FREE 2017—Issue 2 #123
“Nothing more than human.”
Glamcult worldwide underground
Erin M Riley Maison the Faux Sevdaliza Perfume Genius Open Letter
Masha Reva Talent
Issue 2 #123 Embody
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We dance to... The warmest... Do that to... I wanna...
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Colophon Editor-in-Chief Leendert Sonnevelt firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director Rogier Vlaming email@example.com Head of Marketing, Communication and Creative Projects Milou van Poortvliet firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Marline Bakker email@example.com Editorial Intern Rebecca Nevins
Photographers Antoine Harinthe Ari Versluis Barrie Hullegie Daisy Walker Dillon Sachs Riccardo Dubitante Yaël Temminck Zahra Reijs Cover Sevdaliza Photography: Zahra Reijs Body architecture: Esmay Wagemans Hair and make-up: Pascale Hoogstraate for MAC Cosmetics— Eric Elenbaas Agency Photography assistant: Thijs Jagers
Quotes Nothing more than human. —Sevdaliza, Human We dance to the beat of a new, better, faster breed. —Robyn, We Dance To The Beat The warmest light is your body. —Nayyirah Waheed, Salt Do that to my anatomy. —Broadcast, Corporeal I wanna hover with no shape. —Perfume Genius, No Shape
Publisher Rogier Vlaming / Glamcult Studio P.O. Box 14535, 1001 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands T +31 (0)20 419 41 32 firstname.lastname@example.org www.glamcultstudio.com Distribution email@example.com For all subscriptions please contact Abonnementenland P.O. Box 20, 1910 AA Uitgeest, The Netherlands T +31 (0)251 313 939 F +31 (0)251 31 04 05 For subscriptions www.bladenbox.nl For address changes and cancellations www.aboland.nl
Graphic Design Glamcult Studio: Karen van de Kraats Rogier Bak
Four issues a year The Netherlands € 37 Europe € 59,50 Rest of the world € 79,50
Graphic Design Intern Torren Tripp
Prices subject to change
Contributing artist Masha Reva
Subscriptions can start at any time during the year. Subscriptions need to be closed for at least one year and will be automatically renewed until further notice. Cancellations must be submitted written and at least six weeks before the expiry of the subscription period to Abonnementenland. Changes of address must be submitted written at least three weeks in advance to Abonnementenland. © All rights reserved. Nothing from this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and other copyright holders. The publisher cannot be held responsible for damage done by incorrect provision of information in the magazine. The views expressed in the magazine are those of our contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Glamcult or its staff. ISSN: 1874 1932
F e a t u r i n g: J u l i e a n d Y u r a
P h o t o g r a p h y: A r m e n P a r s a d a n o v
â€” M a s h a R e v a, 2017
The all new PLAYBASE It really ties the room together.
Luister beter op sonos.com
Cape and top Junya Watanabe, jewellery Clotilde Francesci
Jacket J.W.Anderson, trousers and belt Faith Connexion, necklace Clotilde Francesci
We dance to the beat of a new, better, faster breed.
Dress (worn in reverse) Kenzo, shoes Junya Watanabe, beret Nike, necklace Clotilde Francesci
Jacket and earrings Chanel, tights Wolford, hat Stephen Jones
Dress, bra, choker and earrings Dior, hat Stephen Jones
Top Faith Connexion, tights and briefs Wolford, garter HermĂ¨s, jewellery Clotilde Francesci, shoes Junya Watanabe
Jacket and skirt Anne Sofie Madsen, necklace Clotilde Francesci
Cape and shorts Faith Connexion, vest Swarovski, shoes Maison Margiela, choker stylistâ€™s own, hat Stephen Jones, earrings Clotilde Francesci
Top Anne Sofie Madsen, tights and briefs Wolford, earrings Clotilde Francesci, hat Stephen Jones
Overcoat, dress and shoes Maison Margiela
Photography: Antoine Harinthe Styling: Thomas Davis Art direction: Riccardo Zanola Hair: Michaël Delmas—Atomo Management Make-up: Caroline Fenouil Casting: Remi Felipe Model: Abril Shaw—Next Management Set design: César Sebastien and Mathieu Selvatici
Undressing 4, 2014
By Leendert Sonnevelt All images courtesy of the artist
Erin M Riley Weaving porn stills, used condoms, crashed cars and menstruation blood into breathtaking tapestries, Erin M Riley lifts our most intimate moments—the ones society likes to keep out of sight—to the realm of art. The Brooklyn-based artist, a self-described “treasure weaver”, battles all forms of (body) shame and prejudice, transposing even her own sexts to the spotless walls of galleries around the world. 21
Erin M Riley
Portrait of a Father 5, 2016
What seemingly surprises many people about your work is the combination of the medium and the message. Let’s start out with the medium: how did you get into working with textile and tapestry? I was always interested in sewing, textiles—tactile, repetitive making processes. In college I came upon the fibres major, which was an umbrella that included many techniques, one of which was weaving. I latched on to weaving as an interesting new (to me) way of making marks and applying colour. Tapestry is a type of weaving which lends itself best to making images, in my opinion. You’ve previously mentioned that weaving is traditionally seen as women’s work. From a feminist perspective one can wonder, Why did you embrace this practice rather than reject it? Part of becoming a better feminist involves embracing the people who came before us, critically, and delving deeper into areas of interest typically held to a small population that might be subverted. We can either feel disgusted by a medium that held
women “in their place” or we can take that medium and use it to our own advantage, cutting down barriers. Prejudices still arise when using a medium with such a reputation but over time, as we take it seriously, it will become as respected as other mediums that are supported because of their male history. Many of your pieces incorporate your own sexts and screenshots of porn websites. Seeing the infinite amount of these kinds of visuals we encounter online, when does an image impress you enough to use it for your art? It’s actually becoming more and more rare to come across images that I connect with. People are revealing parts of themselves online but only their physical selves, they keep intimacy and emotional depth out of their pictures. What draws me to pictures is their energy, their vulnerability and brazenness in the face of judgement. I love when a picture is posted because the person just wants to without any thought of who will see it. Those are the most interesting to me. You must spend a crazy amount of hours creating images of
bodies, both solo and—sorry for the pun :)—interwoven in sexual activity. Has this changed your perception of bodies and sex? Spending so much time looking at and interacting with nudity allows me to free myself from the fear and timidity that I normally exist in. When making this work it becomes like evidence and factual. It’s life, and thus comfortable. It’s arousing but freeing. Weaving a sexual image seems to give it another dimension, almost as if you’re lifting the mundane to a new aesthetic level. Would you agree? Do you compare your finished work to its source of inspiration? There isn’t a lot of comparison back and forth because it is an imperfect craft; I am transforming this online remnant into something completely different. Rather than replicate, I try to evoke overall feelings and moments. I normally don’t compare. When I am working from photographs I have one copy of the file, then I print it out or work from it on my computer and I crop it down as I progress. By the end of the piece I have a sliver left of the picture, and
then it’s deleted. The tapestry fills the place of that image file—there is a new energy to it. Would you describe your work as political? My work involves showing the areas of femme existence that might be hidden, judged or taken from us. I would describe it as political. The day dudes stop trying to decide if I can have an abortion or access to pap smears and affordable birth control will be the day my work stops being political. For many young people the scenes you portray (drugs, sex, bodies, doubts, insecurity, abuse, Sunday morning afterparty vibes) are very relatable. Do you ever speak to your fans or buyers? I often get people sending me photographs that they don’t feel comfortable sending or don’t have anyone to send them to. That’s always amazing, like they want to be pervy freaks but don’t have anyone who will support that lifestyle respectfully. A lot of the stories are like drunk college hook-ups, sending pictures to people and how to make sure no
Erin M Riley
Riding the Wave, 2016
Dream Lover, 2016
Erin M Riley
Erin M Riley
Spit Up, 2013
one knows it’s you. My favourite is talking to girls about masturbation and porn because there is SO much shame around that, and I think it’s one of the more important things to encourage. Are you ever afraid to share images of your own body through your artwork? How does this relate to sharing nudes online, as well as body confidence? I am never afraid. Sharing artwork is definitely different than sharing images directly online, because there is a level of mediation through changing the image and presenting it totally how I want to. I am interested in pushing that lately, though, experimenting with sharing my actual body, trying to further understand the ways the internet trolls us and/or supports us. Sharing nudes with people directly fills all of the spaces that relationships should probably fill, my sexuality hovers between IRL and online interactions. Body confidence is always changing, life is complicated and how we feel in our bodies changes from comments, hormones or just what the world is giving us. The internet is a tool to receive feedback but its also a pretty violent place
so we have to figure that stuff out for ourselves rather than relying on our “followers” to help us with that. Does your work ever face criticism because of its explicit nature? How do you deal with that kind of response? Yes, of course. People have a lot of opinions and FEAR around sex. I try my best to understand where the anger comes from and cut through the emotions to have a better conversation. I don’t want to simply ignore or deny people a response but it’s also hard to talk with people who are so aggressive and disinterested in change or understanding. It’s exhausting but it’s important to explain and reach across the divide. A recurring theme in your work is that of crashed vehicles. Would you be able to elaborate on this? I work with imagery that feels aggressive, sad and violent. I often want to use actual bodies but it’s quite hard emotionally to do so. So I tend to use crashed cars, trucks and skid marks on the highway—these all fill the place of bodies, they are thought of as cause and effect or evidence of violence.
You’ve been featured in a lot of exhibitions over the past few years. How do you see your future and the development of your work? I am in a shifting point as my work evolves to include more serious issues and touches on things that most people don’t like to see. Porn is attractive on a base level, but also not something a lot of galleries want to show or collectors want to live with. I am trying to figure out the next steps for me as an artist and the direction I want my work to go in. I am excited to experiment and delve deeper into issues that I have only just touched on.
you give to the entire Erin M Riley oeuvre so far? Hmmm, thank you. If I could just rip off what I labelled my porn CD-ROMs in high school, I would title it English CP2 or like my stomach tattoos, Treasure Weaver. Titles are so hard! They mean so much with so little… www.erinmriley.com
As a female artist dealing with contemporary issues and taboos, do you ever feel exhausted? How do you stay positive? Yes, I do! I think it’s less about staying positive and more just keeping the pace. I have a lot of commitments, upcoming exhibitions and artist’s talks that force me to keep making the work and thinking critically.
From Sassy Swirl to Dick Pic and 4am Hookup Prep, we really enjoy the straightforward titles of your works. What name would
By Rebecca Nevins Photography: Dillon Sachs
Maison the Faux The deliciously satirical brainchild of designers Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer, this fake (but realâ€Ś but fake) fashion housecum-creative-studio lets the cracks of being shine through to present a world of faded theatrical glamour. Boasting full-on free-the-nipple aesthetics and dressing club kids and Instagram poseurs alike, Maison the Faux offers fashion fetishism underscored by a deeper socio-political message. 27
Maison the Faux
Maison the Faux Based in Arnhem, NL, Maison the Faux was born out of a mutual appreciation for the garish and the ravishingly loud, and an aversion to the consumerist world of desire and narcissism upon which the fashion industry is built. Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer met at university of the arts ArtEZ in Arnhem and soon realized they shared the same modest ambition to liberate the human form from the confines and restraints the fashion industry places upon it. They promptly set out to launch a fictitious fashion house and an irreverent, genderless fashion line with the aim of shaking up the industry from the bottom up. That was three years ago, and within that time their grassroots approach has seen Maison the Faux host an array of satirical exhibitions, performances and theatrical spectacles that hold a magnifying mirror to the blatant ridiculousness of an industry in dire need of critical scrutiny. The brazenly bold and twisted image of beauty that Maison the Faux presents—think: patent leather, thighhigh boots, fishnet stockings, frills and mesh, over-sized deconstructed silhouettes slung atop the physiques of girls and boys of all body types— unsurprisingly had all heads turning at New York Fashion Week earlier this year. Speaking of their penchant for intrinsic deconstruction and the barely supressed urge to tear down static clothing tropes to then ruck and distort clothes on to the body, Suk and De Boer affirm that this is essentially what Maison the Faux is all about: “The act of deconstructing helps reinterpret fixed ideas of how things should be done.” As a hyperbolic backlash to the beauty ideals propagated by a capitalistic system, the creative concept studio—posing as a grand couture fashion house— aspires to dissect the evils of the fashion industry within every collection they produce. As the fashion industry evolves in these times of political turmoil and media-saturated landscapes, designers are visibly translating the new world order into their designs— be it through printed slogans, colour, pattern and fabric or the cut and silhouette. After all, fashion is a social barometer reflecting society and social change, where designers are the visual interpreters of social cues. In the fashion landscape in particular, images are not merely a reflection but also an instigator of social reality. Notably, the images fashion continues to propagate—flawless, Photoshopped campaigns and unachievable beauty ideals—shape certain perceptions and consequently create new realities. The indisputable power that visuals have to not only reflect a certain reality but also actively
shape and influence that reality, is something Maison the Faux are well aware off. Instead of letting the system run its course, these enfant terribles set out to use the visual capacity fashion holds to help construct a reality which is a lot closer to the one we actually experience—albeit still highly subjective. Challenging the status quo from within its confined space and set parameters through the use of similarly propagandistic tools, Suk and De Boer hope to reconfigure a system built on desire into one which “does not set rules dictating how people should behave and who they need to be”. So-called “humanwear” is one means through which Maison the Faux aim to create such a boundless environment, and their diverse castings are another. According to the design duo, “everybody and anybody should be able to be a part of Maison the Faux; we don’t like to think in target groups or contribute to this box-creating manner of marketing. If you feel Maison the Faux, the doors of the house are wide open.” This idea is realized through smudged lipstick and mesh dresses adorning male physiques alongside bound body suits encasing all body types. Suk and De Boer’s designs have consequently graced the likes of trans model and activist Andreja Pejic, outspoken artists such as Lady Gaga, Trina, Sevdaliza and Ariana Grande, and some of the most radical club goers out there. That these designs speak especially well to shadowy clubs is far from surprising; after all, these dimly lit worlds embrace diversity with open arms. To resonate with such a crowd was a consciously made decision, and one from which the “humanwear principle” stems. Considering how they want the Maison the Faux wearer to feel in their clothes, De Boer concludes: “We want them to feel exactly like who they want to be and feel amazing about doing so.” Although De Boer is quick to denounce the aimless state of contemporary fashion, she maintains that she and Suk see beauty in this despair; fashion, she alleges, is what establishes “a big part of our identity, on both an individual and a societal level. What we wear explains who we are. It defines us and can help express our identity.” The mystique surrounding the fashion industry—specifically the notion, as she so candidly puts it, “that there are all these things made and produced each season but nobody seems to know why”—is what both terrifies and excites Maison the Faux’s founders. Don’t let their blatant piss taking of the fashion
Maison the Faux industry misdirect you away from their intricate love for fashion as an art form, however; it is evident in each of their intricately conceptual designs. First and foremost, Maison the Faux reflect on the creeds of the capitalist system where satisfaction is an ideological impossibility, and through it challenge the consumer to reflect on the constant state of being in debt to oneself. This is especially true for their Chubby Chaser and Faux Cosmetics collections. Where our current fashion system enforces the notion that humans must constantly work on and improve themselves by means of consumption, both Chubby Chaser and Faux Cosmetics are representative of our voracious, obsessive and borderline out-ofcontrol appetites—whether for junk food or global commerce—to keep making and keep on buying. Suk and De Boer seem to attribute this to a basic human trait, something that resides in all human beings, asserting, “It’s human nature, it’s why we are who we are.” Faux Cosmetics especially questions fashion’s quest for constant change and its tightly interwoven notions of the failing body. Both the cosmetic and the fashion industries focus on the body as something that must be beautiful and at the same time falls short of being so—feeding into a belief that the body can be improved through consumption. Reflecting on this, De Boer asserts: “Getting old and ugly is something, especially in fashion, that everybody is fighting against. Anything with a flaw or something deteriorating symbolizes death knocking at our door. I think the only way to change this is acceptance and stopping to try and hide or erase.” In fact, “getting old and ugly is not really
something we can avoid. So let’s make ugly and old desirable.” Finally, on the notion of moving to one of fashion’s capitals, Suk and De Boer are adamant: “Everything we make and create we do in Arnhem, a small town in the Netherlands. It’s a place where we can really focus and reflect on a lot of things.” And that is where their strength lies and likely will always lie—a fictive but global house, firmly planted on Dutch soil. www.maisonthefaux.com
By Leendert Sonnevelt Photography: Zahra Reijs Body architecture: Esmay Wagemans
Hair and make-up: Pascale Hoogstraate for MAC Cosmeticsâ€”Eric Elenbaas Agency Photography assistant: Thijs Jagers
Sev da liza Ready to release her highly anticipated debut album and embark on her first world tour, Glamcult finds Sevdaliza in the frenzied midst of her big break. Strong and stable at first sightâ€”much like ISON, the title of her raw but poetic first recordâ€” the Iranian-Dutch artist sheds her skin and builds a body, revealing the vulnerable power of her shape-shifting soul. 33
When Glamcult and Sevdaliza start chatting at the beginning of 2017, we’re no strangers to each other. First featuring the artist in the spring of 2015, we once introduced Sevda Alizadeh as “one of the Netherlands’ biggest musical promises”. Two years later, much of this promise has come true—far beyond the Netherlands, that is—and much has yet to be revealed. The past two years have seen the artist release multiple emotionally charged tracks and a short film, as well as standout music videos, each breaking down the boundaries of audible and visible art. In the meanwhile, her transformative talent hasn’t gone unnoticed—with press from all over the world catching on, and colleagues from ASAP Ferg to Princess Nokia declaring their support. In short: the hype is real, especially now that Sevdaliza’s debut album is ready for release. And though she’s visibly thankful for it, it’s also an exhausting journey for the artist. “After this one I’m doing no interviews for a while!” Sevdaliza laughs when we meet her for a drink in her Rotterdam apartment. It’s been a week since we spent a long day with her in the studio, shooting a cover story with her long-term collaborator, Zahra Reijs, and visual artist, Esmay
Wagemans. “I’m so happy with the photos,” she smiles sincerely. “You know, when I first saw the pictures I didn’t think I look pretty. But that’s exactly why I like these images; I’ve learned to look at myself differently— it’s about much more than being beautiful.” Dressed in a simple white suit, she’s cleaning the house for Airbnb guests who arrive the next morning, when she travels to Paris for another shoot and studio session. At home, Sevdaliza looks nothing like the star from the studio or the impeccably styled video girl. Her voice, however, is the same; calm, soothing and secure, often pausing to weigh her words. On the table sits a digital piano, and hidden behind a plant in the corner stands her go-to microphone—ready to record a moment of sudden inspiration. Listening to Sevdaliza’s tracks today, it’s hard to imagine that she ventured into music only four years ago, following a promising career in professional sports. “I think I always knew I had some sort of artistic quality,” she thinks aloud. “As a child my mum used to say: ‘You don’t dance on, but between the beats.’ I liked doing things differently.” Sevda wasn’t brought up playing an instrument or made to sing, but at the age of
24 her musical memory, a passion for writing and an unstoppable urge to sing caused the former basketball player to throw everything overboard. “I thought to myself: ‘Why not?’ I’m jumping in, let’s see what happens!” Considering this was only four years ago, it’s nearly impossible to believe that her first singles stem from 2014, and her first album is entirely finished. “Yeah, that’s quite bizarre, right?” she thinks aloud. “But that’s also what’s made this process so very hard. I was doing everything at the same time, literally still learning how to make music, and simultaneously discovering who I am as an artist. It’s raised the pressure to an almost impossible high.” Now at a level where she wants to be, the singer-songwriter loves talking about “the core”—her music— a subject somewhat overlooked in many interviews that focus on her aesthetics or history only. “In the beginning it was a real quest,” she says. “When you learn something new, you often use a route to get there. I soon realized that I wanted to teach myself, without means from the outside, in order to create something that’s very close to me. When I start to make music, I search for a feeling, which I then translate to a
raw structure, a starting point. That can be very small, a few tones or even just a chord. What happens next is very special; the process of translating an instant feeling to music has to happen very fast. In the beginning that was difficult because I didn’t have the technical skills to translate emotions to something musically interesting. That’s easier now. Most of the time I’ll experience something, grab my mic and start to sing—causing colours, waves and patterns. Sometimes they include words, sometimes they don’t. But within minutes I’ll know if a song has potential or not. And that’s just the beginning…” What kicks off next is a process Sevdaliza describes as “the real work”. Finding an equal partner in Rotterdam-based producer Mucky, the yin to her musical yang, the twosome spends endless hours building an experimental world around a song. “Sometimes that takes a year! It’s a very nerdy job; production, layering, effects… I never thought I would love it so much.” Describing Mucky and herself as complementing male and female energy, the two create both together and individually, but always next to each other in the same room. “He looks at the music from a bit of a distance, building
patterns and structures. I break those same structures and drag him along. When I make music, I’m very vulnerable.” There’s an apparent duality— presenting herself as both a strong woman and a vulnerable lyricist— that runs through all of Sevdaliza’s work. It has journalists and comment sections in wonder, almost as if those two can’t exist together. “I’m happy you’re able to see that,” she smiles. “The one doesn’t exclude the other.” Both in the video for The Valley and Amandine Insensible, Sevdaliza takes on the role of various female figures—literally selling herself for who you want her to be. But don’t confuse her transformative power for indecisiveness or a forced sense of mystery: “I think it’s all about following your own path. People might say: ‘You have to be in LA to make it.’ But if I can create here, why not stay here?” Two terms that perfectly capture the dyad of Sevdaliza are Twisted Elegance, the name of her record label, and ISON, the title of the record soon to be released on it. Although the last word came to Sevdaliza in a dream, without her having any idea what it meant, she instantly felt it was right. “It was completely random. When I visualized ISON, I saw strength and stability. I also loved the shape of the letters;
they’re plump and heavy, but fluid. The next day I Google searched the meaning, and it all made sense.” Talking about her album, Sevdaliza’s face lights up. “I finished it last week, seconds before the deadline. It felt complete; I wouldn’t bring out anything that doesn’t feel right.” This doesn’t mean that in the next few years, Sevdaliza might—again— transform. “Maybe my vision will change, but at this moment, this is me. I have taken my time to work on it, let it rest, work on it, let it rest again… So even if I change as an artist, I have created this thoughtfully.” Continuously using her visible identity as an artistic canvas, another element of major importance to Sevdaliza is the body. Having seen her artwork and the eerie video for Human—in which her physique is both woman and horse—a collaboration with rising artist Esmay Wagemans shouldn’t come as a surprise. For their joint art project, the Dutch “body architect” cast Sevdaliza’s physical features to create another body, accentuating features that society doesn’t deem attractive or feminine. Having her body cast, exaggerated, extended—and photographed for Glamcult—wasn’t necessarily easy for the artist. When we ask her why, she grabs a notebook with the
subject line at the top of the page reading how to build yourself. “I think my appearance has always caused certain reactions or associations. The longer I’m aware of my body image, and confront myself with it, I’m on a journey to accept myself.” Coming from someone whose pictures evoke hundreds of adoring fan comments on social media, that might be puzzling. But, “I’ve seen the other side too…” she speaks openly, her voice steady but sad. “I can look very feminine, but I can also look very masculine. According to society, my body’s too big, too buff. In that sense I’ve always been the odd one out.” Fascinated by female body builders, the anatomy of androgynous bodies and the idea of phantom pain, Sevdaliza’s body extension underscores exactly the vulnerable characteristics she had a hard time accepting in the past. Looking at her diary once more, she reads: “I confront myself by using the body as a consistent subject, a mirror in visual expressions.” Then adding: “Being on set brought back a lot of old pain. I wanted to create a shadow body in which you can relive your past as a grown-up, confident woman. Because that’s how it used to be, I hated my muscles… but I knew I was going to have to relive it and create
something beautiful. The body suit, and everything around it, holds a very special value for me.” Having seen the negative side of society’s expectations, one can’t help but wonder: how does it feel today to have hundreds, thousands of fans leaving compliments? “I appreciate it,” she answers honestly, her voice happier, “but it definitely doesn’t make me feel more secure. What does really touch me is the constant stream of messages about my music. People have such special experiences with it. I think that’s beautiful because through music I wear my heart on my sleeve. When people send a message saying: ‘Your music saved my life,’ I want to say to them: ‘I’m only the medium. Maybe you’re using my music to hold on to, but you’ve saved yourself.’” www.sevdaliza.com
Body Politics Clara & Marie Visual scientists of the human body
Dutch performance artists Clara and Marie continuously fantasize about a parallel reality. Whilst studying at the Design Academy in Eindhoven they investigated the possibilities technology provides if it were to merge perfectly with our own bodies. Playing with Technicolor stills, sound bites and modified materials, the pair scientifically examine the intervening possibilities of technology on our bodies and what it means to be human. Body Politics: “By augmenting ourselves with technology we increase our potential to express.”
By Rebecca Nevins
Shalva Nikvashvili Queer tattoo talent As soon as the needle hits the surface, Shalva Nikvashvili injects pockets filled with love and acceptance into the human skin. He engraves it with clean-lined artworks, all the while hoping it will help spread emancipative ideas on love, sex and gender to establish greater acceptance. Despite differences, this queer tattoo artist is hoping to transcend all barriers to reach a pure emotion, as he believes whatever is felt must endure. Body Politics: “The body is just a balloon—you can blow it and squeeze it: everyone is able to love themselves for who they are.”
Body Politics Reconstruct All-female design squad Based in Rotterdam, this all-girl design collective is aiming for a fashion-meets-feminism revolution. With their brazenly bold aesthetic they’ve carved out a distinct space to start building a fashion industry that does not capitalize on sex nor communicate fixed gender binaries or body ideals. Adding some spice to your visual palate with reconstructed silhouettes shaping the body in disproportionate ways, what you see is what you get. Body Politics: “We are taking a stand against the current fashion system. But positive vibes only.”
Yung Nnelg Rising rap prodigy
Reppin’ Amsterdam’s new gen, this young creative is spearheading the hip-hop scene while painting a lyrical picture unlike those in which artists of colour —in particular rap artists—are stigmatized. Hoping to further defy such prejudices, Glenn Ascencion, alias Yung Nnelg, creates politically charged songs—think Forrest Gump—which form a counter wave to anything trapping his body into a confined space. Luckily his “million dollar mindset” is still free. Bringing the heat with every sound he drops, his Ghanaian roots are continuously felt in his progressive beats. Body Politics: “As a young black man in the Western world there are certain stigmas linked to your skin colour […] I’m here to break those prejudices for all young black men, whether or not you’re pursuing a music career.”
K Pasa Electro purveyors of politics
Headquartered in Mexico City, this queer feminist band produce subversive, electrotropical beats paired with sardonic imagery. Through it, they examine misconceptions of feminism, sexuality, internalized racism, oppressive beauty ideals and imbalanced power struggles. Equipped with a load of dark, twisted humour, their videos might come off as tongue-in-cheek, but come to life in their sincerity. Through their lyrical denouncement of the world’s injustices, K Pasa are educating a generation on gender empowerment. Body Politics: “Social media provides a platform for groups that haven’t conventionally fit into certain confines to promote their own aesthetic and find community in ways that might have been trickier before.”
Lyzza Nightlife’s new whiz kid At just 18 years old this born-and-raised Brazilian is taking over Amsterdam’s experimental club scene. The ascending DJ-slash-producer allows people to reclaim their own bodies through her heavy club beats. She’s become a familiar face during the radical club nights at Progress Bar and recently showed off her skills during Sonic Acts alongside like-minded names such as Le1f. One thing’s for certain: Lyzza turns each venue into a true safe haven for everyone to move freely and with conviction. Body Politics: “I don’t think my body actually limits me; it’s more my mental state of being that restricts me.”
Body Politics Maja Malou Lyse New gen sex educator Dreaming of a world in which capitalism no longer profits from social struggles, this performance artist and aspiring gynaecologist is turning binary conceptions of gender and sex upside down. Questioning who and what holds power to inscribe meaning on the bodies of others, Maja Malou Lyse uses selfies as a medium for self-expression and a tool to resist maledominated media culture. She urges women to take ownership of their own bodies instead of subjecting them to the male gaze. Well aware that everything she does becomes part of an act of female empowerment—promoting body positivity—she gladly strikes a pose for us. Body Politics: “Social media allow us to define our own narratives and our own content, as opposed to someone directing it upon us.”
Yuyi John Viral image-maker
Perhaps best known for her viral memes commissioned by Gucci, for which she used her signature transfer stickers, this New York-based visual artist uses her fascination with skin to create art work that highlights how technology has replaced bodily interaction—becoming the interface upon which we view social reality. As a viral image maker, Yuyi John takes and transposes, destroys and creates anew, only to reconvene fragments of signs and symbols within a whole new meaning. This approach is particularly visible in a photographic series in which she affixed Twitter handles and Facebook posts to the human body in the form of temporary tattoos, literally depicting the traces of digital media on our physique. Body Politics: “We are all living behind a platform we create. We present what we want to present.”
Body Politics Moto Guo Transcendent fashion designer
Maybe best known for his bold statement of sending models with acne-covered faces down the runway, Malaysian menswear designer Moto Guo swaddles the human figure in designs weaved in tales. Placing his clothes alongside each other almost creates a new language—one that doesn’t discriminate. The overall result is a delightful impression of quirky eccentricity. Stitching menswear garments laden with politically charged ideas, a conception of the human body that disregards judgemental and disapproving gazes bursts at each item’s seams. Similar to his attempts to transcend the human body beyond its physicality, Moto Guo elevates his garments beyond mere fabric, creating an unusual landscape swathed in colourful splendour and glazed with a layer of cynical, dark humour. This ascending label is set to become the silver lining to fashion’s misery. Body Politics: “Masculinity and femininity are qualities of all human beings.”
Danshan Fabricators of sentiment Gender-bending design duo Danshan cut through hardened shells to reveal a forbearing emotional beauty. The current state of “masculine” emotional constipation—especially felt during their upbringing on Asian soil—forms the common thread within their soft designs, which are seamed with poignant vulnerability. Pushing a more fluid male image to the fore, these young crafters relieve repressed emotions and leave you literally wearing your heart on your sleeve. Body Politics: “There might be limits to our body but not our minds.”
Munroe Bergdorf Trans advocate She’s someone who knows all too well how a body can impose certain limits on the self. As an actor-slash-DJ-slash-model-slash-activist, multi-talent Munroe Bergdorf has used her fierce resistance against anything deemed “normative” combined with her drive to transcend physical limitations to become a voice for the trans community. In fact, she can be regarded as a voice against body shaming or any kind of shaming, -ism or -phobia. In doing all this she’s not afraid to stir the pot and does so with a graceful wit—see her Instagram feed to feel her powerful presence. Body Politics: “Throughout my life I have had to navigate myself through society’s gender and racial bias—my body is political.”
Jésus Diaz Gender-bending poster boy Although we’re not quite sure how to define his work, the surrealistic, whimsical imagery of Jésus Diaz has cast a spell on us. Beset by conventions, this young maverick is fighting to be himself one Instagram post at a time. Carefully crafting a visual landscape blazoned with a nonconformist aesthetic, he hopes to open up a space that is more accepting and all encompassing. This kind of positive thinking has led him to abide by his own rules—of which there are none—and create identity exposures distilling a boundless notion of fashion. Body Politics: “Social media is the biggest influence on different perceptions of beauty, it influences every single person who signs in and scrolls by creating a visual world that they can choose or choose not to be a part of.”
Gorillaz + Sonos Guess who’s going ape shit over Gorillaz’s hot new album? The sounds on Humanz are once again provocatively haunting, the virtual aesthetics bolder than ever. Glamcult studied the band’s carefully crafted fantasy and indulged in the dark new party record—which you get to experience in (real) life thanks to global music brand Sonos.
Virtual superstars Gorillaz are back and ready to dish the soul-stirring tunes. Their quick accession to stardom and holographic glory has engendered a multitude of performances attended by hordes of dedicated fans, their virtual presence in the physical world strangely captivating and intensely felt. The darkly humorous backstory to their existence is a long and twisty one, basically summarized as four otherworldly, mischievous characters setting up a cult band—and changing the face of pop music in the process. With the release of their highly anticipated new album Humanz, the dark dreams of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett once again become reality. In 2001, Gorillaz made their name with the release of their eponymous—and critically acclaimed—debut album. Today, the British band are known for their digital performances and animated visuals, garnering BRITS and a Grammy Award, among others. They remain the only band to successfully survive in a competitive music landscape without a physical embodiment. And though their (non-physical) presence has endured over time, they’ve been ominously silent the past seven— long—years. Which makes the release of a new record all the more special. Counting 14 tracks, accompanied by bonus material on the deluxe version, Humanz includes audacious and surprising collabs with a roll call of artists ranging from Grace Jones (Grace Jones!) to Benjamin Clementine. The resulting sounds include a stern use of synthesizers and drum kits— a longstanding blueprint of Gorillaz’ music— accompanied by vocals from the likes of American rapper Vince Staples and Jamaican-born singerslash-producer Popcaan. We spotted raw-edged reggae influences, dance hall tearjerkers and smooth hip-hop sounds contrasting with the eerie undertones. On the creative vision behind Humanz, the minds behind the cult band explain that it started out as a “dark fantasy”, exploring the unpredictable nature of life and how an unforeseen or uncanny— apocalyptic, even—event can create an effect felt around the globe. Accordingly, the album picks up influences from all over the world, having been recorded in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica. The title, meanwhile, references the transition of human beings into “something else”— be it through natural or technological forces. Despite these deep, often enigmatic underpinnings, the myriad of tracks that form a cultural assimilation and bundle of musical genres give the album an upbeat feel.
Gorillaz + Sonos The illustrative hand of Jamie Hewlett, who designs most of the band’s artwork and immersive interactive visuals, created the cheeky imaginary quartet and its holographic visuals, with the intent of lifting listeners into a realm of surrealistic delight where the band’s existence is felt both spiritually and physically. Over the years, the brash cartoon figureheads have become perfectly ingrained in our imaginary depictions of the band, each evolving over time as their sound has come of age. With the release of Humanz, once again each character—2D, Noodle, Russel and Murdoc— has been graphically enhanced, making them feel more alive than ever before as the visuals become more realistic and refined. Allowing this dark fantasy to become even more real, global music brand Sonos and Gorillaz have teamed up to construct an immersive event allowing you to get lost in the band’s audiovisual world. You’re invited to enter the Spirit House, featuring projections, sculpture and installations alongside more traditional forms of art and music from the band. Spirit House will be in Amsterdam on the 6th of May, and Glamcult collaborators De School will be hosting it. It proves to be a match made in heaven, as both Sonos and Gorillaz regard music to be a universal language that connects people and ideas: “The best way to experience Sonos is in a home, so when the opportunity presented itself to collaborate with one of the most creative visual and musical groups in the world on an album based on the home, it was a no brainer,” explains Sonos VP Global Brand Dmitri Siegel. “PLAYBASE, the newest Sonos home theatre product, was made for bringing incredible sound to your viewing (and listening) experiences.” Get acquainted with the animated spirits of the widely heralded band as they pull you into their sacred space. www.gorillaz.com www.sonos.com
Words and styling: Leendert Sonnevelt Photography: YaĂŤl Temminck Hair and make-up: Carlos Saidel for Givenchyâ€”House of Orange Perfume Genius wears Dior Homme S/S17
Perfume Genius As dreamy and dramatic as raw and confrontational, Perfume Genius is set to release one of the best albums weâ€™ve heard this year. Breaking the boundaries of genre, (sexual) identity and the comfortable, No Shape transposes fluidity to a contemporary musical masterpiece. Glamcult sat down with the art-pop provocateur for an openhearted conversation. 45
When we get together with Mike Hadreas in Amsterdam, the introspective artist better known as Perfume Genius has just minutes before released the first video from his fourth record. “Have you seen it?” he asks excitedly. “Let’s watch it together!” Grabbing his iPhone, we watch the singer-songwriter move through a dream-like theatrical landscape, a pink-coloured fairy tale that lacks the spotlessness that normally makes a fairy tale a fairy tale. Much like his new album cover—shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin —a strong sense of drama and fantasy surrounds the artist’s fresh new output. It’s soft and innocent at first hearing, not nearly as raw and petite as the songs that made Perfume Genius famous. But look or listen again, and again, and the innocence comes peeling off ruthlessly. The utopian landscape becomes an illusion; the background in front of which the artist poses turns out to be a painting; and the anthemic pop songs turn out to be witchcraft—staged as church music. Today, Perfume Genius reveals music that’s incredibly layered, and needs more than just a few listens to come to grips with. So we sit down, dress down and dissect. It’s been three years and counting since Perfume Genius released Too Bright, his acclaimed third album.
An extensive period of global touring followed, with zero breathing space for the singer to sit down and write. “When I write I like to be melodramatic about it,” he laughs. “I just need to sort of obsess over it.” This means that No Shape, the record that’s soon to be released, was born just half a year ago. Rather than first writing lyrics around piano melodies, this time Perfume Genius used composition and structure as his starting points, resulting in dense pop productions and unexpected instrumentations, conjured up in collaboration with his producer. “We reached for things that we wouldn’t normally have reached for,” he explains. “I had written a lot of things that were dark and disturbing, but those songs felt comfortable and easy because I’m used to doing them. Then I wrote Slip Away, which is pretty anthemic and a bit poppy. I had to push myself to do it; it was kind of manic. So that’s the way I went about all the songs on this album; I wanted them to be recorded with different instruments that weren’t so traditional. They’re pop songs but fucked up, you know?” Listening to the grand and off-kilter sound of Perfume Genius’s new record, comparison to Kate Bush is unavoidable—not just in terms of going beyond the set perimeters of pop music, but also because of its mix of vulnerability, ambiguity
and poetic grandeur. When we ask what the album title, No Shape, refers to, various options bubble to the surface. “It could mean a few different things,” Hadreas thinks aloud. “I sort of write a lot about wanting to transcend my body; I feel kind of stuck in my body and limited by it, as well as stuck in my brain and the same thinking patterns which I can’t seem to break—the feeling that I’m stuck as a human. So I kind of always try to find a way to leave without leaving. But I also like how this can mean that there are no rules for some sort of shape you are supposed to fit in. The way you talk, write or look— there’s no real rules.” Whereas the artist’s previous albums dealt with topics such as sexuality, gender, the body, depression and violence in a much more literal sense, No Shape is just as heavily about breaking out of boxes and the body—be it in a more abstract manner or an overarching sense of (unlimited) possibility and queerness. When it comes to the body, it’s not just words that Perfume Genius preaches. Growing up with Crohn’s disease has forcefully showed him the far-reaching limitations of the bodily self. “I think one of the physical areas that I feel the most disconnected to is my physical shell,” he says. “Part of it is that I’m getting older and maybe thinking about
how I should pay attention to it, take care of it. Even if it’s just this weird vessel for my thoughts, I need it to be in good shape so that I can keep doing all my music and everything else. And although I feel disconnected from it, I am very invested in taking care of my body through comfort and eating, so it becomes very confusing, to be honest. I’m accepting that I sort of have to deal with it. But even if you do try and take care of yourself, your body can just betray you. I sort of don’t trust it…” This discrepancy between mind and body, and the mistrust that comes with it, extends directly to another subject that unmistakably runs through Perfume Genius’s young oeuvre: gender and sexuality. Naturally switching to this theme, he states: “I used to think you have to feel a certain way, but I think I don’t. Gender and the body aren’t connected, but I feel the same way about gender as I do about the body; I wake up sometimes feeling a little different about it—I’m always kind of circling around everything, nothing seems to be set. Because of my sexuality and gender… it can make you feel detached, you know, and disassociate from everything. So in a weird way I don’t recognize myself, sometimes.” Coming from an artist whose work so consciously deals with these personal subjects,
this might be a surprise. But then again, it’s exactly this honesty that makes Perfume Genius real and relatable. So what happens when, as an artist, he constantly has to have his picture taken, stand on stage in front of endless onlookers, and be confronted with (the image of) himself? “It’s very weird,” he admits, “and it’s not good for your ego! I’m very vain and insecure about how I look. So I end up almost rebelling against myself. Performing and all that stuff is important for me to try and be helpful, showing that you can go against your instincts. So I just kind of say, ‘Fuck you’—to myself, that is: ‘I’m going to do this for a minute anyway, and then I’ll go back to being shy.’” On No Shape, Perfume Genius’s fascination with escaping the physical can also be heard in church-like influences. In fact, the songs would feel completely justified in a dark and dreamy cathedral, backed by a majestic choir. “I think it’s influenced by spirituality in terms of a kind of magic,” he confirms. “But it’s something I made up. I just take ideas from what I like, for example some spiritual mantra, and then I take it for myself. It’s about the idea that there’s something underneath, some kind of universal energy that connects everything. It reminds me that so much is out of your control—
there’s something liberating about that. I think it’s also just more fun if you think of things and live that way; that everything happens for a reason and that destiny or this magical thing exists.” Don’t confuse these thoughts or musical threads for religion, however: “Yeah, I love gospel music and that’s why I make a lot of music that’s inspired by it, but I just don’t feel included in it. I have always sensed that you can really feel the ecstatic part of it. So I try to make music that has that, but it becomes more inclusive. A lot of that shit seems close to witchcraft, even though it’s ‘Jesus stuff’. It’s enchanting and trying to invoke something, and it feels very magical. But a lot of it also involves guilt and blaming—stuff like that I don’t incorporate.” For those to whom all this sounds much too grave, there is another, much lighter side to Perfume Genius. Where to find it? On Twitter, among other places, where 425k (!) followers pay close attention to the artist’s alter ego as what could be a hilarious comedian—whether he’s (once again) adoring Rihanna or sharing pictures of insanely kitsch toilet seats with ingenious captions. “A lot of eggs follow me!” he laughs, “but I’m happy I’m getting some retweets…” This humorous side of Perfume Genius, however, is just as real as all of the above. “It comes
from the same place creatively,” Hadreas explains, his face serious for a second or two. “It’s just a different coping mechanism. My Twitter is like my music: a live journal.” If anything, this journal is definitely just as fascinating as his music. And simultaneously, it’s a huge platform for one of the most authentic queer voices of our generation. It’s proof that the internet is giving more and more minorities space to express themselves fearlessly—and be heard. When it comes to this, Perfume Genius is hesitant but hopeful. “Sometimes I don’t notice that it’s changed out there; I think the world is still the way it was when I was growing up, when it was definitely not as easy. I don’t know, maybe we need it more today… With how horrible everything is in America, everyone is searching for a community, searching for people to fight with, and realizing that even though everyone’s experiences are different, every oppressed group is fighting the same evil—or stuck in the same evil plain together. So maybe the world feels a little more compassionate; people are looking a lot more outside of their own experiences, willing to listen to someone who doesn’t come from where they come from. I think the internet has helped. I think companies have become more willing to fund and bring out music by non-traditional, non-white, default
and basic people because we can now put it up ourselves.” He pauses, and then concludes: “Hopefully progress will be a lot faster than in the past. We are starting to realize that a lot of musicians have stolen ideas from black and queer people, and that maybe now we should be listening to the actual source instead of a blue-eyed version of it. I feel like lately, when I think about it, I’m out in the world more and in touch with a lot more queer musicians. But they’ve certainly always been there.” www.perfumegenius.org
Words by Leendert Sonnevelt Featuring: Jordan, Cem, Nicolas and Mikka
Embody by Ari Versluis
Herrensauna “The quality of Berlin? There’s a real joy about it…” Speaking to the crew behind Herrensauna, it’s impossible not to feel sincerity. Founded in 2015 and skyrocketing since their very first party, Jordan, Cem, Nicolas and Mikka have established a club night on the premises of quality techno, mutual understanding, autonomy, sexuality and—above all—friendship. Coming from various countries, Berlin is what brought the four together and, as a reaction to the city’s thriving but heavily gentrified nightlife, inspired them to organize their first night there in ’15. The turnout was overwhelming, with the queue proving a need to be fulfilled, connecting various disenfranchised scenes. Glamcult and Ari Versluis met the foursome in a studio in Neukölln, exploring the ideals, necessity and symbolism of a sweat-soaked experience.
Much like fashion houses today embrace local roots but have the world watching closely, Herrensauna is unmistakably present on the radar of a global scene. Its strictly controlled visual language—similar to that of fashion brands—includes stark graphic design, exclusive vinyl records reflecting its line-ups, a raw-but-astute presentation of the body and even limited-edition DIY patches sewed to the bombers of its acquaintances. The attitude is instantly recognizable; yet there’s no business model. In fact, the organizers “just wanted to make a nice small party for friends”. Herrensauna is an intimate occasion, making it impossible to miss your friends on the dancefloor. With 80 per cent of the crowd consisting of regulars (“Mikka knows everyone”), a door policy centred on familiarity allows for Herrensauna’s freedom. Commitment is key, allowing a maximum liberation of mind and body. Quite obviously, Herrensauna is the
epitome of queer. The undressed and fetishized body is omnipresent, but sexual liberation was never an end goal. Yet by playing with various states of undress to contrast the role that clothes play in commerce and identity—and the presence of very limited, commoditized fashion—the body is put on a pedestal. In a city where nightlife is big business, Herrensauna poses one question: “What else can you do but say ‘fuck you’ to the establishment as much as you can?” The answer comes in the form of a run-down cellar where it seems like it doesn’t matter what you (do) wear, where the toilets are located in a trailer outside but the crowd cares less, and where DJs don’t play because of their “cool factor” but for their talent and diversity. Herrensauna's bookings balance acquaintances throughout Europe, emphasize eclectic line-ups and often introduce unknown artists. So what happens when this
ideology gets picked up globally, largely due to social media? “We definitely hope we’re not seen as capitalizing on it!” the friendly four counter. “Techno is a string that connects a lot of people in this city. Because we’re all gay and love techno, we wanted to create something from the community that’s for the community.” The Herrensauna tribe describes itself as “hyperlocal” but won't be leaving Berlin anytime soon. So if you happen to live somewhere else and feel all the more curious, there’s hope— despite the queue. “That other 20 per cent consists of people that search for us. They find us, they come up to us and they know who’s playing. That 20 per cent makes it interesting.” Embody is an ongoing collaborative project by photographer Ari Versluis and Glamcult. www.ariversluis.com www.soundcloud.com/herrensauna
10 We dance to the beat of a new, better, faster breed. Photography: Antoine Harinthe
50 The warmest light is your body. Photography: Daisy Walker
60 my 72 I with
that to anatomy.
Photography: Barrie Hullegie
wanna hover no shape.
Photography: Riccardo Dubitante
The warmest light is your body.
Aimee-Jay: kimono Kenzo
Naina: dress Jean Colonna, shoes A.P.C
Kim: jacket Ronald van der Kemp
Naina: jacket CourrĂ¨ges
Aimee-Jay: jacket and shirt Vivienne Westwood
Kim: jacket Mulberry, tights Flake
Aimee-Jay: jacket CourrĂ¨ges
Photography and casting: Daisy Walker Styling: Theophile Hermand Hair: Natalie Shafii Make-up: Lucy Joan Pearson using MAC Cosmetics—Coffin Inc Models: Aimee-Jay—Scallywags, Kim Anna Smith and Naina Sanghani Set design: Julia Dias—Patricia McMahon Make-up assistant: Charlie Avery
Do that to my anatomy.
Mitchell: shorts Kenzo
Dwight: top Ann Demeulemeester Jacket CourrĂ¨ges
Carl: shorts Weekday
Raven: trousers Acne Studios
Mitchell: jacket Maison the Faux, boots Dior Homme
Dennis & Paddy: tops Chin Menâ€™s
Mitchell: jeans Christopher Shannon, tank Zeeman
Dwight: jacket Acne Studios, briefs Zeeman
Bram: jeans and t-shirt Diesel Black Gold
Dennis & Paddy: trousers Ann Demeulemeester, wristband Pig & Hen
Photography: Barrie Hullegie—HALAL Styling and casting: Leendert Sonnevelt Hair: Daan Kneppers for RAW—NCL Representation Make-up: Carlos Saidel for Givenchy—House of Orange Models: Bram—Known Model Management, Carl, Dennis & Paddy, Dwight—Elite Amsterdam, Mitchell—The Amazing Faces, Raven Photography assistant: Thijs Jagers Styling assistant: Ali Javaid
I wanna hover with no shape.
Photography: Riccardo Dubitante Hair and make-up: Serena Congiu Model: Mohamed Bensalemâ€”WhyNot Models
Lowlands Section Paradise 2017 To Dutch festival fans, explaining Lowlands is like explaining the endless charm of the village you grew up in—be it a lot more adventurous and a lot less civilized. From the 18th until the 20th of August, the Netherlands’ biggest and boldest festival returns with 12 stages, more than 250 acts and performances, restaurants from all over the globe, a sauna and hot tub area, its own newspaper, a market… the list goes on. Glamcult is sure to embark on the acclaimed “camping flight to paradise” every single year, with this edition’s line-up making us extra excited. From indierock icons to dark club gems, here’s some of the acts you shouldn’t miss.
Aurora Halal SMIB Experimenting with hardcore hip hop, punk, noise and electronics almost as a hungry lioness dances with her prey, Death Grips show no interest in being nice or funky; their coarse sonic waves result in chopping, slashing and screaming—until even the mouths at the very back of the tent have fallen open in astonishment. Protect your ears, as the furious noise of drummer Zach Hill, producer Andy Morin and frontman MC Ride spares nobody, including the band itself. But rest assured, the terror pays off; among Death Grips’ fans are Björk, Tyler, The Creator and the late David Bowie. This is war; you’re invited into the trenches.
Brewing up a mix of Dutch, English and their selfinvented mother tongue, SMIB (Bims, aka de Bijlmer in reverse) rhyme over raw future beats. Don’t call them a hip-hop collective, however; these young entrepreneurs run their own brand that combines fashion, art, events—and rap. With their debut album, BAKUHATSU, Dutch rap royalty Ray Fuego, GRGY, Tads Thots, GHQST, Dess Finess, Fosa YG, Kut Mug, Loopey and producer KC started a fire that now burns everywhere. SMIB’s terrific shows are punk AF, so meet us in the mosh pit.
With wonderfully hypnotic techno, Aurora Halal proves that the underground doesn’t always have to be dark and crusty. That doesn’t mean this producer and visual artist from Brooklyn will make you dance through the club merrily, but her sets—partly played live, partly consisting of carefully selected deep cuts—will make you see the light at any moment of day (or night). Halal creates an irresistible tension on the dance floor with melodic, experimental techno. Her psychedelic edge touches acid, dub and electro—not of the lo-fi type, but crisp and bright for high-end sound systems and refined listeners on a sweaty floor.
After years of radio silence, the grand return of The xx this spring manifested in the form of a new record, a tour that sold out at the speed of light, and—last but by no means least—a Glamcult cover story. On I See You, the hushed pop connoisseurs sound familiar but reborn, with the solo success of Jamie shaking up the group’s dynamic and writing process. And that can be heard; The xx’s big third album reveals a more rapturous and sunny side of the group, but never loses its intensity due to the grand-but-subtle quality of songwriters/duet partners Oliver Sims and Romy Madley Croft. See you front stage!
That Abra started writing and producing R&B tracks in her bedroom is a matter of pure practicality. At age 18, the self-described “Darkwave Duchess” moved from London to Atlanta, where as a missionaries’ daughter she didn’t exactly get a warm welcome. For lack of communication irl, she found salvation in chat rooms and teaching herself to play guitar—and successfully so. When label honcho Father came across Abra’s acoustic rap covers, she was signed to Awful Records, ATL’s hottest art-meets-music collective. Holding on to the creative reigns, however, Abra released Princess in 2016, putting a raw spin on ’90s R&B and ’80s pop, reaching far beyond Atlanta in the meanwhile.
Who’s coming to congratulate Lowlands on its anniversary edition? Yup, the unstoppable rock typhoon who graced the festival with his presence during its very first flight. The 70-year-old Iggy Pop has not just liberally survived 2016, but with Post Pop Depression also delivered one of his best records to date. According to Iggy it’s his last, but that doesn’t mean the ever-fit godfather of punk is leaving the stage; on the contrary. Don’t miss this show; Iggy Pop on form is the living incarnation of lust for life.
Lowlands will take place on 18, 19 and 20 August at event site Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen. Tickets for Lowlands Paradise are €175 (excl. €10 service charge); for groups of ten it’s €165 (excl. service charge) per person. A festival ticket gives you access to three days at Lowlands, camping and a bus ride from the station. The official websites to get your tickets are lowlands.nl and ticketmaster.nl. Check lowlands.nl for the latest updates and more information.
GcGc Interview Festival
Stockists Acne Studios www.acnestudios.com
MAC Cosmetics www.maccosmetics.com
Ann Demeulemeester www.anndemeulemeester.com
Maison Margiela www.maisonmargiela.com
Anne Sofie Madsen www.annesofiemadsen.com
Maison the Faux www.maisonthefaux.com
Chin Men’s www.chinmens.com
Pig & Hen www.pigandhen.nl
Ronald van der Kemp www.ronaldvanderkemp.com
Christopher Shannon www.christophershannon.co.uk
Diesel Black Gold www.dieselblackgold.com
Stephen Jones www.stephenjonesmillinery.com
Dior / Dior Homme www.dior.com
Faith Connexion www.faithconnexion.com
Topman Design www.topman.com
Jean Colonna www.jeancolonna.com
Vivienne Westwood www.viviennewestwood.com
Junya Watanabe www.comme-des-garcons.com
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