APRIL 2017 ISSUE #223
free every month
the rewind issue
mean DO OR DIE
SALUTATIONS, On April 22, we’ll join indie record labels, stores and bands around the world to celebrate Record Store Day. We’ve always stood for music, but this month, we celebrate how it was made in the ol’ days. ‘Everything’s better on vinyl’, some say – and as you take in these 72 pages, you’ll realise that we agree.
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We’re throwing back to a simpler but no less creatively vibrant time and in music, we’ll bring you up-close with local-scene insiders who open up about the first vinyl records they bought (page 12). The traipse down memory lane also continues in our evolutionary timeline of video game consoles (page 56) and in our survey of what the most noteworthy ’90s sportswear brands are up to these days (page 30). As you hit ‘rewind’ with us, tuck into the offerings of three brave new restaurants rewriting the rules on time-honoured classics (page 61).
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If you feel that time’s moving too fast, this is the best way you can catch a breather and reminisce. So, get ready to get misty-eyed.
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It’s unmistakable – that gleam in MEAN’s eyes that prefaces the uncontainable excitement in his voice when he talks about his new EP, By Any Means. The credibility in his ascent has been underlined by his two prior projects, 2013’s In Flight and 2015’s Not Safe For Work – both of which deftly showcased his ability to imbibe trends and spit them out in his dashing, defiant image. But By Any Means reveals him to be on a whole other level of heavingly emphatic originality. It marks not a mere continuation of his past gains but an artistic sea change. Image courtesy of Gabe Chen Photography
initial v Eight local-scene head-turners wax lyrical about their first vinyl records.
One of indie rock’s greatest bands lets loose on Hot Thoughts.
BLAST FROM THE PAST ’90s sportswear brands revisit their throwback glory.
TRUE COLOURS Channel Cyndi Lauper’s loud, sassy ’tude.
BACK IN THE DAY Iconic beauty must-haves we grew up with.
10 essentials to achieve Dita Von Teese’s Old Hollywood glamour.
HALL OF GAME The evolutionary timeline of gaming consoles.
58 fossils from the future Retro-facing devices that ooze modern cool.
CLASSICS REMIXED Three new restaurants that are reimagining the classics.
Spring Summer 2017
Irish Setter Oxford Style N0. 9894 and No. 9895 A reproduction under style no. 895 in the 1950s of America, Red Wing released style no. 9895 Oxford with Gold Russet Sequoia leather in 2015. This year, Red Wing added style no. 9894 Oxford in Black Klondike leather. The coating of black dye on the surface of brown based leather creates a unique patina with the leather aging.
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SNAP OF THE MONTH C ONGRATULATIONS @FRECKLEAZ! TO LINE U P WIT H YO U R #THROW BACK THURSDAY, HERE ARE SOME OLD-SCHOOL THREADS YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE.
THIS MONTH’S SNAP OF THE MONTH WINS A $100 GIFT CARD FOR CHAMPION CLOTHING, COURTESY OF GOODLUCK BUNCH.
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WE HAVE 31 SETS OF B&O PLAY VOUCHERS (WORTH $100 EACH) UP FOR GRABS
â€œLife must be lived like play,â€? reads B&O PLAYâ€™s opening mantra. To the design-focused electronics brand, â€˜playâ€™ encapsulates zeal, spirited inquisition, positivity and necessary, well-deserved indulgence. Every B&O PLAY product revolves around a single goal â€“ to create an elevated, ethereal user experience distinguished by a medley of quality sound, functional design and commitment to expression. From gorgeous wireless headphones to chic ultra-portable speakers, each piece is a promise of affordable luxury, standard and style.
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SERVIN’ UP THE FRESHEST CONTENT
OUR EXCLUSIVE WEB HIGHLIGHTS THIS MONTH CHAT: BASEMENT JAXX
THE ELECTRONIC DUO TELLS US WHERE THEIR HEADS ARE AT DURING THEIR VISIT FOR SING JAZZ 2017.
WAX AND WANE
WHILE THE RESURGENCE OF VINYL HAS BEEN PRAISED BY MANY, IT’S BEEN LOATHED BY OTHERS.
CHAT: PHILLIP LEEDS
THE NEW YORK-BASED CREATIVE SHARES ON HIS ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER AND RETROSPECTIVE POLAROID BOOK, BIG SHOTS!
ADIDAS BY RAF SIMONS SS17 THE FASHION TRAILBLAZER’S COLLABORATION WITH ADIDAS HITS DOVER STREET MARKET’S E-SHOP.
ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS
THE BLUES WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HEAVY METAL – SAY WHAT? THESE PIONEERS CARVED UNLIKELY PATHS TO TODAY’S MOST DISTINCTIVE GENRES.
CHAT: EDU IMBERNON THE SPANISH DJ SHARES ON HOW HE WENT FROM SUNNY VALENCIA TO UNDERGROUND BERLIN AHEAD OF HIS APPEARANCE AT KILO LOUNGE.
HOT FOR HAMBURG JAPANESE CULINARY SUPERSTAR, KEISUKE TAKEDA, PUTS HIS SPIN ON THE BELOVED ‘HAMBURG’ STEAK.
URBAN DECAY X JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT THE COLLABORATIVE MAKEUP COLLECTION DONS STRIKING STROKES BY THE LATE NEO-EXPRESSIONIST PAINTER.
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return of heartbreak
Text Indran P Images Various Sources
“Teenage angst has paid off well”, Kurt Cobain deadpanned scornfully way back in 1993. But it has – not just for the bands that trafficked in it, but also in the music made because of it. And while the bleak prognosis of millennial frustration is mostly referenced obliquely, these days, Luxury Death – the Manchester boyfriendgirlfriend duo of Ben Thompson and Meg Williams – is refreshing for getting at it dead-on. The two wield a post-punk-minded handle on pop like the shoegaze greats of yore did. “You do it ’cos it hurts”, goes the hook of “Glue”, the title cut off their recent debut EP, and a vividly compelling illustration of how bright, fuzzy sounds can colour feelings so dark. They’re your bloody Valentine.
IT’S UNMISTAKABLE – THAT GLEAM IN HIS EYES THAT PREFACES THE UNCONTAINABLE EXCITEMENT IN HIS VOICE WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT HIS NEW EP, BY ANY MEANS. MEAN IS HAPPY. THESE DAYS, HIP-HOP IS EVER-PRESENT AND ON OUR SHORES, THROUGH HIS OUTPUT AS MEAN, NUR AHMAD MUHAIMIN HAS BEEN AFFIRMING WHY IT’S EMERGED AS SUCH A TABOOCRUSHING FORCE AND A CRUCIBLE OF INTERNET-AGE CREATIVITY. THE CREDIBILITY IN HIS ASCENT HAS BEEN UNDERLINED BY HIS TWO PRIOR PROJECTS, 2013’S IN FLIGHT AND 2015’S NOT SAFE FOR WORK – BOTH OF WHICH DEFTLY SHOWCASED HIS ABILITY TO IMBIBE TRENDS AND SPIT THEM OUT IN HIS DASHING, DEFIANT IMAGE. BUT BY ANY MEANS REVEALS HIM TO BE ON A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL OF HEAVINGLY EMPHATIC ORIGINALITY. A TENSE HYMNAL OF WORDY, MENACING AND CEREBRAL MUSIC THAT VENTURES INTO SOME DARK AND EXTREMELY GRIPPING EMOTIONAL TERRAIN, IT MARKS NOT A MERE CONTINUATION OF HIS PAST GAINS BUT AN ARTISTIC SEA CHANGE. HERE, HE TAKES US THROUGH ITS DO-OR-DIE STAKES.
A NEW KING “I’m free of my chains now – I finally feel so free”, is MEAN’s recurring answer to why By Any Means is what it is. Though intensely reflective, it’s the first of his projects to so aggressively champion his gifts as a rapper, songwriter and individual. In rap, he who pulls the sword of unwavering self-belief out of the obsidian pedestal that is scrutiny from fans and haters alike will have dominion over all. In this new five-song set, MEAN’s not only got the sword, he wields it with a focused-but-manic energy that’s challenging and awe-inspiring all at once. In the course of the record’s heady pound and after-midnight shimmer, you’ll find lines such as, “I’ma go all the way in while waitin’ for the judge to weigh in”, and “You don’t eff with Gods / Homie, we don’t drink the same drink”. Buoyed as they are by speaker-stretching beats of bass-first trap, these sentiments stem from a triumphant spirit whose sheer moodiness is proof that he’s not making hollow boasts. As a rapper, you’re supposed to say that you’re the best, that next to you, the competition is nothing. As MEAN lets on, he had to earn this fundamental confidence first. After a thoughtful exhale, he reveals that By Any Means is a “total reinvention and reintroduction” of himself. “I’ve never been this comfortable in my life, ever. Now, I don’t care about how people think about me. About how I dress, speak or the things I rap about”, he admits, before the clincher, “I just finally accepted the fact that I’m me. As an artiste, I know I bring something to the table by just being me”.
Text Indran P Image Gabe Chen Photography
By Any Means, then, is the sound of insecurities shed and self-doubt annihilated. It’s the veritable coronation of a new man. A man who can look haters in the eye and issue the imperative, “You know that I got that work / Uber to the spot like skrrt / Make ’em taste dirt when I put ’em in a coffin”. It’s metaphorical, yes. But it’s also real. “It all stems from me being comfortable with myself. There’s no faking or showing off here. Every word in every song is
a specific reflection of how I feel when I say it”, he assures – and you shouldn’t doubt him. OPEN BOOK The best, most universally resounding music has always had a tell-all aspect. In recent years, this has helped the potent hybrid of hip-hop and r&b become a revolutionary force in pop culture. Frank Ocean is proof of this. So is MEAN. The comparison is complementary to both because it affirms the emotional honesty they privilege in their work. It’s one thing to say that you’re the best. However, that claim only has value if you’re able to look yourself in the eye and confront your demons head-on before you take the crown. In this regard, By Any Means is an open book into MEAN’s psyche. It’s a repository of poignant, powerfully charged meaning that’s fascinating to discover. For instance, the title, besides underscoring how committed he is to his own cause, is also a play on his name – and an ode to a famous Malcolm X speech. Transcendence in the face of overwhelming adversity is a critical theme here. The concluding “Grim Reaper”, the emotional centrepiece of the EP, bears the lines, “Blood, sweat and tears I’m never getting back / One day I’ll leave and never coming back”. When asked about its import, MEAN admits to having suicidal thoughts in the past and that he’s fought hard to leave that dark space behind. In that same song, which he describes as the most brutal he’s ever written, he reminds the listener that, “An eye for an eye, a soul for a soul / If you work hard for that crop, Man, now that’s food for your soul”. No matter what advantages you have or setbacks you face, life is something that yields what you put into it – that’s the constant positive that is By Any Mean’s beating heart. So aligned are the stars over the EP that a few weeks before our chat with him, MEAN suffered a corneal ulcer, giving the “eye for an eye” line a devastatingly literal focus. Thankfully, he’s recovered well. Yet, we can’t help but think of how uncannily intertwined his life and art are, and just how convincingly he’s managed to wrap his lines around a larger picture.
MORE THAN DAPPER To onlookers, ‘Dapper Rapper’ is MEAN’s most familiar veneer. After all, fashion is a huge part of his aesthetic, and another arena in which he can’t help but stand out from the flock. “Other musicians have stylists. I don’t. I am my own stylist”, he declares, adding that even as a child, he’d put on a crisp shirt and tie during Hari Raya, while everyone else he knew was decked out in traditional garb. There’s the unmissable sense that he’s aiming for more than Raf-clad fash-cred. A lot of his ideas are punctuated by the Internet’s levelling of boundaries, not just between genres but between disciplines as well. That’s why each of By Any Means’ five tracks comes with artwork by visual artists handpicked by him. “I wanted to bring art into music and vice versa – I want everyone to experience a whole”. This synergistic appreciation of both the visual and the aural domains is also one of the EP’s many charms. The weapons-grade bars, deluxe weaves of bass and the storytelling that borders on high drama present in the music all paint in primary colours, a complex portrait of an artiste with a grand plan. This plan manifests in a compromise-free approach that sees even the enlisted featured guests, Australian rapper Judo and Malaysian sensation Airliftz, delivering stellar performances that complement the workings of MEAN’s artistic cosmos. Making music, like any endeavour that requires you to ‘perform’, is an avenue of selfmonumentalisation. We all want to do the best, to be the best, to be more than just a cypher – we all want that prize at the end of the road. As he sings on “Trollin’”, MEAN’s “in for the ride” and he’ll get there by any means necessary.
Catch MEAN live at the By Any Means launch happening at Canvas on April 7. For more information, visit canvasvenue.sg. bam.xs1.sg
VANESSA FERNANDEZ ARETHA FRANKLIN: AMAZING GRACE
The first record I ever bought was Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace album. I had bought a Crosley Cruiser portable turntable in Los Angeles and went vinyl-shopping at this spot in Atwater Village called Jacknife Records & Tapes. I loved the cover and Aretha Franklin has always been a singer I admired for her gospel background and powerful voice. When I was a DJ on 98.7FM years ago, I sang my show trailer to the tune of “Respect”, an earlier single of Franklin’s.
JEAN REIKI THOMAS SCHUMACHER: “WHEN I ROCK (JOHANNES HEIL REMIX)”
I’m a sucker for unexpected genre fusion. When I discovered the flip side of “When I Rock”, it threw my expectations out of whack. The melding of its gritty, heavy bassline, hiphop vocals and techno beats was a misfit’s wet dream. Physically, I was in Singapore, but the music teleported me to a weird place – I felt like a Compton hood kid in the Berlin warehouse scene. Although it took me about a month to save up my meagre weekly allowance to buy the vinyl at HMV’s Heeren branch, it did provide a lot of motivation to practice beat-matching on my turntables. Also, its yellow-coded surface was so easy on the eyes!
JOSHUA PILLAI BLACK MACHINE: HOW GEE JANE BLONDEL DAVID BOWIE: THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
I was lucky to grow up with an older sister and brother who were into lots of good music, so I ‘borrowed’ most of their stuff. But one of the first second-hand vinyl albums I remember buying at a jumble sale was David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. I loved this album so completely when I was 14 and till today, songs like “Moonage Daydream” still pop into my head. It just speaks to every kid who feels like a freak and an outsider. Having grown up in Scotland, and looking back, that era – the late ’60s and early ’70s – represents, to me, the epitome of underground-cool.
After paying up the $20 it cost, I rushed home and quickly unwrapped my first vinyl, Black Machine’s How Gee. I heard How Gee play on the radio and I was drawn to the track due to its famous saxophone intro. That day, I played that track repeatedly and admired the sleeve’s artwork, all the while handling it as if it was a Picasso original. That was the day a vinyl addict was born. Gone were my shady days of borrowing vinyl records from my brother with the intention of never giving them back.
PERK PIETREK EMJAY: MAKE SOME NOISE
I picked up my first record when I was 13 and didn’t have the slightest clue on how to choose the right one. So, I got a trance record that I attempted to figure out how to scratch with. It took me close to a week to learn that scratch DJs usually start off with hip-hop records. It was only then I realised that I had totally ruined my first vinyl record experience. Good times.
ADRIAN WEE GUNS N’ ROSES: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
The first piece of vinyl I purchased was GnR’s Appetite For Destruction. I was 15 and I got the LP from a music shop in Toa Payoh after I spent months saving up for it. I didn’t have a record player but I got the LP solely because it had a lyric sheet and I needed to get the words right so I could channel Axl Rose. I only revisited vinyl much later when I was in my wannabe-DJ phase and would spend all my meal money on dance and rock EPs and albums. I amassed a decent record collection that I loved dearly, and at the same time, kept a skinny figure by not having any money left for food. So, it was pretty much a win-win!
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE FIRST TIME; NOTHING LIKE THAT FOUNDATIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT KEEPS YOU ENDLESSLY THIRSTING FOR MORE AFTER. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT VINYL RECORDS, OF COURSE. IN HONOUR OF RECORD STORE DAY 2017, HERE ARE EIGHT OF THE LOCAL SCENE’S HEAD-TURNERS ON THEIR FIRST TIME.
NIKO ALPHONSO THE TURNTABLIST: SUPER DUCK BREAKS: THE SAGA BEGINS
Text Indran P Images Various Sources
DARREN DUBWISE AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED: PCP TORPEDO
The first vinyl I got came all the way from my hardcore days, when it was pretty normal for bands to put out EP releases only on vinyl. Back in those days, the only way to get hardcore or punk vinyl records in Singapore was either through Straits Distro – which Wan Vegan would run, popup-style, at hardcore and punk shows – or by making an order via Roxy Records, or by mail-order via a few American distributors. I remember two records, Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s PCP Torpedo 6” and Judas Iscariot’s Harrison Bergeron Bound? 7”, which were in the first batch of records I ordered from Lumberjack Distro, which has since shut down.
“Yo! Stop frontin’ and use your head…” – if you’re a turntablist from back in the day, you’ll know exactly what beat drops right after. You’ve also probably memorised every scratch sentence on the record. Super Duck Breaks is the seminal DJ scratch record. It’s one of the most important releases from the legendary Stones Throw Records label. And it just so happened to be the very two vinyl records I bought when I started DJing in 2004. Almost every scratch DJ I know has a pair of these breaks and at some point, has pretended to be DJ Qbert, scratching all night long to a great range of tempos of stripped-down beats. A must-have for all turntablists.
SHOUT OUT LOUD 014
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SCREAM TO BE A PUNK. NEITHER DO YOU NEED A TOWERING MOHAWK OR A MOLOTOV COCKTAIL – ALL YOU NEED IS SPIRIT. AND COPENHAGEN QUARTET COMMUNIONS HAS THAT IN SPADES. PUNK, AND ITS EVEN MORE RECALCITRANT SIBLING, POST-PUNK, ARE THE TWINNED CHANNELS THAT POWER THE RAMBUNCTIOUS BEATING HEART OF ITS DEBUT ALBUM, BLUE. BUT BANDLEADER AND FRONTMAN MARTIN REHOF – WHO SPENT SOME FORMATIVE YEARS WITH HIS BROTHER AND BANDMATE MADS IN THE WORLD’S ALT-ROCK CAPITAL, SEATTLE – IS A SAVVY ENOUGH SONGWRITER THAT HE IMBUES HIS BAND’S LEFT-OF-THE-DIAL STYLINGS, WITH AN UNCANNILY POP-Y BOUNCE. HERE, HE TAKES US INTO THE BLUE.
Would you consider Blue to be a step forward from the two EPs that came before? The melodies and the structure of the songs haven’t changed too much, but the production has. It’s gotten better, cleaner, more upfront, and less drenched in effects. We’ve narrowed everything down to the bone. I’m very attracted to things that are raw, simple and honest – nothing too pretentious or experimental. This record is going to be a springboard for even more good things to come. Well, it seems like rock and roll is going in a more experimental and electronic direction these days. What do you think about this current trend? I think it makes sense, considering that music’s being made on computers now. However, for us, there’s always been this mutual understanding that, ultimately, guitars will remain our driving force, even though we’ve added synthesisers to the album. We see ourselves as modern but with classic influences. In a way, it makes us stand out. People are surprised. Was it a conscious aim to balance punk and post-punk with a pop sensibility? I’d say it was a subconscious thing. We all have backgrounds listening to punk music, but I’m drawn to pop music as well. The melodies are very much based on that, whereas the musical attitude picks up on a lot of different things, including punk. You went to school near Freetown Christiania, a hippie commune. What was it like? Yes, I did attend high school across the street
from it. I used to go there for coffee during breaks and hang out with friends. There’s a place called Pusher Street where people buy their you-know-what. There’re cafes there and a skate park. It’s like its own little community, cut off from the rest of society, with its own rules. I don’t think there’s any other place like that in the world. It’s pretty cool. Would you agree that Seattle has a musical legacy that is hard for new bands to shake off? Possibly. Seattle has influenced my musical direction because of the people that I met there and grew up with – we bonded over the same type of music. Apart from that, with Communions, the fact that we’re doing very much our own thing compared to a lot of the music around us, and the scene we’re associated with, is just an indirect result of Mads and I not getting too caught up with trying to fit in anywhere. Living in different countries makes you care less about that. Can we expect you in Singapore anytime soon? It’s surreal to know that there are people in Singapore listening to us. It’s very cool. We would love to visit. It’s unfortunately unlikely with this album because we have a lot of shows planned already, but we’re hoping to release another album in the beginning of 2018. With that, it’ll be more likely, because we’ll have more to offer.
Text Indran P Image Lasse Dearman Interview courtesy of Hostess Asia and Sony Music Singapore
RAW POWER ENERGY IS INFECTIOUS. BUT WHEN IT’S TRANSMITTED WITH ENOUGH INTENSITY, IT BECOMES SUBLIME. IN ITS FOUR-ALBUM SWEEP, CLEVELAND, OHIO’S CLOUD NOTHINGS HAS UNLEASHED GRIPPINGLY VARIED ITERATIONS OF SIMULTANEOUSLY CATHARTIC AND DEVASTATING PERFORMANCES. LED BY GUITARISTFRONTMAN DYLAN BALDI, THE QUARTET OWNS A NOISE-PUNK IMPRINT SPECKLED WITH POP-LEANING HOOKS AND A BARE-IT-ALL EMOTIONAL THRUST. WE’RE DUE TO RECEIVE THESE TIDINGS LIVE BUT BEFORE THAT, BALDI OPENS UP ABOUT THE BAND’S NEW ALBUM, LIFE WITHOUT SOUND.
Text Indran P Image Jesse Liorla Interview courtesy of Songs For Children
You’ve said that the title ‘Life Before Sound’ is inspired by the concept of not realising something was previously missing in your life until it’s there. What are some instances in which you experienced this? It’s more about feeling comfortable with the fact that you don’t have everything you want, and that you may never will. I think that’s just something everyone realises after a certain point. You can’t just get everything you want all the time. Making peace with that and feeling comfortable with what you have is a very important step in life. With three records behind it, was there any difference in how Life Without Sound was recorded? It was pretty different. The studio where we recorded Life Without Sound was much nicer, the recording process was three times as long, and the songs themselves felt like they had a little more weight to them than Here And Nowhere Else. I enjoyed both processes but they were basically opposite ways of working. I think, for the next record, I’d like to return to the more hectic process that led to Here And Nowhere Else. It’s fun to make records quickly. The album’s last track, “Realise My Fate”, is one of the most emotionally bracing ones you’ve written. Can you share what you were going through at the time? That song was inspired by a general sense of confusion in my life. I wrote that two years ago, right at the end of the last tour for Here And Nowhere Else and I didn’t really know what direction to take the band at that point, or what to do with my whole life, really. That song is just about trying to figure out what your next path in life is. Now, it still holds the same meaning. We’re done with Life Without Sound, so it’s time to think about what’s next. I like to always be looking forward.
You’ve called Life Without Sound a new age record. Would you say it’s your most optimistic record? Sort of. I think it’s a record about coming to terms with negativity. Just taking the negative parts of life and finding ways to combat them, or to live with them in some way. And helping others through those negative times. So, yes, it definitely is based on positive thinking. Your vocal performances live, and on record, are some of the most intense in contemporary indie rock. “Psychic Trauma” is a good example of this. Who are some singers that you admire? I like some of my friends’ voices a lot. Joe Casey from Protomartyr has a very interesting and emotive voice, and I think Michael Kasparis from Anxiety is one of the craziest singers I’ve heard in awhile. Kayla Cohen from Itasca has a beautiful, understated way of singing as well. How do you feel about performing live now, compared to when you first started? I love it, I always have. Playing music with my friends is what I’d be doing even if no one cared about it, so the fact that people come to see us play just makes it better every time. If you could pick someone, dead or alive, to collaborate with, who would it be? Jerry Seinfeld. He just seems like he might be good at acoustic guitar.
Catch Cloud Nothings live at Hood Bar and Café on April 18. cloudnothings.com
TRUE GRIT GRIME AND BEYOND – WHERE ‘BEYOND’ ENCOMPASSES A THRALL OF SPOKEN WORD, BATTLE RAP AND TRADITIONAL HIP-HOP SOUNDS. THAT’S THE TRAJECTORY OF REQ’S STAR. BORN IN BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND BUT NOW BASED IN SINGAPORE, THE EMCEE HAS ISSUED A NEW MISSION STATEMENT IN HIS DEBUT EP, AGAINST ALL ODDS. HARD-AS-NAILS ASSERTIVE BUT BORNE ALSO BY AN EMOTIONAL NUANCE INFORMED BY HIS MULTI-CULTURAL OUTLOOK, IT’S A FLAG PLANTED ON NEW, REFRESHINGLY ENGAGING ARTISTIC GROUND. HE GIVES US THE LOW-DOWN HERE.
You went to the Philippines for a charity outreach with the Academy of Rock, where you also filmed the music video for “Know Me Like That”. Tell us about that experience. It was a real eye-opener but fun at the same time. I got to see how people really live in a completely different environment from most of us; where their daily routines are so far from ours. It brought new levels of appreciation to the things I treasure and made me reflect on the things that were missing in my life. The shoot was quite unplanned. We shot there because the environment and scenery were great. You’ve ventured across the spectrum of rap, from spoken word to grime and then to traditional hip-hop. What made you realise that this was the mode of expression for you? I’ve been writing from a young age. I have a background in theatre and performing and have always been more inclined to creative work. I know it’s cliche, but as a young man, I wasn’t comfortable talking about how I feel, so I used to write my thoughts down. It was my love for hip-hop that first gave me a platform. Grime represents where I come from and I really want to fly the grime flag in Asia. English emcees always value being able to rap over various genres, since transitions are something we’ve grown up with. From drum & bass to garage, most U.K. emcees will work with all kinds of sounds. How big a part do your heritage, your culture, and the countries you’ve lived in, play in your music? They play a huge role. I spent a lot of my teen years as one of the only mixed-race kids in my social setting. This very much shapes a lot of the views that I’ve incorporated in music. Growing up in the U.K. and seeing the scene grow from people rapping in an American accent to where it is now is hugely inspiring. I see parallels with Singapore hip-hop too, which I hope grows globally like the U.K. scene. Do you prefer freestyling or written rap? I definitely consider myself as more of an emcee who writes his bars. Freestyling is an important and valued skill, but as with anything, I think you learn more about an artiste when their lyrics have been consciously written rather than off the cuff. Saying that, though, freestyling with other emcees is always a lot of fun. Why did you shorten your moniker from Requiem to REQ? For years, my name was Requiem, which eventually I felt was a bit dark, but was a word that reflected how I was feeling when I was younger. Most people call me REQ anyway so I shortened it. It’s a lot friendlier to pronounce as well!
Text Indran P Image Tim Suen
How does Against All Odds tell your story as an artiste? I think that everyone has a unique story, but for myself, I tried to incorporate my upbringing in different social environments into my music. I hope that comes through. Having experienced life in different countries, from the U.K. to Hong Kong and Singapore, I feel I have faced both the benefits and difficulties of each individual society, which has been inspiring to say the least.
THE ANALOG GIRL
LET THERE BE LIGHT
MIDWAY THROUGH GUIDING US AROUND THE LUSH SOUNDSCAPE OF HER NEW ALBUM, GOLDEN SUGAR CRYSTALS, LOCAL ELECTRONIC MUSIC DOYENNE MEI WONG UTTERS THE TRUISM, “THE ONLY THING CONSTANT ABOUT LIFE IS IMPERMANENCE”. WHY THIS IS REMARKABLE IS BECAUSE IT RESONATES THROUGHOUT WHAT IS VERY OBVIOUSLY HER MOST UPLIFTING AND LIFE-AFFIRMING RELEASE YET. A MASTERFUL SHAMANESS OF MOODS, WONG COMMANDS AN ENVIABLE HANDLE ON DREAM POP AND MINIMAL TECHNO THAT’S RESULTED IN MUSIC THAT HEWS TO A PARTICULARLY DARK VEIN. BUT YEARS AFTER HER PERVIOUS RECORD, TONIGHT YOUR LOVE, SHE’S BACK WITH SUBLIME TIDINGS THAT ARE NO LESS POIGNANT. SHE LETS ON MORE HERE.
Text Indran P Image Julius Landau
How would you sum up the five years that have passed since Tonight Your Love? I took a five-year break. There are a couple of songs that were written about six or seven years ago but most were written in 2015. It’s quite far apart from the last one. Many things were going on. After that album was released, I was touring quite a bit and collaborating with musicians from overseas, including Portugal. I was also working on many ad-hoc projects, which is why the new album took this long. Why “Golden Sugar Crystals”? I drink a lot of coffee and I always like it with packets of golden sugar crystals. I wanted to convey something positive and New Age-y. When I was writing the album, I was also trying to refocus my thoughts in a more creative direction, as opposed to some issues going on in my life. There was negativity and toxicity surrounding me, so I took to writing and it helped me regain my perspective. Writing has always been therapeutic, but with this album, it was particularly so. A lot of my music is very dark but I intended for
this record to be brighter – in every way – from the beginning.
which is a turning point in the album, reflects this quite well.
Would that also translate to the album cover, which seems to depict some idyllic paradise? That’s actually an old photograph. I was looking through some old photographs that my father had taken of Singapore and I chanced upon that particular one. It was taken from a plane as he was coming back from Hong Kong. There aren’t any filters on it but it still looks otherworldly. My fascination with the idea of the flight is also one of the ideas behind the record. I also rediscovered ABBA’s “Eagle” in the midst of recording the album. It’s such a magical song and it put me in this soaring mood.
“More Than You Know” is one of the album’s standouts and also one of the most poignant songs here. What does that song mean to you? It’s a love song, lyrically speaking. It’s about meeting someone that you feel connected to and, though you’ve always been friends, the possibility of there being something more to the relationship cannot be denied. There’s a line that goes, “I’ll give you anything you want”. It’s about taking that leap of faith for somebody else but not in a possessive way. There are a few songs on the album that I wrote with film scenarios in mind, and this is one of them.
Golden Sugar Crystals is quite a break from the dreamier sounds that you’re associated with. Was this a conscious move on your part? Yes. I didn’t want to make something that sounded ‘dream pop’. Instead, I wanted to go for something more psychedelic and busiersounding. Though I used a lot of effects, I changed up how I used them here. “A Circle”,
Would you say that this album does for you what you wanted it to, emotionally? Yes, to a certain extent. Besides dispelling negative energy, these songs feel like a cleansing. I hope that when people listen to it, they find some solace for their own lives, too.
THNKS FR TH MMRS
IF THE TOTALITY OF THE WORDS ‘JIMMY EAT WORLD’ MEANS SOMETHING TO YOU, YOU MUST BE CLUED IN ON EMONIGHTSG: THE B-SIDES, A PARTY SERIES THAT’S AS HEART-ON-SLEEVE AS ITS NAME. THE BRAINCHILD OF LOCAL COLLECTIVE LOOK MA, NO HANDS – COMPRISING BRYAN STA MARIA, EDWIN WALLIMAN, AMELIA CHEN, AND RITZ ANG, AND CURRENTLY EMANATING FROM REFUGE – IT’S A WHOLEHEARTED EMBRACE AND SINCERELY UNIRONIC CELEBRATION OF THE BYGONE EMO AGE, AND ONE OF THE BEST PARTIES ON OUR SHORES. HERE, THE FOUR SPILL THEIR HEARTS ON HOW IT ALL HAPPENED. How did EMONIGHTSG: The B-Sides take shape? Bryan: Amelia was over at my place and I wanted to clean up my room. I was rifling through all my old band T-shirts that I couldn’t fit into anymore and we started to long for a way to relive and preserve that ‘emo’ era of our secondary school years – when songs by these bands could actually make us cry. Later, we found out via Instagram that these parties were already being done overseas and decided to start one of our own here. Ritz: Within the week, we met at Koi at Haji Lane, and decided to throw our party there. Less than a month separates the moment we conceived of the idea to the day we actually executed it.
Did reconnecting with the music give you any fresh perspectives on it? R: Yes. It made it obvious that it’s not all about hip-hop, which is what most people who go out to clubs are listening to now. There’s other stuff out there. It also made it obvious that it’s okay to not be ‘cool’ in the club. It’s okay to rock out and sing to songs from 10 years ago. It’s okay to dance around and not have ‘moves’. Bryan, from your unique vantage point as the frontman of a band, how different is DJing for a crowd? B: Since Emo Night is held in a club and alcohol is flowing, the crowd it attracts is more ‘loosey-goosey’, in general. People just seem
to have fewer inhibitions in a club – that’s the biggest difference. They’re not as afraid of being judged for dancing or singing since that’s what they came to do. In a live setting, we have less control over how the audience reacts to what it’s seeing. Lastly, what’s the definitive emo song? A: Jimmy Eat World’s “23”. I was also 23 when I heard it. R: “Rollercoaster” by Blink-182. E: “The Anthem” by Good Charlotte. The story of a loser who wanted to be cool. B: Normally, I’d say any Taking Back Sunday song. But now, it’ll have to be “Darlin’” by Between The Trees.
EMONIGHTSG: The B-Sides happens at Refuge every first Thursday of the month. facebook.com/EMONIGHTSG
LOOK MA, NO HANDS
Text Indran P Image Mark Teo Photography
What do you remember of the first Emo Night? Amelia: It was in June 2015. I was just recovering from dengue fever. Bryan actually DJed with an iMac. I also saw friends from way back that I hadn’t seen in years. It was crazy to think that they all came together from word of mouth alone. B: That was the first time I ever DJed, and nothing has changed since then. I borrowed somebody’s CDJs, learnt how to use Serato and just went for it.
Edwin: I thought there were going to be about 20 to 30 people; first-degree friends. But there were people lining up across the street. It felt like an underground, DIY gig but in a club setting. That was when I realised we were on to something; that we could expand it into something bigger. It was also nice to know that other people connected so well to music that we each felt was for ‘us’.
THE OLD NEW FOUR BANDS MOVING FORWARD BY THROWING BACK COLD WAR KIDS
The definitive soundtrack-makers to the lives and times of every bearded and bespectacled hipster, Cold War Kids authored a spiel of sparse, old-timey folkrock that is contiguous with the mania for all things ‘artisanal’ and pre-Internet.
SOUND OF OUR TIMES
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We’re at a stage now, where at any moment, there’s news on our feeds that impels a WTF-am-I-reading reaction. You don’t need a reminder of what’s happening in the world because you’re living in it – history is at an ‘Apocalypse Now’ point, that – though frustrated and exhausted from the incessant barrage of bad news we may be – we simply cannot plead ignorance to. It’s in these heavingly trying times that we need music of action and urgency and, as if on schedule, Washington, D.C. quartet Priests has furnished a manifesto and salve in its debut album, Nothing Feels Natural. It’s totally normal, and even expected, of a band that identifies as ‘punk’, to headline its statements with something like Nothing Feels Natural. But one of the band’s great gifts is that it’s quick to affirm how staggeringly obvious it is that its stance is not some pouty pose. Helmed by frontwoman and songwriter Katie Alice Greer, the music is a shock-and-awe mix of retro elements made combustible by modern
sensibilities. On a bed of surf rock – the breezy, hook-filled variant perfected by the Beach Boys – guitarist G.L. Jaguar, bassist Taylor Mulitz and drummer Daniele Daniele stack a teetering array of harsh noise that culls from punk, jazz and industrial schools. But never do they trip up. More a multi-tiered edifice than a house of cards, Nothing Feels Natural avoids the one-note essence of a lot of ostensibly fist-up music by blessing its harshness with an emotional polyvalence. There’s a moment on the bracing “Suck” where Greer implores, “Please don’t make me be someone with no sympathy”, affirming that the political is indeed extremely personal. In the face of so much forgettable and transitory music, Priests is a flag planted firmly in the ground – a hope that lessons from the past can possibly make right the present.
If your hit single is a ditty called, “Let’s Dance To Joy Division”, then your backward-gazing is pretty immaculate. This Liverpudlian trio has survived the bust of the second Britpop wave by being savvy archaeologists. Sorry, Kaiser Chiefs.
Blues is the sound of historical struggle. Led Zeppelin made it loud and now, Alabama Shakes is making it contemporary. Its frontwoman Brittany Howard has a honeyed vocal range that also unleashes epic howls to rival the weariest bluesmen.
No other act in the millennial indie world has made the ’80s so much a part of their artistic imperative as M83. Faithful to the synth-first mode to a fault, Anthony Gonzalez is an eternal dreamer, a lost-in-space voyager through sounds cheesy and sublime.
GARAGE DAYS RE-REVISITED EP METALLICA My first Metallica record – and now my most treasured vinyl record. Every cover is fed through the Metallica filter in gloriously thrash-y style and it never fails to get me headbanging.
KIND OF BLUE MILES DAVIS My all-time favourite. This opened up the world of jazz to me. I’ve heard this so many times and I’m still not bored of it. An essential piece of jazz to own.
老歌 (OLDIES) 蔡琴 (CAI QIN) Here’s one worth buying if you’re looking out for Mandarin albums. Qin’s voice is like wine, and it’s best heard on vinyl. The songs are old classics and her renditions are beautifully done.
PAUL’S BOUTIQUE BEASTIE BOYS I love the Beasties, and to me, Paul’s Boutique is one of the best hip-hop albums ever committed to wax. The record even comes in a triple gatefold that depicts a panorama of a New York City street in full glory.
SOLID AIR JOHN MARTYN Solid Air is perhaps Martyn’s most known album. It’s a fine mix of folk, jazz and psychedelia. Reissued in half-speed mastering at Abbey Road Studios, this is the version to get your hands on.
K&D SESSIONS KRUDER & DORFMEISTER This downtempo classic gave birth to all future chillout albums. The five-LP reissue box set version sounds the best. Perfect, if you’re looking to test your Hi-Fi for the low ends.
LOVE IS HELL RYAN ADAMS Love Is Hell is perhaps Ryan Adams’ most tortured album, and on this Mobile Fidelity reissue, that pain comes across beautifully. Listen to his version of “Wonderwall” and see if you’re not moved. This is definitely a box set worth saving up for.
AS WE GET CLOSER TOWARDS RECORD STORE DAY 2017, IT’S ONLY FITTING THAT WE HONOUR THOSE WHO LABOUR TO KEEP THE WHEELS OF STEEL SPINNING. ON OUR SHORES, ROBIN CHUA AKA KIDG IS ONE SUCH TROOPER. ARMED WITH A FORMIDABLE VINYL RECORD PAYLOAD AND A WINKINGLY SAVVY WAY OF MAKING YOU BUST A MOVE, HE CO-PILOTS THE LONG-RUNNING POPTART PARTY SERIES, WHICH COMMON CONSENSUS REGARDS AS EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE INDIE DANCE NIGHT HERE. BUT CHUA’S COMMITMENT TO THE VINYL LIFE ENDURES EVEN AFTER THE PARTY ENDS, AS, BY DAY, HE MANS THE SHIP AT LOCAL RECORD STORE, HEAR RECORDS, IN CHINATOWN. BELOW, HE LIFTS THE LID ON HIS TREASURE CHEST OF VINYL JEWELS.
FOLK SINGER MUDDY WATERS I’m not huge on blues but this one is brilliant on vinyl. The recording is superb and there are a few different pressings to choose from. I recommend the one issued by Analogue Productions label.
LATE NIGHT TALES DAVID HOLMES I love David Holmes, and this is easily one of Late Night Tales’ best compilations. With each side of this 2LP having its own mix, all the songs on this eclectic selection fit together nicely. Like a glass of aged scotch, this is best consumed at night.
Text Indran P Images Various Sources
HATS THE BLUE NILE This is the album that got me back into collecting records again; every song is sublime. Think late-night melancholy set in noir – best savoured on vinyl.
ONCE MORE WITH FEELING The forthcoming full reveal of Spoon’s ninth album has to be prefaced with the obvious: Spoon is a capital-G great band. The band has earned that status by making uncompromisingly enchanting and affective music that – free of preoccupations such as ‘indie’ and ‘mainstream’ – is a matchlessly original legacy that exists on its own terms. Every album since its debut LP, 1996’s Telephono, has made more of a cultural impact. Interpol’s Paul Banks once stated that his band wouldn’t exist if not for Spoon. And Hot Thoughts will be the ninth time that he’s proven right. In 2014, when the band signed off on They Want My Soul, the critical community bedecked it with
the sort of reception that makes any follow-up release a high-stakes affair. But you don’t get so far and do so well without knowing how to top yourself, and so, locking arms with Soul’s coproducer Dave Fridmann, frontman Britt Daniel and co. did their brave work. Brave because Hot Thoughts features no acoustic guitar – none. Instead, going by the titular lead single, we’ll be receiving a world-opening sonic bedrock of rock and electro sounds, flipped in deft, dashing ways. There’s always been something old-timey in Daniel’s earnestness and it’s present here as well; “Hot thoughts all in my mind and all of the time, yeah”, he sings on the hook, sounding as
sincere in his assertiveness as he always has. But all around his voice are twinkling guitar notes, plinking bells and a spandex-tight groove folding into each other in Escher-like movement. Likewise, second single “Can I Sit Next to You”, boasts a disco thump constantly held in check by swelling strings and a housey keyboard riff. What is all this? Too organic to be ‘electronic’ and too diverse to be ‘rock’, it’s Spoon releasing into the cosmos a whole new musical blueprint. Indulge your hot thoughts.
WHEN IT GOES BANG
Text Indran P Images Various Sources
HITS FROM THE SPOON VAULT
TELEPHONO (1996) This is where it all began. Spiky, Pixies-esque rock was the play here but unlike the alt gawds, it was free of demented energy and more about the vibe. “Don’t Buy The Realistic” makes for an unforgettable testimony.
GIRLS CAN TELL (2001) Two records later, the band would find the footing it’s maintained between riff-y perkups and emphatic moments of pull-away silence. This is where the band showed how music can be the negative space around a human voice.
GIMME FICTION (2005) That various songs from this set soundtracked The Simpsons, Wedding Crashers, Stranger Than Fiction, and 500 Days Of Summer is indicative of its reach. Lots of rock bands use pianos – but no other band played them like drums.
THEY WANT MY SOUL (2014) Coming after a bout of exhaustion, Soul once again affirmed Spoon as the most consistent band of its time. Where others had maxed-out early, Soul was an eighth hole in one for its lush, filigreed, baroque, and pristine sound.
justice for all
Diplomacy has it that there are two sides to every issue. In the arena of public opinion, however, there’s only one side that matters – the right side. Here are three recent developments from the musicverse that prove it.
TY SEGALL VS STREAMING
COACHELLA VS URBAN OUTFITTERS
PORTUGAL. THE MAN VS INFOWARS Though decades removed from its heyday, rock
In this age of socially mediated #synergy and
The funniest thing about this whole fiasco is the
cross-promotion, it’s rare for an artiste to take
fact that it took this long to actually happen. For
music is still potent enough to call out BS.
up something as arcane as ‘the indie cause’.
the entirety of its existence, Urban Outfitters has
This time, it’s alt-rock rippers Portugal. The
But for lo-fi punk demigod Ty Segall, the indie
presented itself as the purveyor of uniforms for the
Man directing its ire at InfoWars, a far-right
ethos deserves to be protected and upheld.
hipsters that regard the Coachella Valley Music And
media outlet helmed by known conspiracy
In a recent statement, he declared that music
Arts Festival as their mecca. But there’s a difference
theorist Alex Jones, famed for believing that
streaming platforms are straight-up ripping off
between inspiration and theft, and products such as
9/11 was an inside job by the U.S. government.
independent musicians by making their music
“Coachella Boot,” “Coachella Mini Dress,” “Coachella
In the music video for its new song “Feel It
available for (much less) than a song. “You have
Pocket Tank”, and “Coachella Valley Tunic” are
Still”, the band has included a scene of a man
to be like Madonna or something to actually
indicative of red-handed theft. Coachella’s parent
burning an InfoWars newspaper, prompting
make a real royalty from that”, he opined,
company Goldenvoice has since filed a complaint
this characteristically deluded and laughable
reaffirming his decision to never give up his
against the clothing brand in a California federal
response from Jones: “Che Guevara and Karl
formidable catalogue for digital consumption.
court, and the suit is expected to be underway soon.
Marx are proudly smiling up from hell”.
ONLY WHEN IT RAINS If you’re a technology-fearing paranoiac, you now have one more reason to freak out. Texan experimental force White Denim has a new song out on Spotify, but here’s the kicker – you can only hear it when it rains. Yes, using geotargeting technology, the streaming giant will only make “No Nee Ta Slode Aln” available in areas experiencing rainfall. This is par for the course, given the band’s fundamental zaniness but it’s weird how real it feels this time. If you’re sceptical, try playing the song on a sunny day; you’ll get nothing. whitedenimmusic.com
TIME FOR PLEASURE Feist is back. Following a six-year silence after her critically celebrated fifth album, Metals, the Canadian indie pop mainstay will return later this month with a new LP in tow, christened Pleasure. Nothing else has been revealed about it except its title track – which exhibits a pretty remarkable changeup of the Feist imprint. Murkily lo-fi and surging with a distorted alt-rock thrust, it’s the most aggressive guise of the singer yet. Whether or not the rest of the album will be like this is anyone’s guess. Still, this is quite the surprise. listentofeist.com
“STILL INDIE”. That’s what millennial saviour Chance The Rapper wants you to know about him and the values he holds dear. Having enjoyed a recent zeitgeistseizing explosion in exposure, Chance is now contending with haters who’ve emerged from the woodwork to take him to task for not being, despite his long-maintained claims, indie enough. In a recent series of tweets, he revealed that though he received half a million dollars from Apple Music for his mixtape, Colouring Book, he’s still very much an independent musician. “I just wanna remain transparent. Folks out there without a deal need to know they’re doing everything right; just keep at it”, he encourages. chanceraps.com music
ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN This one’s for the Brit rock purists. If you’ve vehemently believed that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones Americanised themselves and sold out irredeemably, you’ll be pleased to know that Ray Davies of The Kinks – the legendary British rock group unswerving loyal to its flag – was recently knighted. Now in the company of Mick Jagger, Goldie and Paul McCartney, Sir Ray Davies was influential in ushering the British regionalism, that later bands like Oasis and Pulp made their musical hook, into the mainstream. His three-chord template was also the crucible from which heavier bands, such as The Stooges and Black Zeppelin, found life.
Thankfully, Actress hasn’t made good on his plans to retire. Though he called it quits after his 2014 masterpiece, Ghettoville, British techno sensation Darren J. Cunningham has a new LP locked for release. AZD will be his fifth long-form opus and is slated to emerge later this month. In the form of a first taste, there’s lead single “X22RME”, a walloping techno smacker bookended by low-key swathes of noise. Spoiler alert: there’s also an abrupt change-up in the beat, whose synth-pinging, R2D2 feel provides the perfect foil for the track’s heady pound of a backbone. Techno nights are going to get so fun. werkdiscs.com
FATHER JOHN MISTY
T.S. Eliot called April the “cruellest” month. He’s right for the reasons he outlined in The Waste Land, but he’s also right about something else he couldn’t possibly have known – Father John Misty will release his new album, Pure Comedy, this month. Now, FJM is a cruel figure – as a troll, his attacks on pop culture have surpassed the bounds of satire, which is why Pure Comedy will be anything but. It boasts a 74-minute sprawl that, this early on, attests to its maker’s IDGAF spirit. Behold how he sheds his meme-friendly approach and goes right for the neck in the epic baroque rock title track.
FIVE TIMES LUCKY
NEVER FORGOTTEN It hasn’t stopped. After losing David Bowie and Prince, we’re now bereft of Chuck Berry, who passed away from natural causes at 90 recently. Inarguably one of the most influential musicians in the history of recorded music, Berry casts a long shadow over blues and rock & roll; everyone from The Rolling Stones onwards has been upfront about the debt they owe him. A pioneer of guitar solos, Berry was also amongst the first to define the excess and debauchery of that informed the rock & roll lifestyle. He also once famously punched Keith Richards in the face. Rest in power, Sir. Since April 2016, developments that hint at an upcoming Gorillaz album have gotten increasingly revelatory. This year-long somewhat-reveal culminated in the recent unveiling of a 26-song tracklist featuring a jaw-dropping lineup of guests, including Grace Jones, De La Soul, Danny Brown, Jehnny Beth from Savages, Vince Staples, Pusha T, Kelela, and more. While no title has been announced, since-takendown YouTube clips with countdown clocks were initially released, escalating the anticipation for the record. In the meantime, all we can do is wait for what this stacked bench of players will bring. gorillaz.com
DANCE APOCALYPTIC At its most elemental level, Suicide was always a dance band. Making bodies bust a move to its jagged, no wave transmissions, to music that was only so in quotation marks, was one of the band’s singular gifts. A year after its frontman Alan Vega died in his sleep, his bandmate, multiinstrumentalist Martin Rev, has announced the impending drop of his own solo album. Demolition 9 will be loaded with 34 brain-battering tracks of synth-noise from the man that helped start it all. Peep the all-consuming “In Our Name”, which sounds like a punk concert happening in the midst of a killing field, for a foretaste. martinrev.com music
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THE ANALOGUE WAXING ATTACHÉ BY SHARON SEET
LYRICAL ABOUT THE PHYSICAL
I was 20 – 15 years ago – when I purchased my first turntable, a Technics SL-1200MK5. I was living in London at the time, and decided to walk into the jazz section of a record store to make my first vinyl record purchase. As I was browsing through the various shelves of records, I stumbled upon the collaborative album by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. I knew who Coltrane was, of course, but my knowledge of his music then was nascent, and limited to his solo work. What compelled me to pick up the album was not just the discovery of him having a collaborative album, but the gorgeous album art. It was a photograph of the dapper Coltrane, his saxophone, and the elegant Hartman, shrouded in darkness – two cool jazz cats. I bought the album, brought it home, played it, and was wowed by how lush and sublime the music was. It was a transcendental experience for me, listening to Hartman’s sexy baritone voice set against Coltrane’s poignant saxophone, in pure analogue delight. I had stumbled onto one of the greatest albums in the jazz canon. That experience alone had me hooked onto jazz and the vinyl delivery system, and it’s a love affair that has continued to this day.
Therein lies the beauty of collecting and listening to vinyl records. Apart from the unique analogue sound imparted by a record, what appeals to me as a vinyl collector and music fan is the physicality of the medium and the memories it can forge. Over the years, I have amassed a fairly large record collection, and there is one thing that often astounds me as I go through them to pick what to listen to. Ever so often, I’d pick up an album and get a sudden rush of memories – taking me back to the time I first laid hands on it in a record store; playing it for the first time; or to a riveting conversation I had about that particular LP. There is power in the physicality and its ability to trigger nostalgia and memories. I remember the music played on the turntable, when I had friends over for a Billie Holiday and Nina Simone listening session; lamenting love lost while listening to The Smiths, Bon Iver or Jeff Buckley; or when I was in a record store, discussing the merits or lacklustre qualities of a particular album with gregarious staff or fellow customers. Listening to music on vinyl truly deepens the bonds between music and listener. In the new world order of fleeting digital connections and conversations, and algorithm-driven song- and playlistrecommendations, I have increasingly sought refuge in listening and buying my music on vinyl. In that deliberate act of taking the time to acquire the record, extracting the vinyl from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable and dropping the needle – with a glass of whisky or wine in hand – time somewhat slows down, the music flows, and one feels ever so present and connected to the music. In the last year or so, I have been part of the team at The Analog Vault, a record store specialising in – you guessed it – jazz, principally, as well as hip-hop, blues, soul, reggae, electronica, modern classical, and indie. We at The Analog Vault hope to not only impart the unsurpassed experience of collecting and listening to music on vinyl, but also introduce, to a wider audience, music that represents good artistry and finesse in execution. Collecting and listening to music on vinyl is admittedly an indulgent hobby, but if you love music, and crave a deeper connection to music and its makers, there is really no better medium than the vinyl record.
DIRTY PROJECTORS Dirty Projectors
(Domino Recording Co Ltd) No matter how one looks at it, the Dirty Projectors make pop music. High order, eclectic, esoteric, but ostensibly pop. Even if it is a breakup album like this. The group’s now essentially Dave Longstreth, who broke up with bandmate Amber Coffman, about whom this eighth album is. It’s a notable shift away from adventurous indie-pop into glitchy r&b (which has always been an undercurrent). In fact, “Death Spiral” recalls of Justin Timberlake’s Futuresex/Lovesounds days, with its Timberland-esque staccato beats and horns, and Longstreth’s falsetto. When he moves bodies, he does so via the Calypso-flavoured beats of the Solange co-written “Cool Your Heart” featuring Dawn Richard. But when he is moving hearts, it’s through the affecting “Little Bubble”, that we know is also all about him remembering the times, and moving on.
NO RESOLUTION Tim Kasher
(15 Passenger Records) Adulthood sucks, and sometimes relationships do too. Listening to Tim Kasher’s latest just puts it all into perspective – with some authentic empathy and understanding, his everyman singing, and oodles of orchestral backing. Yea, call us suckers for all things string-filled and cinematic (well, this is meant to soundtrack the Omaha-born rocker’s self-written and directed character-driven film about an engaged couple, out later in the year), but hearing the frontman of Cursive and The Good Life sing sombre, sobering songs instead of shouting indie emo-rock tunes is a surprise we like. “Hollow” washes out into a mesmerising sprawl and “Post Script” twists and turns with quiet-loud moments, with the album bookended by the confessional “Not Over You”.
PICKS OF THE MONTH VOLCANO
(Heavenly Recordings) Having one of the best-selling vinyl albums of 2014, lauded for bringing neo-psychedelia back into popularity, compared to the luminaries (David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Marc Bolan are but three) – the Kettering quartet sure has its work cut out. The band’s sophomore is chockfull of stomping spaceysynths and woozy-pop, with the band now playing in the major key of anthemic and melodic.
(Suicide Squeeze Records) We’ll throw The Killers and Interpol out as bait. If you have bitten, then listen, ‘cos Minus the Bear harks back somewhat to that era of synth+guitar rock, except that this band’s a little more progressive (their last original full-length was five years ago) and the four-piece has their own dreamier, math rock leanings to help them stand out. “Last Kiss” should bring back those loose-footed indie-dance rock days.
(Mello Music Group) You like Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar? Here’s Brooklyn transplant Oddisee (born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa) to pull you through the dark days with sobering grace. His music may be funky liveband boom-bap hip-hop, but the tone’s all serious. The SudaneseAmerican’s fluid with the verses about struggles (both socio-political and personal) on “Hold It Back”, “NNGE” and “Like Really”.
GANG SIGNS & PRAYER
TEARS IN THE CLUB
(Kompakt) A sophomore of sparse ambient music, more cohesive this time round, by Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow (AKA Motor City Drum Ensemble). Imagine a pleasance of waveforms undulating, as the duo coaxes sounds from vintage synthesisers, the Moog Prodigy and Arp Odyssey. It’s beatless chill music, with some percussion, courtesy of the late Jaki Liebezeit, drummer for German post-rock institution, Can.
(Fade To Mind) All those alt-r&b-type songs (think FKA Twigs and Kelela) that have been getting airplay, well, Ezra Rubin is an original source. Alongside the Fade To Mind and Night Slugs collectives, Rubin’s been pushing out enough post-club, nocturnal sounds to warrant a crossover debut. He wavers (a commercial compromise, perhaps) but when he gets it right, the songs get good: “Each & Every Day” and “Nothin” are the standouts.
(Ipecac Recordings) At The Drive In/Mars Volta’s Omar Rodríguez-López, the Melvins’ Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, and Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender come together as Crystal Fairy, and what a blast of metal-prog-punk this is. It’s really a mix of their groups’ respective strengths – of psychedelic progginess, monstrous riffage and drumming, and Gender Bender’s vocal dramatics. Bold, outre, and fun to blare out loud.
(Brainfeeder) Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams and Wiz Khalifa may be on this but make no mistake – this is Thundercat’s album. He is a god amongst bassists and there’s no better reminder than “Uh Uh”, where Dennis Hamm and him play hyperkinetic acrobatics on piano and bass respectively. It’s great to hear the man loosen up (after exorcising his grief on past albums) with 23 shards of stoner jazz, soul and blues.
(Sacred Bones Records) One half of Eff Buttons, Benjamin John Power is also the brains behind Blanck Mass. Just take his third solo album as the gothic, punked-up industrial version of the band: “Rhesus Negative” is nine minutes of menace with some black metal-screaming moments, while “Minnesota/Ears Fors/ Naked” is an experimental mini-suite of noise that precipitates into bubbling sounds before ending as muffled, witchy ’80s analogue synth pop.
(Epic Records) Jidenna’s a man of many suits – he tries on flamenco as a lovelorn lounge balladeer in “Adaora”, is a sociopolitical singer in “Helicopters/Beware”, and a banger-bringer in “Long Live The Chief”. What he’s most known for, though, is his rep as a dandy – he actually does wear many suits, and was introduced to the world in the 2015 hit song “Classic Man”. Likewise, his debut presents him as an intriguing genremixer with a little hit-and-miss thrust.
(#Merky Records) While Wiley and Skepta are the top two in the grime scene, the newest bloke to make it a ruling trinity is 23-year-old emcee Stormzy. His beats are fresh, but it’s his spitfire spitting and willingness to lay bare his ills (mental issue’s one) that has given him the spoils (okay, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West and Adele helped somewhat in ways). Skip his raw crooning and head straight for the bangers “Cold” and “Shut Up”.
Text Sanvean Wang Images Various Sources
FORGET Xiu Xiu
(Polyvinyl Record Co.) After 15 years of pushing out avant-garde art-rock-pop, Jamie Stewart and co. have finally put together their most ear-pleasing (but still messy) melanges of electronic and pop music ever. The single “Wondering” sounds almost like a legitimate electropop number. What else to put you past the gate of accessibility (or turn you away, depending on whether one feels for their sonic aesthetic): “Get Up” and “Jenny Go Go”.
Minus the Bear
COMMON AS LIGHT AND LOVE ARE RED VALLEYS OF BLOOD Sun Kil Moon
(Rough Trade Records Ltd) Long title, even longer run-time (130 mins). Having lived half a century, Mark Kozelek sure has things to say. A little angry – sometimes biting and funny, mostly bitter – about how social media is crappy and the world’s going down the bowl. It’s a diaristic, stream-of-consciousness folk-rock opus (backed by Sonic Youth drummer, Steve Shelley). Take our time we did, and found “Lone Star” and “Philedelphia Cop” quite involving.
RECESS PRESENTS YELLOW CLAW
FRANKY RIZARDO IN THE HOUSE TOUR
SATURDAY APRIL 1 AT ZOUK Jim Aasgier and Nizzle are about one thing – bass. Their devotion to the pound manifests in their faceshaking handle on hardstyle, trap, dubstep, and moombahton, which has turned Diplo and Flosstradamus into card-carrying fans. Make sure you’re rested and hydrated – it’s going to be a kinetic night. zoukclub.com
FRIDAY APRIL 14 AT KYO Rarely is the walk from ‘electro’ to ‘deep’ embarked upon in popular dance music. But tired of EDM’s formulaic essence, this Dutch sensation is keeping it classy. His transformation is new and manifests in shouldershimmying cuts such as “Mantra” and “The Block”, both of which are intoxicating and undeniably enigmatic. clubkyo.com
THE BRONX REGIONALS PRESENTS DJ CZA
ARMIN ONLY EMBRACE WORLD TOUR
FRIDAY APRIL 21 AT CANVAS There’s no debate that The Bronx is the most turnt night on our shores. And as we approach its birthday, it has enlisted one of the region’s most esteemed names to bless the proceedings. Hailing from Medan, Indonesia, CZA is a mogul who knows how to shoot flames from the decks – funk included. canvasvenue.sg
SATURDAY APRIL 1 AT THE MEADOW, GARDENS BY THE BAY Bow down. For this night, you’ll be in the midst of a god. All of modern dance music bears his flight-bestowing electro payload as well as the transportive grace of his trance. Besides, known for being a sprawling, magnificent affair, Armin Van Buuren’s live show will magnify his in-studio powers tenfold. livescapegroup.com
ZOUK X DJ MAG PRESENT ONE DANCE WITH TUJAMO & DJ MAG ALL STARS
FRIDAY APRIL 21 AT ZOUK As Tujamo, Matthias Richter has consistently stood amongst EDM’s most impressive purveyors. The epic swells of his early single, “Who”, still resound today and as Steve Aoki, Avicci and Fedde Le Grand attest, so will his name endure in the cold night of the dancemusic trendscape. Don’t miss this showing. zoukclub.com
OVEREASY ORCHARD PRESENTS: RAC (DJ SET)
SATURDAY APRIL 8 AT OVEREASY ORCHARD Recent Grammy-winner RAC has long been loved by us in Singapore. Ever since ‘indie’ and ‘dance’ became one entity, the Portuguese DJ has been unspooling some of its lushest sonics that aren’t without a heady thump. Let’s just hope he plays his remix of Odesza’s “Say My Name”. rac-dj.peatix.com
TUESDAY APRIL 25 AT THE COLISEUM In 2016, long-reigning guitar god Steve Vai made a totally boss move – he rallied the most formidable contenders to the throne together and positioned himself at the head of the table. Led by him, Tosin Abasi, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zaak Wylde, and Nuno Bettencourt will converge on our shores for a night of magnificent, mind-bending guitar magic. apactix.com
FORWARD FEAT. NICK WARREN
I SEE STARS LIVE IN SINGAPORE
SATURDAY APRIL 8 AT KYO It’s always good to trust the discretion of those who were there at the beginning – and when it comes to house, Nick Warren was there from the start. With more than 100 releases to his name, he’s also responsible for ushering electronica into the lexicon of house. This night will be an education. clubkyo.com
SUNDAY APRIL 30 AT MILLIAN Emo’s not dead – and here to prove it are Michigan post-hardcore favourites I See Stars. Newly reconfigured in a different line-up, the band also boasts a revitalised sound that tempers its more brutal edges with a pop-leaning bounce. Study up on anthems such as “Mobbin’ Out” before you reap them live. eventbrite.sg
Text Indran P Images Various Sources
FRIDAY APRIL 7 AT THE KILO LOUNGE Students, take heed. Edu Imbernon was slated to study Economics at the University of Valencia but the call of the dance was impossible to ignore. Upping sticks to Berlin, he honed his craft and became the underground’s electronica crown prince. Expect dark, irresistible sounds.. kilokitchen.com/lounge
Text Sam Chua Images Various Sources
bad romance A revival of romantic cascades and slips in lush, high-shine fabrics, Sies Marjan draws us into to a roll-out-of-bed sophistication in a striking palette this season. Sander Lak’s obsession with flaring colours, like hot pink, electric orange and neon yellow, reminds us of eccentricities from the ’80s, where hues like these – when piled together – didn’t always get past the ‘disco’ label. But paired with gentler hues of dark brown and chartreuse, and a fluid motion with generous draping, he turns these into stunning, versatile cuts by catching the light off rippling textures. A sharp execution of flair and grace.
blast from the past 030
THE ’90S – THE PINNACLE OF SKATE TEES, BIKE SHORTS, SLAP BRACELETS, AND TRACK JACKETS. ALSO THE ERA TIGER WOODS OWNED HIS FIRST MAJOR, AMERICA ROLLED OUT THE BEST BASKETBALL ENSEMBLE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN, AND SPORTSWEAR PAVED THE WAY FOR THE IMPECCABLY TRENDING ATHLEISURE MOVEMENT. UNITING THE THROWBACK BEST OF FASHION AND SPORTS, WITH A HEAVY DOSE OF NOSTALGIA, HERE ARE WHAT SOME ’90S SPORTSWEAR BRANDS ARE UP TO TODAY.
The genius behind the pivotal ‘Light Gear’ tech, LA Gear may have lost momentum in the late ’90s but in 2015, a resurgence saw a hoverboardmeets-L.A. Lights pairing with lifestyle brand Space Chariot. The Cali-based shoe label has also churned out several releases with Tyga, including a ‘Liquid Gold’ take on L.A. Lights. Beyond that, it’s joined forces with Marvel for a collection that boasts kicks inspired by super- and anti-heroes such as Iron Man and Deadpool.
Fila has flourished tremendously after entering the arena of sportswear apparel. It saw a change in headquarters in 2007, from Italy to South Korea, and has since doubled down on its initial momentum. Just last year, it launched a Staple x Fila capsule. Now, amongst other collaborations, Fila has teamed up with Urban Outfitters for several collections, including a retro-vintage outing and an exclusive nautical-themed line.
l.a. lights – gold/pink, us$110, lagear.com staple x fila colorblocked velour jacket, us$86, staplepigeon.com
l.a. lights – royal blue/black, us$110, lagear.com colorblocked hoodie sweatshirt, us$68, urbanoutfitters.com
fila bubbles, us$109, sneakersnstuff.com
kaj – yellow/red, us$110, lagear.com
Kappa may be a bygone relic right now, but it was certainly a statement name in the past. 2016 saw the Italian brand’s resurgence in the form of athleisure apparel, including hoodies and track jackets, plus sentimental style statements, such as popper trousers. For this year’s Spring/ Summer collection, Kappa’s tapping on its retro roots once again, with a punch of modest comfort, in a solid-toned, sports-appropriate frenzy of red, white, blue and black.
kappa dawson cagoule, £32, size.co.uk
Back in the day, the slopes and roads were practically paved with Ellesse apparel, from quilted jackets and ski pants to sneakers and tracksuits. In recent news, the streetwear-meetssportswear giant has tapped on its history of producing fashionable performance apparel in its Spring/Summer 2017 Heritage collection. Looking forward, it has also released a range, dubbed ‘Recycled’, with fitness guru Lucy Mecklenburgh, made out of environmentally friendly materials.
rimini 3 track top, £55, ellesse.co.uk
kappa authentic popper pants, £20++, jdsports.co.uk
authentic zilcar, €89, kappa.com
hooded tri-colour zip up waterproof jacket, £55, houseoffraser.co.uk
ellesse ezio trainers (white), £45, 80scasualclassics.co.uk
Besides Shaquille O’Neal’s iconic signature shoe, Reebok’s winning streak in the ‘90s was immortalised in its line of ‘pump’ shoes. Now, Reebok Classics have grown to become a staple for celebs such as Gigi Hadid and Kendrick Lamar. The label has latterly launched the Zoku Runner, an Ultraknit reinterpretation of its classic designs that pulls the past into the present in hopes of defining the future.
Besides outfitting the National Basketball Association, its apparel decked the streets as well, with youths and adults sporting namesake sweatshirts in particular, over turtlenecks or leggings. But in more recent news, aside from making notable appearance at Copenhagen Fashion Week 2017, Champion has been in cahoots with the likes of Undefeated Japan and Vetements, all undoubtedly in brilliant conspiracy to push out some fashion and sportswear must-haves.
local loot Three e-commerce musts to bag your favourite sporting goods.
zoku runner ultraknit is, us$114.99, reebok.com
Dover Street Market vetements mens champion antwerpen hoodie, $1560, shop. doverstreetmarket.com
A retail division of Comme des Garçons, this multi-brand retail concept started in Dover Street, London, and has since built an immensely revered reputation for
reebok x garbstore insta pump fury road, £120, couvertureandthegarbstore.com
its inventory. Here you’ll be able to grab Fila x Gosha Rubchinskiy pieces and the Vetements x Reebok Pump Supreme. vetements x champion cotton-blend track pants, $730, matchesfashion.com
reebok pump supreme Engineers, us$179, sneakersnstuff.com
LE COQ SPORTIF
Having supplied the Tour de France for years, the French sports equipment force is certainly very familiar with the sports stage. Its recent Retro Affiches launch draws on tourist posters in various French towns for inspiration, weaving in premium nubuck, an aged appeal, and vintage colour schemes, together. The result? An ultra-limited series of kicks that ooze je ne sais quoi.
red & black champion edition antwerpen hoodie, us$1025, ssense.com
Paying homage to the ’91 classic Saucony Originals Grid SD, the American shoe manufacturer has put several contemporary spins on its kicks, including a rose gold iteration and a quilted reinvention. The Saucony Grid 9000 also meets a fresh colourway of red, blue and gold, whereas a partnership with Feature has seen breakfast-themed renditions of the Courageous sneaker model. The Tokyo Kinvara 8 line, inspired by the serene allure of Japan, is yet another variant in the visual vault.
Sneakersnstuff Sneakersnstuff has won several awards for being an all-round awesome apparel avenue. Find obscure Reebok drops, sought-after Champion collabs and Fila stocks, amongst tonnes of other great buys here.
tokyo kinvara 8, us$120, saucony.com
Text Odette Yiu Images Various Sources
vasili tracktop, £57, asos.com
feature x saucony courageous ‘belgian waffle’, us$120, featuresneakerboutique.com
Lyst With an intuitive site layout and an enormous archive of merch from
tricolore crew sweat, £70, lecoqsportif.com
designers and brands, Lyst is a great online destination for anyone looking to cop a pair of Ellesse joggers, Saucony kicks, or anything else in between.
r800 ‘retro affiches’ pack, £100, footpatrol.co.uk
grid 9000 ‘sparring’, $163, endclothing.com
ASHLEY WILLIAMS SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 If the subject of her celebrity obsession was any indication, William’s has chosen to park her collection in the year circa 1988 this season. Aligning itself with the craze and daze of the ’80s teenager, subverted freedom bubbles up and regurgitates over Williams’ runway in a flurry of paraphernalia, fad mags and pastels against bright primaries. There is a mix of naivete, a blossoming girlhood trying to fit, awkwardly so, into larger silhouettes, despite never leaving behind the printed shirts and clunky accessories of our DIY doll house days. For a fresh face on the circuit, Ashley Williams has amassed quite a cult following over her neo-’80s graphic streetwear sense. Muted bases of lilac, navy and grey give way to cheeky beaded black bralettes, supplemented with the occasional pop of vivid red and marigold. William’s collection parades Fergadelic graphics courtesy of Fergus Purcell with the show’s motif, a pixelated cherub,
over coach jackets, type graphics in ‘first born’ varsity jackets and ‘haircut’ bubblegum pink hoodies paired over and under slouchy black dungarees, pleated plaid pants or the more flamboyant patterned blazer sets – embracing its typical street style kilter. The pastels, blinding yellows, acid greens, and the occasional graphic monochrome are given a bit of an edge, decked out in retrofuture visors, huge bejewelled earrings, kohl-ed out waterlines and black pouts topped off with fluffy stuffed toy handbags. Seemingly arbitrarily thrown together, the collection boasts a distinctively rebellious dress that echoes with rampant teen-culture brewed in the heart of their bedroom-empires. Yet, maturity also seeps into the cracks of these transitional times. On one hand, the garments appear to belong to overgrown children and at times, undergrown women. Caught between the romantic ruffles and balloon sleeves reminiscent of shoulder-pad power suits, the character central to the collection stays young at heart. William’s spin on the overwhelming ’80s young bloods in their prime tones down the mishmash buffet of possibility that defined the period’s style, streamlining her personal version of the times.
Text Sam Chua Images Steinrohner
Plastered to oversized white T-shirts is late ’80s poster boy, River Phoenix, with the original runway set of the Ashley William’s show similarly covered in the late star’s posters; it was even home to a zine production line on the teen heartthrob.
What A Time I am happy with the era I live in. I believe in living in the present and, more importantly, enjoying it.
Good Read Grit by Angela Duckworth.
Some Regrets Acid-washed jeans and Peter Pan collar shirts. In my defense, my mother was in charge of my style!
Mantra To Live By My fear of failure and the fact that I simply hate losing.
THE ‘MODERN WOMAN’ IS AN ASPIRATIONAL CONSTRUCT; A CAPITALISTIC IMPERATIVE WITH A SEEMINGLY EMPOWERING THRUST. WHILE SOME ARE CONTENT WITH CONFORMING TO THAT LABEL, NEJLA MATAM-FINN IS NOT. THE FRANCE-BORN, SINGAPORE-BASED FOUNDER OF VINTAGE E-TAILER, THE FIFTH COLLECTION, IS A ZEITGEIST-BOUNDING CREATIVE FORCE THAT DIPS INTO LUXURY VINTAGE WARES TO REDEFINE THE FUTURE OF STYLE. HERE, SHE GIVES US A PEEK INTO THE WIDE SPECTRUM OF HER TASTE.
The G.O.A.T. Yves Saint Laurent; the man, the designer, and his creations.
Text Indran P Images Nejla Matam-Finn and Various Sources
Style Inspo Kate Moss. I love how she manages to be so ‘rock’ and chic at the same time and how she mixes and matches high street brands and luxury ones to make them all her own.
Reality Is TV Most recently, The Ladies Of London. Easy to watch when I need to continue working from home late at night.
Newsflash I am actually super down-to-earth. Some people expect something very different, for some reason.
Best Purchase My wedding band, a Possession ring from Piaget. I had the inside engraved with words that only my husband and I understand.
Must-Have That would be my phone. Before smartphones, it would have been a book.
TY E CI H T IN H, IVE OUT H L Y A F ING AS EO C OM E VERV A NT C L E S R R H I S T EXUBE TEXT U , N RS IN A LO U . O C LE OF ST Y D N A
n o e h t t e e r t s PHOTOGRAPHY JAYDEN TAN PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANTS NICHOLAS EE & SHAUN TAN STYLING JOSIAH CHUA MAKEUP HONGLING USING M.A.C COSMETICS HAIR CHRISTVIAN AT TRIMMINGS USING KEVIN MURPHY MODELS JULI K / LOOQUE & REUBEN M / AVE
ON REUBEN COTTON TEE UNIQLO POLYESTER-BLEND TRACK PANTS TOPMAN NYLON PANELLED JACKET DIESEL CANVAS SNEAKERS VANS ON JULI POLYESTER-BLEND SPORTS JERSEY TOP (WORN UNDERNEATH) IVY PARK AT TOPSHOP SILK JERSEY V-NECK TOP GINGER / SMART AT TANGS AT TANG PLAZA DENIM JEANS DIESEL DENIM JACKET TOPSHOP CANVAS SNEAKERS VANS
LYCRA SPORTS BRA (WORN UNDERNEATH) H&M SHEER ORGANZA TOP TOPSHOP POLYESTER-BLEND TRACK PANTS IVY PARK AT TOPSHOP SUEDE WEDGES AGNES B. BRASS AND WEAVED ROPE EARRINGS H&M TAMAGOTCHI NECKLACE STYLISTâ€™S OWN
WOOL FLANNEL SHIRT (WORN UNDERNEATH) VANS COTTON T-SHIRT H&M COTTON SLEEVELESS TOP H&M DENIM JEANS TOPMAN POLYESTER AND NYLON BOMBER JACKET CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN AT TANGS AT TANG PLAZA LEATHER SNEAKERS AGNES B. COTTON CAP TOPMAN
COTTON T-SHIRT H&M DENIM AND TULLE SKIRT TOPSHOP SILK PANTS (WORN UNDERNEATH) AGNES B. SATIN JACKET DIESEL SUEDE WEDGES H&M TAMAGOTCHI NECKLACE STYLISTâ€™S OWN STUDDED LEATHER SLINGBAG JIMMY CHOO
VISIT YOUTUBE.COM/JUICESG FOR A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT THIS SHOOT.
COTTON T-SHIRT TOPMAN DENIM JACKET TOPMAN COTTON PANTS VANS LEATHER SNEAKERS AGNES B. CANVAS SLING BAG H&M
cotton sweater, $56.90, topman
GIVE THE BRETON A BREAK THIS SPRING – THE NEW-SEASON STRIPES ARE BOLDER AND ZANIER. TURN UP THE FLAVOUR WITH VARYING WIDTHS – LIKE THIS TOP FROM TOPMAN – THEN PAIR WITH WHITE STAPLES FOR A CLEAN AND CRISP ’DO.
tiger of sweden
cotton overshirt, $264.90, faherty at mrporter.com
mesh backpack, $74.40, seed heritage
cotton polyester jacket, $139, zara
linen shorts, $14.90, zalora at zalora.com
Text Odette Yiu Coordination Jazmin Kelly Six & Odette Yiu Images Various Sources
reversible cottom-blend jacket, $1,944.60, kapital at mrporter.com
stretch denim jeans, $253.20, j.crew at jcrew.com
cotton-blend cap, $29.90, uniqlo
cotton T-shirt, poa, acne studio
leather wallet, $96.40, fred perry
cotton polo shirt, $100.30, j.crew at jcrew.com
synthesis sunglasses, $399.40, dior homme by dior
knitted vest, $530.10, acne studio
canvas sneakers, $271.80, maison kitsune at on pedder
cotton dress, $41.70, zara
THE NEW SEASON IS IN FULL SWING AND WE’RE GEARING UP FOR SPRING WITH VARIOUS HUES OF PINK. GO DEMURE – WITH THIS COTTON NUMBER FROM ZARA – OR SULTRY, OR ADD AN UNEXPECTED EDGE WITH THE JUXTAPOSING NONCHALANCE OF DENIM.
denim shoulder bag, $313.60, stella mccartney
denim and leather crossbody, poa, jimmy choo
polyester blouse, poa, zara
wrap dress, poa, topshop
Text Odette Yiu Coordination Jazmin Kelly Six & Odette Yiu Images Various Sources
cocktail dress, poa, carven
sheer organza dress, $440, bimba y lola
frayed denim covered wedge, $832.10, jimmy choo
denim pencil skirt, $76.90, topshop
polyester-blend skirt, $38.50, dorothy perkins
mid-rise skinny jeans, $320.55, current/elliott at net-a-porter.com
cashmere coat, $3753.20, max mara
polyester trousers, $41.70, zara
denim wedge espadrilles, $135, castaner
leather crossbody, $1,090, anya hindmarch
slip ons, poa, joshua sanders at on pedder
tassel earrings, $15.99, lovisa
tortoise shell sunglasses, $223.83, marc jacobs
044 studded denim waistcoat, $119, zara
denim shirt, poa, liujo
corset with metallic rings, $35.90, zara
WHILE RECKLESSLY DRIVING THROUGH YOUR WARDROBE USUALLY WARRANTS A TICKET FROM THE FASHION POLICE, CYNDI LAUPER HAS BEEN BOLDLY RUNNING THE RED LIGHTS SINCE THE â€™80S. GET A TASTE OF HER EXPERIMENTAL GET-UP WITH THESE ESSENTIALS.
crystal rythenium bracelet, poa, swarovski by lanvin at swarovski
coated metallic skirt, $138.40, cos
Text Sam Chua Coordination Jazmin Kelly Six & Sam Chua Images Various Sources
corded bracelet, poa, bimba y lola
Thom Browne’s exclusive launch at Dover Street Market has yielded yet another glided array of passport holders, billfolds, and cardholders. Pebble textured leather harks back to the crumply surfaces of the aluminium walls in Warhol’s Factory, while the frosted metallic glimmer is a glamorous complement to a suit-and-tie ’do or a chic LBD. These accenting accessories, all branded with the classic navy, red and white of the brand, are the gentleman’s and gentlewoman’s casual but classy,pocketable renditions of the silver age. $560 to $890, available at shop.doverstreetmarket.com/sg.
To fully utilise the full width of fabric when constructing garments, designers at COS created garment patterns that interlock like jigsaws, utilising minimal materials to their maximum. The women’s collection sports collapsible volumes and rectilinear silhouettes in tidy pencil skirts and crisp poplin tops, while the men’s collection features a technical jacket with functional double-pockets. Reflective of COS’s minimalist philosophy and the influence of Japanese kimono construction, the pieces, rendered in beige and off-white, are smart, functional and versatile, for both the wearer and the industry.
$125 to $250, available at COS.
SPRING IN A BOX Pandora’s Spring Collection 2017 is underpinned by sprightly surges of colour and glowy pastels. The sterling silver Hearts Of Pandora pieces are lined intricately with a halo of cut-out hearts, embellished with enamel and curated stones. The bangles take centerstage, decked with 50 clear cubic zirconia stones, and are offered in seven different shades. Meanwhile, the Dazzling Daisies series provides a contemporary spin on floral motifs, with pieces such as charms and earrings, whereas the Radiant Droplet charms brandish dazzling rose-cut stones framed by sterling silver via the bezel setting technique. Love is truly in the springtime air. $99 to $149, available at Pandora.
IF THE SHOE FITS
SPRING FLING Spring is about new beginnings, and Stussy’s collection for the season is the perfect emblem of that. It features a modern update of the label’s signature paragons and American sportswear, with special attention to colours and textures. In the line-up, find sweaters and bomber jackets, polo shirts and bucket hats, all held together by a splendour of different materials – including seersucker, corduroy, velour, and satin. This diversity is matched by a palette of bleached, washed and over-dyed looks, making for a delightful, vivid variety of styles to choose from. Available at stussy.com.
Designer Tui Sang has recently opened a retail space boasting the full collection of footwear and launched an online store for The Tui Collection – platforms that remain authentic to her vision of creating distinctive, handcrafted statement pieces at affordable prices. The shoes are offered in an extensive range of sizes, from 35 to 42, and include complimentary customization, should the pair of choice not be a flawless fit. From heels to flats and pumps to wedges – and featuring elements including exotic skins, premium leathers and patchwork– the collection promises quality and comfort, making them a lady’s best friend. $95 to $400, available at thetuicollection.com. fashion
two become one
TAKE FLIGHT Classic it is, but the new, vibrant Gold Russet Sequoia leather in Redwing’s classic Irish Setter Oxford silhouette is sure to stand out. The bright tan makes these work boots an easy-to-style addition to your ensemble. Sporting a highly cushioned wedged sole, the boot supports the foot’s arch while being lightweight with an enhanced sole grip, ensuring maximal performance regardless of setting and task. Complemented with the brand’s thick, comfortable leather that will season with wear, expect these kicks to mould to and support your feet better with each passing day. $460, available at Redwing stores.
Why go solo when there’s more fun pairing up? These two collaborations lead the way.
BILLABONG X ANDY WARHOL Warhol’s brief fascination with surf culture – from filming San Diego Surf (1968) – and his unconventional spirit, aligned him with Billabong’s pursuit of bold, functional design. Teaming up, the Warhol Surf collection features
Celebrating seamless movement through daily activities from home to work to play, Agnès B’s Spring/Summer collection ties frisky with sensible in the Voyage line. On one end of the spectrum, the range offers colourful summery parceltie shoppers in lime green, baby blue and strawberry pink. On the other, it also graces with a touch of the down-to-earth, monochromatic with occasional slate grey, neutrals and vibrant burst of red on satchels, elegant handbags and box-style crossbodies for the ladies. The men are not forgotten, and get a selection of neat travel cases, totes, slings, and duffels in sleek black leather and navy nylon. POA, available at Agnès B.
tops, T-shirts, and accessories and hit the golden strip in style.
POA, available at Billabong.
UNIQLO X ANDRÉ SARAIVA Collaborating with Swedish graffiti artist André Saraiva, Uniqlo UT rolls out some iconic pieces redesigned as graphic wearables. Better known by his alter-ego, Mr. André, the collection exemplifies the gangly, worldly persona that is fun and mischievous. Based on Saraiva’s signature pink and monochromatic designs, expect a series of everyday outfits, elevated with eye-catching slogans and typography.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN When Leandra Medine started Man Repeller, it wasn’t a calculated business decision bred from misandry. It was, and remains, a light-hearted blogging endeavour advocating taking pride in dressing yourself, for yourself – an attitude that is unmistakably apparent in the new MR by Man Repeller shoe collection. The 10-piece offering boasts catches so zany that, for some, their quirkiness is self-evident in just their names. Think ‘cactus heel’ Perspextrimmed metallic leather sandals, and loafers dubbed ‘The Alternative To Bare Feet’. Less cheeky options, such as satin slides, are available too. $213 to $715, available exclusively at net-a-porter.com.
$14.90 to $19.90, available at Uniqlo and uniqlo.com.
PUMA X SESAME STREET Seems like Puma’s been foraying stored-away childhood memories. Working with Sesame Workshop, the Puma Basket kicks see black and white iterations adorned with graphics of familiar Sesame Street characters. The Puma Prevail OG, the Puma Suede, and furry Puma slides, meanwhile, are given a reinterpretation as characters, such as Cookie Monster and Elmo, cheekily breathing life into their silhouettes.
POA, available at puma.com.
Text Odette Yiu & Sam Chua Images Various Sources
the artist’s seminal Flowers print and palm tree sketches on Billabong’s signature silhouettes. Choose from a selection of board shorts, swimwear,
Text Jazmin Kelly Six Images Various Sources
in living colour There ain’t no party like a throwback party. Giving the soft quiet of spring a shake-up is a big nod to the ’80s on the runway – with high octane colour and wild styles at the forefront. Championed by club kids of that era, faces are painted in bold hues and accents of glitter, while hair is big with tight curls. Make up maestros at Kenzo, Louis Vuitton and Max Mara lead the way with pops of pink, red and green around the temples and high cheeks, while shimmer and shine rule the looks at Jeremy Scott, Fendi and Jill Stuart.
bygone beauty bests CK ONE
A legendary scent cloud of the decade, Calvin Klein’s CK One was the ’90s in a bottle. One of the first unisex scents to hit the mainstream market, it boasted an addictive, clean, summery fragrance that evolved into a powdery or masculine floral depending on your body chemistry. CK One’s refreshingly light fusion of pineapple, mandarin, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and sandalwood was an intimate caress of the skin. Memorable for its versatility and long-lasting wear, everyone wanted to and could spritz it on for any occasion. Be it casual dinners, sports meets or to work, there wasn’t a place, time or person that CK One couldn’t make a memory of.
MAYBELLINE’S GREAT LASH MASCARA Remember that incredibly worthwhile drugstore mascara you owned? Yeah, it was probably the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, which has retained its iconic green cap and pink body for decades. Makeup pros were fawning over this waterbased product in the ’90s, swept away by its lash-doubling formula and clump-free quality. Sales were unbelievable; you could expect to find a tube of this cult fave in almost any cosmetics pouch (or caboodle, since we’re talkin’ the old days). Plus, black aside, it came in shades like Royal Blue as well.
WET N WILD NAIL POLISHES While it’s hailed as the first to bring black nail polish into drugstores, products from Wet n Wild weren’t staples solely exclusive to goths back in the ’90s. Between the luminous pink-peach Golden Rose and the dazzlingly gold Formidable, the brand’s lusciously sapphire Denim Chrome was the bold classic that really took centre stage in the varnishverse. The beauty brand was essentially the budget alternative to Hard Candy in the U.S., and was extremely popular here, as it offered colour at affordable prices. With over 400 shades available today, there’s no denying that it intends to stay.
MAYBELLINE KISSING POTION Carting down memory lane, we revisit the heydays of the first roll-on lip gloss, Maybelline’s Kissing Potion. A clear, jockseducing ambrosial concoction, it promised the shiniest and most delicious pout in a wide variety of flavours. From the likes of the fruity Strawberry Kiwi Swirl, Cherry Smash, refreshing Mighty Mint and Cola Fizz, to spiced the Cinnamon Stick, Kissing Potion was a treat for both the kisser and the kissed. Swimming in allure and sophistication, with the slightest peck of bubbliness, it applied fuss-free directly on lips or over lipstick, transforming you from wide eyed high-schooler by day, to disco diva by night.
REMEMBER WHEN POPPING INTO THE SCHOOL TOILET, WHIPPING OUT A TUBE OF GLOSS AND SWIPING THE WAND ACROSS YOUR LIPS MADE YOU FEEL ULTRA-COOL? OR WHEN WALKING INTO A DRUGSTORE AND BUYING YOUR FIRST PRODUCT FELT LIKE THE HALLMARK OF YOUR TRANSITION INTO THE WORLD OF GROWNUPS? HERE’S WE’VE FOUND A COUPLE OF THROWBACK TREASURES THAT’LL DEFINITELY HIT HOME.
LIP SMACKERS In 1973, Bonne Bell Co. launched the world’s first flavoured lip pomade, which debuted in the form of strawberry, lemon and green apple Lip Smackers. In 1975, the famed Dr. Pepper iteration was released, and eventually, with a whole tonne of other delicious tastes hitting the markets – such as orange pop and piña colada – Lip Smackers became the craze. They were essentials for tweens and teens, coveted for their yumminess, affordability, and parentfriendly subtle colour-tints. You could even find giant versions of the tubes on a cord for you to wear as a necklace. Its legacy? Hundreds of flavours – and a lip balm addiction.
ZA TWO-WAY FOUNDATION Drugstores and supermarkets have always been the gateways into the world of makeup. Za’s Two-Way Foundation was that ‘occasional gem’ on the shelves – reliably effortless, effective and economical. A Shiseido drugstore brand, Za had the promise of quality formulas, achieving a strong mattifying and staying power in its Two-Way Foundation. Smoothing out pores for an even complexion with micro-fine powders, the dual touch-up and foundation formula could be applied either wet or dry. Neatly packaged in sleek cases, it was also equipped with a unique refill system that allowed makeup-loving teens to save on some allowance.
Text Odette Yiu& Sam Chua Images Various Sources
ST. IVES APRICOT SCRUB
ZINKA COLORED NOSECOAT What better way to protect your skin against harmful rays than coat every inch in a good dose of rainbow? With some serious ingenuity behind Zinka’s Colored Nosecoat’s unusual palette of colours, the pigments stay on skin to reflect sunlight, ensuring ‘Total Block’ protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunblock brand has been popular with surfers for over 20 years, thanks to its ability to withstand the most extreme of weather conditions out in the sun and sea. Championed by athletes and play-date kindergarteners alike, Zinka’s boon was its incredible versatility.
Being an adolescent comes packaged with the threat of acne, minus the instruction manual on how to deal with the likes of clogged pores and milia. But if you included the St. Ives Apricot Scrub as a necessity in your skincare regime, give your teen self a pat on the back. The oil-free blemish control scrub has been around for ages, and given its spectacularly cleansing, pimple-combatting properties, it’s no wonder you probably worshipped it as a youth. With a special ingredient of crushed walnut shells – a natural exfoliant – the product has proved absolutely revolutionary and impressively effective. Gigi Hadid still swears by it.
brow tech to go in brunette, $49, smashbox at sephora
double stacked mascara, $24, nyx cosmetics
rodeo drive royalty kit, $36, ncla at sephora
blush in bumpy ride, $50, nars cosmetics
pure lacquer lip in noble heart, $30, zoeva at sephora
halo illuminiser delicate pearl, $17.90, h&m beauty at select h&m stores
super liner expressionist, $19.90, l’oreal paris cosmetics at leading personal care stores
TIMELESS IS A MEASURED SWIPE OF RED ACROSS THE LIPS AND A GRACEFULLY COY CAT-EYE FLICK, FRAMED BY LUSCIOUS, DARK GOLDEN AGE WAVES. EXUDING OLD HOLLYWOOD POISE AND CHARM, DITA VON TEESE’S KEY TO BEAUTY IS BUILT ON CONFIDENCE AND SENSUALITY. made up
ultra hd pressed powder in 01, $61, make up for ever
curl set lotion ex, $16.90 (200ml), ma cherie at watsons
Text Sam Chua Coordination Jazmin Kelly Six Images Various Sources
blanc expert fluid in o-01, $72, lancome counters
DOUBLE THE FUN
First, it was the mascara that had us. Later, the eyeliner. Adding to its wildly popular They’re Real! Franchise is Benefit, with two new vanity companions for the urban girl. Firstly, the Duo Eyeshadow Blender is a crease-free, long-lasting formula that pairs satin, sheen or soft matte shades for the best complement. It comes with a trusty ShadowBlender that adapts to individual eye shapes, so you’ll be able to sweep in closer to your lash line while getting full coverage on the lids. Next, the Double The Lip combines semi-matte lipstick and a lip liner for all you need for an awesome pout on the go. Included is a Teardrop Tip that adds depth and defines cleanly. $42 and $35 respectively, available at Benefit counters.
REVEAL, DON’T CONCEAL Bid blemishes goodbye and don’t shy away from the camera – NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is the confidence boost you need to be comfortable in your skin again. With collagen boosting peptides, hyaluronic acid and an antioxidant cocktail of vitamins A, C and E, the oil-free formula perfects the look of skin, while softening and hydrating it for a healthier look. It lightly blurs imperfections, with powders interweaving to provide a high level of coverage with maximum elasticity over skin to give it the airbrushed finish. $45 (in 16 shades), available at NARS.
Qualities that make a good lipstick: wholesome coverage, lush pigment, day-long durability. Urban Decay’s waterproof Vice Liquid Lipsticks promise all three. Fitted in a transparent tube with a gunmetal cap and gold details, each lipstick comes with a flocked paddle applicator that only requires a single coat, and permits precision lining, so you’ll have your lips shaped and filled to perfection in a jiffy. The lippies are moulded from a special blend that brings out the shine in metallised shades, while matte finishes go on looking totally kissable. $30 each (30 shades), available at Urban Decay.
TENDER LOVING CARE
Chapped lips, grimy skin, an uncomfortable slick of greasiness – we’ve all been there, and we all hate it. Thankfully, Sephora’s Mix and Play Skincare range provides easy solutions against this unholy triad. Keep your face feeling fresh and let your pores breathe with the cleansing cream – it rids oil, make-up and all the filth in between. For a quick and convenient option, try the cleansing wipes. Both are offered in yuzu, pomegranate, rose, and coconut water scents. To tackle unsightly flakes and leave your pout feeling baby-soft, there’s also a honey lip scrub to complement the swipe-and-go exfoliating wipes that are available in charcoal and green tea. $9 (lip scrub) and $10 (wipes and cream), available at Sephora.
LIVE, LUSH, LOVE
GLOW GETTER Joining the L’Occitane Reine Blanche whitening collection this season are three new must-haves for glowy, radiant skin. First, the Illuminating Scrub rids grime, smoothens skin, and evens out texture, while the Illuminating Mist rejuvenates, hydrates and brightens for brighter-looking texture. Complete your regime with the Whitening Rich Cream, derived from white mulberry extract, vitamin C, and the white Reine des Prés flower, renowned for its brightening and skin-renewing qualities. $55, $26 and $98 respectively, available at L’Occitane.
This spring, Lush is doling out a couple of Easter eggs, guised as face wash jellies, lip scrubs, carrot-shaped bubble bars and other new releases. Find Vegan Solid Mouthwash tabs, aka the oral care equivalent of bath bombs, available in three different flavours. Just pop one in, get the fizz going with water, have a little nibble ‘n’ swish, spit it out, and you’ll be feeling fresh! To top it off, Lush has introduced two new limited edition Knot Wraps, which are essentially multifunctional alternatives to paper gift-wraps, offered in ‘Koi’ and ‘Mixed Fruit’ organic cotton iterations, to support the restoration attempts of the Fukushima community. $7.30 to $25, available at LUSH.
MAMONDE A refreshing take on all natural products, Mamonde’s flowercentric approach to beauty stems from, as one would cultivate flowers, the nurturing and blossoming of your full beauty potential. The team preserves and introduces the active ingredients from budding hibiscus, camellia, magnolia, honeysuckle and lotus flowers – in strictly controlled environments – into a series of skin conditioning products that address various concerns. At the same time, by embracing the vibrant nature of these blooms, the brand’s makeup line also boasts exuberant shades in a collection of long-lasting creamy lip colours. $15 to $44, available at lazada.sg.
Quality bath products are a real treat – especially so after a long, tiring day out. That’s why we look to MANDYT for the most relaxing, uplifting blends in the form of creams and scrubs. Joining the family is the new Zen Green Tea + Barley + Citrus body scrub. Formulated with carefully selected and imported ingredients, expect soothing notes of blood orange and bergamot, with a touch of earthiness from roasted barley. As you unwind and scrub your woes away, the organic, vegan ingredients also help to heal damaged skin, restoring vitality and suppleness for a refreshed feel. $45 (240ml), available at mandytskincare.
CLEOPATRA’S HOME SPA
Soaking in milk and honey baths may be the pastime of duchesses and queens, but it is a luxury you are now privy to. Pamper your skin with The Body Shop’s Almond Milk and Honey range, a nourishing blend of sustainably sourced community trade ingredients to treat sensitive, dry skin. A saccharine sweet and deliciously creamy indulgence, honey soothes with hydrating and antibacterial properties, while vitamin E-rich almond oil is an excellent massage base to ease aches and smooth skin. $9.90 to $30.90, available at The Body Shop.
YOUR SKIN BUT BETTER
With natural-looking skin being all the rage this season, offset the cakey, dry finish with a dab of healthy shine with this semi-glow, semi-matte, radiant formula. While lightweight, Shu Uemura’s Petal Skin Fluid Foundation works to minimise imperfections and conceal the appearance of pores, while imparting a vibrant, natural luminosity. Volatising to disperse pigments evenly, it produces a levelled diffusion of light to cast a glow over skin, as deep sea water hydrates skin instantly to boost suppleness. Infused with botanical oleo-veil and jasmine extracts, the result is a fresh mien that looks clear all day long. POA, available at Shu Uemura counters.
Text Sam Chua Images Various Sources
DARK DAYS BE GONE
MAKE A FACE
A high shine isn’t always ideal, especially if it happens to be all over the face, making you light up the whole room in the most embarrassing way. But you can ward off your sebum woes with Innisfree’s No-Sebum Mineral Control. A powder formula infused with natural minerals from Jeju, it leaves the mien comfortable and fresh, in a round-the-clock matte finish. Plus, it is now available in these super Insta-worthy emoji compacts that will not only add a cheer to your feed, but also to the vanity. $10 (5g), available at Innisfree.
Whether it’s hyperpigmentation or darkened spots caused by old acne, you can count on this well-loved formula from Kiehl’s to ease your woes. The Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is a must for every beauty cabinet, as it aids in reducing the looks of dark spots, lines and wrinkles, and replaces these troubles with anti-ageing radiance and clarity. Furthering the regime is the new Clearly Corrective Brightening And Smoothing Moisture Treatment, which helps to smoothen, soften and hydrate skin to quell discolouration problems, and exfoliate without hurting sensitive skin. $78 and $92 respectively, available at Kiehl’s.
Two new fragrances for the modern man.
RALPH LAUREN POLO RED EXTREME Ralph Lauren’s master tailor of scents, perfumer Olivier Gillotin’s bundled top notes of blood orange and red ginger, mid notes of red sage and black coffee, and base note of black ebony wood, births an intensely masculine and robust oriental gourmand flavour. Its sleek cask-like, matte black bottle with a high-gloss red logo embodies the devilish blend of speed, adrenaline and power contained within.
$139 (125ml), available at leading departmental stores.
ARMANI CODE COLONIA Code Colonia harbours a reserved elegance and appreciation for discreet allure and seduction. Its recognisable, stylishly slim, clear glass bottle in cool blue resonates with the refreshing clarity of a precise thinker. A charmingly complex cologne combining bergamot and mandarin citruses and aromatic clary sage and floral orange blossom, with a heavyset finish of woody, heliotrope notes, it charms with a harmony of sensuality and sophistication.
$133 (75ml) and $159 (125ml), available at leading departmental stores.
POA, avaliable Sephora.
FRESH SPLASH Having paid close attention to the hectic lifestyles of urbanites and their skincare needs, Blithe’s products are tailored to efficiently and extensively treat derma wear and tear resulting from urban pollution. The Patting Splash Mask is a concentrated watery ‘15 seconds’ cleansing mask. Removing fine grime and dead skin cells, it leaves skin supple, smooth and ready for extended care. Splash on an energising Yellow Citrus and Honey, soothing Green Tea or rejuvenating Purple Berry and nourish a dull mien with vitamin C, oil controlling, pore clarifying, and skin firming extracts. POA, available at Sephora.
POWER UP Start your day on a high and stay at full power throughout with Algenist’s Power Recharging Night Pressed Serum. The serum’s creamy consistency melts into the skin for full absorption upon application, turning into a potent formula with patented alguronic acid when applied. Fortified by algaprotein and nutrient-rich ingredients, alguronic acid helps to reverse visible signs of ageing as it recharges fatigued skin. Wave away wrinkles, uneven skin tone and signs of exhaustion as ribose maintains firmness and revitalises for a more refreshed and energised you. $132, available at Sephora. made up
Completely devoted to sun protection, Supergoop’s broad spectrum of sun defense skincare offers ‘feel good’ sunscreen that is lightweight, non-goopy and never greasy. Its efficacious, non-irritating formula allows for easy emulsification and protection against ageing (UVA), burning (UVB), and infrared (IRA) rays. Its Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil, a citrusy spray-on formula with SPF 50, is reinforced with meadowfoam seed and argan oil to nourish as it neutralises free-radical damage. Top off with pout protectors, Fusion Lip Balms, that strong arm harmful rays with SPF 30+ and concentrated antioxidants, to repair and soothe in Acai or Mint. $14 to $69, available at Sephora.
Text Sam Chua Images Various Sources
Believing in the gift of organic goodness is Botanist, where over 90 percent of the ingredients used are plant-based, and increasingly biodegradable to reduce pollution. Apart from keeping the products environmentally friendly, properties such as extracted nutrients from golden seaweed, argan seeds, rice germ oil, sugarcane, avocado, and soybeans, also naturally nourish and repair damage to hair and skin.
back to basics 055
Youâ€™ve seen the memes, and swapped one out long ago for a hop onto the smartphone bandwagon. In fond memory, Nokia has decided to pay tribute to its most venerated mobile phone model. Much to the delight of those who grew up in the â€™90s, the Nokia 3310 is making a comeback in four different shades and with several upgrades. Besides the revival of its iconic Snake game, the new iteration also retains its month-long battery life (when on standby mode), a full colour display, a 2MP camera, and a polarised screen that keeps things clearly visible even under the sun.
Text Odette Yiu Images Nokia
hall of game
1972 M A G N AV O X O D Y S S E Y
1977 ATA R I V C S 2 6 0 0
Rise: A Bakelite two-player system, the Odyssey unit was the first video game console to ever hit the market. Packaged with a total of 12 cartridges of sports, educational and puzzle games, and various accessories from roulette boards to toy shotguns, it opened the doors to a whole new gameverse. Sporting the most basic of controls and graphics, the then ‘electronic game of the future’ was both user-friendly and revolutionary for its time.
Rise: Popularising ROM cartridges and microprocessor-based hardware, the Atari 2600 was the console that brought video gaming to the masses. The golden age of Atari was built off arcade games, namely Pong, and was packaged as a pick-up-and-plug-in home entertainment experience that would transform arcade staples like Pacman and Space Invaders into home-play versions. Fall: While some games made the console popular, Atari’s demise came about as a result of the poor performance of highly anticipated titles, like Pacman and E.T.. The gradual clouding of the gaming industry with carelessly regulated, indecent releases soon dirtied the ‘video game’ name in the American market, resulting in the de-shelving of many of the units by 1983.
Fall: It was also an era when ‘game development’ hadn’t been conceived. Forget combo attacks and personalised characters. When you’ve got two knobs to move your single white square on a fixed monochrome setting, it doesn’t get more no-frills. That’s not to say there weren’t options to dress up your games with a little players’ context. But having to tack on decal-esque translucent overlays didn’t exactly make for the most convenient of designs.
2006 NINTENDO WII
Rise: Focusing on innovative gameplay, Nintendo’s Wii controllers, one of its most attractive features, were designed as the first motion-based controllers. Functioning with an internal gyroscope that calibrated the orientation and speed of movement, Wii’s motion-control gameplay was a breakthrough in the field. Its best qualities were demonstrated in the complementary WiiSports title that propelled it to the front of the line.
Rise: Despite the major league status of Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft’s Xbox still managed to carve a place in consumers’ hearts with its dedication to online gaming, hi-definition video support and built-in hard drive. With the Xbox came some of the best graphics of the generation, bringing out the most in the few games that thrived on the intensity of 3D graphics, such as Halo and Dead Or Alive 3.
Fall: Innovative, sure, but the Wii’s lagging graphics and fluctuating control precision left it falling being the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The lack of hi-definition graphics limited many titles from moving on to or being adapted to the system, and motion controls often worked better with repetitive frenetic movement.
Fall: The biggest flaw lay in the lack of exclusive titles to optimise the Xbox’s system strengths, with a lot of the available games ported from the PlayStation 2 only to perform more efficiently on the improved Xbox system. Geared to the mature gamer, it appealed far less to the kid-friendly market with less variety in supported titles.
Text Sam Chua Images Various Sources
AS YOU WALK DOWN THE HALL OF VIDEO GAME FAME, IT MIGHT COME AS A SHOCK THAT THE CONCEPT OF VIDEO GAMING IS STILL A RELATIVELY YOUNG ONE. BARELY 50 YEARS SINCE THE FIRST CONSOLE MATERIALISED, WE BRING YOU THE EVOLUTIONARY TIMELINE OF A MACHINE THAT MANY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
1985 SUPER NINTENDO E N T E R TA I N M E N T S Y S T E M
1989 SEGA GENESIS
Rise: Nintendo’s break in the then-parched video game market introduced NES as a ‘toy’ that was minimal in design, yet capable of delivering industry-defining standards for compact controllers – such as inventing the directional control pad. Introducing the third party game development system, and an extensive library of games from RPGs, and arcade, to sports. Nintendo set out to repackage home gaming consoles for good, popularising the NES with classics like Super Mario Bros. and the Legend Of Zelda series
Rise: The first true 16-bit system premiering lock-on technology, the Genesis’s rise in 1991 followed the release of Sonic The Hedgehog, effectively challenging the NES’s Mario game graphics and gameplay speed. With a faster processor, gameplay for high-speed action games and sports titles ran smoother on the Genesis. Furthermore, a rounded form and firm concaved buttons allowed the Genesis’s controllers to fit snugly in a players’ grip and be held comfortably.
Fall: For a system that is still very much revered for its selection of games and collectability today, the NES is not without its pitfalls. From the occasional malfunction when loading contaminated cartridges, to system overloads due to an influx of on-screen action, the NES was dethroned with the rise of the 16-bit system’s accelerated processors.
Fall: It’s a shame those controllers had less than 4 buttons, and every SEGA attempt to correct it after was a disastrous failure. Thus, the Genesis was swiftly bucketed despite its impressive system when one-on-one fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Tekken and Street Fighter became a pain to play through.
1995 P L AY S TAT I O N
1991 NEO GEO
Rise: Turn of the century gaming would be undeniably shaped by Sony’s PlayStation. Snatching multiple firsts, the controllers were designed with elongated handlebar grips, four shoulder buttons and a total of 10 well-spaced buttons. Piling on the pros, the PlayStation was optimised to support 3D graphics, used dual memory cards to store game data, capitalised on CD-quality audio and, with multitap, could connect up to eight controllers at once. PlayStation also hosted the largest library of games on the market, and was an affordable console compared to other models on the market. Fall: Not infallible, the PlayStation system was prone to overheating, affecting load times and causing audio skips and glitches. Though handy, the memory cards also needed to be stocked up as they easily ran out of space with extended gameplay.
Rise: The one-on-one fighter grail, SNK’s Neo Geo is a cult favorite for arcade style, shooters and sport game fanatics. Boasting top-of-the line audio rendering through 15 channels, it projected some of the clearest sound and voice samples. Painted in detailed 2D graphic spreads, vibrant colours and layered backgrounds attest to the much-appreciated craft behind constructing these two dimensional gameverses. Fall: That said, the Neo Geo was one of the more expensive consoles to acquire, originally retailing at US$650, with titles going at upwards of US$200. It was a tried-and-true system-led venture, targeting a niche in the market for one-on-one fighters, but it had a meager library of games that didn’t help popularise the otherwise exemplary performance of its system.
Who wouldn’t want a slimmer, larger television in 2017? Doshisha’s latest throwback TV is an exception to the rule. Housing a 20-inch LCD display within a charming wooden casing, the VT203-BR is equipped with all the features of a typical modern TV – like HDMI, USB and LAN inputs and outputs – but with the allure of old-school knobs and dials. While there’s a remote handy for those who grow tired of turning the soothingly clicky knobs, and the space where a cathode ray tube should be is replaced with box-set-friendly storage, this is a must if you’ve ever wanted to feel like a resident of one of Fallout’s nuclear bunkers. ¥64,000, available at amazon.co.jp.
What started as a business providing DIY kits to bring typewriters into the 21st century, has now become a purveyor of ready-made writers for those who want to tap away like it’s the roaring ’50s, without ditching the iPad. As opposed to the modern, imitation variety, USB Typewriter restores antique typewriters to pristine condition, equipping them with Bluetooth and an SD card slot so you can hook up your laptop, tablet or smartphone to an authentic Underwood or Royal. Our eyes are on this turquoise blue Smith Corona Sterling, which is just too Instagram-able to be left in the past. US$1,249, available at usbtypewriter.com.
FOSSILS FROM THE FUTURE RETRO-BIT SUPER RETRO BOY
The Pokémon series alone cements Nintendo’s Game Boy as a legendary gaming console, but those who managed to find old cartridges and an OG Game Boy will notice that its battery life isn’t so impressive in our current tech-dependent lifestyles. Having made a name for itself with a stack of applauded console clones, Retro-bit has lifted the lid on the Super Retro Boy, a console capable of playing Game Boy, Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance cartridges. In addition to the cross-console versatility, the Super Retro Boy packs a HD display and up to 10 hours of rechargeable battery life, meaning you no longer need to stock up on AAs. POA, visit retro-bit.com for updates.
It might look like something rummaged out of your grandfather’s attic (which is exactly why it looks so great), but the GPO Manga packs a serious punch on the audio front. Boasting a 30W speaker that protrudes from its suitcase-like build, the portable speaker is versatile enough to let you enjoy tunes the old-school way with an AUX jack, or via Bluetooth streaming to your smart devices. In addition to up to eight hours of battery life and EQ controls, the Manga can also double up as a portable guitar amp or PA, should you ever find yourself having to busk for spare change. £119, available at zavvi.com.
E L A G O W 3 V I N TA G E S TA N D
While we love Apple’s sleek, 21st century design signature, we’ve also got a soft spot for the bulky desktop computers that we grew up with, when they were still known as Macintosh – and, evidently, so do the makers of the Elago W3. Modelled after the original Apple computer, the Macintosh 128K (that’s right kids, only 128KB of RAM) Apple Watch stand serves as a retrolicious base for you to juice up your wearable. While charging, placing your Apple Watch in Nightstand mode makes for an endearing vintage accessory that’ll bring back the childhood feels. €24.95, available at elagostore.eu.
K O S S P O R TA P R O L I M I T E D E D I T I O N
To audiophiles’ delight, not much of the Porta Pro’s iconic design has changed since its first introduction in 1984. Affordable, comfortable, high quality, and undisputedly ’80s, Koss doesn’t have much reason to change its winning formula. But here, the headphone brand does make some minor tweaks for its limited edition sets. Available in two new colours, Black Gold and Rhythm Beige – which were voted for by Koss fans around the world – the retro colourways are complemented by the addition of an inline microphone and remote, as well as an all-new hard compact carrying case. US$59.99, available at koss.com.
ERYKAH BADU SAID IT BEST WHEN SHE SANG, “BACK IN THE DAY WHEN THINGS WERE COOL”. THOUGH WE’D HAVE TROUBLE LIVING WITHOUT THE ADVANCEMENTS OF SMART TECHNOLOGY TODAY, ‘SMART’ DOESN’T ALWAYS DELIVER IN THE LOOKS DEPARTMENT. THANKFULLY, THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE TINKERING WITH MODERN TECH TO BRING ‘COOL’ BACK TO THE GADGET DISCUSSION.
L I F E C LO C K O N E
Kurt Russell is a name that’ll have any ’80s action enthusiast reeling, and if you’d ever watched Escape From New York as a kid and wished for a watch like Snake Plisken’s, then you’re in luck. Created with permission from the film’s rights holders, LifeClock One puts its wearers in the shoes of the film’s antihero, with the same 23-hour countdown given to Plissken to complete his mission. While it goes beyond being a mere countdown clock and sports smartwatch functionalities like notifications and call/text operation, its brass enclosure and leather strap exude an indulgent ’80s cheese that you won’t find in electronics stores today. POA, visit lifeclockone.com for updates.
Text Trent Davis Images Various Sources
Imaging technology may improve with every passing year, but the look of a camera – much like the photographs it takes – always has a knack for looking better when aged. Fujifilm’s new X100F shuns the touchscreen to keep its metal, tactile facade timeless. While it looks like a classic fixed lens, the X100F sports plenty of future-forward features that include a 24.3MP sensor and an auto-focus joystick to capture scenes and subjects perfectly with 91 phase detection focus points. Despite these new developments, shutterbugs will love the old feel that the X100F brings to snaps through 15 distinct film simulation options. US$1,299.95, available at amazon.com.
Go-to Beverage Coffee or wine.
City of Stars Bangkok and Paris are both number one on my list of best cities – but I like a coastal town too.
Make-up Essentials Mascara and a lip balm.
Netflix & Chill I love Interstellar – I can relate to this film in so many ways. Also, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. The best ones are those that make my heart skip a beat or make me weep.
Read It or Not Cosmos by Carl Sagan opens up your eyes and makes you dream.
BORN IN PARIS, RAISED IN BANGKOK, AND BASED IN SINGAPORE, TAWAN CONCHONNET, CO-FOUNDER OF VINTAGE FURNITURE STORE NODEN, MORE THAN TRAVELS THE WORLD. BUSINESS ASIDE, SHE IS ALSO WELL-VERSED IN PHOTOGRAPHY, FULLY EMBRACES ART AND CULTURE, AND IS FASCINATED BY OUTER SPACE. HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS SHE LOVES. tawanconchonnet.com The Bare Necessities I’m not fussy… I love a cozy top and a good pair of jeans.
Art Friend It’s hard to pick one artist but my current favourite is the women series by Frédéric Forest.
Guilty Pleasure Cheeseburgers and French fries!
Ode to Oak The GE 375 lounge chair and ottoman by Hans Wegner, designed in 1969, is bold, simple and unbelievably comfortable.
Text Odette Yiu Profile image Tawan Conchonnet Images Various Sources
Perfect for Photoshoots A beautiful, sunny day in Paris is always the best.
IT TAKES A SPECIAL KIND OF INGENUITY AND METICULOUSNESS TO REIMAGINE THE CLASSICS. IN THE ARENA OF GASTRONOMY, THE STAKES IN TINKERING WITH TIME-HONOURED FAVOURITES ARE ESPECIALLY HIGH, GIVEN THE HISTORICAL AND GENERATIONAL CHARGE OF CERTAIN DISHES. BUT THESE THREE BRAVE ESTABLISHMENTS REINVENT THE WHEEL TO DELICIOUS EFFECT.
PO Eponymously taking on the lead role at this new concept restaurant are the popiah platters, reminiscent of childhood days spent in the kitchen with popo (“granny” in Chinese). Available as a Classic Platter ($28), Prawn Platter ($38) and Fresh Flower Crab Platter ($58), these options make for more than a dish – they’re an entire dining experience. The kitchen spends hours chopping and braising fillings, then serves them up in a steamer basket, sharing-style, for diners to have a go at heaping on the premium ingredients onto specially-sourced popiah skin, before wrapping it all up and digging in. The result? Incredibly delicious. Plus, the Paper Spring Chicken ($49), marinated overnight upon request, with a whole arrangement of sauces, then glazed and oven-baked the next day, is equally scrumptious – especially with its glutinous rice stuffing providing a sweet edge. Other absolute must-tries include the Carabinero Prawns & Konbu Mee ($32), the CharcoalGrilled Iberico Satay ($20) and the Ice Cream Popiah ($15). The Warehouse Hotel, tel: 6828-0007.
VIOLET OON SATAY BAR & GRILL With an aim to revive treasured family recipes that have faded into the rear view, enter the establishment and you’re immersed in a dimly lit, lounge-y atmosphere set back in time to colonial days. The star of the show, Pork Satay Hainan ($16) features flavourful skewered pork tenderloin that just isn’t complete without a spicy and slightly buttery peanut satay sauce. Steamy as it comes out of its leafy wrapping, the less common Bua Keluak Otak ($16) – a family recipe using the fermented Bua Keluak fruit – melts in the mouth with a mellowed sweetness and spiced aftertaste. Cap off the feast with the Chendol With Durian Pengat Sauce ($15). Made with gula melaka ice, its light, salted-caramel sweetness doesn’t water down the treat as you plow through a mountain of distinctive textures and flavours – including creamy durian, soft pandan chendol and firm red beans. #01-18 Clarke Quay, tel: 9834-9935.
WAH KEE BIG PRAWN NOODLE AND BISTRO Text Odette Yiu and Sam Chua Images Various Sources
Noodles, spice, and four hours of prep time. These are the secret ingredients chosen to create the perfect bowl of prawn mee, and it’s certainly a recipe that works for Wah Kee. Backed by over 65 years of history, Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle has ventured beyond its Pek Kio hawker stall origins to establish an outpost at The Esplanade. The standard serving ($6) features a bowl of al dente noodles, dry or with soup, paired with regular-sized prawns, while the indulgent, large portion ($20) features the fresh, big prawns. The mee kia noodles are firm yet chewy, flavoured by chilli sauce exclusive to the outlet. Accompanying it are fat, juicy, sea-caught prawns, soaked in a broth that is a sweet spot of savouriness, saltiness and spiciness. Digging into the Clam Soup ($12) is just as rewarding, boasting as it does a rich, chilli base with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. #01-13C Esplanade Mall, tel: 6327-9187.
On the beginnings I come from a typical Chinese family that’s completely not into the arts. Growing up, even when I started displaying an affinity for the field at school, it was never something I considered getting into or taking seriously as a future prospect. But I have loved cinema from the very beginning. My relationship with cinema is highly personal, bred out of the love for creation. Nothing else absorbs me as much. On the present When my films started receiving attention at festivals, I dared not label myself a filmmaker. I’d continued engaging with film and filmmaking on a daily basis but ‘filmmaker’ was a title that sounded completely lofty to me. It took me maybe about five years before I became comfortable with that identity. Since then, it’s very much about trying to make filmmaking work in my life. I’m emotionally fulfilled, but often, it leaves me financially dry. It’s a balance I’m still trying to work out.
On the most important film I don’t mean to sound like a filmmaker cliche but a seminal film for me is Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. I was astounded when I saw it at 18 and till this day, I’m still blown away by the pure power of its imagery. Forever etched in my memory is the image of Death playing chess with a knight on a cliff, facing the open sea. The existential image was abstract, succinct but powerful. It made me feel respect for film as a whole. On her dream collaboration Yorgios Lanthimos, director of The Lobster. He’s a true visionary and I would love to see how he directs.
On her overarching vision Whether we like it or not, the world is getting a lot more politicised. There’s nothing essentially terrible about that, yet it feels as if everyone is starting to view things with an ‘us versus them’ mentality. I get that the struggle is important and that it’s sometimes crucial to push for On hopes for the future our personal beliefs. But beyond these lines, In the future, I do hope that I can continue making we should never forget that we are humans films that represent me – my hopes, my ideals first and foremost. We’re all someone’s and my worldview. I realise that gets harder as child, someone’s lover, someone’s sibling a project gets bigger and more stakeholders or someone’s friend. I sound totally naïve at this point but if we remember our shared come into play. In my quest for filmmaking as a commonalities first, our impulse to destroy career, it is a sincere wish that I do not have to what’s on the other side could be softened. compromise on beliefs, scruples and integrity Film has the wonderful ability to do that – it just to get things made. I hope to create works can transcend borders. I hope my films do that that I can always be proud of and stand behind. one day. On working with a different culture My living in Thailand gave me a basic kirstentan.com understanding of Thai life and culture. Still, I put in a lot of research when I create something to present an authentic experience. It’s key to the creation process. It involves staying at locations, interacting with locals and reading a whole tonne about it. For the screenplay, I had four Thai friends who are familiar with my other works to read, translate and edit it. It’s interesting because everyone’s idea of authenticity is different and I’d have to come in as the screenwriter to make a decision after hearing everyone’s opinion. navigate
Text Odette Yiu Images Kirsten Tan
AN ENERVATED, BESPECTACLED MAN, AND AN ENORMOUS, OLD ELEPHANT, SURROUNDED BY GRASS FOLIAGE, PROPPED AGAINST A DISTANT FACTORY, UNDER A BLUE SKY. THIS IS A VISUAL CAPTURE FROM KIRSTEN TAN’S POP AYE THAT LOOKS ALMOST AS SURREAL AS IT FELT TO HER WHEN HER FEATURELENGTH DEBUT CLINCHED THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE FOR SCREENWRITING – ALSO SINGAPORE’S FIRST – AT THE PRESTIGIOUS SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL EARLIER THIS YEAR. WITH OVER 15 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, THE LOCAL CREATOR’S CERTAINLY NO FILMMAKING TENDERFOOT; SHE’S WORKED WITH THE LIKES OF HEINEKEN, TED TALKS AND GIORGIO ARMANI, AND HAS HAD NUMEROUS WORKS SCREENED AT THE ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE WOMAN AND HER CRAFT.
THE E L E PH A N T I N T HE R O O M
A GHOST OF THE PAST
All futures in Kowloon Sure, it’s up for debate, but we’re willing to bet that Hong Kong is a draw for those imagining a futuristic city. Amongst lit billboards, dingy street corners, and climbing dilapidated high-rises set against a background of modern skyscrapers lies the picturesque 2029. Despite the settings in the comics alluding to a neo-Tokyo, Ghost In The Shell’s animated movie (1995) – the franchise’s most revered production – borrows from real-life locations in Kowloon for its adaptation. Perhaps Hollywood’s adaptation will see an amalgamation of these two worlds? Joker’s girl for Cybernetic human No stranger to playing female power icons in skin-tight body suits, Scarlett Johansson’s lead in the Hollywood iteration was originally pitched to Suicide Squad’s loopy Harley Quinn. How would Margot
Text Sam Chua Image UIP
FOR A FRANCHISE CLOSING IN ON ITS BIG THREE-ZERO, GHOST IN THE SHELL HAS SEEN MULTIPLE REINCARNATIONS. FROM COMIC AND ANIMATED MOVIE, TO VIDEO GAMES AND NOVELS, THREE DECADES WAS SPENT RESURRECTING THE COMPLEX WORLD OF MASAMUNE SHIROW. WE’VE SEEN LEADING ANDROIDIAN, MAJOR MAKOTO KUSANAGI, AS GIRLY, COMICAL, GRAVE, AND DETERMINED – AND NOW, IN ITS LATEST ITERATION, BLACK WIDOW-BAD*SS WITH A TINGE OF AMNESIA. HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE GHOST UNIVERSE.
Philosophical Roots Cyberpunk is only half a dose of Ghost In The Shell’s allure. What really captivates are the questions and details furnished in answering them. Readers of the original Japanese comic created by Masamune Shirow can attest to the depth and unmatched breadth of research on topics ranging from engineering and the sciences, to philosophy and psychology. His creation pays homage to Arthur Koestler’s The Ghost In The Machine (1967), a philosophical psychology on the Cartesian dualist account of a mind-body relationship. Drawing inspiration from Koestler, he supplanted these ideas into a narrative exploring a cyborg’s sense of self and identity.
Robbie pull of the chopped bangs and raven cropped ’do? Transition from the unapologetic, happy-go-lucky violence on heels to Major’s more serious, lone wolf demeanour? We’ll never know. But perhaps with Johansson, we might revisit her roles as Black Widow in Under the Skin (2013), and – in the nature of science and feminist author Donna Haraway’s I’d Rather Be A Cyborg Than A Goddess – glimpse again the delicate but scathing auras she embodies. Pre-movie Binge Classics If you plan to do some research beforehand, look no further than Ghost In The Shell’s animated movie (1995) and of course, the Stand Alone Complex series – a more visually enticing and sufficiently offering content for a pre-movie binge. The first adaptation of the sci-fi cyberpunk series was written by Kazunori Ito and directed by Mamoru Oshii. Also considered as one of the greatest feats of book-to-movie Japanese animation adaptations, it brought Japanese animation to the West, inspiring the Wachowskis’ Matrix, as well as the films of many other directors. Going old school One pre-assassination sequence in the Ghost In The Shell animated movie (1995) remains the most memorable. The low eerie drone of a traditional Japanese choir, the haunting vocals surrounding the protagonist as she takes the leap of faith and is rendered invisible as she plunges down, thanks to her thermoptic suit. Now, New Zealand special effect firm, Weta Workshop made it real. In full silicone are a total of eight skin-toned hero suits crafted to capture the fine details of panel lines, with a supple ‘skin’ finish, because who needs CGI? The mixture of soft and hard silicone on the suit is held together entirely by magnets, each piece in the suit locking into place, while making full limb rotation possible.
Ghost In The Shell is now showing at cinemas islandwide.
The clothes used to make the (wo)-an. Now, it’s personal electronics that define how complex and multidimensional modern life is. Ride the wave to these new tech offerings.
The next time you’re at Sentosa’s sunny Siloso strip foodie haven, dock at Coastes for hearty munches between a salty dip and golden tan. Hit up the newest additions to its menu on your next trip down south, including a Seafood Platter ($52) offering pan-fried crayfish, a refreshing crab salad, and a piping fish stew. Pick Corned Beef Ciabatta sandwiches ($16) for a perfect combination of salty-sweet, with raisin and red cabbage topped corned beef nestled between garlicy ciabatta. For something heftier, dig in to fall-off-the-bone soft Bourbon-Glazed Pork Ribs ($30). Its melt-in-yourmouth, apple-y bourbon-glazed chunks call for seconds upon seconds. 50 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-06, tel: 6631-8938.
SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 3 As the first tablet in the brand’s history to be finished in metal and glass, it’s quite the aesthetic marvel. Equipped with a 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED display and 10bit HDR video playback, it packs a visual payload that makes all
THE DEVIL WEARS SOCKS 064
the difference if you’re a gamer or video junkie. Besides its visual firepower, it boasts a stylus that recognises 4,096 levels of pressure and enhanced security features, marrying the wonderful with the practical.
POA, available in Q2 2017, in Black and Silver with both Wi-Fi and LTE versions, at major electronics stores and Samsung Experience Stores.
APPLE IPHONE 7
Singapore Repertory Theatre is bringing five-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway production, Hand To God, to its 380-seat theatre at KC Arts Centre. The premise revolves around a God-fearing protagonist in the religious community of Cypress, Texas, who discovers that Satan has taken the form of his lewd, foul-mouthed sock puppet; trouble, but of course, arrives with a capital T. A magnet for rave reviews, the play – written by Robert Askins and first produced off-Broadway – touches on religion, parenthood, love, and death. Along with sin, secrets and sex, it is all compacted into a wild, darkly humorous hour-and-a-half. Happening from April 19 to May 6. Tickets ($35 to 45) available at SISTIC. For more information, visit srt.com.sg.
Enter the (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition series. To mark its 10-year partnership with Product Red – a brand entity that seeks to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa – Apple will deck the devices in a dashing red aluminium finish. Besides being the most advanced series in the brand’s catalogue, both devices will impress with their heart-on-sleeve-coloured commitment to making the world a better place.
From $1,218, available in 128GB and 256GB models at apple.com and authorised resellers.
ALL FOR ONE While there are lovely a la carte sit-down options at all-day dining venue Beach Road Kitchen, ultimately it’s the buffet spread that has the limelight. Expect a mouthwatering, manifold plethora of possibilities, including the Signature Funghi & Formaggio Pizza from the Pizza Oven and laksa from the Local Favourites offerings, amongst other delicious selections from the Noodle Bar, the Vertical Salad Bar, and the Seafood Room. Whether it’s a dairy affair at the Cheese and Charcuterie station, or guilt-free indulgence at the Charcoal Grill spot or Dessert Showcase, Beach Road Kitchen is a must-visit restaurant that seriously knows how to spoil guests. Located at JW Marriott Hotel, 30 Beach Road, tel: 6818 1913. Buffet options range $42 to $108.
NINTENDO SWITCH Long a revolutionary force in the video game arena, Nintendo threw yet another gauntlet at the competition when it recently unveiled its seventh and
latest home video console. Transformable from a docking station to a tablet computer, it boasts the gold standard in versatility. This extends also to its wireless Joy-Con controllers which can be hand-held and used in gamepad fashion. Besides its impressive stable of games, the device provides online functionality to facilitate multiplayer gaming and online shopping.
$699, available at Qisahn, #05-11 Far East Shopping Centre.
GARDEN OF EATEN
BLOCKS OF FUN Superheroes aren’t just an integral part of the ecosystem of pop culture – they rule it. That’s why LEGO’s new movie-inspired Brickheadz collection is so apt. Helmed by LEGO’s Senior Set Designer Marcos Bessa, and in collaboration with Disney, Marvel and DC Comics, the new line gives the quirkily cute Brickheadz treatment to characters from Beauty And The Beast, The Avengers, Batman, and Pirates Of The Caribbean. You don’t have to be a sociopathic otaku to appreciate how much cool a lineup of miniature Batmans, Robins and Captain Americas will bestow upon your desks. US$9.99 each, available at shop.lego.com.
Art is chaos, especially in a city as structured and calculated as Singapore. But the mode of expression that is tattoo art reaches its uninhibited creative zenith at the Singapore Ink Show. The three-day affair – on top of providing a space for local and international tattoo artists, their craft, and their admirers, to meet – ultimately serves as the perfect space for a community of likeminded individuals to gather. Never mind the stigma; art deserves respect. Meet, get inked by, or witness in action the likes of Nikko Hurtado, Kinki Ryusaki, Jee Sayalero, and Nicckuhori
Botanico at The Garage is a contemporary bistro, situated in a charming Art Deco-style heritage edifice, that firmly believes in culinary adaptability and experimentation. Its ingredients are sourced internationally, and, as produce changes with seasonality, so do the precise composition of the menu. This keeps the offering prime and fresh, where only the best flavours are used to create a memorable gastronomical experience. Look out for the Lamb Tartare ($24) and the Chargrilled Carabinero Prawns ($35), and finish off with Ceiba ($16) – a devilishly chocolatey dessert with a ginger kick. 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, tel: 6264-7978.
Happening from April 21 to 23 at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hall 404. For tickets ($28 to 65) and more information, visit sginkshow.com.
Text ndran P, Odette Yiu & Sam Chua Images Various Sources
THE GRAND DESIGN
Japanese company Wacom designs tools with the aim of providing quality tech to meet the functional needs of all users, while keeping things super usable and convenient. New releases include the Bamboo Slate – a slim, transportable smartpad that lets users stick to the traditional paper and pen when handwriting notes and ideas, or when sketching, while capturing every stroke to allow for virtual storage, organisation, transfers and edits. Amongst other capabilities, the Bamboo Slate can convert handwritten text into digitalised content and merge pages of notes. Also, with the Wacom Inkspace app and cloud service, material can be synced and accessed wherever, whenever. Available at $199 for the Bamboo Slate in A5 and $228 for its A4 format. For the full selection of products, visit store.wacom.sg.
It’s an incontestable fact that cafe culture is so universally coffee-centric. But Melbourne tea retailer T2 Tea has set up shop right on our shores to see to it that tea-lovers get their due. At its first local outpost, you can now sip the rewards of the brand’s 20 years of brewing experience. Besides perennial classics such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey, look out for the Singapore Breakfast, a country-specific blend of pu-erh, GMC, coconut and pandan, that’s reminiscent of Singapore’s time-honoured national breakfast, kaya toast. When paired, both will undoubtedly make for a delectably sublime experience. #01-20 313@Somerset, tel: 6835-7085.
BOOK THESE DATES
What started off as a humble event in 2013 has grown to become an annual affair seeing thousands of attendees, and this year is no exception. The Singapore Art Book Fair is returning once again, packing a spectrum-defying array of impeccably curated titles exploring all things art. Whether you’re an art book devotee, a connoisseur of zines, or just a curious soul, expect a spirited diversity of exhibitors from all over the world, complemented by fringe activities. Highly recommended for those looking for an indulgently art-immersive fix. . Happening from April 28 to 30 at 7 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks. For more information, visit singaporeartbookfair.org. navigate
CHANG URBAN PULSE AT ININITE STUDIOS GLOVES OFF!
ARMIN ONLY EMBRACE PRE-PARTY @ CÃ‰ LA VI TRANCE BECKONS
ZOUK OFFICIAL OPENING AT ZOUK HEART OF THE QUAY
ALTIMATE PRESENTS CHRONICLES AT ALTIMATE RAISE THE ROOF
GLAM LADIES NIGHT AT ATTICA WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!
MEDIA SEEKS HEAD OF DIGITAL CONTENT & STRATEGY a dynamic, fun, motivated and proactive individual to join us!
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Day-to-day monitoring of website and social media platforms to ensure consistent communication across the channels Enforcing website standards and content/branding guidelines, including house style and formatting Guide the team to create efficient, viral, and costeffective content and campaigns to scale the brand Work closely with Sales & Marketing team to create and craft digital marketing campaigns for clients Project management of content-related projects i.e. website revamps or client initiatives Track and analyse dashboards and content performance to shape efficient strategy to maximise ROI Stay consistently ahead of competition by conducting analytical reviews of competitors’ website offerings to identify key areas for improvements and opportunities to enhance overall reader experience Conceptualise, execute, edit, and oversee production of ad-hoc print projects, including custom publishing and annual issue Day-to-day supervision of Sales & Marketing, Digital Content & Design teams
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Degree in Business, Marketing or Mass Communications, with at least 5 to 7 years’ experience in digital content marketing, website content management, and website analytics Strong communication (oral and written), presentation and listening skills Proven ability to think strategically and to develop and execute creative content and campaigns A solid understanding of SEO, Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, and UX is a plus Flawless grammar and writing. Training in journalism and knowledge in print production a plus
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EMONIGHTSG: THE B-SIDES AT REFUGE WHATâ€™S MY AGE AGAIN?
KYO 4TH ANNIVERSARY WITH OCTAVE ONE AT K YO BASEMENT VIBES
S H O P AT T H E S E S T O C K I S T S AGNES B. #02-39 PARAGON
DIESEL #02-47A PARAGON
MANIFESTO #02-19 CAPITOL PIAZZA
STELLA MCCARTNEY #02-19 HILTON HOTEL
ANYA HINDMARCH LEVEL 2 NGEE ANN CITY
DIOR #B1-63 THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
MARC JACOBS #03-21 ION ORCHARD
STUSSY TANGS AT TANG PLAZA
DOROTHY PERKINS #01-72/73 SERANGOON NEX
MAX MARA #01-10, #02-11 MANDARIN GALLERY
SWAROVSKI #01-K4 GREAT WORLD CITY
FRED PERRY #B3-01 ION ORCHARD
ON PEDDER LEVEL 2 SCOTTS SQUARE
GINGER / SMART TANGS AT TANG PLAZA
PANDORA #B2-88A THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
BILLABONG #04-29 313 @ SOMERSET BIMBA Y LOLA #B1-04 ION ORCHARD CARVEN #03-12 ION ORCHARD CASTAÃ‘ER #03-14 NGEE ANN CITY CLOSET #03-10 SCOTTS SQUARE CLUB 21 #01-07/08/09 FORUM THE SHOPPING MALL COS #03-23 ION ORCHARD
H&M ORCHARD BUILDING JIMMY CHOO #01-42A/43/44 PARAGON
PUMA #02-15/16/17 VIVOCITY
LIU JO #02-49 PARAGON
RED WING SHOE #04-16 ORCHARD GATEWAY
LOVISA #B1-55/60 WISMA ATRIA
SEED HERITAGE #01-25 TO 28 WISMA ATRIA
THE TUI COLLECTION #02-16 CLUNY COURT TOPSHOP / TOPMAN #B2-01, #B3-02 ION ORCHARD UNIQLO ORCHARD CENTRAL VANS #03-06 RAFFLES CITY ZARA LIAT TOWERS
So wait, pulling a duck-face pout and throwing a piece sign induces cringe vibes, but acting sexy with the snout and ears of a dog is all good? There’s no way we won’t be looking back at these selfies without a hint of self-loathing – good thing Snaps aren’t permanent.
If you’ve ever looked back on any of your old LiveJournal blog posts (okay, Tumblr for those of you who aren’t dinosaurs yet), you’ve undoubtedly questioned why on earth you ever made any of those thoughts and confessions public. Facebook, you’re up next.
Call us old fashioned, but blowing off steam generally meant a night out in town and getting a little crazy, or singing your lungs out at a gig until your voice is gone. We have a feeling that the tender souls who find solace in colouring mandalas to destress might look back to realise they took ‘embrace your inner child’ a little too seriously.
WHILE WE CAN’T PREDICT THE SOUNDS, STYLE, OR EVEN WORDS THAT WILL DEFINE THE GENERATIONS TO COME, WHAT WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY IS THAT THEY WILL ALL FALL FROM GRACE. LIKE THE TRENDS THAT CAME BEFORE THEM, HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIP THINGS WE THINK WILL HAVE MILLENNIALS CRINGING RATHER THAN MUSING OVER IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE.
For those who found fame and riches on their Insta-journey, we salute you. For those who came out empty-handed, save for a few hundred fire emojis in your comments sections, we know you’ll be wishing those hours spent tweaking VSCO filters were put to better use.
Despite sprouting out of countless rappers’ heads and that of their respective followers now, we can say with certainty that this trend will not survive. How do we know? Because we’ve seen it die, and then mocked, once before. Do a quick Google search of NSYNC’s Kris Kirkpatrick if you don’t believe us.
After nu-metal came and went, the next generation of listeners had little idea what we were so damn angry about. The same thing is sure to happen again, only with the likes of Drake and How To Dress Well – and the teens of the future will wonder why on earth all these artistes couldn’t turn their frowns upside down.
Your squad’s lingo might be on fleek, but we all know that as soon as your parents, teachers or – heaven forbid – Buzzfeed inevitably get a hold of these sayings (and use them relentlessly), it shall cease being lit fam.
Text Trent Davis Images Various Sources
To the entrepreneurs who locked down a pair of Red Octobers at the beginning of the Yeezy bandwagon, your foresight has rewarded you. To those who are stocking up late in the game, save your hard-earned cash from these glorified socks and start buying gold bullions instead.
HERE BARS & CLUBS
Attica • Blu Jaz Café • Brewerkz @ Riverside Point • Canvas • Cherry Club • Harry's @ Esplanade Mall, HarbourFront Centre • Hood Bar & Cafe • IndoChine @ Club Street • Jekyll & Hyde • Kinki Restaurant + Bar • KYO • Post Bar • Que Pasa and Ice Cold Beer • Siem Riep Café Bar & Water • Wala Wala • Zouk
6 Oz Espresso Bar • Afterwit • Aeiou cafe and Lifestyle Store • Arteastiq Boutique Tea House • Atlas Coffeehouse • Billy Bombers @ The Central • Boufe Boutique Cafe • Breko Holland Village • Café Cartel • Carry On Cafe • Chai Seng Huat Hardware • Costa Coffee @ 313@Somerset, The Metropolis, Raffles City, Vivocity • Cups N Canvas • Dazzling Café Singapore • Dome Coffee @ Raffles Place • D’zerts Cafe • East 8 • Fosters Cafe & Restaurant • Guac & Go Pte Ltd • Habitat Coffee • Hard Rock Café • House • I Am Cafe • Ippudo @ Mandarin Gallery, Shaw Centre • Island Creamery @ Serene Centre • Just Want Coffee • Kith Café • Kombi Rocks • O Comptoir • LEPARK • Mad Nest • Manhattan Fish Market @ Junction 8 • Mint Museum of Toys: Mr Punch Restaurant & Bar • My Awessome Café • Ninja Bowl • Ninja Cut • Oblong Place • One Rochester • Open Door Policy • Overeasy • Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters • Pacific Coffee @ Red Dot Building • Patisserie G • Patissez Singapore • Pies & Coffee • Potato Head Folk • Prive Café • Project Acai @ Holland Village • PS Cafe @ Paragon • Rise & Grind Coffee Co. • Rokeby Bistro • Seed and Soil • Selfish Gene Café • Sogurt • SPRMRKT • Starbucks @ 3 Jalan Jamal, Bugis Junction, Centrepoint, Citylink Mall, Great World City, Holland Village, ION, Jurong Gateway, Liat Towers, Liang Court, Marina Square, OCBC Centre, One Fullerton, Orchard Point Mall, Pacific Plaza, Paragon Shopping Centre, Raffles Hospital, Shaw Leisure Gallery, Tampines Mall, Tanglin Mall, The Cathay, The Central, The Concourse, Thomson Plaza, UE Square, United Square, VivoCity, Wilkie Edge, Wisma Atria • Sushi Burrito • Tess Bar & Kitchen • The Book Cafe • The Clueless Goat • The Coffee Daily • The Lab • The Lawn @ AXA Tower, Nanos • The Lokal • The Providore • The Coastal Settlement • The White Rabbit • Timbre @ The Substation • Time Table Cafe • Wilder Café • Wheeler's Yard • Working Title Cafe
ACTUALLY • Adidas Originals Concept Store • Agnes B • Alcoholiday • American Eagle @ Suntec City, Vivocity • Benjamin Barker @ Cineleisure, Marina Square, Vivocity, Wheelock Place • Bershka • Crumpler @ ION, Raffles City • dh.sunglass • Dr Martens @ Capitol Piazza and Wheelock Place • Durasafe • Eggthree @ Erskine Road • Fred Perry @ ION, Orchard Cineleisure • Goodluck Bunch • Guess @ Marina Bay Sands • Leftfoot @ Orchard Cineleisure, The Cathay • Levi's @ Suntec City, VivoCity • Limited Edt Vault • Limited Edt • ModParade • Muji @ Paragon • Mujosh • New Balance @ Tampines Mall, Velocity • Nixon • P.V.S • Pull and Bear @ Bugis+, ION • Rip Curl @ Marina Square, VivoCity • Révolte x She Shops • Rockstar • Sects Shop by Depression • Space Invasion @ 112 Katong • SUP • SuperShades SG • Superspace • The Authority • Topshop/ Topman @ ION, Jem, VivoCity • WESC • White Rose Parlour
ARTS, DESIGN & MUSIC
Basheer Graphic Books • Curated Records • Hear Records • Kizuki + LIM • Kplus • National Arts Council • Olando Pte Ltd • Red Dot Museum Shop • Roxy Music • ShinnPark • Strangelets • The Arts House • The Projector • The Substation • Valentine Music Centre
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Artisan Hair • Asmara • FDP Prestige Hair Care • Feet Haven Reflexology @ Katong, Serangoon Gardens, Upper Bukit Timah • Fitness First @ Paragon, One George Street, AMK Hub, Fusionopolis, Alexandra, Tampines, Marina Bay Financial Centre, UE Biz Hub East, Market Street, Westgate, 100AM, Metropolis, • KImage @ Suntec City • Scissors Art @ Binjai Park, Joo Chiat • The Cathay • STRIP @ Dempsey, Great World City, Holland Village, Katong, Paragon, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Mandarin Gallery, Wheelock Place, VivoCity • The Panic Room • TONI&GUY @ East Coast, Mandarin Gallery
Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa • Cube Capsule Boutique Hotel • Five Stones Hostel • Hotel Indigo Katong Singapore • Hotel Re! • InterContinental Singapore • Link Hotel • Lloyd’s Inn Pte Ltd • Mori Hostel • Naumi Hotel • New Majestic Hotel • Premier Inn • Sleepy Kiwi Backpacker Hostel • Swissotel • The Quincy Hotel • Wanderlust Hotel • W Singapore
BCA Academy • Lasalle College of The Arts • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts • NUS Radio Pulze • Republic Poly • S P Jain School Of Global Management • Temasek Polytechnic • Yale-NUS College Library
Alliance Francaise • Audio Technica • Big Box • BooksActually • Changi Airport Ambassador Transit Lounge • Frank by OCBC (Nanyang Technological University, Orchard Gateway, Singapore Management University, Singapore Polytechnic, VivoCity) • FUJIFILM Studio • JCube • JCube, The Rink • LandPLUS Property Network Pte Ltd • SAFRA @ Toa Payoh • SCAPE • STA Travel • St Games Cafe • THE HIVE • Tokyo Bike • The Reading Room • Wave House Sentosa