose.
HAS YOUR CREATIVITY BEEN MORE DRIVEN BY YOUR EGO AND YOUR WILL TO SUCCEED RECENTLY OR BY YOUR MANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES? I’m
YOUR MUSIC IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CATEGORISE OR TO PUT IN A BOX... FOR THE BETTER? ISN’T IT PARADOXICALLY HARD TO GET SINGLED OUT WHEN YOU TRY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
When you try to do things differently, it‘s easy to become a target because you stick out from the crowd. Still, to paraphrase Method Man, scared money don’t make money. You can’t be afraid to be different. I know that I‘m not trying to be ‘different’ or ‘weird’; I’m just living my life, being myself. It’s just music. I can do what I want and I don’t need anyone’s permission to do it. I’m not out looking for everyone’s stamp of approval. If you don’t like it, fuck you. Straight up. I don’t want to hear about it. Go listen to some other band. There’s plenty to choose from. Still, once they hear the music, most people seem to like it. In the end, however, I can’t control what people say about the music. I can’t be responsible for what people write and say about me. YOU SEEM TO HAVE DEVELOPED A STRONG EGO AND ALSO A WISDOM OF THE GUY FROM THE STREET. DO YOU THINK THAT A BIG EGO IS NECESSARY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN MUSIC NOWADAYS? I
don’t have a big ego. I’m just a single drop of rain. People are eager to put things on me because it makes for a good story, but in the end I’m just a street cat who makes records for the people. Of course, I’m not going to tell you my music sucks because it doesn’t. The tunes are quite good actually, and it’s getting better all the time. Why would I put something out if I didn’t have confidence in what I’m doing? This is a hard business and you’d better believe in yourself if you’re going to go anyplace doing this kind of work. It’s that simple. DID YOU GROW THIS EGO IN REPULSION AT THE MUSIC SCENE OR THE TORONTO UNDERGROUND SCENE WHERE YOU’VE BEEN ONE OF THE LEADING ACTIVISTS FOR MANY YEARS? I think people tend
a creative person. I like to write. I love music. I decided to put them together. People liked the results and soon my records were in the stores. I can’t really explain the spaces in between. It’s magic, really, and its true power lies in the grip of a mystery. YOU’VE BEEN OUT RULING THE UNDERGROUND TORONTO SCENE FOR MANY YEARS BEFORE HITTING THE SPOT WITH II. HOW DOES TORONTO LOOK AT DON CASH NOW THAT HE IS BECOMING SUCCESSFUL? I can’t really answer that question.
I’ve got a lot of friends here and it’s my home. For better or for worse I’m a Toronto kid. There’s no use in crying about the past; the records are out now and I couldn’t be more pleased. I know there are a lot of people in Toronto who are proud of me and are rooting for me to succeed and that makes me feel great. Still, anyone who does the kind of work I do is going to run into opposition, and those are the blues that make a man. The fact is, no matter how anyone wants to slice it, Toronto is the place where I played my first shows and made my first records. I’d do a record on a Tuesday, burn a CD and see 250 kids dancing to it on Thursday night. That’s what I did in Toronto and no one can take that away from me. WAS DON CASH A SERIAL LOVER BEFORE GETTING BIGGER? DOES THIS NEW FAME MAKE IT EASIER? I
really need love in my life right now. It’s very hard to make it on your own. Being known helps things in certain ways but in other ways it can be a drag. Still I haven’t really made any money yet. Maybe in a year I’ll have more interesting thoughts to share on the subject WHAT ARE YOUR BIG EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS YEAR AND NEXT YEAR? I would like my own apart-
ment, hahaha! And I’m going to Los Angeles in October... I’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean. I’m very excited about the future. I can see some really good days on the horizon.
SWAYZAK by Peyman Farahani
SEE THE RETURN SWAYZAK HAVE ESSENTIALLY SHAPED WHAT WE TODAY CALL MINIMALISTIC AND ATMOSPHERIC TECH HOUSE. YET HIMAWARI ANTICIPATED THE DUO’S FOCUS ON POP ELEMENTS. WITH DIRTY DANCING AND LOOPS FROM THE BERGERIE THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO EXPERIMENTING EXCESSIVELY WITH POP. SOME OTHER COUNTRY STILL ALLOWS SOME HINTS BUT ACTUALLY BREAKS WITH THE LAST TWO ALBUMS. SWAYZAK WEREN’T GONE. THEY JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION. THEY’RE BACK WITH A STUNNING ALBUM AND THEIR BELOVED LABEL. I MET DAVID BRUN IN BERLIN WHO HAD OTHER THINGS TO SAY THAN TO EXPLAIN SWAYZAK’S RETURN. make money somehow, but in a way they’re saying to the people, “Buy the vinyl!” Actually they’re almost saying, “Stop buying the vinyl!” I’m paying ten euros for a record and this guy’s paying one dollar for an MP3 download and there isn’t a fuck we can do about it. But we got the vinyl and we go back to it. I don’t know how it’s here, but in the UK a lot of the kids buy indie band 7” limited edition albums, which is quite cool.
IS SOME OTHER COUNTRY A REACTION TO THE SO-CALLED MINIMAL SOUND OF TODAY THAT HAS BECOME SO MAINSTREAM? Let me put it this
way: I really like a lot of minimal records, but most of them lack any real atmosphere. Maybe too much computer-based programming. I mean you can still add atmosphere with computer music. But I guess some people don’t really know what minimal is. When we started, we had limits with two samplers, 2 MB memory each, and now you get computers with 120 GB, so you’re spoiled for choice. Besides it’s nice not to overproduce stuff. Most of the music we used was sampled from records or other sources; we had a couple of analogue synthesisers, not much, and we had two effects – delay and reverb. That’s all we had. All we used on everything, so that’s why it sounds like that. That’s still what we use now, only with more software-based stuff. People get caught in this trap of always trying to keep up with the latest equipment. Once you’ve got something and you’re happy to work with it, then stick with it. WAS THE INTENTION TO SOUND MORE LIKE EARLY SWAYZAK STUFF AGAIN? We just felt that
we wanna get back to our style. We started our label again and listening to our own vinyl stuff. That’s another thing: almost everyone listens to MP3s. We stick to vinyl. I really don’t want our vinyl to be available on MP3. I want the vinyl to be available only for people who wanna buy vinyl. SO YOUR ALBUM WON’T BE AVAILABLE AS AN MP3 DOWNLOAD? The album [will] unfortunate-
ly, that’s the way it has to go, but certain tracks we’ll only put on 12”. … FOR INSTANCE YOUR NEW SO CHEAP EP BY SWAYZAK… Yeah, that’s the first one with a
different version from the album. There’s also ‘By the Rub of Love’ and ‘Schlaffen’, which isn’t on the album. A GREAT EP, BUT WHY DID IT TAKE ABOUT FOUR YEARS FOR A NEW RECORD FROM SWAYZAK?
There’s not much to say. We launched the 240 Volts label, that started around 2001. We got a quite good reputation with it, so we let Swayzak go. I think it’s really hard to keep up the momentum of a good record label. You just gotta keep on releasing stuff to keep the name of the label. We didn’t really wanna do that. We release music that we like. Music has to have a depth to it, that goes beyond just losing yourself in a club, it has to work at home as well. UNFORTUNATELY MOST PEOPLE DON’T GO OUT ANY MORE STRICTLY BECAUSE OF THE MUSIC OR… to check out what DJs are playing,
looking at labels and stuff. All you gotta do now is just some searching on Beatport and you can find whatever you want. Roger 23 and I played in a club in Toronto and the resident was playing all the stuff as MP3s. I had most of it myself on vinyl. But he got them from Beatport. Fair enough, but I find that quite disappointing, because I felt that these labels should be only doing on vinyl. OK, we gotta
THIS ISSUE IS ALL ABOUT HEROES AND I WONDER OF COURSE WHO YOUR HEROES ARE. Obviously
there are musical heroes like Joy Division. But nowadays? Sometimes you meet people who give you a special feeling. Once I was playing a gig in Glasgow. We weren’t particularly well known in the UK back then. This guy, a postman, came and we chatted for ages. I didn’t tell him who I was and I thought, “This guy is really fuckin’ cool!” He just came to see us play. Eventually I told him, bought him drinks and stuff. To me he’s sort of a hero. The people who make you feel worthy of what you’ve done. They’re more important. SO WE COULD BE ALL HEROES. THERE’S A BALANCE. YOU’RE HEROES TO THEM AND AT THE SAME TIME THEY’RE LIKE HEROES TO YOU, BECAUSE THEY MAKE ALL THIS POSSIBLE, THEY LISTEN AND SUPPORT YOU WITH THEIR PASSION FOR MUSIC. Right! There are certain people
everywhere we go that you remember, who are good friends now. You never forget those people. Wherever we go, we have some sort of family. They’re more the sort of heroes! They look after you when you come and they take you around. Not the promoters but our friends! SOME OTHER COUNTRY WAS RELEASED ON !K7. SO CHEAP EP WILL BE RELEASED IN JULY ON 240 VOLTS.
“Next time you see me, I’ll be totally
different.” PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID SPAETH
PROJECT MANAGEMENT & ART DIRECTION PATRICIA KEMPF VISUAL ARTIST RUTH SCHEEL HAIR & MAKE UP HELGE BRANSCHEIDT (AGENTUR BALLSAAL) HAIR & MAKE UP ASSISTANCE
STYLING RAINER METZ STYLING ASSISTANCE NADIN HOLLASCH MODELS GILLES (BRODYBOOKINGS) & VANESSA (METROPOLITAN) POSTPRODUCTION RECOM THANKS TO PROLAB
SHIRT Q.E.D. SUIT & TIE STYLIST'S OWN
“Who can I be now?”
DRESS SARAH HEARTBO SHOES NIGHTBOUTIQUE
GILLES LEATHER JACKET MONGRELS IN COMMON LEGGINGS BY MALENE BIRGER SHOES REFINED BY BOBBIE BURNS VANESSA DRESS SARAH HEARTBO SHOES VINTAGE
UNDERWEAR IO CARDIGAN STYLIST’S OWN
“Stepped out of the grave – that's how I felt”
GILLES SHIRT HENRIK VIBSKOV UNDERWEAR SCHIESSER REVIVAL VANESSA BODY & TANK TOP JULIAN BROHM
NIGHTGOWN BLUSH LINGERIE BLUSH
HAT ANTHONY PETO CATSUIT JULIAN BROHM SHOES MIROIKE
“Without you I’m nothing”
VINTAGE DRESS LA ROBE BAG HOLLASCH
BOLERO NIGHTBOUTIQUE SHIRT HOLLASCH LONG JOHNS HENRIK VIBSKOV SHOES REFINED BY BOBBIE BURNS DIAMOND BROOCH ILK HORSEHAIR BELT IO
COAT HOLLAND ESQUIRE TROUSERS FABIEN RAMBERT SHOES CAROLA EULER
“Bowie’s bedroom was likened to Dracula’s livingroom.”
STOCKHOLM SYNDROME BY SANDRA LIERMANN & VIKTORIA PELLES
A city of islands and a homogenous architecture in soothing pastel blends, Stockholm possesses a cool beauty that easily validates the claim of the most attractive city in Europe. And though it would be so satisfying to dispel the beauty myth of its inhabitants, the healthy constitution and seemingly innate style of most make this impossible. The city has long been a mecca for the style and design conscious, but thereâ€™s now a noticeable shift of interest to also wanting to provide the formidable form with clever content. Stockholmers love to travel and the embracing of foreign influences has resulted in scenes and sites that are distinctive and experimental, while at the same time fun and lacking self-importance. The young people are outgoing and, whilst geographically somewhat isolated, have a genuine interest in visitors and what goes on beyond their shores. Their English is of course perfect. To avoid the inevitable pitfalls of the weekend visitor we hooked up with four lovely Stockholmers in the know to get their views on what is currently making this city tick. Now weâ€™re captivated and willingly so. This must be what they call Stockholm Syndrome.
Is a lusciously green urban garden, an oasis to many Stockholmers. The area which houses also a zoo, a funfair and many museums, was in the past an area the rich escaped to and built their fantasy homes, hence some impressive buildings around.
The old town has a lot of character, beauty, historical buildings and tourists. Veer away from the main strip into the maze of cobbled streets to discover the really sweet cafés and stores.
Burgeoning upmarket residential area with loft conversions and the creative types that they attract. There are also many galleries and nice little eateries springing up in the neighbourhood.
This is the city centre and central business district with a lot of office blocks and restaurant franchises, though the eastern area which borders to Östermalm is where you’ll find the flagship stores of many Swedish designers like Acne, Filippa K, Whyred and more.
Also known as Museum Island this is where to soothe and inspire your aesthetic senses at the design museum, modern art museum or museum for architecture
The former leftist part of the town is now littered with super-stylish boutiques, cafés, restaurants and bars, and maintains a friendly bohemian vibe. In hip urban tradition of cities gone before the creative hub south of Folkungagatan has been christened Sofo.
This mainly residential area attracts young families with a mix of very sweet old cafés and newer bistros and delis. Upplandsgatan, unofficially known as antique street, is well worth a visit for the true treasures you can find there.
This is the über-chic part of Stockholm with extravagant shops, magnificent homes and wealthy residents displaying radiating healthy complexions and immaculate style.
BJÖRN LUNDEVALL AND GUSTAV HEDERSTRÖM AKA CLAPCLAP 26 & 27, Creative directors (www.clapclap.se) Live in Kungsholmen & Södermalm
Stockholm style is all about the…Latest stuff. All very updated and restless. The place/thing/person that most characterises Stockholm is…Tight pants. We love Stockholm because…Our friends and family live here.
Cinnamon on the west side of Södermalm is just a small little place, but they have their own bakery and it’s sweet. Verkstadsgatan 9, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6692224
Pappa Ray Ray is a restaurant which is a good choice for dinner too, but we often come here for brunch. The interior is hip but doesn’t hurt – just cool aesthetics. It attracts a youngish crowd and is entertaining enough to keep you there all day. Swedenborgsgatan 15, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6411340
1 As the name suggests (Sirap meaning Syrup) this is not a breakfast place for amateurs. Offering huge stacks of American style pancakes with all the trimmings: bacon, scrambled eggs and, of course, pools of syrup, this is the perfect place to puzzle together the fragmented pieces of the weekend. Surbrunnsgatan 31, Vasastan www.cafesirap.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6129419
2 Gröna Kiosken (green kiosk) otherwise known as the Collina Café is basically a small and very cute trailer which is open in summer. It’s a great spot for coffee and attracts interesting local characters. Mosebacke Torg, Södermalm
3 Sturekatten is the classic Stockholm café with a fantastic interior. It’s just like going home to your grandmothers for some good, old-fashioned café-klatsch. Riddargatan 4, Östermalm , Tel +46 (0)8 6111612
Perry Como is run by a super friendly couple. They sell designs from up-and-coming Swedish designers for both men and women and have their own label as well. Bergsunds Strand 32, Södermalm www.perrycomo.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6692769
4 Nitty Gritty is the best fashion store in Stockholm. They do high-fashion mixed with more casual wear for men and women. The shop has both a café and a hair-salon in it and the staff are professional and friendly. Krukmakargatan 26, Södermalm www.nittygritty.se, Tel +46 (0)8 240044
5 Judits Herrmode is a second-hand store for men (the women’s shop is just a few doors down) and they have a really fantastic selection. You can also give in your own clothes, though they are selective what they take, which is funny when you end up buying your friend’s clothes there, as we’ve done. Hornsgatan 65, Södermalm www.judits.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6583037
6 Grandpa and The Grandpa are two shops for menswear. They have many Swedish brands, but sell furniture, bikes, books and accessories – everything for the modern man. A lot of things are also eco and fair-trade products, but of course very stylish too. Södermannagatan 21, Södermalm / Fridhemsgatan 43, Kungsholmen, Tel +46 (0)8 6436080, www.grandpa.se
There are many small galleries worth checking out in Stockholm. Moderna Museet is fantastic and has one of the largest pop-art collections in Europe. Slupskjulsvägen 7, Skeppsholmen www.modernamuseet.se, Tel +46 (0)8 51955200
Kulturhuset has ever-changing exhibitions that are always worth having a look at. It’s more of a culture club than a straight up museum so they often have theatre and other types of productions too. Sergels Torg 3, Norrmalm,www.kulturhuset.stockholm.se, Tel +46 (0)8 50831400
Amida Kolgrillen might look kind of crappy, but it’s a really quality Turkish style coal grill. Perfect fast food. Folkungagatan 76, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 4420360
7 Strömmingsvagnen is a quick food fix, Swedish style. Strömmingar are small herring from the Baltic. At this street stand, which is also a certified Slow Food outlet, you have them fried with a variety of side dishes - all delicious. Södermalmstorg, Slussen
8 Pelikan is a beautiful old beer-hall. They serve well-made traditional Swedish food and when you’re a bit over all the trendy stuff, this place filled with old guys telling made-up fishing tales is just what the doctor ordered. Blekingegatan 40, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 55609090
The first thing you notice about Allmänna Galleriet is that you don’t notice it; the entrance is unsigned. Inside, the combination of white tiles and impressive leather Chesterfield sofas make it feel like a hybrid of an old slaughter house and a really lush bar in New York. Kronobergsgatan 37, Kungsholmen, www.ag95.se, Tel +46 (0)8 41068100
Fredsgatan 12 is a really cool bar in summer, but the restaurant is open all year round. It is expensive but the interior design, service and above all, menu – described as ‘tradition’ and ‘innovative’ – make it a very special place. Perfect for a show-off couple dinner. Fredsgatan 12, www.fredsgatan12.com, Tel +46 (0)8 248052
9 Matthias Dahlgren at the Grand Hotel is incredibly posh, but the restaurant is well worthy of its first-class reputation. If you have the money this is where to spend it. Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6, Norrmalm, www.mdghs.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6793500
10 Södra Teatern is an attractive venue with a superb view, friendly crowd and they play quality mix of world music. Consistently good. Mosebacke Torg, Södermalm, www.sodrateatern.se, Tel +46 (0)8 55697200
11 Sjögräs is a small bar offering a great selection of rum cocktails. The reggae music, funny regulars and friendly bar man make for a very relaxed and homely atmosphere. Timmermansgatan 24, Södermalm, www.sjogras.com, Tel +46 (0)8 840075
In summer the Stockholmsterrasen opens on the rooftop of Kulturhuset. The venue with its concrete terrace and super view has an unusual but nice aesthetic. Sergels Torg 3, Norrmalm, www.kulturhusest.stockholm.se, Tel +46 (0)8 50831400
12 The terrace at Fredsgatan 12 is definitely the place to be in summer. We prefer the music and audience during the weekdays.
Fredsgatan 12, Norrmalm, www.fredsgatan12.com, Tel +46 (0)8 248052
Sumo sessions at China Teatern attract a nice and hip crowd. Good times – plain and simple. Berzelii Park, Norrmalm, www.chinateatern.se, Tel +46 (0)8 56632350
13 Morfar Ginko is a new club/bar connected to the restaurant Pappa Ray Ray. It’s a venue with great ambitions with a really cool interior design. It’s an up-and-coming place run by a friend of ours, Johan Ray, and it’s headed for serious popularity.
Swedenborgsgatan 13, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6411340
31, Communication Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (exhibition gallery for contemporary arts) Lives in Hornstull, Södermalm Stockholm style is all about…Trying. Trying as in trying to look sharper, better, relaxed, unique, more whatever. By this of course you can never get really relaxed or unique, which may seem pretentious at first, but if you think about it, it’s quite encouraging – the belief that things can only get better. The place/thing/person that most characterises Stockholm is…So-Fo. Not so much the district (SoFo is the district South of Folkungagatan at Södermalm), but rather the concept/term itself. Always seeing ourselves in the bright lights of others – New York, London, Stockholm… I love Stockholm because… I know my walks around it, or them rather. Stockholm is plural – take one island (‘malm’) at a time and circle around it, or cross some bridges (Västerbron, Skeppsbron, Tegnérbron) and go between them. You never get lost.
I live at Hornstull in Södermalm and when the weather is good I love going to a place called Copacabana for breakfasts. The owners are genuinely friendly and there’s a mix of people there, but really it’s all about the location, location, location. You’re sitting outside, right by the water – can’t ask for much better.
The old town in Stockholm is really beautiful, hence it is also crawling with masses of tourists most of the time. 4 Chaikhana is a sophisticated tea-room a little out of the way and a nice escape from the crowded places on the main streets. Svartmansgatan 23, Gamla Stan, www.chaikhana.se,
8 Knits in Gamla Stan as the name suggests is all about knit-wear. The things are really furry and crazy though, more like little creatures than clothes. Japanese/French CÖ Operation and Finnish designer Tina Mattio are my favourites; it’s really knitwear as art.
Tel +46 (0)8 244500
Österlånggatan 12, Gamla Stan www.knits.se,
Hornstulls Strand 3, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6692939
Although, I’m usually not into these modern type of places, Xoko in Vasastan with its pastel colours and fruit smoothies gives me this fresh ‘California’ dreaming feeling. Rörstrandsgatan 15, Vasastan www.xoko.se, Tel +46 (0)8 318487
1 Cocovaja is a hole in the wall kind of place, but the coffee is great as are the sandwiches and the owner is this cool character who gave up his corporate career to follow a dream of opening a quality café. Norrtullsgatan 51, Vasastan, www.cocovaja.se, Tel +46 (0)73 4433569
2 Hötorget in the centre of Norrmalm is a busy outside market place with great fresh produce including fresh cut flowers. The inside Hötorgshallarna is a continental style food market with a good variety of world foods. The place is normally packed with people and a good spot for a quick coffee with some extra buzz. Hötorget, Norrmalm
I love the old classic style of 3 Ritorno, a beautiful Stockholm café that time seems to have forgotten. The place is simply warm and inviting, but also good for sandwiches or to indulge any sweet cravings with some Swedish cakes and biscuits. Odengatan 78, Vasastan, Tel +46 (0)8 320106
Tel +46 (0)8 210855
5 Old Touch is a 20’s vintage shop on a street unofficially known as Antique Street, because of all the antique stores that have opened up here. Old Touch is often featured in fashion magazines and they have an amazing collection of clothes but a lot of other things too. I fell in love with these fantastic old hat boxes here, the remnants of old feathers still inside. Upplandsgatan 43, Norrmalm, www.oldtouch.se, Tel +46 (0)8 349005
6 Judits in Södermalm also has a stylish collection with a focus on 60’s and 70’s styles with pieces from other decades as well as some new designs. Occasionally there are real finds like original YSL or Chanel handbags. Hornsgatan 75, Södermalm, www.judits.se, Tel +46 (0)8 844510
7 Ekovaruhuset is perhaps the coolest store in Gamla Stan. The name is ironic (‘varuhuset’ meaning department store) as this sweet shop is anything but the large, glitzy, tacky thing the name implies. All the items are ecological and there’s really everything from skincare products and baby-clothes to modern designs from local and other unheard of designers. The shop may be ecological, but it’s 100 per cent stylish too. Österlånggatan 28, Gamla Stan www.ekovaruhuset.se, Tel +46 (0)8 229845
Auktionsverket hold auctions every week and can become incredibly addictive because of the excellent design furniture, antiques and artworks you can get at sometimes really astonishing bargain prices. It’s a bit like e-bay but better and in real time. Frihamnen, Magasin 5 www.auktionsverket.se
I do work there, but 9 Magasin 3 is quite simply the best contemporary art in the city, and I’m not alone in this opinion. Frihamnen, Magasin 3 www.magasin3.com, Tel +46 (0)8 54568040
Thielska Galleriet is a home built by an older, very rich banker. He invited several different artists, including Edvard Munch, to decorate his home and now this house is a museum and has a lonely sort of romance about it. Djurgården, Stockholm www.thielska-galleriet.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6625884
Boule & Berså is not so much about the food – it’s of course good but nothing special – as the place itself which features hammocks and hanging mats in a massive terrace right by the water. It attracts a friendly young crowd and you could easily hang around there all day into the night. Sjökvarnsbacken 13, Södermalm www.boulebersa.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6413825
Södermalm is becoming too expensive for the hip bohemians and so they are moving further south, Landet is opposite the Arts Academy and attracts many of its students. The restaurant has an aesthetic design with a good outside area too. You somehow have the feeling that you are at a private party there. Lm Ericssons väg 27, Hägersten www.landet.nu, Tel +46 (0)8 41019320
FANCY FOOD 10 Lo Scudetto in Södermalm is your quintessential local Italian. The quality is consistent, it attracts a mixed crowd and if on a budget you can eat at the bar, which includes the seats outside, for a lesser price. Åsögatan 163, Södermalm www.loscudetto.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6404215
11 Matkultur has nice atmosphere and a very creative kitchen with a kind of crossover cuisine that you just really need to experience yourself. With an ever-changing menu, a new culinary experience always awaits. Erstagatan 21, Södermalm www.matkultur.nu, Tel +46 (0)8 6420353
Indigo is just a simple little bar on the main stretch in Södermalm. It’s a good meeting place because you can look in from the outside and see who’s there. For this reason it’s also a good place for watching Söder drift by on their way out on the town. They have nice pre-dinner drinks and let you try before you buy. Götgatan 19, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6435859
11 El Mundo is the bar connected to Matkultur. Several young artists show their work here. The atmosphere is a low-lit cozy intimacy. You immediately feel part of the inner circle. Erstagatan 21, Södermalm www.matkultur.nu, Tel +46 (0)8 6420353
12 Marie Laveau is a chic bohemian bar and nightclub (downstairs) named after New Orlean’s queen of voodoo. The upstairs bar offers good cocktails and very tasty meals. The club downstairs hosts both DJs and live-music. Hornsgatan 66, Södermalm, www.marielaveau.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6688500
Debaser at Slussen is open six days a week and definitely the place to check out live bands at. They’ve recently opened a second venue in Stockholm at Medborgarplatsen in Södermalm at a big house from the 70s with a socialist history. It was always a house for the people with a swimming pool and library – now it’s a club for the people! Check out what bands are on to get a feel for the audience on the night.
Debaser Slussen at Slussen, Debaser Medis at Medborgarplatsen, www.debaser.nu, Tel +46 (0)8 305620
CITY DAY ESCAPES
Bergianska Trädgården is a botanical garden just north of Stockholm.
www.bergianska.se, Tel +46 (0)8 54591700
Rödlöga is an island far out in the archipelago. Take a small ferry or steamboat from Strömkajen. www.waxholmsbolaget.se, Tel +46 (0)8 6795830
33, Night Club Manager & DJ Booker Lives in Vasastaden
THE STATE OF STOCKHOLM SOUNDS
Although a somewhat isolated European capital, the style and innovation coming out of Stockholm in terms of fashion or product design is well respected and the Swedish aesthetic has become synonymous with contemporary cool. The same can unfortunately not be said about the nightlife scene. Ironically, Stockholm is home to several first rate producers with an individual sound that has created and maintained serious credibility and interest on the continental club circuit for years. Detroit techno classic Groove La Chord was released on Derrick May’s label Fragile in 1998 after Swedish producer Aril Brikha received little or no interest in his native country. Cari Lekebusch, Adam Beyer, Joel Mull or Jesper Dahlbäck to name a few are virtual unknowns in their hometown, yet are consistently booked at top nightclub venues the world over. Stockholmers – it seems – are more into cool places and the people that go there. On a superficial level you could say it’s all about to see be seen, while of course drinking a lot of alcohol. There’s little interest or awareness amongst the majority as to who or what music is playing. Until recently the music policy at most places was a type of mainstream house and RnB. Then along came Mattias Hedlund who was “sick of the fact that every club here was just about drinking alcohol and getting laid”. He has a serious passion for quality electronic music and a vision “to create a club you could find in Berlin, Paris or London here in Stockholm”. Starting in 2002, Mattias ran the Cocktail Club for six years, which had a consistently excellent line up from the likes of Carl Craig, Troy Pierce, Michael Mayer, Magda, Ricardo Villalobos, James Holden…the list goes on. “The first year was really hard, and the place was not very crowded”, he explains. After the first year though, Cocktail Club was gaining in popularity, which also had the knockon effect of getting other organisers interested in booking names from the techno/electronic house scene. “The thing in Stockholm though
is that it’s really hard to find where to do the parties”, Mattias explains, “the big clubs don’t accept this kind of music.” Mattias has pulled off successful larger events with the likes of Adam Beyer and Richie Hawtin, but generally finds it hard for venue owners to trust him. Mattias is now the manager of the F12 terrace, Stockholm’s most popular summer nightspot and has with his two partners, Andreas Höistad and Jens Segrén, opened the nightclub Neu. By organising regular events and maintaining a music policy with a certain integrity at his clubs, Mattias and his partners also foster and support local, new talent. Each Thursday at Neu, for example, is neu2live, which gives local producers – established and up-and-coming – a stage to perform. New DJs to look out for according to Mattias include Dandy Digital, Jola Bola, Ida Engberg and Rollerboys, who are doing several different nights around town and also run a record label. Mattias’ latest and perhaps most exciting project yet is a new club, Esque (co-managed by Dandy Digital and Fredrik Nilsson). The opening weekend, 17-18 of August, had Alexi Delano, Adam Beyer, Matt John and David Fine headlining. Citing DC10 in Ibiza (for the vibe) and Panorama Bar in Berlin (for the design and music) as his favourite clubs, Esque features a Funktion One soundsystem just like the P-Bar. Mattias’ aspirations for Esque are to create “a miniature super-club with an edgy music profile”. Don’t expect minimal beats every night of the week though, some variety is required and Esque will be presenting the best that techno, house and electro has to offer. One of the reasons being that Stockholm, and Sweden in general, takes a very strict stance on narcotics. Party drugs, while they occur, are nowhere near as normalised as in other countries. This presents its own difficulties, “it’s a challenge to get drunk people to react to the subtlety of minimal music,” Mattias laughs.
THE MATTIAS HEDLUND GUIDE TO STOCKHOLM NIGHTLIFE Esque The best of techno, house and electro played on the best soundsystem in Sweden. Regeringsgatan 61, Norrmalm, www.esque.se, www.myspace.com/clubesque
Neu Check out neu2live on Thursdays for fresh sounds. Weekends are a mixed affair with gorgeous people and mingling as a focus. Sturegatan 4, Norrmalm, www.neustockholm.se, www.myspace.com/neustockholm
F12 Terrace Less crowded and more interesting music during the week, but a sound choice any warm summer evening/night. Summers only. Fredsgatan 12, Norrmalm, www.fredsgatan12.com, Tel +46 (0)8 248052
Morfar Ginko A fairly new venue with some great ambitions. If the style is as good as the music it should have no problems living up to them. Swedenborgsgatan 13, Södermalm, Tel +46 (0)8 6411340
CHINA TEATERN Check the schedule beforehand, but there are some good techno and disco parties with a hip and friendly crowd. Berzelii Park, Norrmalm, www.chinateatern.se, Tel +46 (0)8 56632350
Kruthuset.org organise underground parties at different locations. The music is good and it’s a lot of fun!
THE STREETS OF STOCKHOLM
ELECTRONIC BEATS LIKES
The purity of shapes and great craftsmanship of 20th century Scandinavian design never seems to lose its appeal. Those famous pioneers like Arne Jacobsen, Paul Henningsen, Alvar Aalto, Poul Kjaerholm and Verner Panton have created timeless classics that are of course best found were they originated. 1 Modernity offers vintage high quality 20th century design – furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass. Scotsman Andrew Duncanson has gathered a fine vintage collection that will make your eyes water. Pieces by Wegner, Juhl, Mathsson, Jacobsen, Salto, Friberg, Wirkkala and Sarpaneva, you name them. Sibyllegatan 6, Tel +46 (0) 8 208025, www.modernity.se
2 Jackson is another treasure trove with an emphasis on Scandinavian furniture and Italian glass. Sibyllegatan 6, Tel +46 (0) 8 6653350 www.jacksons.se
3 Artifex Antik has a nice thrift shop appeal where vintage furniture, ceramics and lamps can be found. Upplandsgatan 46, Tel +46 (0) 8 312120
4 Gamla Lampor is a stuffed treasure chamber for vintage lamps from the 30’s to the 70’s. Almlövsgatan 3, Tel +46 (0) 8 6119035
Located in Sofo, yes, Sofo (south of Folkungatan, which is one of the main streets in Södermalm) you find many cool little cafes, restaurants and shops. 5 Tjallamalla is a mixture of vintage store and new up-and-coming label platform. Great finds guaranteed. Next to Tjallamalla you find the first outpost of Swedish label 6 Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair. Check out their collection for cool basics with fine details in neutral shades. Bondegatan 46 b, Tel +46 (0) 8 642 80 55 www.shoerepair.se
Fashionista’s favourite denim label 7Acne has spread well over the globe. Stockholm has three Acne Studios to offer, the one on Norrmalmstorg being the biggest. The flagshipe store is in a former bank where a hostage-crisis following a failed bank-robbery created “The Stockholm Syndrome”. Here you find the whole collection in a cool setting. Norrmalmstorg 2, Tel +46 (0) 8 611 64 11, www.acnejeans.com
At a population of around one million Stockholm is hardly a congested metropolis, but for a smaller city there are a lot of special things on offer. On our walks through the city we were constantly distracted by places, one more inviting than the next. These are some of the gems we found.
Mix is a small thrift shop that features vintage as well as contemporary second-hand items. If you’re in need of a new but old Prada bag or a glitzy dress this is the place to come.
15 Esperanto’s international, simple but refined kitchen is making waves among the locals. The cosy piano bar reception area is ideal for some pre-dinner drinks while waiting for a table at this Michelin-star awarded restaurant.
With stores all over northern Europe 8 Fillipa K has Scandinavian design style that combines minimal urban elegance with high fashion. With nine outlets all over the city you can’t help stumbling across at least one.
Kungstensgatan 2 Tel +46 (0) 8 696 23 23
Grev Turegatan 18, Tel +46 (0) 8 545 888 88, www.filippa-k.se
9 Whyred is another hot Swedish brand in the mid-price segment you have to lay your eyes upon. It’s easy-going yet chic, combining smart and street in that inimitable Nordic way. Mäster Samuelsgatan 5, Tel +46 (0) 8 660 01 70, www.whyred.se
10 Sollévi lifestyle centre is spa, health club, restaurant and cool boutique in one. This harmony exuding, retro-apothecary looking kinda place has great finds from exclusive brands like Face Stockholm, SPA clinical skin care and Sonia Rykiel.
Housed in a rather bland building from the 1970’s the 16 Birger Jarl Hotel in Norrmalm is up for surprises once you made it past the lobby. Each room has been handed over to top local and international designers to style. ‘Miss Dottie’ and Svenskt Tenn are among our favourites. Tulegatan 8, Tel +46 (0) 8 6741800, www.birgerjarl.se
If you’re up for a stylish prison break the 17 Långholmen hotel and youth hostel has what you’re looking for. Located in an old prison from the early 19th century the former cells have been turned into modern and cosy rooms. No need to subsist on water and bread there is both a fine restaurant and a 24 hour cafeteria. Långholmsmuren 20, Tel +46 (0) 8 720 85 00,
Kungstensgatan 2, Tel +46 (0) 869623 00
Who’s to say that a whole-food store has to be granola looking? 11 Blueberry is all about clean shelving and super-stylish products for a conscious lifestyle.
18 The Berns is still the hottest place to rest your head in town. Ideally located close to the shopping area and cultural activities it houses elegantly decked out modern rooms, some with great views overlooking Stockholm. There is also a famed nightclub and a high end Japanese tapas restaurant.
Sibyllegatan 15, Tel +46 (0) 8 6612550
The Pontus group latest venture is restaurant and oyster bar 12 Pontus! The quirky interior alone makes it worth a visit add to this the modern-Swedish cuisine and the Japanese oysters and you have a well rounded dining experience. Brunnsgatan 1, Tel +46 (0) 8 54527300
Opened in December 2006 the 13 Fiesta Deli is perfect for a quick culinary stopover while on the antiques treasure hunt in Upplandsgatan. Upplandsgatan 45, Tel +46 (0) 8 6504240
Nothing has changed in 14 Valand Konditori since 1954 including the owner and he is surely not aware of having one of the most stylish cafés in town. Surbrunnsgatan 48, Tel +46 (0) 8 300476
Näckströmsgatan 8, Tel +46 (0) 8 56632200, www.berns.se
Located close to central station the 19 Nordic Light is a sleek-designed affair with ‘mood-altering rooms’. That means you can change the lighting tone of your room according to whatever emotional situation you’re in. We liked the breakfast area the most where you can enjoy your morning coffee sitting around a communal table and make lots of new friends. Vasaplan 7, Tel +46 (0) 8 50563000, www.designhotels.com
11 14 13 4
17 8 15
HEAR THIS This section is rammed full of the finest new music out there - so get reading. Also we have a Collectorâ€™s Guide to music for heroes and Miguel from The Cuban Brothers talks about the time when not only did he tour with his hero he got a personal thumbs up from him - read on to find out who that was.
THE COLLECTORS GUIDE TO… By Christine Arnefors
HEROIC MUSIC Music player on the wall, who’s the bravest of them all? Christine Arnefors selects the songs that will save you SAMIM – HEATER
It may seem like a work for Sisyphus to add some exoticism to the nanomalistic Berlin music style, but with a track that sounds like something you would dance to at a Middle Eastern traditional wedding, the Swiss-Iranian Samim sure heated us up. ‘Heater’ is a fun foretaste of the album Flow, which will be out on Get Physical in September. www.myspace.com/samim23
RODION – FISICO
Our new Italian idol Rodion from Rome outclasses the rest with his heroic harmonies and gallant good looks. Discover the flawless ‘Fisico’ or the full-length record newly out on Gomma records. www.myspace.com/r0d10n
WITNESS (1 HOPE) – ROOTS MANUVA
From the suitably titled album Run Come Save Me, this song ‘Witness’ is surely what your modern superhero would sound like when he was in the mood to do some showing off. “Witness the fitness, the Cruffiton liveth, one hope one quest!” he spits. The hilarious video to this song saw Roots go back to his old primary school and beat the kids on sports day – we guess he didn’t have those superpowers when he was younger. Mr Manuva can come and save us any time. www.rootsmanuva.co.uk
DRAMA SOCIETY FEAT. TURNER – CRYING HERO (TIGA REMIX)
The Cure made a statement with their ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ in 1986. Luckily 20 years later the climate has changed and even heroes are now allowed to show feelings. With a touch of Tiga, ‘Crying Hero’ conquered lists and compilations with its dark essence and haunting vocals, and left us crying for more. www.myspace.com/dramasociety
MAPEI – VIDEO VIXENS
The human superpowers are called talents in everyday speech. Female rapper Mapei has plenty of them and her music is dancehall hip hop moving between Lauryn Hill and Peaches. Listen and feel the powers emerge. www.myspace.com/mapei
The actors in the film Hero created by Zhang Yimou in 2002 could best be described as fusions between Arnold Schwarzenegger and a ballerina. The magnetising story of intrigues and love affairs in ancient China is accompanied by feather-light music from the Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun. www.tandunonline.com
LAURIE ANDERSON – O SUPERMAN
Spooky, eerie and apart, ‘O Superman’ is originally a cover from an aria from the Frenchman Massenet’s opera Le Cid. The song rose to number 2 in the UK in 1981, was covered and sampled until it got dusted off this summer into a disco hit by Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. We stand before a piece of BIG musical history. www.laurieanderson.com
ITALOBOYZ – VIKTOR CASANOVA
A track named after the women’s hero Casanova charmed its way into our hearts and to a release on Claude vonStroke’s new label Mothership. Judge for yourself if it’s because of their talent or maybe only these Italian Londoners’ persuasive deep brown eyes… www.myspace.com/italoboyz
SUPERMAYER – SAVE THE WORLD
Artists and their egos… With a title like that, Kompakt boss Michael Mayer and Superpitcher – Supermayer – have a lot to prove. Leaving the safe path of techno, the album will explore all from indie pop to lounge and is released on 17 September on Kompakt. www.kompakt-net.com
BONNIE TYLER – HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO
Poor Bonnie chopped some nodules on her vocal chords, and against the doctor’s orders she couldn‘t keep her mouth shut and ended up with a raspy, coarse voice. What could have been the end of her musical career turned out to be nothing but the beginning, and Bonnie became one of the signature voices of the Eighties. www.bonnietyler.com
THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC MAGAZINE
SPE C IN S IAL SA TOR L ES A ES ISS I N C L. STAT E M E NT S F R O M VAIL UE ABL Ag`fÜ8[imYnanYÜÜ E
Dac]Ü9YfckÜ;]jja[cÜDYqÜÜ ;Yfa]dÜDadd]jÜJn]fÜMl`ÜÜ DY_\YÜYf\ÜeYfqÜegj] CATNO. EB-DVD-SP001
Distributed by www.intergroove.de
AQUALUNG Memory Man
by Peyman Farahani, Neale Lytollis You can find all these reviews and more at www.electronicbeats.net
HOT CHIP DJ Kicks !K7
A LIFE, A SONG, A CIGARETTE Fresh Kills Landfill SILUH RECORDS
JUSTICE † The DJ Kicks series (which has seen compilations from Tiga, Annie and Terranova among others) invites UK lovelies Hot Chip to take the helm on what is probably the most eclectic compilation yet… not surprising given five people’s musical tastes to take into account. Weaving a path through everything from pop to garage to techno, Hot Chip will have you Googling most of the artists on here to find out more. Standout: Positive K’s 1992 gem ‘I Got A Man’, if only to remind us of a time when hip hop was good. NL
THE GO! TEAM Proof of Youth
Who hasn’t heard of Justice these days? Who doesn’t know all about Ed Banger and their crazy brigade of crew and artists? Who hasn’t got wasted and burned up the dancefloor to Simian’s remix of ‘We Are Your Friends’ (without actually realising it was a Justice track)? If any artist of 2007 has managed to seep so deeply into the national musical consciousness in so many ways it’s Justice and the kids of today will be showing this album off to their children in 20 years from now with that glassy, mischievous look in their eyes... NL
Guys in music doing the old ‘sensitive’ thing is often a nightmarish concoction. Really, they should be thundering round the stage, posturing and posing, gyrating on their mic stand and singing from their crotch. The minute you stick ‘em on a stool with an acoustic guitar and a broken heart they go all Donovan on you and it’s like having your balls cut off. Aqualung thankfully manages to throw some rather sensitive tracks our way without sounding like a complete wuss. NL
Remember that saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’? Bands with an inordinate number of members can be a bit of a shambles but then again, it never did Arcade Fire any harm… or AL, AS, AC for that matter. The debut long-player from the Austrian lovelies is very charming indeed, embracing elements of bluesy folk and acoustic country. The presence of a slew of guest musicians ensures the record has an epic, orchestral feel to it, which happily does not work against the warm, home-grown intimacy of the songs themselves. NL
Beyond some occasional synchro cheering, the Go! Team never seemed to set much store by lyrics. However, they’ve certainly found a voice on their follow up to 2005’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike. The jingly dancefloor-oriented melodies are all still present and correct, often accompanied by liberal doses of Sixties-style motown hooks, as well as some neat girly girly vocals. The Go! Team have gone all funked-up Shangri-Las and it sure is sweet. NL
RICH AND KOOL Back to You NOIS-O-LUTION
EUROS CHILDS The Miracle Inn
LIFE ON EARTH Look! There is…
The English can be a funny old bunch. Endless chatter about the weather, that strange obsession with tea, the whole Spirit of the Blitz thing whenever the electric goes off… and a bizarre, ingrained dislike of anything from Wales. It’s like some kind of race memory you’re born with which dictates you have to despise anything further west than Bristol. Check out Euros Childs and you might just change your mind… seems the Welsh aren’t all that bad. NL .......................................................................................
JENANA Evoke a Pop Avenue MAISONETTE RECORDS
Rich and Kool definitely fall into the category of Bands Who Should Be Big But Aren’t…Yet. With all fingers crossed, 2007 should be a good year for the Berlin foursome if this, their debut, is anything to go by. Super smart cuts, slick production and striking artwork make for a very tasty package indeed and the R+K boys (does anyone know which is which?) certainly pack a punch live with their nifty combo of spiky electronica and pounding rock. Worth buying for ‘Wingman’ and ‘She’s Loading’ alone! NL
THE CONCRETES Hey Trouble LICKING FINGERS/ALIVE
ART BRUT It’s a Bit Complicated
THE CRACK WHORE SOCIETY The Crack Whore Society
If you like your indie rock smooth and tight and with a healthy dose of Bryan Ferry-suave then Jenana are probably the band you are looking for. ‘We We We’ and ‘Trust’ are destined to be rock radio toe-tappers while the chilled out ‘Evoke A Pop Avenue’ is a perfect lazy Sunday sun-lounger. And I didn’t even get to mention the chic scarves and angular haircuts…NL
With a name like Crack Whore Society this LP is unlikely to be full of sensitive, lilting ballads is it? This is spiky, aggressive, ass-fuck punk with track lengths reminiscent of the Ramones who pioneered the ‘fast-and-loud-as-you-canand-keep-it-under-two-minutes’ approach back in the 1970s. The breakneck pace of the record means the Whores of Crack manage to squeeze an impressive 14 tracks on this record. Gabba gabba yeah!
Take a spattering of Jethro Tull tootyflutery, some Uriah Heep-style mysticism, chuck in the odd tribal bongo, some weirdy electronic clicks and pops and a cavernous production and what you end up with is not the shitstorm-disaster you’d expect but a charming, unclassifiable, intelligent long player which could almost be the soundtrack for Hair and The Wicker Man at the same time. Album art’s not bad either. NL
Who crept over to Sweden in the middle of the night and put Zingy Music Talent Sparkle in the water which results in Sweden unleashing hit record after hit record? Third studio album from the 7-strong band is the usual mix of sweet, poppy melodies highlighted by rousing orchestral arrangements. And while the departure of lead vocalist Victoria Bergsman is certainly a shame, the album does not suffer unduly because of it. A cute, summery record to enjoy on a sunny terrace with a cocktail or two.
Art Brut more or less pioneered that rather bizarre musical craze of half singing/half talking in your regional accent. With the release of their first LP a couple of years back and all the radio play it attracted there was a glut of artists all queueing up to sing like they talk back home. Now Art Brut return with another collection of witty, ironic art school pop rock all neatly packaged onto a schoolroom CD…sadly, the formula does not deviate from 2005 and they appear to have made Bang Bang Rock and Roll all over again.
IMMACULATE MACHINE Immaculate Machine’s Fables MINT
SAMIM Flow GET PHYSICAL
JUNIOR SENIOR Hey Hey My My Yo Yo CRUNCHY FROG RECORDINGS
HEIDI MORTENSON Don’t Lonely Me WIRED RECORDS
Heidi Mortenson is nothing short of a genius… and I don’t use the word genius lightly. After all, who else has managed to record an album which sounds like a cross between someone fiddling around with a dodgy radio while simultaneously pouring milk onto Rice Krispies… AND still sound good? I rest my case. NL
Things have been awfully quiet from the über perky Junior Senior camp of late. In actual fact it’s a staggering four years since the skinny straight guy and the chunky queer released the dancefloor killer ‘Move Your Feet’ back in 2003. The interim hasn’t really seen JS d-d-deviate from the f-f-formula but sufficient time has passed for their snazzy Seventies sounds to get the hips of a new generation of gay/ straight kids shaking. NL
Album number three drops from perky Canadian outfit, Immaculate Machine. This is a tasty, radio-friendly collection of poppy, handclappers with a neat smattering of twangy country for good measure. Album opener Jarhand could be first choice for some wild west DJ to drop at a barnhouse ho-down and the thigh slapping fun continues throughout this upbeat LP. But please, please resist the temptation to start line dancing. It simply isn’t necessary. .......................................................................................
TERRENCE DIXON Train of Thought YORE
The first long player on Yore is Detroit techno in the truest sense: soulful chords and abstract sound design face raw percussions. Brisk hi-hats emphasise the hectic rush. The warm atmosphere underneath evokes the human soul and longing for peace of mind. Terrence Dixon romanticises nothing, as you can tell for instance with ‘A Game Called War’ where glitches sound like gunfire. But at the same time he doesn’t abandon hope in ‘Ivory Coast’ where you feel released. Hope against mercilessness. Train of Thought is an analogue statement as a piece of art. PF
Flow hints at deep house and world music-style elements. Starting off atmospheric and lazy with tribal percussions and somewhat spaced-out disco, it suddenly draws you into complete dancefloor madness. Samim’s trademark is tight and arse-kicking bass drums! Basically hypnotic and stripped-down yet flamboyant and eccentric: rolling Middle Easternstyle percussion on ‘Black Death’, Gypsy-sounding chopped-up accordion on ‘Heater’ or bombastic Latin Jazz piano on ‘Setup One’. Finally ‘The Lick’ takes you on a bizarre and futuristic R&B-electro trip. I would prefer an instrumental version though. The breakdowns become overall too exuberant but in the end a crazy addictive dance album. PF .......................................................................................
V/A ESKIMO VOLUME 5 Mixed and compiled by The Glimmers ESKIMO RECORDINGS
Devil-may- care amalgamation of mind-boggling music! There’s Primal Scream’s High life sound of ‘Loaded’, eccentric new beat with Pop Dell’Arte, bass-driven tribal disco of culture vibe, loads of edgy post-punk cuts and classic Chicago house with Pleasure Pump’s ‘Fantasize Me’. Nothing but a short impression of an ultra eclectic and restless mix. You might think they completely lost it halfway with Dissidenten’s oriental ethno-beat ‘Fata Morgana’ or towards the end with the Caravans’ Arabic foot stomp. But whatever, anything goes damn it! The Glimmers have a passion for pleasing the crowd and Eskimo 5 continues the leftfield dancefloor assault. PF
EWAN PEARSON Piece Work
V/A KOMPAKT Total 8
WILL SAUL Simple Sounds (double CD)
CEPIA Natura Morta
You can avoid pop but you can’t deny it. ‘Chapeau!’ to a remixer who brings dance and pop convincingly together, who transforms and infiltrates by imposing his own aesthetic. Pop goes club and in every club track lurks the secret pop song. Dance music shouldn’t be too strict with itself. Piece Work essentially charts the last six years of Ewan‘s beat-burnishing. Highlights are reworks for Goldfrapp, the Rapture, Alter Ego, Depeche Mode... and I have to thank Ewan for the wildest time at the old Panorama Bar with ‘Perspex Sex’! PF
Total 8 is Kompakt’s most well-known and anticipated annual release. A huge collection featuring 2007 favourites plus new and exclusive tracks from Burger/ Voigt (formerly Burger/Ink – now reunited after 10 years), Kompakt’s hard core, Gui Boratto, Aril Brikha, Partial Arts and many more. Total 8 shows a prominent presence of those – mostly Cologne-based – artists, who were an essential part of building the Kompakt cosmos. Still with a strong addiction to exuberant vibes in music: Kompakt’s very own definition of rave. The avant-garde of techno pop! A musthave for Kompakt fans. PF
Simple Sounds is open-minded house – warm, spacious, immersive – yet with loose traces of disco. Will Saul’s project as an artist, DJ and A&R: contributing new and exclusive tracks, selecting remixers to work on some of his older material and sequencing a mix that captures the sound of both of his labels, Simple and Aus. He proves to be good at producing and choosing high-quality dance music without trivial crowdpleaser functions or strict restrictions. This collection features Partial Arts, Sebo K & Metro, Mathew Jonson, My My and many others. An insight into a promising label. PF
Minneapolis’ Huntley Miller experiences his environment as multicoloured and assimilates these experiences in different ways. The result is Natura Morta as a ‘highly personal response’. A human touch that feels miraculous and fantastic. Miller seems to translate the events of his (sub)consciousness into complex electronic music patterns, sometimes lilting, sometimes melancholic, always erratic like the human mind. We fail to define the latter precisely, so do we with Cepia’s sound universe. All I can say: simple but absorbing melodies pair with beats arranged to an astonishing degree of detail. Like looking at a fractal. PF
MUSIC REVIEWS .......................................................................................
ROAM THE HELLO CLOUDS Near Misses
WAHOO Take It Personal
CHLOÉ The Waiting Room KILL THE DJ RECORDS
Chloé’s first album is more than electronic dance music with an addiction to Industrial and a touch of Angelo Badalamenti. She experiments beyond classic club structure with no other ambition than to be herself. She reveals intimacies through sound and laconic lyrics. Fragile and sincere. Emphasizing a dark yet warm atmosphere. Electro-acoustic music and experimental Techno occur in ‘The Waiting Room’. A place that reminds me of the ‘Red Room’ in Lynch’s Twin Peaks. One of Paris’ most esteemed DJs presents a surreal-toned and breathtaking album. PF
Levitate. Weightless. Roaming the infinite sky. No boundaries. Welcomed by inquisitive clouds. Drifting and improvising motion. Following your intuition. Nothing’s determined, everything nearly happens… Phil Slater breathes life into his trumpet, undoubtedly recalling Miles Davis, Dave Miller’s laptop becomes human and drummer Laurence Pike appears unrestrained, virtually reckless. Free jazz in the truest sense: 10 improvisations recorded in one day. Ten intriguing Near Misses. Together they celebrate the irresistible driving force of intuition in a state of pure freedom. PF
VALGEIR SIGURDSSON Ekvilibrium BEDROOM COMMUNITY
JACKSON ANALOGUE And Then… Nothing GAP
Isle of Wight native five-piece Jackson Analogue put on killer rock’n’roll from energetic sweat soaked eruptions like the punky riot of ‘Come On’ to the gentle acoustics of ‘Concrete Hands’. Epic riffs, Jim Homes’ smoky singing, Hammond organ and maverick attitude. With deep respect for the blues-rock of Muddy Waters and Creedence Clearwater Revival, with a love of the Who and an affinity to grunge. Analogue music for the digital age?! Actually they don’t take much notice of contemporary trends. Yet it’s bloody essential to take notice of Jackson Analogue! PF
Valgeir’s music sounds familiar somehow, which isn’t surprising. His very own signature is put on exciting leftfield pop albums such as Björk’s Vespertine and Medulla or Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s The Letting Go. The latter is featured along with J. Walker and Dawn McCarthy on this long-awaited debut album where streams of strings ebb and flow around playful chimes and surgically sculptured beats play against gorgeous keys of prepared piano. Ekvilibrium explores the impressionistic perception that captures each moment and reconciles with mind and body. Beyond categorisation. Music like air to breathe. PF
Soulful house? Rather a popdance-R&B-whatever fusion. Much respect to DJ Dixon behind the decks and as a remixer, but together with songwriter/producer Georg Levin – “known in NYC as the ‘Prince of Prenzlberg’…” (come on!) – they produced an album that totally sounds like a girls’ night out on Miami’s Coconut Grove, sporting Gucci sunglasses and wearing lip gloss you can see from miles away alluring P. Diddy clones. Of Take It Personal Georg Levin says, “Music that we think is cool and shouldn’t take itself too seriously…” Seriously I get the point! PF
DATAROCK Datarock YOUNG ASPIRING PROFESSIONALS
DAPAYK & PADBERG Black Beauty MO’S FERRY PRODUCTIONS
Datarock cite Devo, Talking Heads and the Happy Mondays as influences on their music and with such a diverse array of artists having a hand in the Datarock sound it’s little wonder their debut record is such a pleasing mixture of styles, all woven together with a neat line of snappy electronica. ‘A shot of ambition’ these guys certainly do not need as they released this record on their own label. Watch out for red tracksuits coming to a venue near you! NL
DIGITALISM Idealism KITSUNE
MY SISTER KLAUS Chateau Rouge TIGERSUSHI
Dapayk & Padberg distance themselves from the pseudo-minimal mainstream: Black Beauty is mainly sharp techno with acerbic lyrics and heavy percussions but never monotonous. ‘Skit:pantomime horse’ sounds somewhat grime. ‘Make It Up’ is sinister electro, whereas ‘Island’ is vibrant dance music with soulful vocals and a pop feel, which remains finally in ‘As You Please’ through Padberg’s singing and soothing strings. Yet one radical message in the title track outshines: ‘This could be the last vinyl album. MP3s kill the black beauty…’ – tight techno to lament the demise of pressed vinyl. Sophisticated in every sense! PF
GRAVENHURST The Western Lands WARP
The Western Lands is a blend of spacerock and euphoric, lo-fi pop, ethereal and powerful. Simply beautiful post-folk with a hypnotising deepness. The ghostly tenderness of ‘Flashlight Seasons’ remains on the fourth album but Gravenhurst appear more through different changes of atmospheres and moods: raging in ‘Hollowmen’ and peaceful again in ‘Song Among The Pine’. Always irresistibly melancholic, sometimes painful, sometimes above any gravity as in ‘Trust’ or ‘Hourglass’ with its indescribably soothing tranquillity. Nick Talbot takes us with his sublime songwriting in mysterious spheres yet as familiar as our own reflection… PF
Digitalism is well on the way to taking over the world, it would seem. Cheeky Jens and Ismail have scored a number of triumphant live appearances on the rounds this year, racked up remixes for Cut Copy, Daft Punk and Tiga and now drop their debut album on a public hungry for more of their hot, hard, danceable electro. Was German electronic music ever this good in living memory? Who cares now this is out. NL .......................................................................................
ESG South Bronx Story 2 SOUL JAZZ RECORDS
Tigersushi and in particular label chief/master producer Joakim are making waves in re-establishing the French as rather natty pioneers of laid-back electronica/cocktail lounge crooning/power-pop; all present on this record. They haven’t been this cool since JeanPaul Belmondo did his best Jimmy Cagney-strut on the Parisian walkways with Jean Seberg in Godard’s À Bout de Souffle. A must-have. NL
ESG are the Scroggins sisters Renee, Valerie and Marie, who hail from the South Bronx. The best girl group on the planet. Without them New York punk-funk is unthinkable. They got the ultimate funk and that’s that. From playing the opening night of Manchester’s Hacienda to the closing night of Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage, ESG have been a truly unique phenomenon for over 30 years. A South Bronx Story was released in 2000 as a retrospective of their career to date. Part two features classic tracks, super-rarities and alternative mixes. You’re damn right! I love ’em! PF
MY MUSIC MOMENT
Mike Keat aka Miguel Mantovani from The Cuban Brothers
THE GODFATHER OF SOUL GAVE ME THE THUMBS-UP I want to tell you a story about James Brown before we sadly lost him on Christmas Day. We toured with him for eight shows last year as part of the Good Vibes Tour through Australia and Asia. James was one of my heroes, he was a huge inspiration. He was an all round entertainer, he was a singer, a dancer, and a preacher and soul and hip hop music owe him so much. We are all B boys, big into breakdancing and hip hop and the fact we were getting to play with James, The Godfather of Soul, Mr Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man In Showbusiness, was just unreal. To be able to go on tour with him was extraordinary. The first four shows were in Oz and it was quite unheard of for James to come down to the show before he was due to come on, he normally just turned up a half hour before he was due on. But members of his band had watched our first show the night before in Brisbane and had told him, ‘you should come and see these guys’, so he did. We had an 18-piece band on stage, we were rocking with a lot of musicians and it was a great show. So he came down and was standing in the wings and during our second number I looked across and saw him standing there and he gave me the thumbs up and shouted something, so I edged over and I could just hear him sort of shouting “Hey! Yeah! You with the drawers!” and I realized he was laughing because he had seen me stretching earlier and I just had my pants on or as he called them ‘drawers or jocks’. Then he started whooping and bigging up our Japanese dancer Kengo who he really loved, and only James could get away with saying this but he was saying “Hey! Yeah! Check out that Japanese nigga! Check out that Sushi dancing!” and then clapping us….it gave us such a boost. After the show his personal manager called Super Frank, came up to us and told us that James wanted to meet us but he told us to address him as Mr Brown not James, which of course we did, so we went in and were like “Hello Mr Brown’ and he was just cool as a cucumber. He was 72 and still doing it, and that was so cool. I also got the impression that he didn’t know how to do anything else, that if he wasn’t performing, there was no point for him at all. And he just said how much he enjoyed the show and we hung out for about an hour. I had to pinch myself afterwards. They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but he didn’t let us down at all, he was just incredible, plus he watched all of our shows from the wings after that night.
Inspiration for modern
to shake it
• Highspeed downloading (HSDPA) • 1 GB Memory Stick 2 • Slim Walkman® slider • Shake control
Music changes the world and so does the new Sony Ericsson W910i Walkman® phone.