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an almost independent monthly magazine / january 2011

Eyes On The Skies

Super-scientists and giant ’scopes in Chile

Seismic Soundclash

Gazelle & Die Heuwels square off in Durban

Running in the Antarctic

Ryan Sandes reveals his prototype kit

From Sparrow to Scissorhands Hollywood’s great enigma

Johnny Depp Experience

Print 2.0


3” 4 COLOR

60.40.40.100

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Bullhorn

a stellar line-up

Bulletin Awards News 1: Thomas Butler, singled out by Creative Review for his photo-reportage of Irish boxer Katie Taylor

Bulletin Awards News 2: Robert Tighe won a New Zealand National Sports Journalism award for his profiles, including one of diver William Trubridge

‘Getting away from it all’ is a mantra for the masses. Enough of this urban sprawl! An end to concrete Babylon! Give me freedom. Give me space. Give me… the Atacama Desert. This lonely, desiccated sandscape is an unlikely place to find heaven on earth, yet for a group of uniquely dedicated astronomers, it is exactly that. It is, indeed, a place to find the Heavens on Earth; a place where they can sit, undisturbed, in near silence, with little more than the humming of a few million electrical circuits to disturb their endless gaze into the skies, where they are looking, hoping to find life on other planets. For those who have chosen (were chosen?) to dedicate their working lives to the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere and its brilliantly literal Very Large Telescopes, the sacrifices are many: isolation, bizarre work patterns, the potentially futile nature of their quest… but so, too, are the rewards. How many of us, after all, can start a shift with the prospect – who knows? – of discovering a planet, or, even, a new life form, staring back at us from beyond our own solar system? As you can read (page 28), none of the remarkable individuals stationed at the ESO would ever consider changing their working lives for another, although one or two of us with lives more ordinary might well consider trading places. As might, even, a man with an apparently gilded existence such as Hollywood’s favourite ‘alternative mainstream’ movie icon, Johnny Depp. As he tells us this month (page 44), such are the pressures of fame, of the celebrity ‘bubble’ in which he rather reluctantly dwells, he routinely has to escape the cameras which are forever trained on his famous face, in order to find sanity and sanctuary with his family. Depp, who is these days one of the most bankable screen icons, has the luxury of his own, private island to retire to when ‘it all gets too much’ – a privilege afforded to only the most fortunate. As for the rest of us… well, to misquote Oscar Wilde, we may be lying in the gutter, but there’s nothing to stop us staring at the stars.

Cover Illustration: Von

Your editorial team

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Contents

welcome to the world of Red Bull Inside your high-flying Red Bulletin this month

Bullevard

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14 now and next Updates from the worlds of culture and sport 17 me and my body The reigning Snowboard World Cup champion, Benjamin Karl, has done-in his digits, shattered his shoulder and lacerated his leg all in the name of sport 18 ed stafford The ex-army captain faced arrest, execution and starvation to become the first man to walk the length of the Amazon River 20 KIT evolution It would make no sense for a timepiece to be timeless, and so the stopwatch has changed unrecognisably since first incarnation

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22 winning formula As if by magic, a boomerang always comes back. But it’s science that’s steering 24 bill beswick While most coaches focus on an athlete’s body, this man is all about the mind 26 lucky numbers What does 2011 have in store? We go figure

Action

28 heavens on earth In the Chilean desert, a telescope leads astronomers on a nightly voyage of discovery 44 johnny depp If there is a manual that comes with being a superstar, the 47-year-old hasn’t read it. We meet the actor in Paris for a rare interview 50 Red bull soundclash The head-to-head battle that can produce only one winner – will it be Die Heuwels Fantasties or Gazelle? The audience decides 60 art of can The humble drinks can is transformed into a masterpiece in the right hands 66 chess boxing Yes, you read that correctly. It’s the ultimate test of body and mind 70 jean-eric vergne The British F3 champ and Red Bull Junior is a Frenchman who’s going places. Next: F1? 74 Licence to thrill What the world’s smallest jet lacks in stature it makes up for in speed. And if it’s good enough for James Bond… 04

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contents

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More Body & Mind

82 kitzbÜhel It’s the downhill race even the pro skiers fear, but skilled amateurs with the courage to try it can go down first 84 tokyo travel As B-Boy championship Red Bull BC One wraps up in the capital, we scour the hip-hop underground for the places to see and be seen

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Photography: Getty Images (2), Liam Lynch, Mark Teo, Ray Demski/Red Bull Photofiles, Norman Konrad, Corinna Schwiegershausen, lukas maximilian hueller

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86 get the gear Antarctic racer Ryan Sandes has all the kit for sub-zero survival 88 hot spots The hottest sporting action,whether it’s on snow, waves, track or pitch. Find it here in our global guide 90 nightspots When the sun goes down it’s time to party. Here’s our pick of the best club nights, bands and festivals, the world over 92 nightlife Copenhagen gets an early summer, we worship at Mexico’s clubbing altar, visit the icy delights of Greenland and discover Skateistan, bringing hope to kids in Kabul

Every Issue 06 Kainrath’s calendar 08 pictures of the month 98 mind’s eye

the red Bulletin Print 2.0 Movies, sounds and animation wherever you see this sign in your Red Bulletin 1

za.redbulletin.com/ print2.0 In your browser window you’ll see the magazine cover. Just click at ‘Start Bull’s Eye’

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Switch on your webcam If a webcam activation window opens, just click ‘activate’

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Hold your Red Bulletin up to the webcam You’ll see all the multimedia content in this month’s mag – movies, sound and animation

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illustration: dietmar kainrath

K a i n r at h

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photography: Mark Watson/Red Bull Photofiles


PHOTO OF THE MONTH

p i c to n, Au st r a l i a

Superfly Guy ‘Rock Solid’ is the name given to one of the most spectacular of all freestyle motocross tricks – and the nervous state required to pull it off. High in the air, the rider lets go of the bike’s handlebars, grabs the seat, lets go of the seat and flings his arms out wide, then grabs the seat and the handlebars once more, before landing perfectly. You may have seen one performed, but not from this angle. “The only question I had,” remembers Australian photographer Mark Watson, “was could I tape a [Nikon] D300S to Robbie Maddison’s handlebars?” The answer is evidenced here. Maddison, perhaps the world’s boldest motorcycle stunt rider, was performing in the Red Bull X-Ray competition, despite carrying a wrist injury. See more of Maddo at www.redbullxfighters.com


Ca p e Tow n, S o u t h A f r i c a

peak performance

Photography: nick muzik

Belgium’s trial bike king Kenny Belaey was in South Africa during November to shoot two episodes of his acclaimed Kenny Belaey’s Bigtime Trialadventure TV show. After a tour that took in Sun City, Mpumalanga, Durban and some downhill antics in Pietermaritzburg with Greg Minnaar, SA’s multiple downhill mountain bike world champ, Kenny ended his southern African vacation on top of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. To catch the early morning light, Kenny and his camera crew needed to be up the mountain by 6am, and with the first cable car only leaving at 8am, it meant a 5am hike up the steep Platteklip gorge. Carrying his backpack and bike across his shoulders, Kenny still had the energy to pull off a series of big moves on top of South Africa’s iconic slab of granite. Oh my God, they filmed Kenny: www.kennybelaeysbigtime.com

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH


PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Gotta Sand It To ’Em This picture shows only 1/200,000th of the petrol power that overtook the Glamis sand dunes on the West Coast of the USA for a weekend at the end of last year. The dunes are a regular off-road playground, but over Thanksgiving Glamis is full of every kind of rough riding vehicle: from open-sided buggies like sandrails and Yamaha Rhinos, to Menzies Motorports’ trophy truck, seen here. The Menzies crew were marking their becoming the official off-road team for Red Bull. Said Steve Menzies, team founder and father of Bryce Menzies, who along with Ronnie Renner, is one of the team’s drivers: “We are all looking forward to what the future is going to bring.” In terms of crossing the desert, 850 horsepower beats camels every time. Find more at www.redbull.com

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Photography: Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

I m p e r i a l Va l l e y, Ca l i fo r n i a


PumPs Air in Your TYres, And doesn’T Lose iTs fGriP. its

saddin your le ba g

If there’s one thing that’s vital when you’re pushing the limits, it’s to keep a little something in reserve. And at only 60ml, a Red Bull Energy Shot really fits the bill. It’s small enough to fit in your saddlebag or cycling top. So it comes in very handy when your muscles are aching and your

spirit weakening. In one gulp it delivers enough energy to help you reach your peak and head straight for the next one. And with no carbonation and no need to chill, a Red Bull Energy Shot is always pumped up and ready for action. It’s concentrated energy from Red Bull.

The onLY shoT ThAT Gives You winGs.


Bullevard Sporting endeavour and cultural ingenuity from around the globe

Believe the hype From south-eastern New York to South Africa: rap legends Public Enemy dazzle Red Bull Studios Cape Town

Luxurious Ball Games A look at the world rankings for men’s squash will tell you that Egypt is the sport's hotbed: it has 12 players in the top 50, more than any other country. So it’s fitting that the game’s richest-ever tournament, Red Bull Squash Temple, took place in its ‘best’ country. In a transparent court in front of the Luxor Temple on the east bank of the Nile, leading players competed for a record purse of US$100,00 . Equally fitting, and hardly surprising, was that three of the four semi-finalists were home-nation boys. In the allEgyptian final, world number three Karim Darwish beat world number one Ramy Ahsour. www.redbull.com

There are few constants in hip-hop, and one of them is Public Enemy. Their pounding, politicised music has been a backbone of rap since 1987. During a fourdate tour of South Africa last month, the group found time to address to a packed house at the Red Bull Studios. “The next generation of this music must come from the place that spawned it,” said the group’s leader, Chuck D, referring to hip-hop’s African roots. In a three-hour show the following night at The Assembly in Cape Town, the group demonstrated their passion for, and mastery of, hip-hop’s other influences. Led by Chuck D and Flavor Flav on the mics, and driven by DJ Lord on the decks, they played classic Public Enemy tracks, while taking in soul, reggae and blues before closing their set with a spectacular Sly Stone cover.

Chuck D on stage in Cape Town and (below right) in the Red Bull Studio. Below left: DJ Lord

www.redbullstudios.com

PICTURES OF THE MONTH

every shot on target Email your pictures with a Red Bull flavour to letters@redbulletin.com. Every one we print wins a pair of adidas Sennheiser PMX 680 Sports headphones. With a Kevlar-reinforced, two-part cable (it can be short when running with a music player on your arm, or extended with a built-in volume control), reflective yellow headband stripe and fully sweat- and water-resistant parts, they’re perfect for sports. Visit: www.sennheiser.co.uk Email: letters@redbulletin.com

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Lima If the real taxi drivers of Peru drive like the racers in Red Bull Lleva Lleva, good luck hailing one Alfredo Escobar


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Words: Steve Smith, Bruno Morphet, Paul Wilson. Photography: Jörg Mitter/Global Newsroom/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Malcolm Skene (3), Hubert Stanka (1), Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Samo Vidic/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Agustin Munoz/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Getty Images (1)

Hero Blogs Tweet relief from the daily grind

Raising the Roof The Dakar rally is tough, but its drop-out rate is nothing compared to that of the Roof Of Africa enduro race in Lesotho, the landlocked nation inside South Africa. This year, there were only 22 finishers from 300 riders. Taking place around and over the Maluti mountain range, the 2010 race was brutal, with the last of the three days a true test of endurance and resolve. And yet Kiwi rider Chris Birch won ‘the Roof’ for the third year in a row. “I don’t think this year’s Roof was as tough as last year’s course, thankfully,” he said, flying in the face of public opinion. “It was really challenging and seriously hard work, but there were less mountain passes this year.” Birch was pushed all the way by South African rider Jade Gutzeit. With just three seconds separating the two at the start of the final day, Birch lost eight minutes to Gutzeit after misjudging a water crossing and dunking his bike. It was only on one of the final mountain passes, aptly named ‘Please Push Me’, that Birch eventually regained the lead and finished 18 minutes ahead of the South African. “This year I have changed the way I train,” said Birch, “and it’s really paid off. A big plus is my determination: I can push up a hill until I can’t push any more, wait 20 seconds, then go again.” Videos and pics: www.roof-of-africa.com

Durban

Electro disco types Gazelle sing out and battle hard at the Red Bull Soundclash Tyrone Bradley

Designer Driving Gear The Red Bull Racing Formula One team drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (pictured) have designed T-shirts to raise money for the Wings For Life Foundation. Both men are ambassadors for the organisation, which promotes research into spinal cord injury. Vettel, fresh from winning the 2010 F1 driver’s championship, chose a design featuring his race number: “Five has always brought me luck, and I hope it does the same for the doctors in their research.” Webber’s design, with its winged tyres, represents forward movement in Wings For Life’s work. ¤39.50 each, plus shipping: www.redbullshop.com

Ashley Fiolek Motocrosser Nothing is better than eating chips with guacamole and texting! ;

Appy Days Lindsey Vonn Ski Racer I am really excited to be on the cover of ESPN magazine. I’m impersonating Sharon Stone from the movie Basic Instinct. Could I be her stunt double?

Maya Gabeira (Surfing) Why do girls take so long to get ready???? Sitting in my car waiting on a group of girls to join me for dinner! Of course they’re late ;(

Amsterdam

The Brazilian B-Boy Neguin won the Red Bull BC One 2010 tournament in Tokyo at the end of last year, but now you have the chance to face-off in competition with the Red Bull BC One Game app, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Seven of the world's best street dancers and breakers were extensively motion-captured, so that players can pull off about 650 different moves across 28 levels, in 14 international locations.

More info and direct game download link: http://win.gs/bconegame

Red Bull Balcony: booting a ball into someone’s house. Edgar Davids is a good choice for this Jarno Schurgers

Campinas It’s just not cricket, it’s the Brazilian sport of taco (it means ‘bat’ in Portuguese) Marcelo Maragni 15


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Spoek Mathambo: spreads the love, and the reach of African music

In a Party Mood

Songs and videos now: www.redbullrecords.com

Harder They Try The Springboks won three of their four Tests in Europe at the end of last year, but that will be a distant memory for the players in the 2011 Six Nations tournament. Both victory and securing a place at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year will be uppermost in their minds. Reigning champions France finished 2010 with a 59-16 hammering from Australia. They begin their title defence on February 5 in Paris against Scotland. Wales welcome Jamie Roberts (pictured) back after a wrist surgery; the winner of their February 4 clash with England in Cardiff could be France’s closest rival. Irish fly-half Ronan O’Gara could become only the fifth player to reach 1,000 international points if he scores 18 points in Rome against Italy. Match highlights and more: www.rbs6nations.com

Afro-Futurism The next global breakout music act: Spoek Mathambo and the global reach of the South African sound South African music went global in 2010. Die Antwoord and Blk Jks led the charge, but Spoek Mathambo was alongside those two bands in the racking-up of major air miles. An MC who started his career under the wing of Die Antwoord’s Ninja, Spoek Mathambo (real name Nthato Mokgata) went on to form a band and cut an album of punkedup electro, Mshini Wam. The title is a re-appropriation of President Jacob Zuma’s election song (translation: ‘bring me my machine gun’) and while his eclectic Afro

Kuwait City What would this teddy do without Galway Red Bull is best served chilled – and on that his favourite drink? It doesn’t bear thinking about count the weather this winter has been very obliging Jeff Ivan Tadhg O’Connor 16

bass rhythms and rapid fire staccato rhymes might emulate heavy machinery and the rat-a-tattat of a Kalashnikov, it’s a sound that’s rapidly finding favour with audiences around the world. The 23-year-old and his group have already performed a headline set at the Toffie Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and also played gigs in America and Germany. That he lists Jo’burg and Malmo, Sweden as his base stations (he married a Swede last year) only helps his international cause. Influential music magazine The Fader has said of Spoek Mathambo that he’s “the subversive leader of some new front of political dance music”. Whatever your take on his sound, it demands a listen. Tune in at twitter.com/spoek_mathambo

Manfield

Mike Whiddett shows off his skills during round two of the D1NZ National Drifting Championships Roo Wills

Words: Ruth Morgan, Paul Wilson, Andy Davis. Photography: Corbis, Getty Images, MPY, Nico Krijno

When Innerpartysystem announced a January gig in London, tickets sold out in under 24 hours. However, a second date was announced, to be hosted by the band’s label Red Bull Records, which will see the trio (vocalist Patrick Nissley, left) play DJ sets, as well performing forthcoming single ‘American Trash’. “We haven’t been over in a while, so it’s a great reaction,” says drummer and programmer Jared Piccone. “We’re excited.” They will be joined on the night by UK remix master Untold and DJ and producer Adam Freeland, who has remixed ‘American Trash’. That remixers remix their tracks is apt, since it was remixing that got Innerpartysystem noticed, with well-received versions of ‘Paris Is Burning’ by Ladyhawke and Katy Perry’s ‘Hot n Cold’. “It’ll be great playing with Adam,” says Piccone. “And we can’t wait to get back to the UK.” The gig is on January 21 at Corsica Studios.


b u l l e va r d Print 2.0

za.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Get on board with Benjamin

Me And My Body

Benjamin Karl

The reigning overall Snowboard World Cup champ was born to board: neither broken bones nor the bright lights of Vegas can keep the 25-year-old Austrian from the slopes

Bones Of Contention

In December 2008, I crashed a sledge into a parked car and the impact broke the navicular and ankle bones in my right leg. The world championship was at the end of January. The doctors said to keep a cast on for four weeks, but I took it off after a week so I could get back on a snowboard. Once a week I stood on my snowboard for one run and it hurt so much I couldn’t do any more for days. Three days before we were due to fly to Korea for the championship, and five weeks since the injury, I stood on a snowboard for the first time without pain. It was fantastic. Then my trainer said “OK, you have a place in the team.” In Korea I felt good technically, but not physically. In my first race I finished fourth. My muscles were completely empty. It was a huge mental battle, but I told myself I could do it. And somehow I was strong enough to win my next race, which bagged me the world championship title – it felt amazing. I’d come back better than before with no training.

Gate Expectations

In my spor t you do have to watch the Austrian gates. At one of the last races of the turn side back a did I , 2004 in championships hit the and grabbed into the snow and also lder. gate on the way, dislocating my shou and It was my first snowboarding injur y ation oper an have to had I big. it was s two weeks later, then rest for four week the of end the was it ily Luck after that. . season, so I didn’t miss out too much

Hand It To Him

I’ve had several broken fingers from snowboarding; it’s fairly common. It’s because we pass the slalom gates with our hands close to them and the ground. I always hit my fingers on the gate, and one of my little fingers has been broken three times. I broke all the joints, and now it’s not straight anymore and twice as fat as my other one. But breaking a finger won’t keep me out of competition.

Words: Ruth Morgan. Photography: Fritz Schuster

The High Life

my I do most of my physical training on and ria, Aust , Lienz in live I bike. ntain mou house, the Dolomites are right in front of my r so I don’t have to go far. And in the winte there ide freer to s I have excellent condition that’s too. I also climb and go canyoning, but the g durin is part more for fun. The hard physical summer months when we do a lot of a week days four out training. We usually work training d boar snow Then s. block k -wee in three head to starts at the end of August when we midday Until d. erlan Switz in lly usua er, a glaci play spor ts then and ing we have snowboard train slackline, a use also I ing. runn go or all like footb tion and rdina co-o for as it’s the perfect training boarding. snow in skills ntial esse both ce, balan and I put And it’s fun. Sometimes my friends the stakes. raise to lake cold a over line the slack

Leaving Las Vegas I’m a sportsman in my heart. When we have a few days break from competition before Christmas, my teammates go to Las Vegas every year, but I like to be in nature and Las Vegas is the opposite of that to me, so I go skiing. I don’t have a special diet though. My trainer tells me to eat lots of carbohydrates, but I love meat, so that’s the main ingredient in my diet. I never worry about what I eat: in my sport the exercise makes your weight go down, and I need to be heavy to go faster. At least, that’s what I tell myself! BK is king at benjamin-karl.com

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A Walk on the Wild Side

ed stafford

More than 6,000km, 28 months and a multitude of dangers would satisfy most explorers, but not this one. Being the first man to walk the length of the Amazon is just not enough…

Walking the Amazon, a documentary made using footage shot by Stafford during his expedition, will be shown on the Discovery Channel on February 2 and 9 in the UK

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A small flat on a quiet street in South London has been turned into an explorer’s HQ. Ed Stafford, the first person in history to walk the entire length of the Amazon river, sits on a deep sofa, hands wrapped around a cup of tea, a stone-and-a-half heavier than he was when he returned from his epic adventure in August. His 6,500km journey has transformed the ex-army captain and selfproclaimed ‘outdoorsy type’ into one of the world’s most accomplished survivors, and he’s already planning his next expedition. “It will be another first, but that’s all I can say right now,” he says with a wry smile. Stafford finished his groundbreaking Amazonian expedition in 859 days – more than double his original estimate for the trip – during which time he was held at gun and arrow point, accused of murder and collapsed through near-

starvation. This being a modern adventure, he was hooked up to the internet at all times, blogging about his experiences as they happened, and filming his exploits in HD for posterity. He also downloaded episodes of The Office to provide respite, an explorer’s comfort Shackleton couldn’t have fathomed. But the hard part was done the old-fashioned way: one perilous step at a time. Stafford’s mission was branded impossible by the authorities in Peru, Colombia and Brazil, and described as ‘mad and marvellous’ by the greatest living explorer himself, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. But, with a derring-do spirit possessed by great explorers before him, the then-32-year-old from Leicestershire grabbed his machete and headed to Peru. “I come from a background of conservation expeditions, and raising awareness of deforestation was a brilliant part of the trip,” he says. “But at the heart of it was a selfish desire to have an amazing adventure.” Stafford undoubtedly shares qualities with the explorers of old, the stiff upper lip, the gritty determination, the passion for his mission. But there is none of the associated reserve. He is light-hearted and jovial – a guy you’d happily share a pint with. “My website says that I’m an explorer but I cringe at that,” he says. “It sounds like you’re trying too hard. I’d like to be known as an adventurer, which

Words: Ruth Morgan. Photography: Keith Ducatel (4)

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Words: Ruth Morgan. Photography: Action Images (2), RacingThePlanet Ltd/Zandy Mangold (1), Russ Hennings/Oakley (1)

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still sounds a bit Lycra-clad but it’s more accurate. Though neither’s bad as a job title!” Having set off from the source of the river in Nevado Mismi on April 2, 2008 armed with Google Earth, a GPS system and some rather unreliable maps designed for pilots, Stafford and his travelling companion Gadiel ‘Cho’ Sanchez Rivera, a guide and forestry worker Stafford met four months into his journey, set out to achieve what no-one before them had managed to. They carried packs weighing up to 46kg, covering between 4 and 11km per day, depending on the density of the jungle. “The jungle dangers became almost irrelevant,” says Stafford. “We could look after ourselves. It was people that caused us the most stress.” And they certainly did: Stafford was held for a night in Peru on suspicion of murder; the pair were chased by armed drugs traffickers; an indigenous community attacked them with bows and arrows, assuming Stafford was a ‘CortaCabeza’, someone who would steal babies and body organs; and in Brazil a chief demanded they buy him a new cooker to secure passage through his land. Then midway through the 28-month expedition, Stafford’s main sponsor pulled his funding, forcing the pair deeper into the jungle, a cheaper route. “It was the most amazing adventure of the whole trip really as it was just so remote,” says Stafford. “Though for eight days we had almost no food, just a quarter-cup of farine, a local carbohydrate. At night we couldn’t sleep because we were hallucinating, dreaming of food. But when it was good, it was great. “For eight The jungle started to feel days we had like home. The most relaxed Cho and I were was when almost no we’d found a river, started food, and a fire, hung up our hammocks and cooked pasties.” we couldn’t The combination of sleep. But relative isolation, hunger the jungle and fatigue did cause huge started to feel mental strain during the twoand-a-half-year expedition. like home” Though, in what may have been a first for an explorer, Stafford was able to speak to a life coach via satellite phone. “I went into a downward spiral at one point,” he says, “and had a couple of chats with a guy that really helped. I needed some perspective. It’s so bizarre that I was able to do it!” The day before the pair achieved their recordbreaking goal, Stafford collapsed at the side of the road from exhaustion. But after two hours sleep and having covered 85km in 19 hours, they finally saw Brazil’s Atlantic Ocean on August 9, 2010. “I felt like my tendons were going to snap,” says Stafford, “but we still made into the sea.” The trip has brought the 34-year-old into the international spotlight, with book deals and TV opportunities. Now, as we finish, he’s off to a meeting about his future plans. He says he doesn’t need a lift – he’d prefer to walk. It was a silly question, really.

Hard & fast Top performers and winning ways from across the globe

BMX racer Steve Wong powered to victory at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. The Hong Kong athlete crossed the finish line more than a second ahead of the pack.

After wins in Sahara, Atacama and Gobi, victory in Antarctica for Ryan Sandes means the South African is the first man to win all stages of the 4 Deserts series.

At the 2009 Innsbruck Air and Style big air contest, Sebastien Toutant broke his ankle. At the 2010 event in Beijing, the 18-year-old Canadian finished first ahead of Belgium’s Seppe Smits.

Austrian 2010 Olympic gold medallist Thomas Morgenstern (right) beat Johan Remen Evensen of Norway to win the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup event in Lillehammer.

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kit Evolution

TIME MACHINES Sport’s last 100 years has had plenty of times to remember thanks to everchanging equipment putting in the hours. Give us a minute and we’ll explain…

When Charles-Auguste Heuer told his employees he needed watches with “five to 10 times greater” precision, he wasn’t trying to squeeze their lunch hours. In 1916, Heuer patented the Mikrograph, the world’s first mechanical stopwatch accurate to onehundredth of a second; its mechanism was 20 times more accurate than anything available. It led to Heuer supplying timing instruments for the Olympic Games of Antwerp in 1920, Paris in 1924 and Amsterdam in 1928. One revolution of the large hand counts three seconds, but under the surface, those cogs churn out 360,000 oscillations an hour. The last Mikrograph – barely altered from the original, cased in polished nickel – rolled off the production line in 1969, but the company, which became TAG Heuer in the 1980s, continues to mark time at major sporting events, including the Indy 500. Clock a newer range of timepieces at www.tagheuer.com

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Words: tom hall. Photography: luke kirwan

The old Ticker Heuer Micrograph, c1960


living in the moment EtherLynx Professional camera, 2004 If the camera never lies, then here’s one with good karma to spare. This finish-line camera separates which arm, leg, spoke or bumper crossed the line first when other timing devices are still saying “What…?” Accurate to 10,000 frames per second, it can define margins of centimetres between objects travelling at over 320kph and automatically eliminate dead space from photos to deliver crystal-clear images straight to stadium scoreboards. It captured Usain Bolt’s first-ever 100m world record at the 2008 Reebok IAAF Grand Prix in New York, and contributes to the official technology used in the Tour de France and NASCAR. But for all its amazing technical features, however, nothing can be done to eliminate the ridiculous gurns of the men and women as they cross the finish line. That’s a Photoshop job. Find this and other Lynx System Developers products at www.finishlynx.com

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Flight of Fancy: Gerhard Walter with his record-breaking boomerang. He needs a lot of space to throw it. “It has a downwash like a helicopter and can be dangerous to catch when it hovers, so I only do it when it comes in with a little speed,� he says


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winning formula

full circle Ever been haunted by an idea that won’t go away? Gerhard Walter knows all about that: he wanted to make the world’s biggest boomerang

Words: Paul Wilson, Dr Martin Apolin. Photography: helge kirchberger. Illustration: mandy fischer

The man who throws Gerhard Walter was a humble hobbyist with a penchant for homemade boomerangs, which he’d fly in his local park in Graz, Austria. Then, one day, almost by accident, he found out how to make massive boomerangs. “I used to make normal-sized boomerangs from plywood,” he says, “and a few years ago, I thought to myself that I could make a lighter version for kids, using wood cut from fir trees. After I did that, it made me realise that I could make something bigger for adults. “It took quite a bit of trial and error to get things right, but once I had perfected the shape and the sizeto-weight ratio, I looked online to find the biggest boomerang in the world. An Australian guy had made one with a span of 181cm. I beat him with a 203cm boomerang; then, I made one come back to me that has a wingspan 259cm, the biggest ever.” the man who knows “You have to understand the basics to grasp how a boomerang works: it’s a spinning-top with wings,” says Dr Martin Apolin, a physicist and sports scientist. “Let’s look at the aerodynamic components first. A standard boomerang has a typical V-form. A profile is worked into each arm, similar to the aerofoil shape of the wings on a plane (fig 1), but the profile is asymmetrical: one leading edge points left, the other right. During inflight rotation, air always flows over the leading edge, whereby aerodynamic lift is produced by both arms. “Boomerangs are thrown at an angle perpendicular to the ground, with a starting angle of almost zero (see main image). The lift of the two arms is not equal. This is because the boomerang not only rotates, but also moves through the air. The arm in the upper position moves in the direction of the flightpath, and the velocities of both the upper and lower arm impact on the boomerang in different ways at different times of the flight. This is easy to see if you sketch the flow velocity over the entire path of the arm (fig 2a). Since lift depends upon this flow velocity, the upper arm has greater lift than the lower (fig 2b). Seen from the back, one would expect the boomerang to fall to the left with the outer side up (fig 2c). “Now let’s take a look at the spinning-top aspect, the forces that work for a spinning-top also apply, but turned at 90º in the direction of the rotation. Thus the boomerang doesn’t fall over, but instead steers to the left like a rolling wheel (fig 2d). This way, the boomerang completes its path, returning to the thrower if everything is done correctly. The key formula this month is thin and slim: R ~. It says that the radius R of the flight trajectory is only dependent on the so-called moment of inertia Theta) of the boomerang; in other words, it relies only on the construction of the boomerang – not, as one might think, on throwspeed or rotational velocity.” 23


b u l l e va r d

Mind Games

Bill beswick

It’s not just about raw talent. The top sports psychologist reveals some of the tricks he uses when he’s coaching young athletes to greatness

Mastermind Bill’s credentials as a sports mind coach are founded on a masters’ degree in sports psychology Shrink to fit When working with English club Derby, he noted: “At first, the players recoiled in horror at the idea of working with a shrink” Deputy head Bill was appointed assistant manager by Steve McClaren at Middlesbrough FC from 2001. It was the highest-ever management position achieved in football by a mind coach

Read more about Bill’s skills at www.billbeswick.com

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RED BULLETIN: You’ve worked with so many top players. What makes the difference between, say, a David Beckham and any average player, apart from their level of natural talent? BILL BESWICK: Everybody talks about talent, but talent alone isn’t enough. The difference I’ve noticed between the greats and the not-so-greats and the average is attitude. They have great attitude, which drives their talent, and makes the most of it. So the really great athletes want more, are willing to work harder and are stronger in sticking to the task, and certainly more resilient when bad things happen. RB: And you saw that in Beckham when you worked with him? BB: He’s a good example. In pure football terms he wasn’t overall the most talented player. But he made the best of his talent, because he was willing to work. He sacrificed a lot in his early years to become the player we all now know. RB: Which player that you’ve worked with impressed you most and why? BB: Roy Keane. As captain of Manchester United he was the most dominating player I have ever seen. On the field he led his team and could truly be described as a warrior. RB: Are you born with the right mentality to survive in the toughest competitions or can you work on it? Can you turn a loser into a winner? BB: It’s a great advantage to have two great parents who train you from a very young age to be committed, to persist with a task, to believe in yourself and be confident under pressure. But attitude is a choice, and at any stage people can make a decision to change their attitude and their lives. RB: Is showing people the right attitude the secret of a successful football psychologist? BB: Absolutely! My method is to work from the end backwards, because all athletes want to be great. So we have to understand what greatness

Everton coach Steve Round (left) takes advice from Bill

“Usually to be great you have to build a history of success. But being great once is not enough. You actually think like a great team, you think like a great player” is, then work backwards to where the particular player we’re working with is and say, ‘OK, this is where you want to go, this is what you have to do.’ The sports psychologist has to lead. RB: So why do you think Manchester United are always title contenders? BB: Usually to be great you have to build a history of success. But being great once is not enough. Manchester United have been great now for some time ,and with that comes self-belief. You actually think like a great team; you think like a great player. Everything comes down to ‘what is your dream?’ – Manchester United dream big, so they achieve big. RB: You’re working in Austria now, a country with no real football culture. Do you think that in a weak league a mindset can be developed to form a team fit for the Champions League? BB: Yes I do. I don’t believe in limitations, I just believe it’s harder. But there is no reason why a club in Austria can’t become a centre of excellence. The only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. I’m sitting here in a beautiful club, watching young lads training. There is no reason why they can’t be trained to the same level as the Manchester United youngsters. We have to make sure that they compete in Europe to test themselves against the best. All things can be achieved. RB: And can they be achieved quickly? BB: Like all good things, for instance, raising a child, it’s a day-to-day activity. Nothing happens quickly in sport. One of the essentials when training young people is to do the right thing today, and tomorrow and the day after, so when they are challenged in the competitive arena they know what to do. They have been trained to think and behave in the right way. The mind is like the body: we enjoy the win on Saturday because of the work done during the week.

words: karin bock. Photography: HELGE KIRCHBERGER, Bill beswick archive

Name Bill Beswick


B u l l e va r d

Lucky Numbers

The Year 2011

It’s one typo away from a space odyssey and Paul McCartney turns 69 in its June – the month marking 25 years since Diego Maradona handed the World Cup to Argentina. But what else can you expect from this twelvemonth?

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If the referendum in southern Sudan, due to take place this month, results in its people choosing to split Sudan in two and form a new country, then the United Nations will have to make room for a 193rd member: South Sudan. However, in a country ravaged by civil war until 2005, nothing, let alone organising a vote for nine million people, is straightforward. South Sudan will not, however, be the 193rd country on Earth – various lists are drawn up, which depend on the politics of those drawing them. FIFA, for example, has 208 affiliate associations.

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Good news for the UK polocrosse team. You know, polocrosse, the cross between polo and lacrosse. The host nation has a 100 per cent record at the Polocrosse World Cup – Australia won on home soil in 2003 and 2007 – and the 2011 tournament will take place in East Yorkshire in July. Other sports cupping their worlds this year include rugby (New Zealand, Sep-Oct), touch rugby (Scotland, June), cricket (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Feb-Apr).

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45,000,000 You’d hardly be doing your job as a tech analyst if you didn’t predict big sales for iPad in 2011. Of all the guesstimates on offer, the most optimistic is a report by Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities, based on orders for iPad parts, suggesting that up to 45 million of the blighters could be sold. However many fly off shelves, in 2011, Australia will join Japan, Sweden, Canada and Hong Kong as a country with more personal computers, Apple and otherwise, than people.

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Culture vultures are already circling 2011, with an eye out for tasty morsels of new music. Over the course of the year, there will be new albums from the Beastie Boys, Dr Dre, Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, REM, Radiohead, Santigold, Paul Simon, The Strokes and, vrooming right out of the 1980s, new-wave rockers The Cars, who are releasing their first album since 1987 – a gap of 24 years. Also released that year was U2’s The Joshua Tree, the Irish band’s fifth and best-selling album (25 million copies and counting). Bono and pals are due to release their 13th album, Songs Of Ascent, in the next few months.

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According to projections by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the global economy is set to rise by 3.6 per cent in 2011, down from 4.4 per cent in 2010. The real action, says the Unit, is in emerging markets. Shrewd investors should be watching luxury goods and Asian exports, the art market will produce big sales, while coffee and sugar prices will drop. So it’s not all doom and gloom, especially for Chinese manufacturers of diamond-studded espresso machines.

See what 2011 holds for you at www.magic8ball.com

words: paul wilson. photography: getty images (1), PA (1), picturedesk.com (2),

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Exactly one month after celebrating his country’s 235th birthday on July 4, the President of the United States of America will celebrate his own 50th birthday. On August 4, 1961, Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii – unless you believe the ‘birthers’, crackpot conspiracy theorists who claim the current POTUS was born outside of the US and is therefore ineligible to preside. There are better things to occupy one’s mind with however, such as an even greater legacy to human history from 1961: the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin.


FATE DOESN’T ASK. IT COULD ALSO BE ME. OR YOU. David Coulthard,

13-fold Formula 1 GP Champion and Wings for Life ambassador.

SPINAL CORD INJURY MUST BECOME CURABLE. In funding the best research projects worldwide focusing on the cure of spinal cord injury, the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation guarantees top-level medical and scientific progress.

Your contribution makes a difference. Donate on www.wingsforlife.com

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za.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Astronomy in the Atacama desert STARRY, STARRY NIGHT No human life in the Atacama Desert means no light pollution, so atmospheric conditions are perfect for staring deep into space from the Paranal observatory


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Heavens on Earth

The Atacama Desert: a desolate, distant area of Chile, too inhospitable to support human life‌ Apart, that is, from a remarkable group of astronomers who live and work here, in one of the world’s most advanced stargazing observatories Words: Norman Howell Photography: Lukas Maximilian Hueller

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he white and silver buildings stand tall and imposing on top of a mountain shining brightly under the unrelenting desert sun. At night they come alive, the outer walls open up and silently slide through 360 degrees, allowing an uninterrupted view of the Southern Hemisphere sky. Inside, a giant eye looks deep into the stars and beyond, looking for life, mysteries and making sense of out of the darkness. We are in Paranal, in Chile’s Atacama desert, where at 2,600m above sea level, Europe has its most advanced astronomical observatory, the VLT, or Very Large Telescope. It’s the leading site for ESO (European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere), a joint undertaking by 14 European countries focused on developing the most advanced scientific tools for observing the universe from Earth and making the results available to Europe’s scientific community, thus enhancing the knowledge base for industry, education and culture. Getting to Paranal is a journey of discovery in itself. After leaving the Pacific Ocean and the port town of Antofagasta in northern Chile, you head south and hook up with the Panamericana highway and into the desert, the driest on earth. It’s a twohour drive to the observatory, but it feels longer as the harsh light, the rocky, dusty desert, the complete absence of any form of life, except for the giant trucks that ply their trade along the 3,400km highway, is unsettling. So much more so as we pass many roadside shrines erected by the families and friends of those who have lost their lives on the Panamericana. As we drive further into the desert, leaving the main highway, the road starts to rise gradually, with hills and steep valleys all around us. And rocks, and stones. The environment is harsh in 30


Road to SOMEWHERE The entrance to the Residencia, where Paranal scientists sleep, rest and play when not gazing at the night sky. It also starred in Bond flick Quantum of Solace

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the extreme and it’s hard to imagine that a community of European scientists have chosen this place to establish a world-leading astronomical observatory. The reason, we are told, is simple. Astronomers need a clear view of the sky at night. Optimal conditions are to be found in deserts; there are fewer of the negative factors that can make telescope work less effective. Factors such as light pollution. At Paranal, no lights are allowed after dark, all windows are screened and even the main residence, where 108 people sleep, leaks no more than 40W when all the lights are turned on. The other big factor in the desert, and especially in the Atacama, is the absence of cloud cover and, higher up, the lack of atmospheric dust and all the other interference caused by humans or nature which contributes to partially hiding the secrets of the universe. The nursery rhyme ‘twinkle, twinkle little star’ is just what the astronomers do not want to hear, as the ‘twinkle’ means there is debris between the eye, telescope, and the star. ESO scientists took nine years to find the right site for VLT, which came on stream in 1999. A number of other locations had been looked at in Africa too, 32

but the Atacama desert had all the necessary requirements: it’s near a port and an airport; road access was reasonable, good local workforce; a stable political environment. Now there are two working observatories and two more under construction. Nothing prepares a visitor for the extraordinary nature of Paranal. The four telescopes, which together form VLT, overlook the site, perched on their platform, where, quite literally, the mountain has been sliced off so as to position them. According to ESO’s literature, the VLT is the “world’s most advanced optical instrument, consisting of four Unit Telescopes with main mirrors of 8.2m diameter and four 1.8m Auxiliary Telescopes”. The telescopes can be used singly or in linked groups, thus acting as one even bigger telescope. Each is so powerful it can look at celestial objects which are four billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.

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he road leading up to the platform from the main working and living site below is steep, and once on the top, there is an uninterrupted view as far as the eye can see. The Pacific Ocean is only 13km away, across the desert, but it’s hard


’SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT (Above) The four telescopes at Paranal are huge and technically radical. A new industrial process had to be created to coat their giant mirrors. (Left) Not much around here to obscure the view…

This is My Telescope Petite, with a mop of jet black hair and John Lennon glasses, T-shirt and jeans, she exudes energy and fun. “My name is Claudia Cid and I’m a telescope instrument operator which means I’m in charge of all the telescope’s systems. I focus the mirror and I’m the troubleshooter for my telescope. I support the astronomer’s observations. Time is very important, as it’s very limited, essentially a night shift. So response time is very important. I’m the fixer. I need to deal with issues affecting software, mechanics, electronics and hydraulics. What makes it tough, but so exciting, is that you cannot be taught any of this, in the sense that each telescope is a prototype, it’s unique, so each problem tends to be

a new one and the solution therefore a little harder. Even though I’m from Chile, this place has been a big culture shock as I come from the south, which is green. At first I was homesick, now I find it incredibly peaceful. The best part of the job is the six days off after the seven nights on. I fly home and I sleep, I do that a lot, maybe too much, and I hang out with my friends. These shifts have you feeling always jet-lagged, it can be really hard at times. ESO is a nice place. When you spend all night on the same telescope, solving problems and helping each other out, you get pretty close. You’re a team. So you have to be sociable. You can’t eat on your own in the canteen.”

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to believe that water, even salt water, can be so close, as everywhere the eye can see is stony desert. The four giant telescopes and their smaller auxiliaries bring to mind the set of Star Wars: white and silver, rather forbidding, with a sense of hidden power within them. But at sunset – which is so extraordinarily long and mesmerising that every evening a number of scientists emerge from behind their computers and stand on the Platform as the sun dips below the horizon to watch the spectacle – that is when the telescopes take on another look. This could be Stonehenge, another magic circle from where our forefathers tried to make sense of the stars. Soon after arriving, we are taken to see the inside of one of the telescopes. They have been named in the indigenous Mapuche language, following a competition among Chilean schoolchildren: Antu (the Sun), Kueyen (the Moon), Melipal (the Southern Cross), Yepun (Venus or the evening star). Every evening an engineer is assigned to a telescope and his or her job is to get it ready so that it can then be taken over at night by a three-person team consisting of an astronomer, an engineer and a visiting astronomer. The telescope engineer runs 34

through a series of tests in preparation for the work that will be done later that night. We stand inside Antu as outer walls swivel open around us, then it’s the turn of windows higher up, sliding silently to allow the main unit housing the mirrors to also point, swivel, turn and dip in all directions. This main unit weighs 450 tonnes, and yet moves silently and effortlessly, nearly frictionless, eased by hydraulic oil. Each very large telescope has three mirrors, reflecting into each other and directing the information back to the control room, via a series of further mirrors in underground conduits. The main mirror weighs 22 tonnes, is 8.5m wide and is 17cm thick. Every 18 months, the whole 45-tonne unit housing the mirror is driven at 5kph down the mountain and into a special hangar where it is recoated with a super-thin layer of aluminum, less thick than a chocolate-bar wrapper. Once these tests have been completed, the engineer hands over the telescope to the astronomer and his team, who for the rest of the night will be operating one, or more, of the telescopes, remotely from a control room situated near the Platform. All night long these giants will be moving and pointing


Rooms with a view (Above) La Residencia is sketched sympathetically into the desert landscape; (opposite, clockwise from top left) water and bikes – essential sustenance and transport; stark polished concrete and marble interior contrasts with incongurously lush gardens. (Below) Table football for, ahem, shooting stars

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Here’s looking at you The inside of one of the giant telescopes. The central unit weighs 450 tonnes and houses the main 8.5m mirror (which weighs ‘only’ 25 tonnes and is 17cm thick). A second, smaller mirror, 1.2m wide, is made from beryllium, a rare metal. The external walls can all slide open to allow the telescope to point in any direction as it rotates soundlessly on its base


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additional photography: Christoph Angerer

special effects ‘Startrails’ photography is obtained by stacking, or layering, 28 single exposures, each four minutes long. This gives a total exposure time of 112 minutes, during which the Earth rotates, creating the ‘star circles’ effect. The orientation in this image is towards the Southern Pole

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Light FANTASTIC (Above) Even when fully lit inside, La Residencia doesn’t leak more than the equivalent of a 40W bulb. Yet the natural sunlight outdoors in Atacama is so harsh that all rooms are designed with windows to keep it away from laptop screens (right)

The Other Side of the Mirror Gerhard Hüdepohl is lean and fit-looking, with the casual slouch explorers and special forces soldiers have. “I’ve been here since 1997. I remember the journey of the concrete mirror very well, because I walked all the way, alongside the truck, at 5kph. We had accelerometers (vibration sensors), wired up to the mirror and we knew that any jolt would be a disaster for the whole project. The road was so bad that we had two huge machines, road levellers, driving just ahead of us, to make the road as smooth as possible. The journey took three days. It was very exciting. “I have also been involved in every single recoating of the mirrors. That’s a very scary process, especially the first times. We knew how hard it

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was to make these mirrors and that we could not afford to damage them in any way. They need recoating as they get dirty with use, dust scatters light and the astronomers want the purest images. So we strip away the thin layer of aluminium, and then drop nanoparticles of new aluminium on the mirror’s surface. The whole process takes a week. “What do I do in my spare time? I have a pilot’s licence and I love photography. So I combine the two by flying over the Andes. I also started this silly tradition of taking ‘stool photos’. It started in Namibia, when I just took a photo of myself sitting on a chair in the desert. Since then I have done it everywhere I’ve travelled and I have all the pictures on my website.”


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to the sky helping the scientists unravel new problems.The 14 ESO countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and the UK) contribute around €160m to their joint astronomical cause, and Paranal is allocated 20 per cent of that figure. Standing in the shadow of the VLT, one wonders what all this taxpayers’ money buys. It is a question that many in Paranal find a little difficult to answer. Maybe because scientists, due of the nature of their research and also, maybe, their mindsets, tend to focus on very specific areas of competence and therefore are not required to have a broader ‘strategic’ view. They all answered with the usual ‘finding out where we came from, where we are going, are we alone in the universe…?’ And, as ESO has no commercial use and is a not-for-profit organisation, it’s easy to imagine these scientists indulging in their research and being cut off from reality. But talking further revealed a simple truth: that having pretty much discovered all there is to know about our world on the Earth, astronomy looks at the vast Terra Incognita which surrounds us. And

there are some very big mysteries indeed out there, and these scientists see themselves very much as a mixture of Renaissance men and women, as well as explorers: all questing for further knowledge. One of Paranal’s great achievements was the discovery of a planet outside our solar system. It is huge: five times bigger than Jupiter and the work being done now is aimed at understanding the physical and chemical composition of this, and other, giant Earth-like planets. Truly a quest for life in outer space. Astronomers have also used the data from VLT to attempt to find out how old the Universe is. It seems the oldest star is 13.2 billion years old, which means the Universe must be even older. And astronomers also use VLT to look into galaxies beyond ours and where they continue to find evidence of supermassive black holes, where all kinds of violent activity occurs. “We needed even sharper images to settle the issue of whether any configuration other than a black hole is possible and we counted on the ESO VLT to provide those,” says Reinhard Genzel, director at the Maz-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. “Now the era of observational black hole physics has truly begun.” 41


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Telescope

Platform/ telescopes

La Residencia

A Long, Long Way from Anywhere Whichever way you look at it – particularly from above – the Paranal observatory complex is truly, and very deliberately, out on its own PACIFIC OCEAN BOLIVIA Tocopilla Calama ARGENTINA

Sierra Gorda San Pedro de Atacama

Mejillones

Antofagasta

ESO CHILE Taital

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It’s a two-hour drive. Leave the northern Chilean port of Antofagasta behind and head south into the Atacama desert. Ragged, stony, unyielding hills rise on either side of the Panamericana, the ribbon of asphalt which runs nearly 3,400km the length of Chile. The only splashes of colour the many shrines erected in memory of the scores of working drivers who lost their lives along this straight highway. Adorned with Chilean flags, inscribed marble plaques sometimes, bits of wood and corrugated iron more often, decorated with teddy bears, bottles of wine and tyres, they are stark reminders of the harsh, unforgiving environment we are heading into. And still the road goes on, rising slightly, imperceptibly, a lonely slice of human endeavour, as if to prove that man can best the worst the Atacama can throw at

him. Alongside our asphalted road, we can see the traces of what must have been the original route through this region: dirt road is an apt description, as the only sign to differentiate it from the rest of the landscape is that the rocks and stones are smaller and the surface a little smoother. How, we wonder, did anyone move tonnes of delicate, high-tech equipment on these rough roads? We are climbing more steeply now into the hills. Up goes the road: how can anyone or anything make a permanent base in this forsaken place? The Atacama is the driest desert on Earth and water is therefore a big deal. The scientists at Paranal get through about 80,000 litres of water a day. The daily deliveries of 27,000 litres are poured into a cistern which can store 400,000 litres. Half are for use, the other half for emergencies such as fires.


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Through the Looking Glass Massimo Tarenghi built Paranal. A former astronomer (“I used to spend nights in the Arizona desert, camping out and looking at stars”), he has been the man in charge of finding the site, then building and making Paranal the most innovative and advanced ground-based observatory in the world. It’s very much his baby and he seems to know every nut, bolt, person, contract and speck of dust at the observatory. “The insurance company would not cover us unless we could prove that we could ship these mirrors with a reasonable chance they would make it from Paris to Paranal intact. The first two mirrors we built cracked during the sevenmonth casting process. We found a solution, then it took another nine months for the glass to be cured into even harder glass ceramic. So we sent a dummy mirror ahead: the dimensions, weight, etc, were the same as the real ones, except it was made of concrete. We wired it up with all kinds of monitors, with a simple green, yellow and red coding system. The ship arrived at Antofagasta at 4am and I boarded it,

breathless with fear and excitement: the real mirrors were ready to leave Paris and any hiccup would set us back in time and money, and in both cases the figures are very large. “Sure enough, one of the lights was red. It was a bad moment, one of very many we had in that period. But I decided not to tell anyone and keep the dummy mirror moving towards Paranal. We loaded it on to a truck and then drove 200km at 5kph. It was mostly a dirt road then and it was very nerve-racking. Once we arrived we analysed the data and found there had been a recorded shock of one millisecond and this had shown red. The insurance would not cover us. So we decided to track the whole journey in reverse. We identified when this millisecond shock happened and asked the ship’s captain if anything odd had happened when he was approaching Cuba on his way to Chile. The sea was calm, he said, but he did remember there had been some strange interference affecting the walkie-talkies. That was it!

We wrote a 25-page report for the insurers and the real mirrors were then shipped.” “We also had some fun with M2, the second mirror in each giant telescope. Though smaller at 1.2m it also presented us with big challenges. Our initial order was placed with a company in Massachusetts, but three prototyoes exploded in their ovens. We decided to switch materials and use beryllium, a rare element used mostly in the aerospace industry and astronomy. There were only two companies in the world who could work to our specifications and we placed the order with one, in Florida. All was going well, we were a month away from delivery when I got a call late one Friday in London. The Florida company was about to go bankrupt, and of course our order would not be finished. So we decided to think a little laterally and came up with the solution of getting the only other company operating with these materials to buy the bankrupt company’s contract with us, which was a lucrative one, and also keep in place the team, which was so close to delivering our mirrors.”

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he scientific staff at Paranal all live at the ‘Residencia’, a bold and daring concept wanted by Massimo Tarenghi, the man who supervised the whole of the project from the early days of walking up mountain tops to see if the site was right, to choosing the right chairs for the canteen. “I told my boss at ESO, let’s build a hotel around a pool. He told me I was mad, of course. So here we are…” We are sitting by the pool, and there is a hotel around us. And not only do we have a pool, we also a have a tropical forest, with banana trees, palms and peace lilies. The forest regulates the climate inside the 108-room residence. There is no need for heating or air-conditioning as the glass, concrete and wood structure is naturally self-sufficient. The canteen is open 24-hours a day, there are yoga and salsa classes, table footie and table tennis. There is a music room and many quiet corners to relax. Some scenes from James Bond’s Quantum of Solace were filmed here (remember the LatinAmerican baddies and the suitcases of money?) and it seems Mr Bond was extremely charming and even asked for a souvenir cap. The Residencia has been designed to withstand a force 10 Richter Scale earthquake, and one has to also always park cars facing forwards, “in case something happens”. Everything has been thought through to make life as easy as possible in this hostile environment. There is a large gym, a climbing wall, squash and basketball courts. There are onsite mechanics and a fully equipped field hospital. Scientists work a shift pattern of eight days on and six days off. No one is allowed to stay longer than two weeks, for whatever reason. The environment is liable to make people a little unhinged if they did. When talking to people here, one is constantly in awe of the ways that astronomy is tirelessly pushing the barriers of many other sciences to improve its quest for finding answers in the universe. Adapative Optics and the Laser Guide Star Facility are two examples of how Paranal is leading the way in adapating, refining and then making available cutting-edge technology. Adaptive Optics (AO) allow the telescope to overcome the blurring effect of the atmosphere (the twinkle effect of the star), producing images as clear as if taken from space. This means a VLT instrument could read a newspaper headline at a distance of 10km. But in order to have such a clear view, AO needs a reference point, and at VLT they’re testing a laser beam which can be projected 90km into the Earth’s atmosphere to create an artificial reference ‘star’. These discoveries, tests, and the ongoing research at Paranal are linked to all the other work done by ESO in Chile and Europe and form the basis of an enormous databank of knowledge shared around the member states and percolating into European industry, universities, research institutes, schools and museums. From a desert mountain top in Chile to a classroom in Turin, the thread of knowledge is constant and strong. The astronomers at Paranal are truly explorers of the cosmos and beyond, and also of the mind.

The giants of Paranal at za.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Take a voyage of discovery at www.eso.org

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A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma photography: getty images

Johnny Depp is at once one of the world’s most alluring, yet impenetrable Hollywood leads. Rßdiger Sturm explores the character of this quirkiest of actors and reluctant star

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“ He seeks out his characters from the fringes of society… and interprets them without vanity ”

As Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

You might expect any number of different reactions to the experience of meeting Johnny Depp: awed respect maybe, nervousness, a frisson of here’sHollywood-in-the-flesh excitement. But when yours truly is finally sitting directly opposite the 47-year-old Mr D at the luxury Le Meurice hotel in Paris, I’m struck by quite another emotion altogether. This superstar makes you feel all protective. The way he looks at you from behind his blue horn-rimmed glasses makes him seem timid. His voice is muffled. You might even say he’s shy. And there’s something feminine about his 5ft 8in frame. Yet at the same time his appearance is immaculately polished. The two-tone 46

scarf he’s wearing perfectly matches his open-sleeved grey shirt and stylishly ripped jeans. His wrists are covered in leather straps and Buddhist prayer bands. His ears and fingers are covered in rings, including one film memento complete with skull and crossbones, a thick platinum and diamond number and a gold signet ring. His fragile, artistic appearance means the mild irritation I’d felt at his being half an hour late swiftly disappeared. Especially as he immediately apologises in a rather despondent tone. “I’m afraid this habit of mine is practically automatic. I’m always late.” Truth be told, he needn’t really have said another word. Because those first

impressions alone answer the question as to why Johnny Depp is perhaps the most successful, and definitely the most exciting, star on the planet right now. They betray both coolness and a sense of style and are the outward signs of an individual who lives in his own world: a creature as exotic as he is sensitive and one clearly ill at ease when he comes into contact with the outside world. From this perspective, these impressions are almost more illuminating than his latest film, a thriller, The Tourist – a conventional flick in comparison. Depp stars in this, his latest, as an American maths teacher on a leave-theheartache-behind trip to Venice, trying to get over a painful break-up. While


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Passion and deception: Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist

Angelina Jolie on Johnny Depp

photography: action press, Peter Mountain/Kinowelt GmbH/2010 GK Films, LLC.

“There aren’t many films where everything goes well and you still expect something good to come out of it at the end. The Tourist is one of those exceptional cases. That’s in no small part down to Johnny Depp. We’d never met before because we both like to retreat into our family environments rather than hanging out at parties. And

neither of us takes ourselves too seriously. While we were filming, I got to know Johnny for the absolutely adorable person that he is. I knew, like everyone else, that he was an incredibly interesting artist, but he’s also a very natural and unaffected actor. Plus he has an enormous talent for comedy which helps him to be both light-hearted and easy-

there, the stunning girlfriend (Angelina Jolie) of a fugitive gangster casts her spell over him. But it’s all part of a plot. As nobody knows what the criminal looks like after plastic surgery, the people pursuing him assume the unsuspecting tourist is their target, which provides for no end of chases and machinations around the Grand Canal. Depp understands this is a far cry from the eccentricities of his signature Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean – or, even, his Sweeney Todd. “It was a real challenge to produce a ‘Mister Normal’ after playing roles like that,” he offers. Except that, as far as he’s concerned, there’s no such thing as banal normality:

going in his acting. That’s incredibly important for a film like The Tourist, because you can’t take yourself too seriously, but you want to have some fun too. That’s the only way to get that good mood across to the cinema goers. And we were in a good mood. Basically we just laughed the whole time we were filming.”

“The people who society considers average are often the strangest people you can imagine,” he says. He gives as an example an honest accountant who decided to travel the world looking for and photographing signs with his surname on them. Depp worked out his ‘Normal’ ideas within a strictly limited framework. He decided what his character would look like, put on a couple of pounds and adopted a couple of quirks, such as the low-brow American trying to speak to Italians in Spanish. It was also his idea to flee across Venice’s rooftops in pyjamas in one scene. Even in such staid roles as these, he’s still quite the thrillseeker. He

wouldn’t dream of appearing with a perfect blond head of hair and a bronzed six-pack, as Brad Pitt might. Nor would he want to be heralded as some greying heart-throb, like George Clooney. He seeks out his characters from the fringes of society, regardless of their appearance or state of mind, and then interprets them without a hint of vanity, delving deep into his own imagination. “He’s teeming with ideas, almost too many for one person,” his partner Vanessa Paradis opines. “I feel trapped if I’m not allowed to improvise,” he explains. And he “just wants to run away” from directors who try to set him strict guidelines on how to play a role. Which is why he 47


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“ Sometimes I’d love to run away screaming from our technologyobsessed world ”

Those films most responsible for developing Depp’s personal style

argued with Michael Mann during the making of the gangster epic Public Enemies. Meantime, an adaptation of the bestselling novel Shantaram, has been put on hold because he couldn’t see eye-to-eye with star director Peter Weir of Master and Commander. It’s because Johnny Depp’s imagination is so rich and dazzling that it needs to be protected. It’s possible that The Tourist might not have come about at all if it hadn’t been for producer Graham King who’s worked with Depp for years and, as such, enjoys the star’s trust. It’s no coincidence that Depp brings King along for the interview, even if the beefy Englishman lets his star do the talking. It took Depp a long time to find this kind of patron. He can still vividly remember being bullied by one female teacher at school. He could never get on with classmates who dreamed of nothing more than winning the Beauty Queen – or King – crown. “I never wanted to be an insider,” he says. Even in Hollywood he was ill at ease and this despite his becoming one of the ’80s leading teen idols for his role as a young undercover cop in the TV series 21 Jump Street. “I was sold like goods. It drove me completely crazy.” But Depp was never just a pampered genius; he was also a rebel – splendidly mooning the school teacher he hated, for example. During those crisis years 48

in Hollywood, he would sometimes smash up the furniture in his hotel room out of sheer frustration. A flirtation with crime was perhaps no surprise. “My grandfather sold moonshine during prohibition in the ’30s – that was a real service to the community. Then my stepfather learned about life the hard way for a couple of years in a juvenile penitentiary,” Depp explains with evident pride. So it was only to be expected that he would break out of any pigeonhole the business wanted to stick him in. A twist of fate introduced him to someone who would help him escape and who remains a loyal supporter. Director Tim Burton cast Depp as the outcast, monstrously made-up eponymous hero of Edward Scissorhands. The eccentric filmmaker has shaped the image of Johnny Depp the actor more than anyone since. In Ed Wood, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, he has always presented his star as an oddball character verging on the ingenious, who’s as sensitive as he is unique. But even with that support, Johnny Depp might still have got lost down one of the movie industry’s dead-end streets. “All people ever talked about in Hollywood was making money. It was so frustrating,” he says. He’d numb these lows with a mix of drink and drugs. “I was close to

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) This adaptation of the Hunter S Thompson novel, depicting the eccentric trip taken by reporter Raoul Duke, bombed with critics and cinema goers, but now has cult status. The film had personal consequences for Depp too: friendships with Thompson, whose novel The Rum Diary he filmed after the writer’s death, and with director Terry Gilliam, who he assisted with a cameo role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus after Heath Ledger’s death.

completely losing my mind,” Depp admits. What stopped him flipping out altogether, however, was an encounter 12 years ago in the lobby of a Paris hotel. “I turned around and I saw this great back.” It belonged to pop singer Vanessa Paradis. “I went up to her, she turned around and when I said hello to her, I knew that was it.” And he wasn’t wrong. Three months later, the French singer – 26 at the time – was pregnant. The man who used to smash up his hotel rooms found the emotional stability that had been lacking in his life until then. “Anything I’d done before was kind of an illusion. My daughter, the birth of my daughter, gave me life.” In 2002, his son, Jack, was born and Depp’s priorities were changed forever. “My greatest hope is that I’ll be fair to the people I love.” But whoever thought that this bourgeois idyll might have dulled the thrillseeker spirit was wrong. If anything, it marked the start of probably the most satisfying phase of his career, from teen idol to cult actor to superstar. A year after his son was born, came Depp’s first blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean, which also brought him his first Oscar nomination. But he had to fight to realise his own vision for the character of Captain Jack. Depp wanted his pirate captain to have all the eccentricities of someone like Keith Richards. And Disney Studios weren’t

photography: Cinetext Bildarchiv, IMPRESS

FAMOUS FIVE

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Depp is said to have cried “like a baby” when he read the script. And no wonder. The eponymous hero, created by a genius inventor, trying to find happiness in a small-town idyll, not only touched Depp, but was the polar opposite to his conventional teenager roles. He celebrated his acting breakthrough and established romantic ties to Winona Ryder. Those didn’t last, in contrast to his connection to Tim Burton, which started with this film.


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photography: Disney/Cinetext, Buena Vista/Cinetext, WALT DISNEY PICTURES/Kobal Collection

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) Part one of the pirate saga took over $650 million at the box office and the two follow-ups took in almost two billion. But it might all have been very different if Depp hadn’t stamped this fantasy adventure with his own personal character: rock ’n’ roll pirate Jack Sparrow was the emotional focal point for cinema goers. Which is why he’ll be sailing the seas again for the fourth instalment, in May.

Finding Neverland (2004) Rarely has Depp received so much acclaim for a conventional role as he did for this biopic. Once again, the actor was true to his preference for dreamers and outsiders in playing author JM Barrie, who develops his idea for the play Peter Pan as a result of his friendship with a widow and her four young sons. Depp proved his worth in this classic melodrama and promptly earned his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

at all impressed by that to start with. “They thought I was crazy.” But the risk paid off. Cinema goers were happy not to see yet another identikit hero. The era of the bland sunshine boy was over and a new era of traumatised superheroes, mutants and freaks had taken its place. And Johnny was one of its icons. The Pirates trilogy had made his personal eccentricity completely socially acceptable. The outsider had come in from the cold. His sense of being on the fringes, looking at the action, rather then being central to it, hasn’t disappeared, however. “Sometimes I’d love to run away screaming,” he confesses without a hint of irony. What from? “Our technology-obsessed world, the invasive media, the madness of reality TV. We’ve lost touch with the simple things in life. We’re losing our individuality.” Even if that may sound a little excitable and convoluted, it tells us one thing, namely that Johnny Depp doesn’t feel at home in the modern world. When he’s not getting carried away in a train of thought, his face takes on an astonished expression – a mixture of misgiving and amazement. Like a visitor from another planet who’s not sure whether he’d like to be beamed back up or not. Luckily, he has the means to organise his own private seclusion zone. One of the family’s homes is in an idyllic village

in the South of France, and don’t forget the private island in the Bahamas. “That might sound extravagant to you. But I need somewhere where I can breathe easily or just sit around and chat without someone taking my picture.” It’s as if he’d rather live in the past, maybe in the ’30s, when “…the men were still elegantly dressed, looked like their own men”. His favourite films seem to tie in with the same pattern. “We like watching the old Hollywood classics,” Vanessa Paradis admits. It Happened One Night, a comedy in which Clark Gable meets an heiress on the run, is one of the couple’s favourite films. Even Depp’s food tips meet the same criteria. For example, he rates the bistro Chez L’Ami Louis in Paris which opened in the ’20s but has long since fallen out of favour with the critics. But that doesn’t bother him. Because, “…you feel like you’re in a time machine”. And if he goes to a city he doesn’t know, he wanders in the historic footsteps of the great writers. When I ask him what stood out in Venice, where The Tourist was shot, he doesn’t name something standard like St Mark’s Square or the Rialto Bridge, but he does mention with great enthusiasm that he walked past the lodgings of English poet genius Lord Byron. Yet this special take of his never goes to his head. He has neither an egomaniac’s ponderousness nor a winner’s arrogance. It

Alice in Wonderland (2010) Where would Johnny Depp be without Tim Burton? And vice versa. Their latest of their many ventures, which include Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd (and a third Oscar nomination for Depp) brought in over a billion dollars at the box office. Depp, playing the Mad Hatter, wore so much make-up that he was almost unrecognisable. And his acting has rarely been more three-dimensional: the film marked his 3D debut.

is precisely because he doesn’t take himself too seriously that he is able to embody the most absurd of roles. Even during a comparatively streamlined production like The Tourist, he and his co-star Angelina Jolie would still see who could raise the biggest laugh. He’s notorious for putting whoopee cushions on his colleagues’ chairs. And he can take a joke too. At press conferences he never evades even the most intimate of questions, be they about his ideal of beauty or the length of his manhood, and he sometimes even makes jokes about his “sex change”. All of which makes Johnny Depp, with his wonderful eccentricity, meek timidity and rebellious sarcasm, rather unique in the movie industry. He should be placed on the endangered species list forthwith. But the best description of him I’ve ever heard comes straight from the horse’s mouth. He may have been talking about Keith Richards at the time, but it could just as well apply to him. “He is profound, funny and absolutely brilliant. He might well have been wallowing in fame from a young age, but he always managed to stay cool and normal. And he treats everyone the same. And to manage that in this industry is an amazing achievement.” Johnny Depp is starring in The Tourist, in cinemas now. Watch the trailer at za.redbulletin. com/print2.0 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is due for release in April

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Durban plays host to a battle the like of which this coastal city has never seen before. It’s Die Heuwels Fantasties versus Gazelle. It’s Afro disco versus pop rock. It’s the Red Bull Soundclash Words: Steve Smith Photography: Liam Lynch

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ou are claiming the hills” shouts Gazelle in the promo vid, “but we are conquering mountains!” Obviously it’s a tongue-in-cheek pot-shot at fellow Red Bull Soundclash participants, Die Heuwels Fantasties. I mean, it’s not like they’re actually getting competitive here, are they? Then again, music history’s landscape has been littered with the smoking craters of some pretty fiery confrontations – Mozart v Salieri, Tupac v Biggie, the Britney/Christina meow-fest. Perhaps the we’retoo-cool-to-be-competitive veneer could also peel away here too. The Red Bull Soundclash format (see sidebar) is, after all, tailor-made for a little sparring. And both musically and sartorially, the two bands are opposite ends of the spectrum. Just saying… Take Die Heuwels Fantasties. The current darlings of the SA indie scene, they’ve rebooted the punk rock energies of Fokofpolisiekar (bassist Hunter Kennedy plays in Fokof), adding an electronic layer that brings a poppier tinge to the now famous Bellville sound. Their stage presence is focused on their tall lead singer, Pierre Greeff, whose soaring voice and committed delivery has resulted in tens of thousands of skinny-jeaned followers. They’re tight, appropriately energetic and they have the confidence to grace any festival stage around the world. Gazelle, on the other hand, already have graced stages around the world… and they appear and sound nothing like Heuwels. Essentially a two-man outfit, front man Xander Ferreira and beatmeister Nick Matthews have a unique sound and accompanying stage personas. Xander is Gazelle, an arresting Johnny Cleggmeets-George Clinton-meets-Mabutu Sese Seko persona who fuses black, white, electro, funk, leopard-print, and 52

The crowds cheer for the bands, and their applause matters as it will determine who gets to be crowned winner of Red Bull Soundclash


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The SoundClash

rules Two bands, two stages, one crowd. For one night only, the Afro Disco kings, Gazelle, step into the ring with the Afrikaans electro pop phenomena, Die Heuwels Fantasties. It’s head-to-head and mic-to-mic over four rounds of musical mayhem. For every round, the bands compete for points, determined by the crowd via the applause meter. The band with the most points after all rounds is crowned king of Red Bull Soundclash.

Warm Up: Each band starts with three of their own songs. Round 1: The Cover – The DJ cuts in Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ and the bands cover the track in their own style.

Round 2: The Take Over – One band starts one of their songs, and the other band finishes it. And so on.

Round 3: The Sound Clash – The DJ drops tracks of differing styles – hip-hop, country, and dubstep this time – and invites the bands to cover songs in these genres. It’s an out-and-out attack and respond round.

Round 4: The Wild Card – The bands play one last song with their secret special guest to gain the crowd’s affection.


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GAZELLE They may not be well known in Durban, but Gazelle get the crowds rocking with their uniquely South African style. The band have an eclectic approach, with their electro take on African music


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an African dictatorial visage into one weird concoction. Nick is DJ Invisible, a self-styled mystical character from outer space, (“It’s to do with African mysticism,” says Nick) who creates and manipulates the band’s sound. Yes, it does appear someone’s been at the bong a little too long, but beyond the costume and persona lies a sense of purpose the gold epaulettes don’t quite portray. “Look,” says Xander, “we have fun on stage and the music is funky, but there’s a bigger message. We realise we have a gift to perform music in front of people who listen to us. And with that comes certain responsibility, we also want to talk about politics and social issues.” For the moment though, it’s technical issues that concern both bands. Red Bull Soundclash is like nothing either crew has ever done before. They’ll be swapping songs, playing their own material in different styles, and taking over each other’s songs mid-stride. “Everything about Red Bull Soundclash makes me nervous,” confesses Pierre. “We’re used to playing live. You know your songs and setlist. All the stress has been taken out of it. With Soundclash, I’ve got to rap a hiphop song, and I’m not used to that. There’s a whole bunch of shit we have to do that we don’t normally do.” It’s an concern shared by DJ Invisible. “Technically this show is tough. Up until yesterday’s rehearsal we were stressed out, but this afternoon it started to come together. When we actually did the collab song that we did for this show, I thought ‘OK, we can do this.’” By 9pm, the Durban crowd, corralled between two festival-sized stages, are feeling the vibe. Legendary 55


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SA DJ, Ready D, has cranked up expectations, dropping a series of bootie-shaking tracks. And the wind has dropped too, thank goodness. Earlier, something of a mini typhoon had threatened to cancel the event. Now Durban is playing ball, the air is still and you can hear waves crashing on the beach next to the twin stages. Heuwels kick proceedings off with a couple of their own songs. It’s the Warm Up round and immediately it’s girlfriends-on-shoulders time in true rockfest tradition. Durban might not get to see them very often, but Pierre and his band of poster boys have a strong following among the fairer sex. Gazelle choose a slightly different entrance. First on stage is an old sangoma and she’s chanting something in Zulu. Sounded like “Die Heuwels are a bunch of girls’ blouses”. Next on is DJ Invisible flanked by two young maidens in trad African dress… and finally Xander, wrapped in a faux zebra skin blankie. It’s half ritual, half satire, and mostly bewildering to a Durban audience unschooled in The Way Of The Gazelle. Frowns are eased though by a big old dose of funk that explodes from the speakers and soon enough the funky Afro disco gets them going. It doesn’t matter how tight or loose you wear your jeans, Gazelle’s music appears to get arses wiggling and heads nodding. “Give some before you get some” is the repeat line in the song, but it’s the beat that’s holding everyone’s attention. Now, the real competition starts and, after every round, the winner is judged by the amount of decibels a central mic, suspended above the crowd, picks up. After

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Translating as ‘The Hills Fantastic’, the three-piece band consist of band members Hunter Kennedy, Pierre Greeff and Johnny de Ridder. The Afrikaans band from Bellville formed in 2007 and are currently riding a wave of success in South Africa


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Triumphant winners Gazelle pose with the Red Bull Soundclash belt

soon enough the funky afro disco gets them going 58

each round, the two MCs, Siya from Vuzu and Elma from MK, invite the crowd to voice their vote. Round one is The Cover. Both bands do their versions of Eddie Grant’s ’80s classic ‘Electric Avenue’. Heuwels issue the opening challenge with a pretty damn good cover. The Heuwels lads add their own rock inflections – Hunter on bass and Philip Erasmus on drums, while Pierre’s vocals lead a crowd who sing along with him. Gazelle counter. DJ Invisible conjures up a hypnotic synth groove and a thrumming baseline that has Xander gleefully rapping a dancehall-style rhyme all over it. In the middle of it all, the old sangoma reappears and passes around a pot of traditional African beer. It’s a close one, but at 117dB Gazelle just take it. Next up is the Take Over where a band starts one of their songs and then mid-song, the other takes over. Technically,


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this is the toughest part of the whole show. “We have practised the takeovers the most,” says Heuwels’ contributor Fred den Hartog. “They took our song and turned it into a reggae track. It sounds cool.” Indeed, Gazelle have injected a wicked skank into the track before Xander shouts “Now we pass back the stick” at which point Heuwels pick it up and crank the vibe a few notches higher. The crowd are now totally into it. The switches have been flawless and the sound is genuinely fantastic. Xander had remarked on this earlier. “Even the most experienced performers in the world can sound cak without good technical people supporting them. Even an amazing singer like, say Sade, can sound like shit. The set-up here is great. We’re working with the best sound engineer in SA and some of the best light crew, so that gave us confidence.” Round Three is make or break for Die Heuwels Fantasties. They’re two-zip down and Pierre is getting a tad competitive – there are hand gestures coming from their stage and it’s not the thumbs up. Fortunately for Die Heuwels there are double points available here, but it won’t be easy. Called the Sound Clash round, it sees DJ Ready D challenging the bands to produce songs well outside their comfort zones. He’s chosen hip-hop, country, and dubstep as the musical styles for this heat and it was the round Die Heuwels were least looking forward to. “The rapping…” said Hunter Kennedy after the final rehearsal. “Firstly I’m not a rapper bru, and secondly I find it impossible to rap and play bass at the same time!” Die Heuwels nail it though, with both Hunter and Pierre delivering a stirring rendition of Jack Parow’s ‘Die Vraagstuk’. The highlight of Gazelle’s songs in this round was a heavy dubstep track driven by the biggest, squidgiest synth bass-line Durban’s ever heard. Again

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it’s a close call, but this time Die Heuwels notch up their first win and the double points on offer. Final round then. All square. The Wild Card round allows the two bands to introduce a special mystery guest to sway the crowd’s vocal vote. Die Heuwels kick off and, sauntering on from stage-right is Fokof’s front man and skinny-jean legend, Francois Van Coke. There’s an immediate handsin-the-air reaction from the crowd and the twin vocal assault with Pierre has an impressive effect. A pink bra arcs onto the stage and by the end of the song Francois is wearing it on his head. Durban has begun to undress. Gazelle’s mystery guest is not that well known round here. But she has a voice that will burn itself into your head. Inge Beckmann’s vocal chords are the blessed union of Kate Bush, Björk, and at least one archangel. Her high-pitched delivery weaves in and out of Xander’s own vocals and the largest slice of Afro funk this side of Lagos. It doesn’t matter if they know who she is or not, Gazelle and Inge have Durban dancing… and it looks like we have a winner. The vote shout is a formality and Gazelle accept their championship belt among a shower of champagne. It’s a wildly successful evening that ends with both bands sharing a stage for one final collab song. “We’re honoured to receive the Red Bull Soundclash title,” says Xander. “There are many ways to express creativity but none more honest than collaboration.” Despite being pipped at the finish line, Die Heuwels Fantasties are equally stoked. “That live performance was the best we’d ever played each of those tracks. Throughout the lead up, the rehearsals and in the big soundcheck rehearsal at the venue, we never nailed them like we did on the night We couldn’t be happier!” Relive Red Bull Soundclash at www.redbull.co.za

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Can do art

Picasso, Monet and van Gogh may have been masters of canvas and paint, but don’t you wonder what they would have done if they could have entered the Red Bull Art of Can competition? Words: Deborah Giam

There are a few definitions of what art should be – a painting, a marble sculpture, a photograph… Maybe something more zeitgeist-y urban better fits the modern idiom; or something environmentally aware. Art, in its myriad forms, waits at every corner. It’s also waiting to be discovered in every can of Red Bull. Having made its way around the world for more than a decade, the Red Bull Art of Can has unleashed a totally different sort of art onto the world by mixing creativity with thousands of Red Bull cans. Earlier this year, the Singapore edition of this travelling art showcase resulted in a collection of masterpieces exhibited over a 10-day period. The instructions were simple, with one rule only: create a work of art of any kind, using the blueand-silver cans. And the results were limited by one thing only: imagination. Given such free rein, Red Bull Art of Can attracted entries from across the social spectrum. Delivery men to high-school students produced more than 70 entries, 56 of which made the final cut. Over the following pages are some of the judges’ favourites. 60

Left to right: ‘Owl’ by Koh Wen Ning; ‘Canned Chopper’ by Mohamad Nazrie; ‘Merlion loves Red Bull’ sculpture by Yanzo Fang poses for fans in Singapore


Print 2.0

za.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Aluminium innovation in Singapore


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Spreading her wings: Xia Mei’s delicate phoenix was inspired by a dragon from a previous Red Bull Art of Can competition

Dressed to thrill: Sheena fashioned fabric out of the metal cans

Sheena Ng, 23, student

Zheng Xia Mei, 19, student

Mosaic Culture

The Soaring Phoenix

In a cosy bedroom in the eastern corner of Singapore, Sheena is crouched over her table attending to her works of art. And although she studies bioscience not sculpture, she feels a strong link between her subject and art. “I study molecules and cells – things like DNA sequences – and what I noticed was that the shapes were very similar to art, especially in how the cells are shaped and spaced out. We usually have to draw out the cells and you really need art to translate their functions into something you can explain.” Her idea for a collection of Art of Can submissions came from an interest in fashion and a desire to create a collection of bridal gowns. In two weeks she had created eight pieces. “The idea of a collection really appealed to me because it meant I could use different techniques on different pieces. I really love fashion so I got the inspiration for the silhouettes of the outfits and then worked from there,” says Sheena. One of the challenges she faced was trying to create smooth edges with metal ‘fabric’. “In the end, I decided to just swing to the other end of the spectrum and do exaggerated works instead and play up all the elements of the metal.” And just like the cells she often peers at, each of the pieces she created is a work of art on its own or part of something bigger.

Deep within expansive school grounds, a fountain of art is bubbling over. Among some scattered easels, there are students hard at work at various pieces – one of them is Xia Mei, who is painstakingly putting together some touches to her Art of Can submission. “I got cut a lot making the bird!” she says, articulating one of the perils of working with metals – the wounds were worth it, though, to transform a piece that was originally intended to be a school art project. Inspired by a previous entry from the 2007 Red Bull Art of Can Chicago winner ‘Vitalized Dragon’, Xia Mei wanted to do something similar, but not exactly the same. She felt that a dragon might be too hard and would also draw comparison with the original work. Working on ‘The Soaring Phoenix’ once a week for three hours at a time, she experimented with different techniques using paper first, before moving on to the metal cans to create her final phoenix. The feathers took particular effort as the feathers on the wings and body were made differently. In the end, it was all about the experience. “The process of making it was quite fun, especially planning which part of the can to use for the different parts of the bird.”

Sheena made an “eight-piece collection of doll-sized dreams”

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Xia Mei’s bird was originally intended as a piece of school artwork


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Ocean commotion: Paul tried to keep his piece simple

Paul Ebarrete, 36, HR Manager Feeding Time

Inspiration can transform the most mundane items – can, cardboard, a chopped broomstick and even nail polish – into a winning piece of art. Paul Ebarrete’s winning entry, ‘Feeding Time’ used knick-knacks such as these to catch the judges’ eye with intricate attention to detail. Being creative and green drives Ebarette’s imagination: he has previously made a 10ft-tall Christmas tree with chopsticks. This time, his task wasn’t quite so tall. “Originally I had wanted to do a wall panel,” he says, “with fish in one corner drinking Red Bull, however it didn’t seem to have quite the right composition. I wanted something you could look at from all angles and still understand what it was about and something that had a story behind it.” He’d also wanted to use a bird in his work, but felt it might be interpreted as taking away the can, rather than feeding the fish. Plus, he adds, the frog looked better on the lilypad, and it had two hands that could be used to hold the can. After more than a month of planning with five sketch drafts – there were three frog prototypes and four different fish – Paul worked with the smaller details to see how they could best be put together. “I wanted to solder some of the metals together but was worried that the smell wouldn’t be very nice for my landlord,” explains Paul. He was also tempted by the idea of greater intricacy – a seahorse, more plants – but eventually, simplicity won out.

“I wanted something you could look at from all angles and still understand what it was about and something that had a story behind it.”

Attention to detail is paramount in Paul’s sculpture

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Feet first: Ivan designed his customised trainers on his computer

Ng Ling Tze, 35, part-time conservator Very Happy

One month, weekends and lunchtimes, plus an interesting inspiration make up the story behind Ng Ling Tze’s ‘Very Happy’. In fact, it’s in an industrial-style gallery that we find where her true passion lies – in works of cat art. Eh? “I draw a lot of inspiration from cats, so my work is often about them. I normally work with ink and paper and sometimes with acrylics, this is my first 3D sculpture,” Ling Tze explains. Working as a part-time book conservator for the National Archives, Ling Tze took about a month to plan and put together ‘Very Happy’, as she had only her lunchtimes and weekends to work on it. As she settles onto one of the various boxes that serve as seats and props for the ‘pop-up’ art gallery, she says she sketched out a number of prototypes for her work before finally embarking on it. Hear Ling Tze talk and it’s obvious art is her passion – from restoring previous works at her job, or creating new ones with her feline muse.

Ivan Pratsaya, 21, student Walking Red Bull

The Royalefam studio looks like an eclectic cross between a shoe store and an art gallery, and it’s where Ivan Pratsaya worked and produced his Art of Can submission ‘Walking Red Bull’. And it all started with a simple philosophy: “Some people dress from the top down, I dress from the bottom up.” And that was how Ivan’s love for customised shoes started. Having gained an internship with SBTG – aka Mark Ong, owner of Royalefam and one of the judges for the Red Bull Art of Can – he took the chance to learn as much as he could, and to date has already worked on six of his own customised shoes. Once he got the idea of making something for Red Bull Art of Can, it only took him a day or two to come up with the original idea: “I definitely wanted to do something about shoes, so that wasn’t hard to fix on,” Ivan says. It took him a further six days to get it done, from sketching out design ideas, and studying the cans to see which parts could be used for the different areas of the shoe. He first did a digital sketch on his computer, which allowed him to easily move around the different design aspects to see which worked best. Once he finalised the design, he set to work. Ivan had initially wanted to add more embellishments, including metal spikes, but couldn’t find the right medium to make them stick to the shoe. In the end, his design took acrylic paint and three types of glue to work. It’s the perfect example of wearable art.

Ivan wanted to put metal spikes on the soles but couldn’t make them stick

Ling Tze’s Red Bull piece was her first experiment with work in 3D

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photography: Kevin Yang/Red Bull Photofiles (12), Mark teo/Red bull photofiles (23)

Friendly feline: Ling Tze’s ‘Very Happy’ is inspired by her love of cats


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Inspiration takes flight

From robots to roses, Red Bull cans have been given a new lease of life as works of art

Above: ‘Red Merlion’ by Zhang Rui. Centre: ‘Bullbot’ by Adrian Lim Cheng. Below: ‘Spiked Mace’ by Setoh Yi Feng

Above: ‘To Soar & to Swim’ by Steven Kay Keng Kok. Below: ‘Dwayne “The Rose” Johnson’ by Michael Huang

There’s more at www.za.redbulletin. com/print2.0 and www.redbullartofcan.sg

Visitors and artists alike enjoyed the exhibition which was shown at the dramatic new Scape Building, in Singapore

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the thinking man’s fight

Your heart races, your nose bleeds and your king’s under attack. Welcome to the world of chess boxing Words: Andreas Rottenschlager Photography: Norman Konrad

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hat if you measured how crazy a sport is by how crazy the person who invented it is? In that case, chess boxing would be right up there battling for first place. When the police arrested Iepe Rubingh in Tokyo 10 years ago, there was little reason for them to think he was sane. This bespectacled man had managed to paralyse a busy road junction in a matter of seconds. He and his assistants had stretched red and white plastic hazard tape across lanes of traffic during rush hour, causing jams in four directions. The tailbacks grew by the minute. When the police came looking for the person who had caused such chaos, they found someone who didn’t fit the mould of the typical Japanese prankster. At the epicentre of this sea of cars stood a gaunt European wearing a black and yellow harlequin costume, blowing a whistle and revelling in the confusion. This man, who spent the next 10 days in jail, was Iepe Rubingh, aka The Joker, a Dutch performance artist and all-round creative. Three years after the farce with the traffic, Rubingh had another idea. “It may sound like a paradox, but chess boxing is actually about controlling aggression,” says the founder and president of the World Chess Boxing 66

Iepe Rubingh, President of the World Chess Boxing Organisation. “It’s about controlling aggression”

Organisation. Chess boxing is a polar opposite of chaos. Its chief characteristics are strategy, concentration and self-control. Battle proceeds as follows: four-minute rounds of speed chess (each player starts with 12 minutes on his clock) and threeminute rounds of boxing alternate over 11 rounds and you win via knockout,

checkmate or your opponent resigning or running out of time. Whichever happens first. The crucial thing is whether you can keep cool over the chessboard when your opponent’s just landed a right hook on you. “Chess boxing is also about being able to keep a cool head in a stressful situation,” Rubingh, 36, explains. Fighters must meet two requirements to compete in this extraordinary duathlon: proof of previous amateur boxing experience and an Elo rating of at least 1,600. An Elo rating shows how good a chess player you are. By way of comparison, the highest ever Elo rating, of 2,851, was achieved by Garry Kasparov, and if you don’t know who Garry Kasparov is, chances are your own Elo rating is very, very low. Chess boxing has clubs all over, from Los Angeles to London to Siberia. In November, in Berlin, Rubingh climbed into the ring after a break of six years against an opponent five years his junior. His performance would demonstrate perfectly how one false move can destroy everything. At the Festsaal Kreuzberg venue, young men with beer bellies and young ladies wearing black, horn-rimmed glasses surge towards the boxing ring. The place is packed. The atmosphere is tense. Beer is only available in small bottles. Before Rubingh’s match, there’s an undercard. The opening fight was lost by


Chess boxing is a simple sport. If you can think strategically, are in great shape, have nerves of steel and lightning-quick fists, you have what it takes to become a champion


Sequatin ut lut lobore dolobortis acilisi blaore min velenissi.

Chess boxing in Kreuzberg, Berlin. If you have to take it on the chin during the boxing (as Rubingh has to here), you can always fight back around the chessboard

the better boxer, who put up a good display with the gloves, but whose downfall was to fight a four-time German youth chess champion with an Elo rating of 2,120. There was no beating him when the gloves were off. But this knowledgeable crowd is waiting for Rubingh, the main event. The lights go out and the ring entry music comes thundering out of the sound system so loud that you can feel the bass pounding in your chest. The Joker enters the ring and pulls his hood down to reveal blond 68

designer stubble and small glasses. He weighs in at 78kg and has an Elo rating of 1,850. His opponent is already waiting for him. His name is Tim Yilmaz. He weighs in at 79kg, has an Elo rating of 1,650, a black beard and wild hair. His nom de guerre is The Bavarian Beast. The first difference between this and a normal boxing bout is that all is quiet in the venue straight after the bell. They start with chess. It’s an odd spectacle: two men in shorts and wearing heavy headphones, sitting

around a chessboard in a boxing ring. Not a peep from the audience. The game is mimicked on a computer program, which is then projected onto a wall. A commentator with a resonant voice explains the moves. After the first four minutes, there’s no clear leader. It’s heavy going for Rubingh in the first round of boxing. Yilmaz begins at a furious pace and is moving his opponent around the ring within the first 30 seconds. He delivers his punches with a short hiss and Rubingh


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“You have to build aggression yet keep a cool head. Chess boxing is a philosophy”

is soon on the ropes. It’s already clear that The Joker will have to concentrate on the chess if he is to have any hope of winning. The bell sounds for the second round of chess. The chessboard is brought back into the ring, the fighters pull off their boxing gloves and slip the headsets over their ears. There’s concentration, a lot of sweat and intense staring. Rubingh, who’s already showing the effects of the punches, manages to switch from defence to attack. He snatches Yilmaz’s

knight and starts to threaten the king. Gong! Board out. Boxing gloves back on. Yilmaz lets rip again. He delivers a nasty uppercut, followed by a left hook; Rubingh staggers. The punches have clearly taken their toll because in the next round of chess, The Joker makes an ill-advised move and loses his queen. That’s a huge blow for Yilmaz. Gong! Board out. Boxing gloves back on. Then something remarkable happens. The Joker fights back in the ring and lands a hook squarely on his opponent’s chin. Yilmaz looks dazed and in the next round of chess, he also loses his queen. The fight has taken a 180-degree turn. It is at this point that it pays to be a good chess player. Rubingh has more time left on his clock than his opponent (when a player moves and stops his clock, it starts his opponent’s clock, who then has to stop his own clock as fast as he can). Yilmaz is literally running out of time. His nerves begin to fray and he loses one piece after another. Rubingh, on the other hand, remains cool and makes canny use of his knight. His opponent has only 20 seconds left. Yilmaz’s only chance is to checkmate, no easy task without a queen. He looks at the digital display on the chess clock and brushes the remaining figures off the board. He resigns. The fight is over. Rubingh flings his headset into the corner of the ring, leaps from his chair and raises his arms aloft in victory. The Joker has won! There’s rapturous applause and chanting. “The boxing wasn’t looking good,” says Rubingh later. “It was a victory of character.” If you want to talk character and chess boxing, you could do worse than turn to Frank Stoldt. Rubingh calls him, “the first person to have internalised chess boxing 100 per cent”. Stoldt, a policeman, will fly to Afghanistan in January to help train the local force there. Until then, the 41-year-old former kick-boxer with an Elo rating of 1,900 is teaching at the Berlin Chess Boxing Club. There you’ll find advertising executives, lawyers and students sweating it out between bulging sandbags and worn-out chessboards. “Of course, we’re all for the sport as a hobby,” Stoldt explains, “because

Frank ‘Anti Terror’ Stoldt: “This sport promotes self-confidence and strategic thinking”

boxing promotes self-confidence and chess promotes the ability to think strategically.” In 2007, this hulk of a man from Berlin became the very first light heavyweight chess boxing world champion. His nom de guerre was Anti Terror. Anti Terror Stoldt’s training programme for chess boxing amateurs goes like this: press-ups, skipping, sparring, more press-ups and then a sprint to the chessboard. Problem solving is addressed thus: Stoldt’s loud announcement of, “You’ve got two moves to get your opponent in check. The clock’s ticking! For every mistake you make you do another 10 press-ups!” It’s hard to imagine Stoldt dressing as a harlequin and stopping traffic. If Rubingh is the creative strength behind chess boxing, then Stoldt is its athletic embodiment. “You have to be able to build up aggression, during the chess too,” says Stoldt, “yet still keep a cool head afterwards. Chess boxing is a philosophy too,” he says, rummaging around in a locker, before bringing out a sticker with the World Chess Boxing Organisation logo on it. It reads: “Chess Boxing. Control yourself before your opponent does.” Check it, mate: info, pictures and chess boxing event schedule at www.wcbo.org

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Apprentice

It may be mere minutes since Sebastian Vettel became Formula One’s youngest champion, but even younger stars are already eyeing up his crown. Jean-Eric Vergne is one to watch… Words: Brendan Thomas Portrait: Richie Hopson

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iorgio Ascanelli is a larger-than-life, no-nonsense Italian. His is one of the brightest tech brains in Formula One and his wealth of experience has helped plot Grand Prix success for the likes of Ayrton Senna, a triple world champion, and, latterly, Sebastian Vettel, the new young king of F1. Ascanelli, engineering guru of the secondstring Red Bull team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, bounces down from the pitwall of the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi and marches towards the team’s garage. He stops and pretends to play with some pit equipment before teasing a mechanic. He jostles and makes wisecracks before attempting to knock the ear-defenders off the hapless bolter’s head. Ascanelli is all smiles; jokey even. He’s clearly very pleased with something he’s seen today. The pitlane at the Yas Marina circuit has a relaxed atmosphere, and this is in stark contrast to the air of frenzied tension that seized the venue just two days earlier, when it played host to F1 history-in-the-making: Sebastian Vettel smashand-grabbing the world title to become the sport’s youngest-ever champion. A worldwide television audience of millions tuned in to watch that thrilling season finale and more than 55,000 were there at the track as it spent two hours at the centre of the sporting universe. Movie stars, corporate CEOs, kings, princes – Prince himself! – mingled among the best drivers in the world as the championship reached its climax.

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Amid this throng was one unassuming young Frenchman, who quietly and attentively watched the on-track action drama from the sanctuary of the Toro Rosso garage. Few who saw him that day would have known who he was, but rest assured, in years to come they most certainly will, because Jean-Eric Vergne is a 20-year-old with a mission. During the Abu Dhabi weekend he absorbed Vettel’s world title achievement and in his mind’s eye plotted his next move to achieve that very same goal. For as the latest driver in Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme to have reached the foothills of F1, his steps are directly following those taken only a few short years ago by Vettel, star graduate of the same programme, on his route to the top. Here, today, in this after-the-storm Abu Dhabi paddock, which echoes to the memory of the 19 Grands Prix that have gone before, the racing drivers are resting; many regulars, indeed, are absent. But the F1 fraternity is still at work, as cars blaze around the futuristic landscape of Yas Island. The celebs, pop stars and hangers-on have all left, of course, leaving behind only the hardest of hard core: skeleton crews of mechanics and engineers. The only stars here now are those of the future and this is the chance for teams to assess the next wave of up-and-coming talent; it’s also the moment for the young pups to seize their futures and attempt to meld their destinies, with a rare test outing in an F1 car. The air still tastes of Vettel around these parts, but today at Toro Rosso the stage is Vergne’s. Today, you see, he’s making his debut in an F1


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Man with a mission: Jean-Eric Vergne has made his way from karting king to Toro Rosso rookie


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car – and this is a highly significant moment in any young racing driver’s life. His first laps are being closely monitored. Strapping him into the Toro Rosso is the team’s chief mechanic, Gabriele Vergnana, and he reports that Jean-Eric has been calm about his first day in the cockpit; he’s made little fuss. The Parisian is slight in build but possesses good upper-arm strength. His neck is strong too, which is a good sign, as most F1 debutants struggle to cope with the enormous G-forces as they tackle a 274kph corner in anger for the first time. Vergnana gives him the thumbs up and the youngster leaves the pits for a run on his first day of F1 lappery. A tour later and his pitboard is out, indicating he’s seventh overall so far – a decent lap time – just as Jean-Eric nails the throttle of the 2.4-litre V8 so it screams past at 18,000rpm. Then there’s a lift, a couple of shifts down and a burble as the wailing machine runs over the kerbs at the 145kph Turn One, then continues on, faster still, for another lap. Like the rest of the team, the chief mechanic is happy with his new driver and considers whether he might be grooming him for races in the future. On Sunday night, Vergnana got the chance to catch up with a former driver he used to buckle up. None other than Sebastian Vettel… Just as Vettel was, Vergne is the latest talent emerging through the Red Bull’s junior programme, a scheme which is clearly intended to find future

“To be successful in this sport, you have to deliver all the time” F1 world champions and which certainly isn’t a charity. Not good enough? You’re out. Simple as that. Vettel scored Toro Rosso’s maiden win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and his reward was to graduate to the sharp end of the grid with Red Bull Racing for 2009. More wins, pole positions – and now the title! – swiftly followed. Next in line to take his seat at Toro Rosso were the team’s current incumbents, Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari – but this pair are watching the young driver test with apprehension. They know that their seats could be under threat from the next wave of aspiring racers. And although Jean-Eric is only making his debut today, he and Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo are hungry and ready to pounce. It’s a nervy arena of X Factor proportions. Perform well in front of the judges (in this case Red Bull’s Young Driver supremo Dr Helmut Marko) and you advance. Make mistakes or fall short of ultimate speed and you’re history. When questioned about a young driver who was recently dropped from the programme, and whose seat he was given in one of the junior racing categories, Jean-Eric showed little sympathy: “You have to perform. If you want to be successful in this sport then you have to deliver all the time,” he 72

On the way up

He displays an unnerving calm and is known for his ruthless streak. From his early days as a karting champion to Scuderia Toro Rosso, Jean-Eric Vergne is discovering a taste for success…

Clockwise from top left: Finishing second at the 2006 World Karting Championship, in Angerville, France; young driver testing at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi in November 2010; victory at Oulton Park, England, in the British F3 series in April 2010; in a Formula Renault 2.0 in Budapest, in June 2009, where he won one of his races; a podium finish in the Formula Renault 3.5 series at Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, last year


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Name Jean-Eric Vergne Born Paris, France April 25, 1990 Lives Milton Keynes, England

Photography: Richie hopson (1), GEPA pictures/Red Bull Photofiles (2), GEPA (1), Sutton Images (1), Getty Images (1)

Early years He was soon racing, thanks to his father, who ran a kart circuit on the outskirts of Paris. Jean-Eric said he started driving, “as soon as I could reach the pedals” Special talents Apart from cycling and playing golf, Jean-Eric loves music, from classical to pop, and is a talented pianist. So he might well follow in the footsteps of other F1 driver/ pianists such as Elio de Angelis and Adrian Sutil Not a worshipper Jean-Eric admits he doesn’t have a hero, but he does respect Michael Schumacher. “Seven titles is admirable. It shows that he never, ever stopped pushing, never gave up, even after a little success. Very impressive” Web www.jeanericvergne.com

declares. “Dr Marko says we have to perform and win. That’s it. Strict? Yes, of course he is, but he has the best Formula One team and a world champion driver. What else does he expect?” This season Jean-Eric has delivered, and his reward is this F1 test. In 2010 he became the first Frenchman to win the prestigious British Formula 3 title, taking 13 wins en route to the crown, and seasoned observers noted that while he not only has the necessary pace, it’s his ruthless streak that sets him apart. He’s mature, too. You would have thought the first run in an F1 car would be the pinnacle of any young racer’s life. Not Jean-Eric. He’s not easily overawed. “I don’t feel that this is the highest point of my career,” he says. “It’s a good, important step, but I see it going much further forward in the future.” His focus and long-term aim is sharp. Resolute. Toro Rosso’s chief engineer, Laurent Mekies, who is overseeing the 20-year-old’s F1 debut, did spot early signs of anxiety, but says they disappeared pretty quickly. “Things changed quite dramatically right after the end of his first run,” reveals Mekies. “He came back to the pits and his eyes were wide open and I think he realised just what a great feeling it is to drive such a fast car. That moment took away all the stress and his apprehension vanished and he really enjoyed the rest of the test from that point onwards.” By the end of the second day, Jean-Eric had completed 154 error-free laps and had impressed the team with his pace and work ethic. His second day of running was halted prematurely with an engine glitch, but he experienced lapping on high and low fuel, with different compounds of tyres, as well as testing parts for the 2011 car. Yet, despite his credentials and impressive debut, does he have the speed to usurp the established drivers? “Look, it’s very difficult to compare speed, because the track evolves so much from the race weekend, it’s impossible to say how much it was the driver and how much it was the track,” says chief engineer Mekies. “What this test does do, is if you think you have the next Ayrton Senna, then you can test him to see if he’s ready for F1. Today’s drivers have to absorb so many procedures – complex buttons on the steering wheel, aspects of the engine and gearbox, so this test is mainly to see if they are ready to step up. And from what we’ve seen of Jean-Eric, if he continues to perform well, if he is clever enough to be open-minded and has the will to learn, then there’s no reason to think he will not be an F1 driver in the future.” Jean-Eric returns to the cockpit to complete his final run of the test. As he exits the garage, Giorgio Ascanelli – as much a patriarch as an engineering boss – emerges from the back of the garage, grinning to himself again as he heads back to the pitwall. He refuses to comment on Jean-Eric. He doesn’t need to. If there’s a reason for Giorgio to be smiling, then clearly it’s a good one. Get up to speed on rising star Jean-Eric Vergne za.redbulletin.com/print2.0

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to thrill The BD-5J is the world’s smallest jet. But it was still big enough to ensure that James Bond was shaken, though never stirred Words and pictures: Corinna Schwiegershausen

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“it’s not a plane meant for beginner pilots”


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The BD-5J breaks though the clouds in a blaze of glossy red, blue and white, skimming over the Arizona flatlands with Guido Gehrmann, super aviator, at the helm; the cockpit (above) is a squeeze; the BD-5 is so light that mechanic Nathan Goddard can push it out of the hangar and onto the runway

ello Corinna. I’m going to Arizona to pick up our little plane. Wanna join me?” I got the SMS from Guido while on a stopover in São Paulo, Brazil. I’m a stewardess. I’d planned to take part in a hanggliding competition in Australia, but as Queensland was being battered by monsoon rains, and as I’d wanted to do something exciting with ace flyer Guido since joining him on a flight in a DC6 at the Berlin Air Show, it was only natural I’d say yes. Guido Gehrmann is a pilot with the Flying Bulls aero-troupe based in Salzburg. He’s a former hanggliding World Champion and it feels like he’s been telling me about this BD-5J mini-jet forever. He’s rarely been so excited by something, and this from a man who has type ratings for almost all of the fascinating planes to be found at the Hangar-7 aircraft museum in Salzburg. And of course I’d been intrigued by this flying cannonball ever since it helped Roger Moore as 007 escape the baddies in Octopussy. That was 1983, but the mini-jet should have been in on the action four years earlier in the previous Bond movie, Moonraker, although lack of cash made it impossible. Three BD-5Js were used in the making of Octopussy and, while the film features some great flying scenes, it was only thanks to camera trickery that it looked as if Roger Moore was actually piloting the plane. The moment Bond flies through a hangar was actually made possible by the BD-5J being pushed along by a black pole. Anyway, three days after getting Guido’s text, I’m sitting with him and Yves, our cameraman, on an Airbus heading for Arizona. This is where the BD-5J would take its last flights over home territory before moving to new lodgings at Hangar-7. My eyes open ever wider on the journey from Tucson to the airport in Marana, further north-west. A sea of saguaros – monolithic cactuses which can grow to several metres in height – dominates the desert landscape. People used to flying without an engine, like me, automatically look out for an appropriate place for a plan B in case a thermal should give up on you. But how could you crashland here? Terrifying. Even Guido admits, “I’ve done hang-gliding and paragliding here, but I’ve never dared fly any distance. There are things to get impaled on wherever you look!” What would happen, then, if the BD-5J suffered a flameout or turbine failure? The plane might well be able to glide for an incredible 17km with no 77


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A pint-sized plane isn’t enough for Bond to save the world. Here are some of his other villain-foiling gadgets

Q shows Bond the gadgetry in Thunderball

Aston Martin DB5 with extendable hubcaps, originally used in Goldfinger

Omega Seamaster, as worn by Pierce Brosnan

THE ASTON MARTIN

THE PARKA

The Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger is the ultimate Bond car. Its ejector seat, fog machine and extendable, spiked hubcaps made it the perfect getaway car. It was used in Thunderball a year later.

This ski jacket, featured in The World Is Not Enough, inflates a huge plastic orb (a zorb) around the wearer if there’s an avalanche, to protect them from the rapidly approaching snow.

THE UNDERWATER JET-PAK

THE WATCH

This perfect underwater weapon was used by Sean Connery in Thunderball. Jet propulsion gave it its speed and the harpoons were for defence.

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Moore and Maud Adams in Octopussy

The famous Omega Seamaster features in several Bond films and also has a number of strings to its bow. In The World Is Not Enough, James Bond fires a hook out of it so that he can pull himself up onto the roof of a building.

“the red bullet is small, quick and nimble” power from a height of 1,000m, but any sort of engine failure just above ground covered in cacti would spell disaster for such a small machine. Unlike in Octopussy, the wings don’t retract and even for a plane with a wingspan of just 5.18m, the covering of saguaros is just too thick. So for safety reasons, our flights can only take place within the airport’s flight path angle. In Marana we’re met by a small man with vivacious eyes and a friendly handshake. This is Bob Bishop, ‘our’ BD-5J’s former owner. He talks a lot, and quickly, and his enthusiasm is infectious. We can hardly wait to get airborne to film and take pictures of the mini-jet. Looming clouds and a strong wind mean it should be an exciting flight… Bob’s mechanic, Nathan, is able to push the 227kg plane out of the hangar with one hand. A little later, a beaming Bob climbs into “his best” jet. The first BD-5 was built by Bede Aircraft Co back in 1973. It first had a propeller drive, then 14 redesigns featured a Frenchmade micro-turbo Cougar turbine. Bob has been flying the BD-5J since October 1973. Our plane was originally manufactured for an airline pilot called Ed Johnson, which is why it has the identifier N53EJ. Bill Zivko, a mechanic and design engineer of the day, worked a range of improvements into these models. He largely did away with aluminium and used composite materials in its place. It meant movement in the air could be controlled very well, as demonstrated at countless airshows. The BD-5J could now do rolls and loops. Guido, Yves and I set off in a Cessna ages before Bob as the BD-5J climbs about seven times more quickly at up to 20m/second (4,000ft/minute)! It isn’t easy navigating in this vast desert landscape. Bob can’t find us up over the mountains, so we turn back towards the airport. Suddenly he pops up next to us, so close we can almost touch him, and plays with us like a nimble alpine chough

additional photography: action press (1), Cinetext Bildarchiv (2), interTOPICS (1). Illustration: esther straganz

ESSENTIAL BOND KIT


The BD-5J is a jet engine with a foldaway seat. It weighs just 227kg but its mini-turbine gives it a top speed of 480kph

harrying a sedate buzzard. Turbulence means we knock the lenses of our camcorders and cameras against the Cessna’s windows; it’s hard to film a smooth sequence in conditions like these. But the photos of the wing glinting alongside the clouds look all the more spectacular. Bob can’t help doing a few aerobatics, Guido looks fidgety. The jet looks like it will be a lot of fun and easy to get addicted to! Sadly, a cold front approaches and the temperature falls from 32 to 24 degrees. Shortly thereafter, we experience a spectacular thunderstorm which lasts deep into the night. Bob has to take it easy to fly as slowly as us. The BD-5J can reach top speeds of 480kph, but this plane could certainly have topped 500kph. The small jet’s engine is easy to handle, weighing only 38kg, but generates about 328lb of thrust. The following day, Guido can finally squeeze himself into “his” cockpit. As the jet has extremely small wheels, a broad flight-path angle and lies very low when taxiing along the ground, Bob normally begins by teaching new BD-5J pilots with a couple of glider landings as there are similarities. It’s normal for

hang-gliders to coast low above the ground at high speed and start a clean landing approach early so Guido finds the plane child’s play to handle. “You’ve got to be a very good pilot,” Bob explains respectfully and smiles at Guido. “Not everyone gets the hang of it straight away. It’s definitely not a plane for beginner pilots.” Coming down hard means scorched rubber and a prompt change of tyres. “We hereby christen the

BD-5J ‘Red Bullet’ because she’s so small and incredibly fast and nimble,” he adds. With Bob now at the Cessna’s controls, it’s do-or-die time for Guido and his broad grin is plain for all to see. Touch and go, taxi, break through the clouds… and goodbye gravity. He tells us about the flight afterwards. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of riding a cannonball. Red Bullet made that dream come true. We’re going to have so much fun at airshows! The BD-5 is so nimble I’ll easily be able to weave it in and out of most of our other planes. And it will look even more astounding because of the huge difference in size.” The mini-jet is put away in a trailer. An hour later it’s ready for the journey to Europe. Bob remains composed. He still has another two BD-5Js, also used as manned drones in military training flights. “We’re in radio contact, and they are so easy to control that we can spontaneously change mission during deployment. That’s why we’re so useful to the Air Force for testing radar,” Bob explains. “We’ve even flown as low as 30m over the White House...”

Guido Gehrmann with his new toy. He describes flying it as “like riding a cannonball”

Fly like 007 at za.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Find Guido Gehrmann at www.flyingbulls.com

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Photography: jacob simkin


More Body&Mind What to watch, listen to and get involved in this month

82 Skiing the world’s toughest downhill 84 Japanese B-Boys 85 a top chef’s secrets 86 get the gear 88 listings 92 nightlife 98 Mind’s eye

An empty swimming pool on the city’s outskirts becomes a skate venue for some of Kabul’s youngsters. Find out about a new film that follows their progress on page 96


Since 1997, the course record on the Streif has been held by Fritz Strobl, aka ‘The Cat’

Earning your Streif

Kristian Ghedina, 2004

So you think you can ski? Well prove it by carving the world’s toughest downhill, right before the pros Any ski pro will tell you: the downhill on the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel is the toughest race of the Skiing World Cup. Aptly named (for an Anglophone) ‘The Streif’, this icy stretch has claimed many a big-name scalp over the decades, but keen amateurs, too, can take on this epic challenge, with spectator stands dismantled and (most of) the safety netting removed. How so? Well, if there’s enough snow, amateur skiers can attempt parts of the course before the race. Then if you’ve got the balls and a bit of racing experience, you can audition with Deputy Race Director Axel Naglich and Ernst Hinterseer Jr (son of the same-named former skiing Olympian) to be a ‘forerunner’ on the Ganslernhang slope. If you survive their scrutiny, you get two days of special preparation and can enjoy race week as an accredited forerunner (which effectively makes you a VIP). But Naglich warns this super-tough slope isn’t for happy amateurs. It’s best reserved for those with the skill-set to really ski. Some parts, he says, like the Mausefalle (Mousetrap), can’t be taken at full speed, “…unless you’ve got a screw loose and four or five friends standing at key points and making sure no one gets in your way”. Don’t say you haven’t been warned… 82

8 Zielschuss 922m After the wild traverse from the Hausberg, it’s on into the final straight. These sections are rougher and more merciless with each day that passes after the race. Once, Naglich tells us, a skier was actually thrown clean out of his ski-boots. He just stood there, looking forlorn in his red socks, while his skis whizzed down into the valley without him.

finish

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Photography: GEPA (3), Samo Vidic/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Andreas Gall/Red Bull Photofiles (1), Getty Images (1), Imago (1), K.S.C. (1)

start

1 START – Mausefalle altitude 1,665m

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Erik Guay, 2008 1,498m STEILHANG

Axel Naglich’s top tip for the start is not to underestimate the course. The famous Mausefalle – Bode Miller is pictured jumping it here – is the first potential pitfall and comes up quickly. The downwards leap isn’t that tough, Naglich insists. Because of the steepness of the slope, you land on another steep area, which makes it more manageable.

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“If you take a perfect line, then this section isn’t too tough for amateur skiers, but unfortunately you can come off the slope very quickly,” says Naglich. “If you slide off despite having good edges on your shoes (because the slope is so steep), then you’ve made the classic inside ski mistake. Which is why you should snowplough all the way!” 1,331m Alte Schneise 1,244m Seidlalm

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A good skier with no racing experience will be two- to three-seconds slower on the Streif’s turns than the downhill stars. That would mean a 40- to 45-second difference for the course as a whole. Axel Naglich explains, “Yep, they’re pretty quick.” And none more so than Didier Cuche, the 2010 winner.

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Didier Cuche, 2010

Bode Miller, 2008

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3 Gschöss 1,386m The glide down towards the Alte Schneise is the flattest part of the course. Even beginners can really let rip here (especially when the slope is as smooth as a carpet on the days straight after the race). The approach to the Gschöss has been made wider and secured with special netting this year. So you’re safe even if you go hell-for-leather.

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6 lärchenschuss 1,154m The amateur skier shouldn’t put too much effort into the middle section of the 3.3km Hahnenkamm course down into the valley as he’ll be exhausted before the real challenges begin. It is precisely in this middle section of the course that experienced racers can make up the most time.

7 7 Hausberg 1,035m From the technical point of view, the Hausberg – with its jump – is one of the toughest challenges. Amateurs good enough to be race week forerunners spend a lot of time checking out this section of the course. High speed and a loss of concentration and form are a dangerous mix. Maciej Bydlinski, 2010

THE FINISH 805m A talented amateur should be able to tame the Streif in 2 minutes 30 seconds to 2 minutes 40 seconds; in 1958 anyone finishing in that time would have been celebrating. The best place to party afterwards is at The Londoner pub – although Naglich, a local, says Kitzbühel has a lot of other places too. “The whole place is a poorly-disguised mousetrap.”

The Streif downhill, from the slope opposite. It’s about 3,300m from the top to the finish. The lower slopes serve as a golf course in summer

The Hahnenkamm, Kitzbühel: January 21-23, 2011, Austria. If you fancy your chances, visit www.hahnenkamm.com

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Nippon State of Mind

Male Anime witches, rockabilly families with quiffs and petticoats, teenagers with robot masks and Alice bands with fluffy earmuffs. Every weekend, Yoyogi Park plays host to a glamour show where rival scenes parade themselves in a spirit of peaceful coexistence. The hierarchy and rules that provide the backbone of Japanese society don’t apply here, one of the places in Tokyo where trends begin and sub-cultures are born. Among them, Japan’s flourishing B-Boy scene. In 1983, Charlie Ahearn took his film, Wild Style, the seminal documentation of New York’s budding hip-hop culture into the city of 35 million, and was joined by the entire cast. “Hip-hop going global,” he recalls, almost three decades later. “We were radical. We took the South Bronx to Tokyo.” Aspiring Japanese B-Boys made their first, tentative top rocks and power moves in Yoyogi Park shortly thereafter. It was the start of a boom. Late last autumn, 27 years after Ahearn’s first trip, Tokyo played host to Red Bull BC One, the biggest one-on-one break dance battle in the world. The 3,000 that turned out to Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium to watch 16 of the world’s best B-Boys battle it out, witnessed a crowning moment of sorts for a hip-hop scene that – at least in its look and vigour – has flourished on par with anything in the US or Europe. Acolytes and wannabes of the Japanese hip-hop scene find what they need in Harajuku, east of Yoyogi Park. Small shops are lined and piled up on top of each other. Taisuke, the shining star on the Japanese B-Boy scene, works in this down-to-earth area of town at Dancer’s Collection. The shop prints clothes for crews and individual dancers while also offering retro goodies and 84

FAshion

Dancers Collection – DJ Mar’s shop Harajuku Shop 150-0001, 4-28-18 Jingumae B1 Pino Bldg , Shibuya-ku Tokyo http://dancers-c.com/

nightlife

MUSIc

Module B1, B2 M&I Bldg, 34-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0042, www.module-tokyo.com, blog.module-tokyo.com Disk Union 30-7 Udagawa-cho, Anetena21 Bldg, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, www.diskunion.co.jp, Email: dp1@diskunion.co.jp

GRAFFITI

B-Boy TRAINING

Mizonokuchi Station About 15 minutes’ train ride (on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line) from Shibuya Station http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Mizonokuchi_Station

Yoyogi Park Belx2 http://www.belx2.com Suiko www.suiko1.com Kress http://kress.scacrew.org

For stories, pics and video footage from the Red Bull BC One 2010 in Tokyo visit www.redbullbcone.com

Words: anna mayumi kerber. Photography: Balazs Gardi/basetrack.org (6)

Younger than its brothers on America’s coasts, Tokyo’s hip-hop scene is nevertheless flourishing. From B-Boy spots in the metro to second-hand vinyl in Shibuya, a quick guide for you to avoid all that sensory overload


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A family business: (l-r) Francesco, Rossella, Roberto, Bruna and Enrico Cerea

photography: Helge Kirchberger/Red Bull Hangar-7 (3)

Hip-hop in the city: 27 years after Charlie Ahearn’s movie inspired Japanese B-Boys, Red Bull BC One arrived in Tokyo

innovations like ‘foot panties’, which look as bizarre as they sound and slip on over the toes like, well, underwear. Owner DJ Mar is one of the deans of the Tokyo B-Boy scene, having witnessed its rise from a few house parties in the 1980s. Old school as he is, it’s no surprise he recommends Disk Union, the music temple specialising in used CDs and vinyl. On weekends, DJ Mar drops records in Soul Sonic Boogie, where B-Boy Ken Swift gives occasional workshops. Smaller underground spots like the Module, offer both low-key character and weekly doses of hip hop beats. Japanese B-Boys practise at night by the soaring, sloping Sompo Building in Shibuya or Mizonokuchi Station, 15 minutes from Shibuya by train. The last train leaves at 1am. Whoever stays after that will be there ’til morning. Even though what they’re doing is technically forbidden, the security staff take a hands-off approach. Graffiti’s another story. There are very few ‘free walls’ to spray legally. But two are to be found in Yoyogi Park. On weekends, you can find artist Belx2 and her crew creating street art that mixes calligraphy and Asian iconography. A group of teenagers is dancing to animation pop and Anime synth sounds in front of work. The soul of the south Bronx, but with a decidedly Japanese twist.

Fish dishes, like cod with beans and chestnuts (above) are a speciality at the Da Vittorio

A Question of Taste: Top Chefs’ Secrets

A Family Affair The only thing that’s mattered in the Cerea family since 1966 is cooking. Forty-five years on and three Michelin stars later, that passion hasn’t changed “We were born in a restaurant and want to spend our whole lives at Da Vittorio,” Enrico Cerea explains when asked if he could ever imagine himself doing something else. And what other reply is to be expected from someone so tied up in this family business? The Cereas have owned Da Vittorio in Bergamo for almost half a century. But in 2009, once they were already listed in Relais & Châteaux, they decided they needed a change of scene. “The rent in the old restaurant was just too high so we set about looking for a new location,” says Enrico. The search

lasted almost 18 months until the famiy fell in love with an old villa very close to Bergamo. Enrico and brother Roberto continue to cook at the highest level in the new location and also impart their knowledge through cooking lessons. “It makes me happy to pass my abilities on,” Enrico enthuses. “My students range from ordinary people who are passionate about food to other chefs.” Savoury or sweet, the Cereas’ passion for their cuisine is a constant: “My mother used to make everything herself,” Enrico explains, “but now my brother-in-law Simone runs our patisserie and provides our guests with tiramisù and unbelievable pannetone.” It’s all about keeping it in the family at Da Vittorio. Enrico Cerea wouldn’t want it any other way. Enrico and Roberto Cerea are the guest chefs for January 2011 at the Ikarus Restaurant at Hangar-7 in Salzburg, www.hangar-7.com

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Words: Steve Smith. Photography: Craig Kolesky/Nikon/Red Bull Photo-files

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Get the Gear

Ice Runner

To run a 250km self-supported race in Antarctica, you need to be really fit. Obviously. But you also need some special kit. This is what is what South Africa’s Ryan Sandes took with him to win The Last Desert race

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9 1. Base layer This is prototype stuff based on Salomon’s XR trail-running range. They’ve increased insulation significantly, while keeping the garments light, comfortable, and supportive.

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2. The shell Again, this was made specifically for the Antarctica race. It’s not only waterproof, but critically, breathable too. 3. Balaclava Off the rack from Salomon’s freeski range. Does what I need it to do – keep the cold out! 4. Compression calf Like the base layer, this uses Salomon’s Exo tech. The muscle support it gives, especially over long distances, means it increases blood circulation to avoid cramps.

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5. Backpack Really important. We have to carry all our stuff with us so this fully customisable Salomon XA 20 pack is perfect. 6. Socks Salomon Crossmax made from cocona fabric. They have high breathability and, more importantly when in my tent at night, there is no smell. 7. Trail-running shoes More prototypes made for this race, they’re based on the Salomon-lab Speedcross range with extra insulation. They have a more aggressive tread pattern for better traction.

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8. Sunglasses I ran in my Oakley Jawbones almost exclusively as the goggles I had tended to fog up.

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9. Watch It’s a Suunto T6, which is a heart-rate monitor as well as a distance calculator. I don’t actually run on heart rate to be honest, I focus more on how I’m feeling. 10. Tissues Because sometimes, you have to go and you don’t want to be carrying a whole loo roll with you.

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11. Food I have to carry enough food with me for each stage. While I’m running I’ll eat Perpetuem energy gels, peanuts and biltong, and Red Bull e-shots to give me a boost. 12. Crampons I’m not a fan of these, but race rules dictate we have to carry them. They feel weird on your feet if you’re running.

Keep track of Ryan’s 2011 adventures at www.ryansandes.com

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Winter X Games 15 27 – 30.01.11 The best freeskiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers in the world descend on Colorado for the biggest date on the winter sports calendar. Can Shaun White add to his collection of 10 Winter X Games gold medals? Aspen, USA

hot SPOTS

Photography: Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles, Agustin Munoz/Red Bull Photofiles, Jörg Mitter/Red Bull photofiles, Samo Vidic/Red Bull Photofiles

We bring you the best of the hottest and the coolest action sports the world over

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup 06.01.11

Burton European Open 08 – 15.01.11

After nearly two years without a win in single events, last season Austrian Thomas Morgenstern took his first World Cup victory at the final leg of the Four Hills Tournament. Now this season, all eyes are on him. Bischofshofen, Austria

With its innovative slopestyle courses and perfect superpipe, this snowboarding event has become Europe’s biggest. Laax, Switzerland

Lancelin Ocean Classic 06 – 09.01.11 Australia’s best-known windsurfing event is back for another year, with some of the world’s top talents, including multiple world champion Björn Dunkerbeck, battling for the $25,000 prize purse. Lancelin, Australia

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics 08.01.11 Chicago’s beloved Bulls haven’t tasted success since the 1990s. But hometown hero (and MVP candidate) Derrick Rose is looking to change all that this season. United Center, Chicago, USA

AMA Supercross Championship 08.01.11 A serious wrist injury meant a frustrating 2010 season for star athlete James Stewart, but it’s a new year and a fresh chance to do what he does best as the Supercross Championship kicks off again. Angel Stadium, Anaheim, USA

FIS Cross-Country World Cup 08 – 09.01.11 The conclusion of the Tour de Ski, a series of events counting towards the World Cup, takes place in Italy, with a traditional mass-start race followed the next day by the final climb. Val di Fiemme, Italy

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FIS Snowboard World Cup 09 – 10.01.11 Last year, two snowboard cross competitions took place in Salzburg, so Benjamin Karl and Sigi Grabner can use their homefield advantage to go for wins in parallel slalom this year. Bad Gastein, Austria

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2011 Qualifier 12 – 15.01.11 Last year’s top six are all set for this year’s competition, but the rest fight it out here for the remaining places. Hawkesbury River region, Australia

IBU Biathlon World Cup 10 – 16.01.11 Thousands of fans gather to witness men’s and women’s Individual, Sprint and Pursuit competitions as the Biathlon World Cup continues. Ruhpolding, Germany

Night of the Jumps 14 – 15.01.11 The start of the world’s oldest freestyle motocross series, which sees the field of talent do battle in Europe, Africa and South America. Tips Arena, Linz, Austria

Ice Speedway World Championship 15.01.11

Corona Reef Classic 14 – 16.01.11

Champion racer Franky Zorn gears up for the first qualifying round of the 2011 season. St Johann, Austria

Edgar Saavedra is among those taking to the waves in South America’s largest surf contest. Mar del Plata, Argentina


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Red Bull Crashed Ice 15 – 22.01.11 This unique ice-cross downhill contest demands skating skill, a competitive nature and nerves of steel. Without these, anyone at the top of the long, narrow run is in for a rough ride. Olympic Park, Munich, Germany

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup 15 – 16.01.11 The competitors take a trip to the land of the rising sun, but it’s the wind that is going to be on everyone’s minds: the Okurayama hill has a reputation for its competition-spoiling gusts. Sapporo, Japan

World Rookie Fest Tour 2011 15 – 19.01.11 The world-famous contest to find new snowboarding talent hits three continents, in the quest to discover the sport’s future heroes. Livigno, Italy

FIS World Snowboard Championships 2011 15 – 22.01.11 For the first time, the World Championships are to be fought for on Spanish snow. The big air competition comes to the city of Barcelona to begin proceedings, while the remaining events take place in the more traditional mountain setting of the La Molina resort. Barcelona/La Molina, Spain

FIS World Cup Ski Cross 16.01.11 The resort may be hosting this World Cup event for the ninth time, but it will feel brand new thanks to remodelling that took place last summer. Les Contamines, France

FIS Ski World Cup, Men 21 – 23.01.11 Last year was dominated by Didier Cuche of Switzerland who won the downhill and super-G contests. A victory in the skiing Mecca is still missing from Norwegian champion Aksel Lund Svindal’s long list of wins, something he’ll hope to change. Kitzbühel, Austria

Red Bull Open ice 22.01.11 Red Bull Line Catchers 15 – 22.01.11 Around 25 of the world’s top freeskiers including Tanner Hall, Sean Petitt and Richard Permin hunt out the best, smoothest and most spectacular lines. Vars, France

Speed and accuracy are key in this annual sub-zero battle. It’s ice hockey in its purest form: four against four with no goalkeeper on frozen lakes and ponds. Ljublijana, Slovenia and Teplice, Czech Republic

Red Bull Trial Bike 22.01.11 Bathing elephants will be among those looking on as Kenny Belaey shows off his skills on a trial bike at the Pinnawela Elephant Farm. Galle Fort, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Red Bull Top Shelf 22.01.11 In the country considered the birthplace of ice hockey, a oneon-one contest pits a series of attackers against a goalie, each trying to score as many goals over a set period of time into the ‘top shelf’, or the top corners of the net. Toronto, Canada

Red Bull Nanshan Open 22 – 23.01.11 Six talented snowboarders have made it through the qualifiers to join 18 of the world’s best at this 4Star slopestyle event in the TTR World Snowboard Tour. Beijing, China

FIS Ski World Cup, Ladies 22 – 23.01.11 Last season, champion skier Lindsey Vonn was in a class of her own in the downhill and super-G competitions on the Tofana slope. Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy

Hill Chasers 27.01.11 Some of the world’s winningest bike riders in BMX, mountain bike, road cycling and fixedgear disciplines take on 12 amateurs in an uphill speed battle before the ultimate twowheeled winner is crowned. Bristol, England

Polish Freeski Open 28 – 30.01.11 For the third year, the Harenda Snow Park plays host to this freestyle ski contest. With a course that includes a formidable kicker with a 20m jump gap, it’s perfect to test the mettle of Europe’s best. Zakopane, Poland

Red Bull ROCK Drop 29.01.11 Entrants in this freeride and downhill mountain bike competition compete for medals in New Zealand’s deepest gold mine. Waihi, New Zealand

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St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 29.01.11

night spots

The city festival hits Singapore for the first time. The coolest acts of the year do their thing, including Yeasayer, Deerhunter and Foals, against a backdrop of stunning botanical gardens. Fort Canning Park, Singapore

Kick off the year with a cool party, club night or festival

FABRICLIVE 07.01.11

Sub:stance 14.01.11

The cream of the UK drum and bass scene, including Original Nuttah Shy FX and Mercury prize-winning Dynamite MC, are joined by Brazilian DJ S.P.Y for a night of banging beats. Fabric, London, England

Dubstep, that dark genre of heavy bass and grinding beats, has managed to leap across the Channel to Berlin. And it’s found the perfect home there. Meister Scuba, Kode9 and Shackleton will get your ears and innards throbbing at this mysterious clubbing temple. Berghain, Berlin, Germany

Summer Six 08.01.11 A host of home-grown talent from reggae and rock, to breakbeat and drum and bass for a day of summertime celebration, including Katchafire, Minuit and Head Like A Hole. Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand

Shapeshifter 08.01.11 The innovative New Zealand five-piece are known for keeping dancefloors moving with their blend of soul and drum and bass. Recently signed in the UK, they have wisely returned home for summer. Waihi Beach Hotel, Waihi, New Zealand

Photography: Rex Features (3), Fat Freddy’s Drop (1)

Nataniël 08.01.11 The South African found fame in 1987, but after 13 albums, 50 theatre productions and 10 books, he’s still going strong. To prove it, he’s performing in this unique forest setting. Paul Cluver, Western Cape, Garbouw, South Africa

Eurosonic Festival 12 – 15.01.11 Only the best newcomers get to perform the most important annual European festival for new talent. This year it features James Blake, Delorean, Junip and more. De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands

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Ghost Writers 15.01.11 Showing true dedication, the Aussie rockers brave the British weather to deliver a bit of glam to the capital. With a quality line-up of support acts including UK guitar-poppers Audiovisuals, this is a night guaranteed to warm even the coldest of clubbers. Cargo, London, England

Goldie 15.01.11 He’s the DJ who’s almost as famous for his teeth as his talent, and has turned his hand to visual art, acting and even classical conducting in his time. But this month Goldie takes a step back in time with an old skool Metalheadz DJ set sure to bring nostalgic smiles to the lips of the jungle-loving crowd. Concorde 2, Brighton, England

Body & Soul 16.01.11 Body & Soul are Francois Kevorkian, Joe Claussell and Danny Krivitt, three deephouse veterans who helped prolong New York weekends in the ’90s with their Sunday Shelter Club parties. They may changed venues, but they’ve stuck to the Sunday tradition. Roseland Ballroom, New York, USA

Espionage 08.01.11 The AGM for advanced beat scientists. Flying Lotus brings the brain food, Hudson Mohawke the wonky drums and DâM-FunK the Prince references. The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, Australia


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Aloe Blacc 13.01.11 A silky-smooth voice, a soulful timbre, great songs – and Aloe Blacc has even more to offer. The Californian singer makes like his idol, Marvin Gaye, and shows how politically aware he is with songs like ‘Dollar’. Billboard Live, Tokyo, Japan

Innerpartysystem 20.01.11

Noah and the Whale 26.01.11

Rock guitar and rave beats go together like spaghetti and Bolognese. These guys agree. Their new EP, American Trash, released on Red Bull Records, thinks outside the rock box with its synth sounds. Madame JoJo’s, London, England

The indie folk five-piece play as part of Q Magazine’s New to Q series of gigs, ready to please existing fans and no doubt gain some new ones. Bush Hall, London, England

Sonic Warfare – Tectonic Night 21.01.11 British DJs Pinch, Distance and Jack Sparrow from the dubstep label Tectonic declare sonic war with bass sounds as booming as a cannon and beats as loud as an artillery barrage. Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Big Day Out 21.01.11 The annual summer knees-up lives up to its name with an eclectic line up including M.I.A., Rammstein, Wolfmother, Lupe Fiasco and Grinderman. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand

Jackmaster & Space Dimension Controller 22.01.11 These two graduates of the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy are hotshots of the year. Blogs like PlayGround have voted Jackmaster’s label Numbers the best of the year and Space Dimension Controller’s new record, Temporary Thrillz, has revived techno label R&S. Love & Death Inc, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Red Bull Soundclash 22.01.11 An audience decides the fate of two musical acts, putting their creativity to the test with specially created tracks. Indie band 7 Dollar Taxi from Lucerne are up against Da Sign & The Opposite from Bern. Kaserne, Basel, Switzerland

Fat Freddy’s Drop – The Road To Opononi 08.01.11 The kiwi band played Europe’s festival scene and now they’re back home in the sun. Opononi Hotel, Opononi, Hokianga, New Zealand

The Parlotones: Carbon Free Concert 22 – 23.01.11 The Johannesburg-based rockers have been gathering new fans on European stages, but now come home to the Emperor’s Palace. Theatre of Marcellus, Johannesburg, South Africa

Pressure 28.01.11 Proving the old adage that a rolling stone gathers no moss, at 44 the original superstar DJ Laurent Garnier is still bringing new sounds to clubland with his Live Booth Sessions, a mix of records and live band, with himself cast as conductor. The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland

Double Trouble Vision 28 – 29.01.11 The London party night has snagged itself two nights in its regular location, Corsica Studios. The first evening will feature dream music: bassheavy dub sounds from David Rodigan and Shy FX. Saturday will see Theo Parrish and Motor City Drum Ensemble move on into some deep house. London, England

Les TransArdentes 29.01.11 This electronic carnival on three floors, each playing a different type of music, is pretty intoxicating. There are house sets from acts like Skream, Dave Clarke, DJ Hell, Congorock, Carte Blanche and Party Harders. Halles Des Foires, Liège, Belgium

Fiesta Del Sol 29.01.11 This festival with a European flavour ensures everything is up to scratch. Gourmet food, secluded lounges and spa pools await guests, not to mention a line-up including Roger Sanchez. Stonyridge Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Imogen Heap 29 – 30.01.11 The Grammy Awardwinning singer, composer and songwriter and multiinstrumentalist from London brings her unique electronic sounds to South Africa. Theatre of Marcellus, Johannesburg, South Africa

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The Drums

Green Room

I Wanna Go Surfing

copenhagen

As Arctic chill descends on Europe, Nick Amies goes in search of a decent shorebreak and a campfire and finds The Drums warming to the elements in Denmark

Copenhagen doesn’t appear to be suffering as badly as other parts of Europe as the seasonal cold snap prompts the majority of the continent to don Arctic parkas and thermal underwear. The Danish capital laughs at temperatures which hover just under freezing. It’s practically balmy considering the lowest temperature ever recorded here was -29ºC. Brooklyn’s indie darlings The Drums, in town for the next leg of their European tour, are equally sanguine about the December chill. “Brooklyn is harsh in winter, so I’ve been enjoying it here in Europe,” Johnathon Pierce, 92

the band’s laconic frontman says, reclining on a chilly leather sofa backstage at Copenhagen’s Vega venue. “We are all very sensitive to the conditions around us. We were very influenced by all the heat we experienced this year and it shows in some of the songs; they have a sunnier, more positive vibe. I’m looking forward to getting back to New York and the cold. It’s a very creative environment for us, to be cold.” Since exploding onto the alternative scene in a flurry of plaudits and praise in 2009, some three years after forming in New York, The Drums have been pricking the

consciousness on both sides of the Atlantic with their sparse, spiky ’80s-influenced guitar pop. Drawing on the sounds of the The Smiths, early Cure, Joy Division and Orange Juice, the band revisit the glory days of the independent movement, a period before being an outcast became just another marketing tool for the major labels. Some critics have gone so far as to describe these self-confessed weirdos as the saviours of indie. It’s not a title that sits well with the band. “You do something you love and the whole world spins around you and suddenly everyone has a reaction,” says drummer

photography: Lasse Dearman

Beat masters: The Drums get the Copenhagen crowd in party mood


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Jacob Graham’s guitar is tightly strung and twangy…

…while Connor Hanwick’s drums have a toy-town tinniness

Three of a kind: “We were all a little out of synch as kids”

“We have a natural urge to balance things. We never set out to write a song which sounds happy, but is really about being sad” Connor Hanwick. “The first album was written before anyone had even heard of us so that says that we were just writing songs we loved. We weren’t trying to save anything. We know that everything eventually goes away. Come January there’ll be another big thing, another band to watch. Whether you’re loved or hated, some day nobody’s going to care at all, so it just has to be about writing great songs because that will be what follows you to your grave.” This almost brutally realistic view of life and music sits somewhat awkwardly with the jangly, life-affirming buoyancy of many of the bands’ songs. It’s a dichotomy which isn’t lost on The Drums. “We have a natural urge to balance things,” says Pierce. “We never set out to write a song which sounds happy, but is really about being sad. But those are the kinds of songs we’ve been drawn to our whole lives; those are the songs we hold dear and the kind of songs we want to write. But it’s all subjective; for example, ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ makes some people cry while others jump around the room with joy. We’re happy dealing with grey areas.” As darkness falls and the temperature plummets, the Vega fills with chirpy Copenhageners who are seemingly unaware of the darker side of The Drums. In an attempt to achieve the levels of balance they crave, The Drums counteract the gloom outside with a show befitting the upbeat mood of their audience. Soon the crowd is basking in the effortless melodies and wistful ambience of songs like ‘Down by the Water’, ‘Best Friend’ and ‘Submarine’, which turn the intimate confines of the Vega into a cosy seafront gathering. ‘Let’s Go Surfing’s’ idyllic surf-pop transports the crowd to a bonfire-lit celebration where they whirl around in board shorts by the water’s edge, while the top-down freedom of ‘Book of Stories’ blows through the collective hair like an ocean breeze. Who cares if these songs filled with optimistic hooks come with hidden barbs? Whether they intended to or not, The Drums have brought a hint of summertime to wintry Copenhagen. Current Album: The Drums (Moshi Moshi Recordings). More info at www.thedrums.com

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Above: The Kimberly Hotel. Left: Bryan Little left at Cafe Malaysian, his favourite bunny chow place

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1 Kimberley Hotel 2 Cafe Malaysian 3 Neighbourhood 4 Fiction

The Real Mother City He shoots music videos, short films, commercials and, most notably, the award-winning documentary on South African punk rock icons Fokofpolisiekar. The Cape Town film director offers a few glimpses of the city’s beautiful underbelly A good place to start is at the bunny chow place diagonally across the road from our offices, on the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant Street in downtown Cape Town. I don’t even know what it’s really called (Café Malaysian, 2), but it’s a little café across the road from The Kimberley Hotel (1) – which we’ll talk about later. A bunny chow is a square half-loaf of South African government-issue white bread. They hollow out the middle and fill it with curry, then bung the hollowed bit back on top, to seal it. You can only eat it with your hands and it will get messy. Lamb, mince, chicken and beans are your filling choices. It’s got three little tables and it’s super low-fi, African style. And the bunnies are cheap… like R16. There’s just a nice vibe in there. Lots of normal people – not full of bourgeois pseuds sipping lattés – you know, normal people, like construction workers. 94

Once you’ve finished your bunny you’ll probably be in the mood for a cold beer. The Kimberley Hotel beckons. One of Cape Town’s oldest hotels, the Kimberley is good for drinking, any time. A lot of people get together there before they go to clubs or proper parties. But you almost always, generally, just end up drinking at the Kimberley. It’s an old-school bar, it’s been there forever, the drinks are cheap, and they always have specials. I guess if I was trying to impress you, I’d skip the bunny chows and opt for the Bombay Bicycle Club at the very top of Kloof Street. It’s trendy, different and, most importantly, it doesn’t attract the kind of Cape Town people who go the Cape Quarter, or hang out in Camps Bay. You know, the kind who wear white linen pants with white shoes. I try avoid those places, from Camps Bay to the Waterfront. I just

hate that scene. I mean, I could probably afford to eat there now, at times, but I still wouldn’t choose to go there. The music’s terrible, there’s no authentic vibe, there’s no sense of individuality. It’s an environment for clones. And it’s all too shiny and clean. If you’re up for some nightlife, let’s head uptown to Neighbourhood (3) on Long Street. I like sitting on the balcony overlooking the street, especially in summer. It’s just a nice vibe. Have a few drinks with people and there’s usually always 50 other people who you know there, it’s just really relaxed with a good vibe and it’s really clean. From a live music point of view, you could check out the Mercury just up the road from the Kimberley Hotel. There’s the Assembly around the corner, and also Zula Bar on Long Street. Personally, I really enjoy Fiction (4), also on Long Street, for some more hardcore electro dancey vibes – just to gooi (throw) your head off. Markus Wormstorm and Haezer (two Capetonian producers of some international renown) throw really sick events there every second Friday night called Garden Boy parties. They always have a guest DJ, which is quite cool. In fact, I was that person in August and it was super fun.

1. Kimberley Hotel 2. Cafe Malaysian 3. Neighbourhood 4. Fiction

Little’s movie Fokofpolisiekar is available on DVD. Watch the trailer at fokofpolisiekarmovie.com

words: Andy Davis. photography: morne van zyl. illustration: andreas posselt

Resident Artist


World’s Best Clubs

La Santanera Playa del Carmen

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The Mezcal Diaries

photography: La Santanera (2), Lance Mercer/Red Bull Photofiles (1)

There’s an area of the world where January doesn’t mean detox and hibernation, but open-air terrace lounging. Owner Alex Gamez tells us why his club is the hottest on Mexico’s Gulf coast We love running a club in this town because… It’s a town with a mix of people from all over the world living together and very open to new things. That inspired us to do a club that could step aside from the mainstream club scene and music. The club’s name is a reference to... The Mexican syncretism between our Aztec roots and our catholic heritage. We even set up an altar to Jesus Malverde, the saint that narcos pray to, just because we thought that it was incredible that the narcos pray to a saint. Our idea was to… Do something different and eclectic. Rob Garza, from Thievery Corporation, is one of the partners in the club and one thing we established at the beginning was to centre the place around the music above any other thing. The inside of the club looks like … It’s a mix between the Titty Twister from Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk till Dawn and some scenes from The Matrix, especially that room were he chooses between taking the red pill or the blue pill. We usually start really going at… One or 2am. The first thing that you see when you enter the club is... The flashing altar-like DJ booth with mirrors on the back and speakers with silver grilles that look like Cadillacs. The best drink to start the night with is… Mezcal Cinco. Straight Up! With an orange slice with chilli powder on the side. The craziest night was… In the early days, the municipality passed

“The flashing altar-like DJ booth has mirrors on the back and speakers with silver grilles that look like Cadillacs” a law that every club had to close at 3am. On the weekends we had to hide like 80 people in the office like sardines for 30 minutes until the inspectors left. We should also mention our bathrooms because... You can get naughty in there.

I’d consider the club packed if there’s... A five-minute line to go to the bathroom... We can fit about 500 to 600 people. The best late-night spot nearby to soak up all that alcohol is... El Fogon, it’s a 24-hour taco place that also gives out beers if you tip them. When it’s all getting a bit too much you can… Retire to our terrace upstairs. It’s a big open-air lounge with all baroque sofas and a more relaxed vibe. A taxi back to the city centre costs... Absolutely nothing. We are right in the centre of Playa. La Santanera, Calle 12 entre 5ta y 10Av, Playa del Carmen, México www.lasantanera.com

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Skateistan kabul Reel Talk

Decks ’n’ Trucks ’n’ Heart ’n’ Soul A Kabul NGO has been one of the few bright stories to emerge from this war-torn country. Andreas Tzortzis sat down with Orlando von Einsiedel, director of a short, mesmerising new film on the children who seek solace in skateboarding At just a little over eight minutes, no one expects Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul, to offer the whole story behind the courageous skate and educational project started by Australian Oliver Percovich in 2007. What it does, simply and beautifully, is both convey the devastation in which Skateistan has taken root and the joy and elusive frivolity the 400 boys and girls get from a few hours on a board. Filmed by Orlando von Einsiedel last January, To Live and Skate Kabul follows raspy 16-year-old car washer Murza and bubbly 12-year-old street seller Fazilla, two of Skateistan’s pupils. Made on a shoestring over just two weeks, von Einsiedel’s film has won awards at skate festivals and been 96

included in the competition programme for shorts at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s quite a sombre film isn’t it? There’s a bit of a temptation to produce smiling kids and everyone skateboarding, but you’re missing reality there and you’re missing the backdrop of the situation – it’s really miserable. And I think that shows just how amazing the skateboarding project is. It can lift you above that grittiness and drudgery of life there. What struck you first about the kids? I was amazed at how happy and normal they were. Murza, one of the kids in the film, he’s only known war. All through his life there’s been war. When you go to conflict zones,

kids are quite empty and they look hollow. But the kids there were bright and perky and that sort of struck me. Why do you think they take to skating? Most of the kids [at Skateistan] we deal with are working kids. During the day they sell chewing gum or candy on the streets. And Skateistan is an oasis where they can be kids again. They come, they’re covered in mud and they’re wearing Wellington boots and they can jump on skateboards and just have a couple of hours where they can relax. How is skateboarding ‘sold’ over there? They’ve really de-Americanised skateboarding. The project has made a real effort not to promote it as a lifestyle because the parents might make negative


photography: Jacob Simkin

From left: No kerb? No rails? This bombed out tank will have to do; skating past the shelled former presidential palace; von Einsiedel and cinematographer Franklin Dow (right) in Kabul; Wais ollies at the disused Russian Swimming pool on Bibi Mahru hill, one of Kabul’s skate spots

associations with the US and the West and all that. And also because skateboarding’s pretty male dominated, they really wanted to bring in all the girls. There it’s a neutral sport, just a sporting activity. What were some of the challenges in capturing the project on film? Well, if we leave aside boring things like having no money, we shot on 16mm, which people thought we were idiots for. The 16mm cams look big and the lens is long, and it’s black and it looks like a bazooka. So me and Frank, the cinematographer, we’re wandering the streets with this thing that looks like a bazooka, with military convoys going past and we’re waving saying, “We’re foreigners, don’t shoot us, it’s a camera not a gun!” So that was certainly a challenge. All the foreigners get daily security briefings and there were two days where we just sat in, waiting for someone to send a report saying it was OK to go out again. Were there any special precautions? You just don’t see foreigners on the streets. The only other time was when we saw three combat guys with loads of bodyguards. And they were buying something from the shop. The first couple of days we were really

“Military convoys go past and we’re waving, saying ‘Don’t shoot! It’s a camera not a gun!” nervous. After a while, and this is probably where it does get dangerous, is when you start to relax a little bit. Every now and again you get a real wake-up call. There were a couple of suicide bombings when we were there. Two days later we drove past where they had been, and there was this huge shopping mall blown to pieces. How good is their skating? I’m not sure Tony Hawk has anything to worry about (laughs). They’re all right. What they’ve got is, they’re fearless. They’re made of rock, they’re really tough. What they’re not doing every night is watching skate movies and trying all the tricks. They jump off big steps where there’s no chance of landing because the ground is so uneven. Does the community accept the project? Most people accept it. The Afghan Olympic Committee gave them all the land where

they built the skate park. The local media really likes to cover it. Even President Karzai has said some kind words about it. On one level it’s accepted. But, the girl in the film – her dad was disapproving. There was another girl we followed who used to be part of the project, and her brothers made her stop. The girls talked about people in the street looking disapprovingly at them. In Kabul, people are more liberal, so generally it’s OK. But it’s Afghanistan, a lot of people outside of the city would see it as really bad. How did they react to you guys filming? Everyone gathers around. I think it’s mainly surprise. One of the kids said that everyone thinks there’s magnets on the shoes and that’s what keeps the feet attached to the boards, which is interesting.

You can watch the film at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=h8dYtWXCYE8. For more information on Skateistan, head to www.skateistan.org

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A

round Christmas, in 2011, the owner of the best bar in Johannesburg is hoping to have published a book he guarantees will help bachelors in their endeavours with members of the opposite sex. Or, as Manny Cabeleira gently puts it, will get single men “well and truly laid”. Manny is putting together a cookery book for men featuring simple recipes, some one-pot, a few only slightly more complicated (“Because okes don’t like washing dishes”), but all with one aim in mind – to impress women. Sitting at the counter that separates the main bar from the restaurant at the Radium Beer Hall in Orange Grove, in Johannesburg, Manny watches as his waiters scuttle through from the kitchen to the diners on a Thursday evening. Born in Madeira, Manny brought Portuguese recipes to the Radium Beer Hall when he took over the place in 1986, and, save for a few tweaks here and there, hasn’t tinkered with the menu much since then. “I may add a little something different here and there, but I never fix something that’s not broken,” says Manny. “My recipes work. Believe me. I’ve tested them on women down the years. Any man who cooks a meal for a woman is guaranteed to impress her, and will definitely get lucky unless he stuffs it up totally. I’ve been using these recipes for years and I’ve been thinking about this book for ages. Now I’ve got a publisher, a deadline and a market – all I need now is a title.” Manny is, for some reason, a little reluctant to twin the Radium with his book, but after he has two coffees and I have two Hansas and tell him he’d be daft not to, he decides it may be a good idea after all. Manny is the Radium and the Radium is Manny. He’s a rare breed in South Africa – an owner of a bar that is as independent as he is: brusque, lovable and full of nonsense. The Radium Beer Hall is a legendary

Mind’s Eye

The Food of Love Kevin McCallum discovers the true way to a woman’s heart at Jo’burg’s Radium Beer Hall watering hole in Johannesburg, and despite its sitting on Louis Botha Avenue, on what some might call the wrong side of town, its reputation means that it keeps on keeping on. The Burmese teak bar counter, the oldest in South Africa, transplanted from the Ferreirastown Hotel is scarred, but is holding up well for being 100 years old. The regulars include a man who came here for his first drink when he was 14 and has been coming to the Radium for nigh on 50 overs. Kevin Bloom, the journalist and writer, arrives as Manny and I natter away. David O’Sullivan, the radio and television presenter, pops in to watch rugby as often as he can. He claims to have set a record of sitting for 12 hours at the Radium. It’s not the sort of place you want to leave. The Radium Beer Hall, indeed, is the quintessential South African bar. Opened as a tea room by the Khalil family back in 1929, it was also a shebeen and was the one of the first bars in Johannesburg

to serve blacks. When Manny took over, the Radium was a macho bar, where women were banned. Manny changed all that and in the mid-1980s, as South Africa teetered on the brink of civil war and democracy, it became a melting pot of all races and creeds. On the wall above the door to the kitchen, a fading sign still orders that “religion and politics” are not to be spoken off in the bar. Few pay it much attention. It was, in the days when journalists drank in impressive measures, a place they would call home. The Bang Bang Club, the band of photographers who chronicled the war most white people were not aware of, would sometimes come here for a “sharpie” before braving the townships. Three of the Bang Bang Club are now dead, two by suicide, one by a stray soldier’s bullet. Another, João Silva, a photographer for The New York Times, is now recovering after losing parts of his legs in a land mine blast in Afghanistan in October. “I remember those guys all coming in, and you could see when they’d had a hard day,” said Manny. “They wouldn’t talk much and you could tell by their eyes that they had seen some pretty f***ed up stuff that day.” Manny can talk the hind legs off a donkey (and he’ll probably have a recipe that could make that taste like a delicacy), but he knows when to let people be by themselves. However, the famous who are brought here for a sense of the “real Jo’burg” receive no airs and graces, no special treatment. Sir Bob Geldolf came a few years ago and was introduced to Manny. “What should I call you,” Manny asked him. “Bob? Sir Bob? What?” “You can call me a c*** if you want,” said Geldolf. “So I did,” laughed Manny. “All night.” Kevin McCallum is an award-winning sports journalist and acclaimed columnist for the Independent newspaper group

South Africa, ISSN 2079-4282: The Red Bulletin is published by Red Bulletin GMBH Editor-In-Chief Robert Sperl General Managers Alexander Koppel, Rudolf Theierl Editorial Office Anthony Rowlinson (Executive Editor), Stefan Wagner Associate Editor Paul Wilson Contributing Editor Andreas Tzortzis Chief Sub-editor Nancy James Production Editor Marion Wildmann Photo Editors Susie Forman (Chief), Fritz Schuster Deputy Photo Editors Markus Kucera, Valerie Rosenburg, Catherine Shaw Design Erik Turek (Art Director), Miles English, Judit Fortelny, Markus Kietreiber, Esther Straganz Staff Writers Werner Jessner, Uschi Korda, Ruth Morgan Contributors Nick Amies, Martin Apolin, Karin Bock, Andy Davis, Norman Howell, Anna Mayumi Kerber, Kevin McCallum, Florian Obkircher, Andreas Rottenschlager, Corinna Schwiegershausen, Rüdiger Sturm, Brendan Thomas Production Managers Michael Bergmeister, Wolfgang Stecher, Walter Omar Sádaba Repro Managers Christian Graf-Simpson, Clemens Ragotzky Augmented Reality Christoph Rietner, Martin Herz, www.imagination.at International Project Management Bernd Fisa Finance Siegmar Hofstetter. Editor, South Africa Steve Smith. The Red Bulletin is published simultaneously in Austria, the UK, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Poland, South Africa and New Zealand. Website www.redbulletin.com. Head office: Red Bulletin GmbH, Am Brunnen 1, A-5330 Fuschl am See, FN 287869m, ATU63087028. UK office: 155-171 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JP, +44 (0)20 3117 2100. Austrian office: Heinrich-Collin-Strasse 1, A-1140 Vienna, +43 (1) 90221 28800. Printed by CTP Printers, Duminy Street, Parow-East, Cape Town 8000. For all advertising enquiries, contact Anthony Fenton-Wells, +27 (0)82 464 6376, or email anthony@tfwcc.net Write to us: email letters@redbulletin.com

The next issue of the Red Bulletin is out on February 1

Illustration: Albert Exergian

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