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Charles Darkly on the case of: ‘One big underground Wonkathon’



ithin the midst of bass heavy music genres today, ‘Wonky’ emerges as the scenester buzz word regards anything truly bent over backwards and threaded through itself . The last few years have witnessed some of the dance scenes most notable producers in search of the so-called ‘Wonk’, and that definitive ‘De-Stabilised’ sound. Dance floors amidst our nation grew persistently more Wonky as the genre progressed, aided in its take over with mass insurgences of white wonky powders inhabiting shaking bodies from the waist below. No longer do we just see the martyred bassline skankers of the four to the floor cult, the hardcore 90’s fallouts which have been pursuing the wonky way of life in the shadows eversince. You can now see it everywhere. Go to Tesco’s and your once white collared city boy neighbor, who was driving his Porsche last week and reminding you to “keep the fuck off his lawn”. Has inadvertently swapped his collar for an apron, his Porsche for a Skoda, and now calls you “sir”. So as the natural forces take their toll against my neighbor’s will, and his lawn is transformed into my private five a side pitch. The only complaints now within the vicinity are that of who’s winning and who’s not, I’m winning by the way.

So has the spectrum been well and truly Wonked for good? I sincerely doubt it has. As this wonky climate eventually becomes substituted for something else, maybe a more ‘straight’ one, just for a slight but radical shift in perspective. Due to the dance scenes super fast evolving nature, one of the latest and more unfortunate derivatives of the ‘Wonk’, is supposedly a musical ‘Donk’. Shouts to the Blackout Crew for pushing things forward yeah, maybe I’ll do a post for those boys soon called ‘Donkey’, or maybe just the word ‘Ass’ will suffice.

But this year has a more than wonky bandwagon to board. With the autumn breeze and sunshine gracing us every now and then, we arrange ourselves into our specific sub genres of scenester splendor, paying the witchdoctor and wearing the colours of our chosen tribes. Of course no tribe would be complete without their own war dance, and with the likes of Dirty Bird Records providing us with tip top tribal rhythms inspired by the epic ethnic back-catalog of world music. We find ourselves resonating with the deep pulsing African sounds of the emerging UK Funky scene. If nothing else, let us take comfort in the chance we might just be able to dance the rain Gods out the sky and lure the sunshine across our dilated peepers. See Wonk Chart overleaf... - DARKLY WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CHARLESDARKLY DTEST-07

1. Black Rabbit – What’s Up Earthlets? Formed in October 2006 by Kelly Love, Chris Bones, Justin Robertson and Guy Williams, these guys have been smashing the London underground since 2006, pushing out all sounds from the Techno, Electro and House scene. This ones got a wobble bassline of highest order, and will scare any rabbit out it’s hole. 2. The Latin Kings - Quiero Saber (Club Mix) Chilled house sounds with Latino samples, and old school vocals mashed into a gently acidic bassline. I’m trying to pass this one off as wonky but it really isn’t, so apologies if you’re allergic to bullshit. 3. Santiago and Bushido – Bounce These boys have been pushing house tunes forward for a while now, with their techy and fidgety infused snippets added to their productions, raising the bar for the average house set. ‘Head Tricks’ in 2008 saw a lot of plays, and I really think bounce was underrated. Although that shuddering deep electro infused chorus, does herald much similarity to Mujava’s Township Funk. But let’s be honest that 4 chord wonder has been rinsed by everyone, because it’s timeless. 4. Calvertron – Doo Doo Another not particularly new piece of wonky house but a tune I just keep coming back to. It’s got a really fun vocal sample to play with on the fly, and a booming drop, which really winds and grinds the floor. Calvertron has been receiving much attention of late, with an interview on The Chew the Fat blog, and being part of the dynamic duo Twocker. Definitely worth a look in. 5. Kanio – The Hitcher Ed Kane’s alias Kanio has been smashing it since 2006 with several of his releases tearing up the Beatport Minimal charts. This one’s a bouncy, bleepy, clickity piece of minimal goodness, with a subtly powerful wonky bass keeping the flow. DTEST-08


MARTIN: Since graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins University of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Graphic Design/Illustration in 2003, Shantell Martin has redefined the concept of drawing—using it as a base from which to storm the fashion, music and club worlds.


RK: The style of illustration that you produce on any media is tied very much to the intricate pen and paper drawings that ground your practice. It ties all the forms of your work together. Do you use any other underlying themes, routines or techniques that you feel define your practice? SM: The common thread among everything is drawing, but I’ll draw on anything: continuous lines, shapes, patterns, symbols, certain words, writing backwards. I guess it’s a process, the way I draw, I don’t plan things. I sit down, and it’s intuitive. Whatever comes to me is what I do. Drawing is kind of like seeing into the future. The pen’s ahead of you. The pen kind of knows where it’s going to go, and you just follow it. RK:As a multi-disciplinarian, what other skills would you like to have? SM: More skills! Like more technical stuff, for example, programming. I use technology but I don’t know how to program it. So just more behind-the-scenes stuff. Learning how to make my own paper or how to make books, things that can cut out the middle man so I can have more of a say in everything.


RK:What do you feel are your key principals with regards to drawing? The essential do’s and don’ts. SM: For me, if I’m not enjoying it and not having fun, there’s no point. RK:What items do you always keep on your person? SM:A wallet, and that’s about it, really. Plus my passport, Metro card, subway map, a badge, and a chain around my neck that usually has a USB stick-on, a mini-Sharpie, a pen, and a locker key. And sunglasses, my Peek, my phone, my camera, sometimes a notebook, keys... I think that’s it, isn’t it? Oh, how can I forget my comb? I always have a comb in my hair. RK:There’s definitely a speculative feel to your work, in the way you draw live and expose the construction of drawings. It feels like a magician revealing tricks or a scientist pottering with alchemical possibilities. What kind of problems or ‘happy accidents’ have you encountered while drawing live? There are probably quite a few. When I am drawing I’m like, “Oh, that’s nice!” The thing about my work is that there’s audience interaction. The audience responds to it in certain ways and I realize I can do things with that making sense of an Idea.


RK: Do people heckle or try and influence your drawing when you draw live? SM: People are very supportive. If I’m doing something live in a club, usually I’m behind the scenes and they’ll come find me and say, “Oh, that’s you.” They want to make that connection. A lot of the friends I have are people who like what I do and came to find me. The only thing I get with my illustration is “Where’s the color?” People always want to see some color. It’s a little bit annoying sometimes. It’s in your head. You imagine it. Sometimes people request something like, “Can you draw a cat?” I say, “Well, I can draw with a cat in mind but I don’t know if it’ll turn out like that.” RK: You’ve spent considerable time in London and Tokyo and are currently based in New York. You’ve mentioned before that you would like to visit Reykjavik too. If not for the necessity of being immersed in an artistic scene, what are the reasons you are drawn to cities? SM: I like to think I’m a “city kid”—I like bouncing off of people. If you go out of a city there’s less opportunity for that. RK: Your recent Person Line Marathon is a super joyous activity with a heavily interactive element. SM: Well, my Person Line Marathon is interactive in that people let me draw on them. There are other kinds of work I do where interaction is more built-in. With this, they kind of lie back and I do what I do best. Draw...


RK: What keeps you on your toes? SM: The subway here in New York. Nothing makes sense and you don’t know where it’s going and it’s all a big riddle. RK: What are your not-so-distant aspirations, perhaps a hint at anyone you would like to collaborate with? SM: I want to collaborate with a DJ, someone like Deadmau5 or Mylo or someone like that. I want to go on a Sketch Projection tour. I’d also like to have a solo show in New York, but at the same time I’d like to take more stuff out to the street, drawing on cars or scooters, just being out. Be me and do what I’m doing but not be restricted by walls. RK: What are you looking forward to? SM: My birthday! It’s a nice time for reflection on positive things.


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When weather spotters saw a possible tornado approaching the small village of Ellsworth on Wednesday afternoon, they went to activate the outdoor warning siren. But it didn’t work. “It startled me and frightened me,” Ellsworth Mayor Jay Smithson said Thursday. “It was a sense of panic there for a minute.” The siren failed due to a recent lightning strike, but the village didn’t realize it was broken until it was needed. The county’s monthly siren test was canceled Aug. 4 due to a real-life storm that day, and there is no tracking system to confirm the Ellsworth siren’s last successful test. The storm didn’t do any significant damage in Ellsworth (population of about 270) or elsewhere in McLean County.


.blog.of.the.month. FUCKYEAHBEARDS This issues prestigious award of blog of the month goes to:

http:// fuckyeahbeards. DTEST-16


hown to me recently by a friend, Fuckyeahbeards blog has quickly become a true favourite of mine. Reminding me where all the real men were hiding. While we sit watching the immaculately groomed explain to us how 8 blades on a razor is not only acceptable but fairly fucking vital if you require to be a male of any true standing in 2009. Fuckyeahbeards showcases men who have defined their own path, cutting wood in the snow not hair form their faces. Sprouting sister blog http://


SEE: Three of this months Exibitions

This exhibition explores the recent trend among European designers for unique or limited edition pieces that push the boundaries between art and design. It showcases furniture, lighting and ceramics, designed by a new generation of international designers, including Tord Boontje, Maarten Baas, Jurgen Bey and Studio Job, who are all inspired by the spirit of storytelling. The Porter Gallery Free admission! 14 July - 18 October STONE HOLE Crispin Hughes & Susi Arnott

FORM MATTERS David Chipperfield

With a style that is restrained, quiet and thoughtful, David Chipperfield is of one of Britain’s leading architects. He has a huge international reputation and completed buildings in China, Japan, Italy, USA, Spain and Germany. Chipperfield produces subtle and sophisticated buildings, from museums to homes, with an acute sensitivity for materials and a powerful awareness of their environment.

This comprehensive overview will look at key moments in his development as well Stone Hole is a new collaborative as at major recent projects including the exhibition of large digital photoMuseum of Modern Literature in Marbach, graphs by Crispin Hughes and a Germany, the America’s Cup Building in timelapse film by Susi Arnott, made Valencia, Spain, the newly completed in tidal sea-caves along the shore- Neues Museum in Berlin and the Hepworth line of North Cornwall. Museum in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Photofusion Gallery London Design Museum London 25th September - 5th November 21 October – 31 January


Any person that isn’t a thief, 12 years old or morally corrupt has just about stopped pirating music if, of course, they did to begin with. The birth of the internet heralded a new era of possibility that, looking back on it, was the digital equivalent of an apocalyptic Smash And Grab. Some of us now realise that we took too much of things we didn’t deserve, that in a lot of cases we’ve damaged or destroyed bands we professed to love. One thing we’ve achieved is to send the current model into a shakedown, and a completely necessary one at that. Much has been written about the failures of the old label/distribution system, so I wont get into that. Instead I wanted to skim through the alternatives to see where we stand as we march towards 2010. The independent label marches steadfastly ahead, always willing to take a punt on new distribution methods, providing limited edition runs and other value added services that build loyalty among its customer base. There are hundreds of UK indie labels who have, and always will, kick and scream to bring music they care about to the public (Type, Warp, Erased Tapes, Big Scary Monsters, Fat Cat, Ninja Tune and Rough Trade spring immediately to mind as worth checking out). The issue remains to get the public to care as much as they do.


Our human hive-mind is searching for a platform, a new distribution model indicative of quality, reputability and one-click buy functionality. We want everything in front of us, available to browse in as much or as little depth as possible- a direct equivalent to the record store experience. In online terms, there is certainly an over-saturation of possibilities for buying music in a digital format. iTunes presented us with a coffer of digital gems, but it’s time is up; Firstly because the technical quality of media is nowhere near being the best of what’s available, secondly because there are clear limitations to the amount of media available on iTunes, also because a lot of people are still hesitant to relinquish hard-copies of their belongings and because many claim it to be overpriced. Other online distributors such as give you choices of quality for a choice of prices, proving popular to the DJ and audiophile contingent. Of particular note for me is An incredible collection of reasonably priced independent music, available with girthy in-house reviews at the highest possible digital quality and hard LP or CD form. This place is a stunningly rich library of every type of modern music which can’t recommend enough. There have been other innovations along the way, with many artists offering their music free of charge. Claims of recouping expenses via touring aside, this is not economically possible for most bands. The Arctic Monkeys recently released a vinyl single with accompanying free digital download code; One purchase that ensures the customer a hard and digital copy of everything that they buy. For any music lover this represents a near-perfect solution, and one that I’d wager is going to become standard. The labels and record stores need to accept that they can’t win back the casual listener, the kind of person that collects ‘banging choons’ on their phones that their mate bluetoothed to them, yet they could safely make a living catering to the 20% who still give a shit.




Art, Music and news.


Art, Music and news.