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NOMAD is a brand new Magazine, which focuses on the promotion of artists in all spheres of the creative industry; providing a platform, and exposure opportunities for those who desire them. Each issue, the focus will travel to a different creative hub in London bringing you the best talent from the local arts scenes.


Formally opened in 2006 - Gillett Square has come to represent an innovative example of East London’s urban regeneration, as well as a creative utopia within the borough of Hackney. Located just off the ever busy Kingsland Road, Gillett Square is home to a whole host of creative talent. A hub of musicians and artists, there is a constant stream of exciting work being produced. We loved the passion and excitement of everybody we met during the making of this issue, and felt a strong sense of community within the Square, something we hope comes across when you are reading...




HANNAH BURTON Photographer



CONTENTS MUSIC ELDICA RECORDS ...8 Tucked safely away from the hustle and bustle of Kingsland Highstreet, lies a hidden gem of a record store...

GUY WOOD ...20 Guy Wood has been living and working as a musician in London for the past 12 years...

NTS ...66 In the heart of Gillett Square, a tiny studio is making some very big noises...

ART STUDIO UPSTAIRS ...36 On walking in to Studio Upstairs, you are immediately met with the sights of artists at work...

IN PICTURES ...40 Gillett Square through the eyes of photographer Barney Frost...


PEOPLE MAXWELL PASTOR ...26 An avid record collector and DJ with a flair for graphic design...

KIT CALESS ...50 Writer and radio host, Kit Caless is a regular to Gillett Square...

REVIEW RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW ...56 The second in a series of exhibitions from the artists at Studio Upstairs...

VORTEX ...70 Towering over the Gillett Square is the Dalston Culture House, home to the famous Vortex Jazz Club...





Tucked safely away from the hustle and bustle of Kingsland High Street, lies a hidden gem of a record store. Bursting at the seams with second hand Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Calypso and African Grooves, Eldica is like an Aladdin’s Cave for music lovers and vintage enthusiasts alike. The genie in the bottle is music collector and DJ Andy Westbury described by some as the nicest record shop owner in London, a label he modestly laughs off (it’s true though- tell him a record you’re after and he’ll use his skills and contacts to find “virtually anything”). With a combined passion for music and a rooted love of the area it’s hard to imagine someone better suited to run such a store. As soon as you turn into Bradbury Street you’re hit by the atmosphere of the shop, as a hand-picked selection of tunes blast out onto the street, enticing in passer-bys. The shop has been based there since 2001- when Andy’s wife Annie, opened a shop selling mirrors, incense and the like, named lovingly after her grandmother, Eldica Joachim. An inspiring woman with an interesting life, moving to London from Trinidad in 1946, she enjoyed a career on stage



and screen appearing in films alongside stars like Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. Even when contracting Polio put an end to her acting career, Eldica did not give up, she eventually regained use of her limbs and went on to become a costume designer.

hangs out in the shop, helping to serve customers and generally looking very cute. This all sets Eldica apart from other record shops, there’s a really friendly atmosphere, the staff have personality and are always willing to help - this is a passion for them; not a job.

Family is of upmost importance to the business, from the name, down to Skye; Andy and Annie’s 4 year old daughter, who sometimes

Andy’s love of music started with a fateful encounter with the music of James Brown in the early Eighties, all thanks to


The God Father of Soul is celebrated in a recent print by Andy in collaboration with Main Artery the company responsible for many an iconic image, including David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album artwork. JB 45s is a collection of forty five James Brown/ James Brown produced singles covering every label he recorded on, including the more obscure ones, all handpicked by Andy from his extensive collection. It is his second print for the London based company- the first being a carefully selected collection of rare Funk 45s. If records aren’t really your thing then do not despair! There is plenty more to catch your eye: mirrors, books, glassware, old Life Magazines, vintage clothes, jewellery, retro furniture and much more, all stocked beneath old hanging chandeliers and fringed lampshades, and decorated with faux-foliage . The shop has a very homely feel, as though you are the guest of a hoarder with impeccable taste. Andy says above all it reveals the family’s taste, “it’s a real reflection of what we’re like”.

Tim Westwood. Amidst the usual playlist of Electro and Hip Hop, Westwood would slip in a few James Brown records like Andy’s favourite Get on the Good Foot - “it’s the first song that I remember hearing - consciously hearing.” Since then he’s been a massive fan, “I’ve looked for all his records and, you knowwho else can make you dance like that?” There aren’t too many others that spring to mind…

With the decline of local record shops on the high street and the growing popularity of MP3s, keeping the small business going must have its challenges. “YeahI mean it’s harder because records aren’t as popular as they used to be, obviously people have to work a lot harder, back in the sixties and the early seventies you used to fight to get into a record shop”. It’s not all doom and gloom though, “it does seem to be getting stronger, people are still hunting down the rare records”. The






status can serve as both help and hindrance in attracting new customers. Those already in the know often feel wary about letting other music lovers in on the secret - “they feel like they don’t want to tell people because they don’t want people to go and buy all the records, you could miss a little pile of reggae 7s because you’ve told someone about the shop - but at the end of the day there’s enough records to go around and we’re always getting new records in”. Besides, is the thrill of the chase not all part of the fun? Andy likens it to hunting - “men don’t go out and hunt anymore - they collect what they collect, and records are part of that, it’s like a male obsession”. Talking fondly of the areas cultural variety and musical heritage Andy believes there are good times ahead for this corner of Dalston, “It’s just getting better and better.” Gone are the days of being too scared to walk around at night, the streets are busy well into the early hours, that mixed with the influx of students and artists means the area is thriving- “this is the place to live, the place to be! It’s very cosmopolitan now and very mixed- even more mixed, and that’s a good thing.” So what does the future have in store for Eldica? Perhaps another branch or an in store coffee shop? “Yeah it’s something we’d like to do, it would really go with the décor and the feel of the place, we could play music in the background and people don’t have to come in and spend their money on records”. We can’t think of anywhere better to hang out on a Saturday afternoon, spread the word and get down to Dalston. < < <










WWW.ELDICA.CO.UK 8 Bradbury Street Dalston, N16 8JN






Guy Wood has been living and working as a musician in London for the past 12 years; initially moving from his hometown in York, to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Attributing much of his early inspiration to his time at this institution, as well as its location alongside what he describes as, “the culture house of the east” - The Barbican Arts Centre, Guy has spent the majority of his duration in the Capital, as a true East Londoner. “We always lived around here as students because Hackney was cheap. It was our community, and where our network and friends were. Our close network has always been based in East, and most of our music-making and rehearsal studios have always been here; except for a small stint where we moved our studio to Crouch End. Being in the East of London


has been very important, and still is.” By “we”, Guy is referring to his long-time business partner and friend, Jo Wills, with whom he went onto form their record/production company, WW Music. Despite their mutual attendance at Guildhall, their friendship was fully ignited through the club scene of the time and as a result, fed their enthusiasm for that genre of music. “We both actually started on the classical course, he was classical bass and I went on as a classical percussionist. But we found our friendship at Fabric; that’s where we sort of, formed our union outside of the classical rehearsals.” From then on, Guy and Jo began collaboratively working on various extracurricular projects around London; supporting bands, DJing and putting on nights in aid of charities such as Amnesty International. Having built up an impressive reputation, their voluntary work developed into paid commissions for advertising companies. However, despite their early success, a fixed project was always an inevitability; “It’s a lot of chasing after yourself, you know? It has been really inspiring though,



and still is...” It was at this point, that WW Music was born, and Guy assumed his moniker within it as WAMPA. “WW Music is the label that Jo and I run, and that’s a kind of umbrella of things that we work on in the studio... We have four artists that we represent, two of which

being myself and Jo, the other guy is my brother, and the other guy is our best mate from college... The label is like our outlet; it’s our bit of hedonism. We’ve worked productions for other labels and other artists so in the last year we’ve put a lot of focus into working our own label and our own sound; we


set up WW to basically do that.” However, due to the constraints of genre that are expected under a record label - regardless of being the co-founder - Guy has maintained his work as an independent musician outside of this; enabling him to explore a range of composition styles and sounds. “As musicians we do a whole diverse range of performing and composition from classical to rave, so that’s not really under the WW label. The genres are kind of contained within WW Music, and the work we get with that is adverts, branding stuff, or just doing a little short for charity... We do loads of different stuff both musically and stylistically... But WW is, I guess, fairly restricted in a way in terms of genre. It is basically dance music, but electronic infused music.” However, being under the moniker of WW is not without its benefits. Not only has it allowed both Guy and his partner, Jo, to establish collaborations with


other organisations under a known title, but it has enabled them to expand their horizons into other media outlets. Specifically within their base of NOMAD’s location, Gillett Square, their relationship with the independent radio-station NTS is particularly prevalent; leading to their own show slot. “We’re on every other Wednesday, from midnight to one” Guy explains, “WW is the name of our vibe and our show, and so we thought let’s think of something ‘W.W’, and so we came up with ‘Wet and Wild’ in honour of water-parks. The whole thing was to do a late-night breakfast show,” going on to add, “NTS are great, we’re really good friends.” This familiarity and warmth is apparent throughout the Gillett Square community; residents and studio owners alike have an apparent mutual respect of each other, and in particular of the utopia in which they reside. Guy places a personal emphasis on the importance of this location with regards to the development



of his sound and the WW Label. “This community here is really special: it’s a chaotic but sort of well-functioning place, where everyone seems to get on. It is a bit mad but it’s got a kind of chilled vibe about it all the time, compared to down the road or even 30 yards away where there’s the market. The music industry is a bit mental as well, so it’s nice to know that the place you’re working in is ‘normal’.” In the coming months, Guy’s life isn’t forecast to be anything other than “mental”; “I have got an EP coming out - my first EP - and I’ve also got a gig at Open City London, which is a documentary-film festival and they’re commissioning me to write a half hour score under my moniker for a beautiful

documentary Rhythm.’”



It appears evident from both Guy’s flourishing career, as well as his charismatic recommendation of the Square and its people, that East London is still worthy of its reputation as a thriving creative hub. < < <






Standing out amongst the midst of garage and house nights that seem to be popular in the East London area at the moment, is Maxwell Pastor’s Boogie Down Dalston Experience. Held every second Saturday of the month at Moustache Bar, BDDE is an eclectic mix of funk, disco and boogie. Alongside his friend Scott Groove, Maxwell himself takes to the decks mixing a selection of his favourite 45’s (of which he is an avid collector) under the name DJ Mighty Zoo. The night has been running for over a year and is something that Maxwell claims to be about “keeping it real - something that is a bit more traditional but mixing it up with new stuff as well.” When talking to Maxwell it really is clear that music is one of his strongest passions, a man whose “ears are open


to everything,” and with this statement it seems that Maxwell isn’t exaggerating. When walking in to his flat Maxwell’s extensive record collection is proudly out on display, stretching across lengths of bookcases with a great deal more framed on his walls. “I tend to like stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s, ‘80s - really right up to now.” And the music that Maxwell talks about isn’t just the kind of thing you expect from these particular eras, his taste ranges through all genres with given examples of “Brazilian Rock, Cream Rock, Afro-Beat and Jazz.” So what is it that makes Maxwell so enthusiastic about record collecting? “There’s nothing I won’t really buy, just as long as I like it.” And perhaps that attitude to music is what has helped Maxwell’s record collection grow to vast quantities. Or perhaps living within a ten minute walk of quirky record shop, Eldica, which Maxwell found one day “just passing by” and has since become good friends with the shop’s owner, Andy. “You know I always get on well with someone who is mad in to their records - which Andy certainly is!” Maxwell’s passion for vinyl records, coupled with his flare for graphic design, has inspired him to create a series of limited edition art prints. “It was an idea I had a long time ago. I liked the idea of having a print made up of seriously rare 45’s because the design on them is so colourful and interesting. To have more of an idea behind it, I used forty five 45’s and limited it to forty five editions only.” This limited edition feel is heightened by each print being numbered by hand. Maxwell collaborated with Andy from Eldica to produce the first in the series which features super rare funk 45’s. “The 45’s that Andy picked out are all amazing looking.” It is clear



to see that each record has been carefully placed in position, in order to balance out the hypnotic colours that saturate the print. Some of the individual records are worth between £700 and £800 alone due to their rarity, so the print encapsulates a compilation of the best of funk. “I really didn’t have a clue how well it would do. I just thought maybe I was mad thinking people might like to buy that sort of thing – but I did it anyway, because I wanted to. Surprisingly, it went really well and within a week I sold about a dozen of them.” The second 45 print focused on R’n’B vinyls, picked out for Maxwell by Liam Large. “I did that one with him because he is involved in reissuing records with a really great label called Jazzman Records. He also works in a place called Flashback Records, which is on Essex Road. He’s in there a couple of days a week, working, selling records. He has an amazing collection of R’n’B stuff so I got in contact with him to do this print because I felt he was definitely the man to pick out all of these rare R’n’B 45’s.” For the next in the exclusive series, Maxwell and Andy teamed up once again to do justice to a shared musical passion – James Brown. “Andy is one of the deepest James Brown collectors in the country, so he was the best man to work with on that again.” The print showcases both James Brown vinyls and those produced by him. The series of 45 prints present a collection of different genres of music, “and the best of those genres in a way.” “Maybe it is a thing for record people, but they look really cool as well so you don’t have to be a record collector to buy them. There’s definitely plans


to do more of them over the year, when I think of the right person to work with. Maybe a psych one, or disco, or reggae.”reggae.” Maxwell has also delved in to the realms of film, history and fantasy to produce an Iconic Figures print. “I picked twenty super famous iconic figures from different backgrounds.” The print features Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Darth Vader, Captain Beefheart and Ronald McDonald amongst others. The print portrays classic head shots of the icons and their negative image reflected below. This seems to hint towards the dualism of their personalities, in the public versus the private sphere, or the negative side towards their fame. “I like the idea of making a whole series of them as well. It’s because I’m a bit of a collector so it’s like a collection of different sets of iconic figures.” Maxwell’s prints are available from Main Artery, originally formed by his father Terry Pastor who designed many LP covers in the late ‘60s/’70s for the likes of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and The Beach Boys. Main Artery is also currently looking into selling the artwork of others, which is still in its early stages. < < <











On walking in to Studio Upstairs, you are immediately met with the sights of artists at work. As it is, of course, an art studio – you wouldn’t expect anything else. But the artists at Studio Upstairs are there for perhaps a different reason to many others. The studio hosts a space for people who have suffered from mental illness and other issues to produce artwork in both a therapeutic and professional sense. Everyone has a different background and a different story; a different reason for why they have come to Studio Upstairs.


Perhaps the most interesting thing about the studio is how far from an ’art therapy’ centre it seems. To call it that would almost take away the validity of the people there as serious artists – which all of them are. Patsy McMahon is an artist at the studio, and has recently exhibited an animation piece in the Right Here, Right Now exhibition held in Hackney Wick. She further explained to us about the environment at Studio Upstairs, “it’s really nice when you’ve had a mental illness to come in to somewhere


that doesn’t have a clinical ethos. People don’t want to come from one clinical environment to another.” Not only do the artists at the studio have an interest in visual arts, their practice is both educated and thought through, with many having already studied Fine Art at university level. One of the particular artists at the studio, Zoe Zircon Davis, has previously studied art at Middlesex University and has exhibited her work seven times in the last year and a half.

At Middlesex, Zoe focused on performance and video art and she is currently concentrating on animation. Art seems almost a natural path for Zoe to have taken, with her mother and father both working in artistic professions. “My mum is an artist and my dad is a cartoonist so I totally grew up with it, like doing kid art classes with my mum, it’s a big part of my life…” As far as being at the Studio is concerned, Zoe told us what she felt about the work they do, “they’ve really helped loads of


people and they’ve helped me loads, there’s some really good people working here.” Something that sets the studio apart is their workshops, which are often taken by visiting artists. In these workshops, the members of the studio get the opportunity to explore new areas of art with the instruction and support of working artists. Artists of all visual backgrounds can apply to the studio to run a workshop or even just talk to the members about their practice. From the card-making sessions to botanical illustration – the studio has had a number of visitors each allowing the members to extend their knowledge and giving them a chance to engage in something they may have not done before. As far as exhibitions go, the Studio has exhibited numerous times and is currently showing at the CRE8 Centre in Hackney Wick. They are also working in conjunction with the Royal College of Art to hold a Silent Auction to raise awareness for mental illness. Here there will be work up for auction by artists based at the Studio but also some pieces donated by the likes of Anthony Garratt, Rob Ryan and Dan Baldwin. Some of the pieces are already available to bid on via the Studio Upstairs website. As the Studio goes from strength to strength with their exhibitions and auctions – it is inevitable that more people are going to benefit from the services they provide. Having seen the quality of the work produced here first hand, it is definitely a place to keep an eye on for emerging talent. < < <





















At present, London is rife with change. It takes a certain ascertaining eye to stand back from the daily grind to question recent development a­ nd reevaluate our setting. Kit Caless, along with childhood friend Gary Budden, are two individuals who have raised this question in the recently published Acquired For Development By… A Hackney Anthology. The book, created and edited by the two, features work from twenty-five different writers and documents a stage of urban transition, a shift that is happening right now.

village outside of a town called Canterbury, which is very immovable.” Moving to London as soon as he could at the age of eighteen, Kit arrived just before the cusp, “before the tower blocks went up at Dalston Square, before Dalston Superstore, and it was a wonderful shithole. It was really nice to live in but you could tell that something was about to happen, which is really interesting, especially from an outsider’s perspective. You know, watching all the changes and sort of feeling a bit powerless… to stop it changing.”

Acquired For Development By… is a collective of short stories and poetry, which explore and dissect the soul of Hackney. “I grew up in Kent in a little

The book presents a range of differing perspectives that centre around the theme of change in the borough of Hackney. “We wanted to make it


fiction which evokes emotion and a sense of place that you can’t really go to, because it is a fictional world even though it is set in a real place. You can’t really experience what they are experiencing you can only experience the emotions that are written throughout the pieces.” “The whole point about Hackney is there are all sorts of people doing all sorts of things all at the same time and it kind of evolves and it builds up on top of each other. That’s why you moved here, because you don’t want to live in an environment that’s designed for you and, kind of, guides your mental space. If you live in a space where someone has designed it to be a certain way, to control you or to make you walk in a certain direction towards a shop, then you’re not really living in a city, you’re living in someone else’s version of a city.” “There’s a poem [in the book] The Battle of Kingsland Road – incredible line in it. Where he says, we’re always walking towards the Gherkin but never to it. And it’s the idea that it’s always there but you never actually go in because you’re not the insurance broker, you’re not the banker. It’s like this watchful eye, like Mordor, looking over you. And everywhere you are, whatever street, you see the Gherkin looking over you the whole time. You’re aware of this inner quality, it’s just rammed down your throat.” The Gherkin functions as a metaphor for corporatisation. This is, in part, responsible for creative individuals such as Kit being priced out of their dwellings in London. “Artists, and people like that, live in those liminal cracks and fissures in cities – and those fissures are always moving. Once an area has changed and you can’t afford to live there, it’s like it’s half your fault, you’re the canary that goes down the mine and checks out if it’s alright, and you make it alright, and then the miners come in and take all the ore and minerals and all the goodness out of the area. So you have to be prepared to be nomadic, I guess, and move along.” Gillett Square stands out as one example of development serving the right function, an area



realised to rehabilitate local creatives. “They’ve got the housing development cooperative here which provides cheap rent for businesses, you make something a bit posh like [Vortex] Jazz Club, it’s a public space, and that’s the right way to do it. Whereas where Dalston Square is, it’s not actually a public space, it’s privately owned. There’s all sort of legality that means you can’t just be in that space – completely free.” “This square is mental. The vagabonds, the vagrants out on that step and then you come down and there’s the jazz bar above here and this nice chilled out area and the strongest coffee in the world over there. They bring out ping-pong tables and kid’s climb and it becomes a really family friendly area and it’s just a massive mix. But it used to be a car park.” Kit is a regular in Gillett Square due to his involvement with NTS Radio and friendship with Femi Adeyemi. Kit began laying the groundwork for his book at the same time that Femi began setting up the station. “My book came out the same week as the [NTS] First Birthday Party and me and


Femi met up for a coffee the next day and he reminded me of a conversation we had, saying 2012 is going to be the one – and it was. That’s why he asked me to do a show.” Kit now hosts two shows on NTS Radio, the first of which is Re:Versed, broadcast monthly. Kit teams up with local poet Sam Berkson – ‘Angry Sam’ - to air a spoken word and poetry show that features poets, short story writers and novelists. The second show is Stalking Elk, a Sunday matinee show broadcast every other Sunday – “That’s more of a fuck about. Sunday afternoon, hangover, have a chat. I bring in someone funny to come in and talk about their music.” “It was a struggle at first, because no-one knew what NTS was, but now it seems to be that people are like, ‘ah, I think I’ve heard of that.’ Then you bring them on and they realise it’s this tiny little studio in a pod over there, but it’s got that earthy, ad-hoc, DIY feel to it which I really like.” Aside from his book and collaboration with NTS, Kit has also created Stalking Elk magazine. The magazine first materialised when Kit was aged fifteen, as a zine called !nspired, where he and his friends would talk about music and draw cartoons. “We then decided to revive it as more of a comedy magazine. It’s a different beast, to a book. Everybody thinks, ‘Oh you have a book, wow,’ and then you have an ephemeral little magazine that you’re going to read on the toilet and throw away. There’s a certain expendable quality to it that means you have to keep producing more of them.” Kit’s busy and hectic life seems almost a reflection of the themes in his book – ever developing and evolving at an inexorable rate. “The whole point of Hackney is it’s dynamic and it changes all the time. So if I came here because it was changing all the time, if it changes badly then I can’t really complain too much because I quite like the dynamism of all the changing and that’s what makes it exciting and gives it all the energy. So instead it is more about trying to engage with the new environment and still carve out your own little thing even within all of those pressures on top - do you know what I mean?” < < <








Right Here Right Now is the second in a series of exhibitions from the artists at Studio Upstairs, the first having focused on the past and the second returning its focus to the present. With a wide range of medias including ceramics, video installation, painting and collage; each piece of work was individual,exciting and well executed. When working in a studio so closely together, as do the artists at Studio Upstairs, its often common to draw inspiration from those working around you, consequently developing a house style. However at Right Here Right Now each individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work varied so greatly from one




5 to the next that it was clear to see at Studio Upstairs that isn’t the case. Perhaps this is because when talking to the artists you find that for a lot of them, their inspiration is drawn from personal experiences bringing to their work that certain sense of individuality. Kate Bowes was one of ten artists exhibiting in the show and described the exhibition as “like looking into everyone’s own little worlds.” Her work of course, was too a window into her own world, displaying a collection of four watercolour interpretations of her five year old son; “painting and sketching help me to be in the present moment, the here and now and when I look back at sketches I


that moment in a powerful way.” In total contrast to Kate Bowes deeply personal paintings, other pieces, like the works of Heather Beveridge and Andrew Gervaise-Johnson addressed current issues that we should all be aware of. Beveridge, who studied at the Royal College of Art, used sculpture to execute her ideas to get troops out of Afghanistan. She prefers the idea of sending “genetically modified snails to seek and destroy the opium poppy,” because the opium, “in part [is used to] fund further terrorist attacks.” Gervaise-Johnson used acrylic to paint Sea, an abstract piece of art inspired by the threat of global warming and the effects of this on the polar ice caps. Patsy McMahon’s abstract video art on the other hand, appeared to have the intention of providing the viewer with some light hearted fun. The stop-animation shows women’s hoovers turn from everyday appliances into aliens, which the women no longer have control of; “It is an attempt to bring less hysteria and more wit to some of the paranoid ideas that occur at the edge of madness.” Striking colour was a reoccurring theme within the exhibition, amongst the works of Keta Bradley, Sophie Gorier and Zoe Ziran Davis. In these pieces colour was used in an expressive way; Keta Bradley used oil paints to create an abstract piece to capture the “atmosphere [and] feelings of the Studio Upstairs.” Ziran Davis’ work too expressed emotion through colour, labelling a number of brightly glazed ceramic pieces with a significant part of her life at present, assigned to each colour. In support of the organisation and to raise funds for the studio, a silent auction of art work will be held in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts on the 20th of July. For more details please see the Studio Upstairs website. < < <





















In the heart of Gillett Square, a tiny studio is making some very big noises. Broadcasting 24/7 to anybody with an internet connection, NTS Radio is a place where musical and artistic worlds collide, and is giving live radio a fresh new vibe. Unlike any commercial station, NTS is free from regulation and advertising. This means the station is free to put out a wide range of programming. Listening to the station, you can expect to hear anything from afro-beat, to hip-hop, to heated discussions on the arts, often all in the same show. The only requirement for hosting a show is pure, unadulterated passion. Femi Adeyemi, founder of the station and long time resident of the area, has no time for those looking to merely jump on the bandwagon. When looking for potential new contributors, Femi tells us that he and his team “go off the persons knowledge, interest and passion. Whether we accept it or not, there is a buzz behind the station, people want to be a part of it and a piece of it, so we have to look at a person and decide whether they want to jump on it for hype, or jump on it because they genuinely want to do it.” The ‘buzz’ Femi speaks of is undeniable, with the majority of listeners tuning in from places all around the globe. For him, the best way to experience the station is in its purest live form, from outside the studio in Gillett Square. In fact, he attributes much of the stations identity to the square. During a spell


of unemployment in 2009 (being made redundant from the digital marketing company he had previously been employed by), Femi began working out of Vortex Downstairs, the café where his (now ex) girlfriend was working at the time, and the same place that we met for this interview. He goes as far to say that “we wouldn’t have the station if Gillett Square wasn’t here. Dalston’s changing, and this place feels almost untouched. It’s full of people with all different interests, so we feed off that”. The station is broadcast from a station just a few yards away from the café. Nondescript and unmarked other than a small NTS sign, it’s hard to believe that a station with such a following operates from within. However, it is very much representative of the grassroots feel that the


station has. You get the sense that this is a group of friends playing the music they like, and talking about subjects interesting and relevant to them. This isn’t a station you tune into to hear the latest David Guetta track. For NTS, “radio should be a story, every day you listen and it’s a new story. If you’re listening to the same thing over and over again you might aswell record it on a tape and just play it back every day. The amazing thing about the internet is that it allows people who have this creative energy to put out things that are different, to put a different spin on things and come out with stuff that’s much more exciting, and that people our generation are more likely to respond to rather than turning off after hearing the same old song.” The question remains, why radio? In the digital age, content is becoming less linear and more episodic. People want shows to be available on demand, to be listened at a time suited to them. There is also the pressure for video tie-ins, as the public expects to be visually as well as sonically stimulated. Despite all of this, Femi plans to stay true to the stations roots, telling us that from his perspective, “when listening to radio I use my imagination more, I don’t have that visual distraction, for me the main thing is making sure that the content coming out is getting better each time.” Instead, future plans include a possible second studio, which would allow the team to produce more of their own programming, and take on external projects. Another area of development is in NTS branded events, which give listeners another opportunity to interact with the station. In April of this year, Gillett Square was host to the stations first birthday party, a block party style affair that was followed by a BYOB warehouse rave. The night, like the station itself, was a huge success. According to Femi, there are a couple of big events that are in the pipeline for later on in the year, as well as a new monthly residency at Dalston venue Birthdays entitled ‘Band Practice’. The station’s motto is “Don’t assume”, and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate tagline. Unlike most live radio, NTS is a station with a huge variety of intelligent and exciting content, and whilst a show could be the polar opposite of the one before it, the quality of programming is consistently brilliant. In only a year the station has asserted its place in the London music scene, and we at NOMAD are looking forward to see what the future holds for them. < < < WWW.NTSLIVE.COM




VORTEX JAZZ CLUB WORDS & IMAGE BY REISS SMITH Towering over the Gillett Square is the Dalston Culture House, home to the famous Vortex Jazz Club. Originally based on Stoke Newington Church Street, where it opened in 1987, the club was moved to its new home 6 years ago as the square was formed. As the name suggests, the club is known for its jazz nights, specifically the modern Jazz played by such greats as Derek Bailey, Django Bates, and Eve Libertine, all of whom have graced the stage at Vortex. To this day there is a nightly concert featuring contemporary jazz acts, both new and established. Vortex is arguably the heart of the square. The jazz club has shaped a generation of music lovers, and the cafĂŠ downstairs has provided many with a place to meet, work, or just hang out and enjoy the vibe of the square with a cocktail. In fact, this very magazine first came together sat around a table in the cafĂŠ. We hope you will be inspired to visit the square should you not know it already, and maybe in turn create something wonderful yourselves. < < <







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Profile for Roberta Hollis


NOMAD is a brand new Magazine, which focuses on the promotion of artists in all spheres of the creative industry; providing a platform, and...


NOMAD is a brand new Magazine, which focuses on the promotion of artists in all spheres of the creative industry; providing a platform, and...


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