Page 1

A BEYOND THE ORDINARY MAGAZINE

FEBRUARY 2013

Do wn

t a b load i s s ule t e FO

RF

RE

E

INSIDE A VOLCANO The hottest adventure in Earth

Carissa Moore

Hard Yards? Easy

BREAKING SURFING’S GLASS CEILING

TRAIN LIKE A CHAMPION MOUNTAIN BIKER

Street Style Kings

BREAKDANCE WORLD FINALS IN RIO


THE WORLD OF RED BULL

February 86

RACHEL ATHERTON Food, fitness and films are vital in the making the mountain bike World Cup champion

46

DRAWN TO MUSIC Album release party or gallery opening? Toro Y Moi makes music that touches people – and that people can touch

38

MAKING WAVES Carissa Moore is leading the first generation of women surfers capable of competing alongside men on the pro tour

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: BRADLEY AMBROSE PHOTOGRAPHY: IMAGO, RICK RODNEY, BRIAN BIELMANN, INTERTOPICS

WELCOME Everyone needs a hobby. Geoff Mackley, a TV cameraman from New Zealand, spends every moment of his spare time, and pretty much all of his money, camping out on active volcanoes (after helicopter rides they don’t advertise at the tourist office) and abseiling to lava lakes. His remarkable story, with incredible images, is the centrepiece of The Red Bulletin this month. Not quite as hot, but sweltering in a Rio heatwave, the B-Boys at the world breakdancing finals hope to turn their passions into a career (global pop stars recruit their tour companies here). Elsewhere, pointy shoes and self-expression are helping young Mexicans escape the gang wars. All that, and much, much more. Enjoy the issue.

60 A COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN Inside info from film folk, including a nun who kissed Elvis, to help you correctly pick the Oscars this month


THE WORLD OF RED BULL

February 64 15

20

ME & MY BODY Hurdling the pain barrier, and four minutes underwater, with Australian surfer Sally Fitzgibbons

ON THE FLIPSIDE Breakdance in Brazil at the Red Bull BC One World Final

The Red Bulletin

Tablet App

Breakdancing world finals, surfing champ Carissa Moore, MTB champion Rachel Atherton in action on video Free for Android & iPad

26

DESERT RACERS On a dry salt lake in South Africa, cars, trucks and motorbikes reach speeds impossible on roads and racetracks. Will the first 1,000mph jet car follow them?

06 The month’s best images 12 Bullevard: sport, culture & more 16 Pop time-traveller Willy Moon 18 Kit Evolution: biathlon rifles 22 The science of highwire 24 Happy birthday Harley-Davidson

PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES, KATIE KAARS, MARCELO MARAGNI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, LUKE DANIEL

JAMES FRANCO How the hardestworking man in showbiz and the arts fits it all in


THE WORLD OF RED BULL

February “ Bronze

is nice, but it’s not gold. I was thinking that as I crossed the line ”

58

THE HARD WAY Last-minute entries, no bike, no footwear: Irish triathlete Con Doherty reaches world championship podiums like nobody else

70 SLOPE AND GLORY

Born in England, based in Belfast. These are not the entries you usually see on a top snowboarder’s CV, but Aimee Fuller has a different set of rules

50 DANCING IN NARCOLAND

From small-town Mexico to big-city USA, a new dance style is offering a generation on both sides of the border respite from the drug gang wars

more

Body & Mind PHOTOGRAPHY: RICHIE HOPSON, ALEX DE MORA, KATIE ORLINSKY, BRADLEY AMBROSE

82

TRAVEL IDEAS

Shipwreck diving off Australia

84

72

MR LAVA LOVER

New Zealand cameraman Geoff Mackley films natural disasters for a living. Abseiling into the heart of a volcano to the edge of a lava lake is something he does for fun

GET THE GEAR

94

WORLD IN ACTION

Global goings-on

96

SAVE THE DATE

97

KAINRATH

98

MIND’S EYE

What dog musher Dallas Seavey needs to cover 1,150 miles in only nine days

Events for the diary

88 BAND WATCH

Stephen Bayley turns off TV for good

The return of Irish duo Solar Bears

90 NIGHTLIFE

Our cartoonist

A glamorous club, an exotic cocktail, a midnight snack, after-dark action and the best music – we’ve got everything you need to get you through ’til dawn


HAWAI I , U SA

Into the JAWS

One of the most brutal surf breaks in the world is off the north side of the island of Maui, in Hawaii. Surfers must be towed out to it (usually by jet-skis) and they must be the world’s best. The waves of Pe’ahi, or Jaws, can reach 120ft (36m) in height. Windsurfer Jason Polakow tamed them: “It’s like riding a mountain of water. Your heart is racing, but that’s exactly what makes riding Jaws so exciting.” Watch the video: www.redbull.com Photograph: Tracy Kraft Leboe/Red Bull Content Pool

07


sAo Pau lo, b r a z i l

shadow boxing

Sport, not crime. That’s the byword former boxer Nelson Garrido is preaching in São Paulo’s Zona Leste (East Zone). His logic being that those in the ring aren’t out breaking the law. When the kids he trains are with him, they can’t be out selling drugs. Those lucky enough to be under Garrido’s watch are also given a hot meal, with a side-order of self-belief. The motto of his boxing academy is: “Come a poor boy. Leave a proud man.” Fighters’ portfolio: www.gudzowaty.com Photograph: Tomasz Gudzowaty

09


C O LO R AD O, U SA

TRACKING THE PAST In 1896, members of an African-American regiment of the US Army, known as Buffalo Soldiers, rode about 2,000 miles from Montana to Missouri – the first extensive testing for bicycles in the military. Swiss mountain biker René Wildhaber named his two-week US cycling adventure in honour of those pedalling pioneers. “I wanted to find out where mountain biking’s roots come from,” he said. “The Buffalo Soldiers tried something new, just as extreme sportsmen and women do today.” Expedition video blog: www.buffalo-soldiers.ch Photograph: Christophe Margot

10


Bullevard Sport and culture on the quick

BACK IN THE FOLD On paper, an industrial design genius has crafted a secret parallel career

Retro future Video games are entertainment culture’s cutting edge, but they also spawn as many sequels as Hollywood blockbuster season, as new versions of old faves prove FINAL FANTASY Seekers Of Adoulin (March 26) is the seventh add-on for the 11th game in the epic sword-andsorcery saga. Games XII-XIV exist; the latter reboots later in 2013. SIMCITY A sixth iteration (March 5) of the part-mayoral, part-megalomania city-building challenge. New this time: curved roads, proper civil engineering and a world economy. TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR Eldrick Tont Woods now has as many Major wins as variants of his golf sim: 14. Now play as old-time legends just as they did – in black and white (March 26.) TOMB RAIDER The first lady of gaming returns in her 10th full-length adventure (March 5), in which Lara Croft’s origin is revealed in an island mystery akin to TV’s Lost.

12

Irving Harper is one of the most feted industrial designers. Alongside another icon of modernist manufacture, George Nelson, he developed the Marshmallow Sofa – with its 18 circular cushions, still sold and coveted 59 years after it was created. Less well known than Harper’s furniture, and the coloured spheres of the Ball Clock he co-conceived, are the byproducts of long nights at his drawing board. To help relax and clear his mind during breaks, he would make intricate paper sculptures. Over the years he has made almost 300 animals, abstract shapes and statues, some of which are over a metre in height. “I’ve never designed the sculptures,” says Harper, now 95. “They’re just off the top of my head.” A new book showcases the best of his paper craft. Just don’t call it origami. www.rizzoliusa.com

Irving Harper: Works In Paper is out now

PHOTOTICKER

EVERY SHOT ON TARGET

Have you taken a picture with a Red Bull flavour? Email it to us at: phototicker@redbulletin.com Every month we print a selection, with our favourite pic awarded a limited-edition Sigg bottle. Tough, functional and well-suited to sport, it features The Red Bulletin logo.

Santiago Sun, sand and sightseeing over Chile: on the thermals with paraglider Tom Weissenberger. Juan Luis De Heeckeren


New girl power

Female musicians you’ll be hearing more of in 2013

PHOTOGRAPHY: IRVING HARPER/RIZZOLI PUBLISHING (3), LESLIE WILLIAMSON, EA GAMES, SQUARE ENIX, MAXIS/EA GAMES CRYSTAL DYNAMICS/SQUARE ENIX, GETTY IMAGES (5), GEPA PICTURES, SOUND CITY

McKurtney: Paul McCartney (right) with ex-Nirvana members Krist Novoselic (left) and Dave Grohl

Studio filmmaking He rewrote music history as the drummer in Nirvana and fills stadiums as the frontman for Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is one of the most successful rock musicians of his day. Now the 44-year-old is trying his hand as a film director. Grohl’s new documentary, Sound City, is about the legendary Californian recording studio of the same name, where a string of musicians have recorded classic albums since it was founded in 1969. Grohl is the right man for the job: Nirvana’s Nevermind was made there. He is also one of the film’s many notable talking heads, including Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Stevie Nicks. The film’s soundtrack features 11 new songs co-written by Grohl; Cut Me Some Slack has his former Nirvana pal Krist Novoselic on bass, and vocals and guitar from some guy called Paul McCartney. The trio have performed the song live. Watch it online from February 9: www.soundcitymovie.com

ANGEL HAZE The 21-year-old rapper from Detroit tells hip-hop stories with wit, power and eloquence beyond her years.

SKY FERREIRA Heralded as the new princess of electro pop, the 20-yearold’s incorrectly titled debut album, I’m Not Alright, is out this spring.

SHE HAS LIFT-OFF Aged only 17 when she won the first women’s ski-jumping World Cup last year, Sarah Hendrickson is bound for further glory Ski-jumping isn’t exactly a mainstream sport. What made you decide to devote your life to flying through the air on skis? I come from Park City in Utah, which isn’t far from the Olympic ski-jumping hill in Salt Lake City. My brother started ski-jumping at some point and, when I was seven, I got fed up of just watching him. I was hooked after my very first attempts. What exactly is it about ski-jumping that is so appealing to you? Two things, mainly: the thrill that the enormous speed on the hill gives you; and the sensation of the air cushion under your skis when you’re flying. There’s nothing like it.

DEAP VALLY This Californian duo have made fans of the likes of Jack White with their wild live shows and raw, bluesy rock anthems.

Having achieved so much at a young age, what are your new career goals? In future, I hope I’ll get to experience the same thing on the really large hills [women compete on smaller hills than men]. There are two important events coming up: the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme in Italy [February 20-March 3] and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where women will ski-jump for the first time. I’ll be under a bit of pressure in Italy as reigning overall World Cup champion. A medal would be great. But my main dream is to compete at the Olympics. Winning at a trial event in Sochi last December was a good omen. twitter.com/schendrickson

In-flight entertainment: Sarah Hendrickson

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Anza Supercrossers Marvin Musquin and Ryan Dungey nail a highest five in California. Simon Cudby

Belgrade Montenegrin rap duo Who See command the ring at the Red Bull MC Battle. Marko Djuric

Paia Surfers respect local traditions at the

opening ceremony of Red Bull Jaws in Hawaii. Robert Snow

13


B U L L E VA R D

From Doha to Donny Reigning British MX2 champion Elliott Banks-Browne is back in the saddle for 2013 and revving up on home turf this month. The Hawkestone International on February 10 is a chance for the world’s leading motocross riders to shake off the winter rest in readiness for the season ahead. For the 23-year-old from Derbyshire, this includes the start of the FIM World MX2 Championship in Qatar on March 2, and the British Championship in Doncaster on March 17, where he’ll aim to defend his hard-earned title. www.hawkstonemx.co.uk

Where’s the party at? Fresh from recording tracks for their debut album, and remixing for the likes of Jessie Ware at Red Bull Studios, London, Surrey sibling duo Disclosure are doing anything but live up to their name after announcing a secret gig. The house music producers Guy and Howard Lawrence, along with Red Bull Studios, are to host a one-off night that promises a packed line-up of special guests big enough to fill a warehouse at an undisclosed London location on March 8. Sign up at their official website for tickets and exclusive information on DJs and performers. www.disclosure official.com Hush hush: Guy (left) and Howard Lawrence are playing a secret gig

Bologna Alexsandr Grinchuk (car) and Chris Pfeiffer at Red Bull Speed Day in Italy. Olaf Pignataro 14

Perth

ON YER BIKE

Lam ut laboriae voluptas molum si abo. Et quassequam

Jonathan Rea had a busy 2012. The man from County Antrim, 26, was a top-five finisher in the World Superbike championship, and stepped in for the injured Casey Stoner in MotoGP Burn baby, burn “My dad was a road racer, so family holidays were on the Isle of Man surrounded by bikes. I started competing aged three and fell in love.” Spare tyre “At the end of last season I didn’t want to see another bike for a long time! But I’m paying for my downtime now: I’ve been working off the beers and leisurely dinners.” Leap of faith “In 2004 I broke my femur when my brakes failed going into a corner: I had to jump off the bike at 150mph. That took a lot of recovery.” Modern Man “It might be manly up at the track, but at home I love to cook, and I’m not scared to get the vacuum cleaner out. My life at the track is 100mph, so at home it’s nice to put the kettle on and cosy up of the sofa.” The World Superbike Championship begins on February 24 in Australia: www.jonathan-rea.com

Where there’s wind there’s a way: 110 set off in Australia’s longest kitesurfing race. Ian Tungsten

Tauplitz Austrian freeskier Fabian Lentsch stuck in home snow for a powder climb. Mirja Geh

WORDS: RUTH MORGAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: RUTGER PAUW/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, PHIL SHARP, GEPA/RED BULL CONTENT POOL (2)

Case for the defence: MX2 title holder Elliot Banks-Browne


B U L L E VA R D

WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT?

JAMES FRANCO

With his finger in many artistic pies, one foot in Hollywood and one in indie cinema, he is the hardest working man in showbiz and the arts. Here’s how he fits it all in

‘TE D’ TO HI S FA MI LY

born in Palo Alto, James Edward Franco was to Betsy Lou, a poet 8, 197 19, il California, on Apr ping container and editor, and Doug, a ship ky teen years – roc r Afte company executive. – he went to arrests, underage boozing , then dropped lish Eng university to study , ses clas ing act e tak out to supporting himself by working at McDonald’s.

’CAUSE OF THE REBEL

After bit parts in TV and film, he won the part of James Dean in a 2001 biopic. He already looked a little like the legendary actor, but got even closer to Dean by taking up smoking, talking to Dean’s friends, and being alone, on set and off, during filming. “I wanted to feel what that felt like,” he said. Result: Best Actor Golden Globe won; career launched.

WORDS: PAUL WILSON. ILLUSTRATION: LIE-INS AND TIGERS

ARTH OU SE & MU LTIPLEX

No movie star walks the like Hollywood-indie line quite e SpiderFranco. Major roles in thre net Of The Man films, Rise Of The Pla s can be res Exp Apes and Pineapple l and The How , Milk in s turn inst set aga et film udg rob mic 1 Broken Tower, a 201 TV, he was on ly, ilar Sim d. cte dire he also ks and the in cult hit Freaks and Gee l. pita Hos l era Gen ra ope soap

ALWAYS LEARN ING

In 2006, 10 years after dropping out, Franco went back to UCLA to finish his English degree, graduating in 2008. Two years later, he enrolled in four New York graduate schools, squeezing all the study around his acting. On the set of Pineapple Express, said its director, Judd Apatow, “we used to laugh because in between takes he’d be reading The Iliad.”

HIGH ON JUNK

In a 2006 US TV comedy skit, which went viral online, Justin Timberlake sang about packaging certain parts of his body as a gift for female admirers. In a 2008 short film, Franco, also directing, plays the role of a chap, name rhymes with ‘nick doze’, with the same body parts shifted from their anatomically correct position to the centre of his face.

SPO ILE R ALE RT!

In 127 Hours, Franco played Aron Ralston, who, in 2003, had to cut off his right arm after it was squashed between a boulder and a canyon wall following a canyoneering accident. The film, said its director, Danny Boyle, is “an action movie with a guy who can’t move”. Franco, with one hand literally tied behind his back, won a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

THE MU LTIH YPH ENATE

Franco’s degree thesis was a novel. In 2010, he published a book of short stories, Palo Alto, named for his hometown, and had a solo art show in New York. In 2011, he hosted the Oscars. Next year, he will publish Directing Herbert White, a book of poems about moviemaking and the attendant fame. Put money on a catwalk collection in Paris one day.

OH , JAM ES!

With his forthcoming roles, James Franco could not be more James Franco in 2013 – not least in This Is The End, a comedy co-directed by ss co-star Seth Rogen, in Expre pple Pinea his be Hugh which he plays James Franco. He’ll also h, the mont next from and lace, Love in er, Hefn rful. Powe And t Grea The Wonderful Wizard, in Oz www.disney.go.com/thewizard

15


B U L L E VA R D

SPIFFING QUIFF

WILLY MOON

What would a joint album by Buddy Holly and Kanye West sound like? Willy Moon has the answer. Firing up his time machine uncorks the freshest pop ideas

  : Did you discover old music via your parents?  : No. If that had been the case I probably wouldn’t like it now! I started listening to Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley records in Berlin when I was 19 and I got completely into them. It was a form of escapism for me. I became obsessed, imagining a bygone era in which people behaved completely differently.

Moon landing: Willy is ready to take 2013 by storm

16

Real Name William Sinclair Born June 2, 1989, Wellington, New Zealand Just For Fun Two years ago he was in Berlin, eking out a living doing odd jobs. He began writing songs out of boredom. His very first song secured him a record contract. Moon now lives in London. QT And Me Moon’s favourite film director is Quentin Tarantino. “He plays with genres of the past, turning them on their head to find a new perspective on them. Sort of the same thing that I’m doing with music, really.”

How did you come up with the idea of mixing rock ’n’ roll with hip-hop? It was an attempt to challenge myself. I wanted to create something that had its own identity. So I came up with the idea of combining those two worlds because it was something no one had tried before. Why do your songs have very minimal arrangements? My recording studio is basically a laptop and my guitar. I like that feeling of flexibility. I never wanted to make music that I need an orchestra to fulfil, because then, in a way, I would be trapped. Plus, putting limits on yourself fires your creativity. Look at Picasso’s Blue Period. As a magpie of different styles, which one do you like the most? I don’t want to be pigeonholed: I make Willy Moon music. In the past, there were always one or two dominant movements that young people would get behind and get involved with. You were either this or that; a punk, or

“ My recording studio is a laptop and my guitar. I like being flexible ” you were into hip-hop. The internet has changed all that – the archive of history is at our fingertips. The way in which people make art and music is something that has changed irrevocably. You can create your own style, combine things according to your own taste. That is wonderful. What’s the secret to your quiff? I start with wax and then I put gel on it – it has to be a soft gel, one that doesn’t go dry and flaky – and then hairspray once it’s combed. It’s a three-part strategy. The single Railroad Track is out now; a debut album is out in March. Preview it now: www.willymoon.com

WORDS: FLORIAN OBKIRCHER. PHOTOGRAPHY: UNIVERSAL ISLAND RECORDS, REX FEATURES

Willy Moon is a man of style. His suit is perfect. So is his quiff. He has James Dean’s cool and the seductive gaze of Marlon Brando. The 23-year-old may have fashion on his mind, but he has earned the respect of fellow performers like Jack White (of the White Stripes, with whom Moon toured England last November) with his music. Moon’s merging of the classic rock ’n’ roll sound with snappy hip-hop beats is as ingenious as it is infectious. On stage, he swings his hips and is every bit the impish crooner. His electric guitar screams, the rhythms thump. Apple made his second single, Yeah Yeah, into an anthem via an iPod advert. All of this has made his forthcoming debut album the most anticipated record of early 2013.


WE WILL ROCK YOU WARNING: SERIOUSLY ADDICTIVE MUSIC MAY RESULT IN INVOLUNTARY RHYTHMIC LIMB MOVEMENT


B U L L E VA R D

KIT EVOLUTION

Bullet Points

Biathlon is winter sport’s most demanding event: race to the targets, heart pounding as you aim and fire. But are today’s competitors helped by high-tech hardware?

SLING ON

In rainy conditions, the leather strap absorbs water and becomes heavier. Modern rifles are equipped with lighter, padded, water-repellent foam straps.

LOCK DOWN

PUSH BACK

This rifle weighs 4.7kg and is 110cm long. The butt is made of plastic. The powerful recoil of the large calibre often left biathletes with blackand-blue shoulders.

1976 STEYR MANNLICHER SSG 69 The sport of biathlon, a dual test of cross-country skiing and target shooting, developed from Norwegian army training. It made its full Winter Olympic debut in 1960. Biathletes ski laps of a course, covering up to 20km, with timed target shoots at the end of the laps. “In 1978,” says Alfred Eder, a six-time Austrian Olympic biathlete, “the sport switched from large to small [.22] calibre cartridges,” a move that opened it to a wider audience.

18

Alfred Eder, Olympic legend and biathlon dynasty founder (see facing page) biathlonworld.com

WORDS: ULRICH CORAZZA. PHOTOGRAPHY: KURT KEINRATH (2), MARCEL LAMMERHIRT/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, IMAGO

The trigger weight – the force the shooter applies to shoot – is 1-1.5kg. The .30-06calibre ammunition it fires has a muzzle velocity of 850m/s.


IN THE SLOT

The magazine holds five .22-calibre cartridges; spares are stored in the butt. In World Cup biathlon, maximum ammunition muzzle velocity is 380m/s.

ON THE TRIGGER This rifle’s patented straight-pull trigger action (trigger weight: about 0.5kg) allows repetition without elbow movement, which saves time and improves aim.

TAILOR-MADE

The shaft is light balsa wood, with a hardwood core to aid stability, and carboncoated to increase rigidity and protect the wood from rain, snow and impact.

2013 ANSCHÜTZ KK 1827 FORTNER Alfred Eder’s son Simon is the fastest shot in professional biathlon. His five scoring shots in 16.5 seconds is a Biathlon World Cup best. He uses a rifle much changed from his father’s day, thanks to technological advancements and the 1978 rule changes. “The anatomically adapted shaft nestles against the body, which saves a lot of time at the shooting stand,” says Eder. “Nonetheless, I still have to hit the bull’s eye myself.”

Simon Eder won Olympic silver in 2010; father Alfred did not medal in six Games www.edersam.com

19


B U L L E VA R D

1 SEA SENSE

Your body is on high alert as soon as you get in the water. When you’re surfing, you need to have quick reactions, excellent spatial awareness and a precise understanding of how the ocean behaves.

ME AND MY BODY

SALLY FITZGIBBONS Aged 17, the Australian became the youngest-ever surfer to qualify for the ASP World Tour. In each of the last three seasons, she has been overall runner-up. Now aged 22, she’s ready to take the title

2 IN TOO DEEP

I broke my left wrist in late 2011, surfing in Fiji, when I was flung over a reef. Six weeks of no surfing – it was the Australian summer too – was pretty uncool and almost drove me mad.

3 PAIN BARRIER GRIEF I injured my back freesurfing at the Gold Coast in 2009, during my very first event on the ASP World Tour. It took five months to heal. I carried on competing in pain so as not to lose my place on tour the following season.

www.sallyfitzgibbons.com

I’m a regular at various Red Bull training camps. Last year, on a freediving course, I learned how to hold my breath for four minutes and to keep calm in the water in dangerous situations. That can be lifesaving for us surfers.

When you’re surfing, your torso, back, legs and glutes work in harmony. That’s why I rely on holistic physical training. My thighs are perhaps my strongest muscles. I get the strength for increasingly complicated moves by doing countless squats of all kinds.

Download the free Red Bulletin Tablet edition to see exclusive videos of Fitzgibbons in action

20

WORDS: ULRICH CORAZZA. PHOTOGRAPHY: KATIE KAARS

5 BREATHLESS

4 (IN)FLEXIBLE


B U L L E VA R D

HARD & FAST

Top performers and winning ways from around the globe With his 45th World Cup event victory, Austrian skijumper Gregor Schlierenzauer also secured his second Four Hills Tournament title on home soil.

WORDS: FLORIAN OBKIRCHER. PHOTOGRAPHY: WARP RECORDS, GETTY IMAGES, ALLI SPORTS (2), PICTUREDESK.COM. ILLUSTRATION: DIETMAR KAINRATH

Darkstar (from left): Aiden Whalley, James Buttery and James Young

NO CHEESE, PLEASE For their second album, city-dwelling electro trio Darkstar withdrew to the Yorkshire countryside. The open air opened their minds In 2010, London-based trio Darkstar released their debut album, North, which musically encapsulated a grey winter day – in the best possible sense. Mellow synthesiser lines twined around James Buttery’s fragile voice, timid melodies floated across subtle beats. For their second album, the band found a more vivid sound, as mastermind Aiden Whalley reveals.   : Why did you up sticks and move to the countryside to make this record?  : We felt like we were in a period of change. Also, with London being quite an expensive place to get a studio, it made sense to move back to the north where we’re from. We found a nice, big stone house in the countryside of West Yorkshire, and it really shook things up. It gave us a lot of freedom. Is that the reason why News From Nowhere sounds more psychedelic than the first album? That’s probably because it was mushroom season when we made the record. On a serious note, we recorded the sounds of the living room, banging on light bulbs or light fixtures or chairs, things like that. We were just playing around. I think the nature and the countryside played into the music because we went at it more organically. Ideas started on pianos or guitars. The lore of rock ’n’ roll songs says that the second album is the hardest to make. Would you agree? Once we knew what we were trying to achieve, the pressure rose a bit. Trying to find a brighter sound was a challenging thing for us. We describe the music as quite poppy, but it’s got to be good as well. We didn’t want to do anything cheesy.

“I had the experience, so I played it cool,” said a modest Kaya Turski after the Canadian won the Dew Tour freeski slopestyle final in Colorado.

Petter Northug’s bid to become the first Norwegian winner of the Tour de Ski was boosted with victory in the 35km free pursuit cross-country race in Italy.

A Triple Cork 1440 brought Mark McMorris (CAN) big air victory, at the Dew Tour in Colorado. He also took home a slopestyle trophy.

The album, News From Nowhere, is out now (Warp). The band are touring Europe in February: www.darkstar.ws

21


B U L L E VA R D

WINNING FORMULA

NARROW MARGIN

BALANCING: THE NUMBERS “An object is balanced when the plumb line of its centre of gravity, CG, goes through its footprint,” says Dr Martin Apolin, 47, of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna. “The challenge for a high-wire acrobat on a bicycle, is to balance in such a way that the plumb line of the CG always goes through the narrow supporting surface of the rope. If it moves away from that position, torque, M, ensues, which tilts the acrobat to one side (figure A). The formula M = Fr applies here, where F is the weight force of the bicycle, acrobat and balancing pole, and r is the normal distance of the force from the axis of rotation, which in our case is identical to the rope. “The supporting surface is small even in the case of ‘normal’ cycling, but if the rider tilts to one side, it is possible to lean to the opposite side to straighten the bicycle once more – which isn’t an option on a rope. “Newton’s second law, which determines that force equals mass times velocity, F = ma, is comparable to the formula for rotation: torque is the moment of inertia multiplied by angular acceleration, M = Iα. If you combine both equations for M, you get α = Fr/I. With the same weight and same deviation (and therefore, the same r), the angular acceleration is therefore indirectly proportional to the moment of inertia: α ~ 1/I. In other words: if you double the torque, say, the angular acceleration drops by half. “The moment of inertia indicates how difficult it is to rotate an object. It is determined by the formula I = ∑i miri², where mi is the mass of the individual parts and ri their distance from the axis of rotation. This is where the balancing pole comes into its own. It can be up to 20m long and weigh up to 30kg. The large mass and, above all, the distance from each end to the axis of rotation, raises the overall torque significantly, and since α ~ 1/I, the acrobat will tilt at a much slower rate. “What’s more, he can also compensate for variation by moving the balancing pole. So when it appears from our perspective that the acrobat is about to fall to the right, or clockwise, he also turns the pole in this direction (figure B). Thanks to preservation of momentum, body and bicycle move counter-clockwise and put him upright once more.” RECORD RIDE American acrobat Nik Wallenda achieved a distance of almost 72m during his world record tightrope bike ride, on a rope strung at a height of 41m between two cranes in Newark, New Jersey, USA, in October 2008. “I come from a family of tightrope walkers,” he says. “First and foremost: the show must go on.” www.nikwallenda.com

22

WORDS: MARTIN APOLIN. PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM BARCROFT/BULLS PRESS. ILLUSTRATION: MANDY FISCHER

Forget string theory: the science behind tightropes is tough enough. And there’s even less room for error when the highwire walk becomes a razor-thin ride

What a cycle path: balancing artist Nik Wallenda during his world record 72m-long ride in Newark, New Jersey


B U L L E VA R D

LUCKY NUMBERS

HARLEY-DAVIDSON The world’s most legendary motorbike is 110 years old. Its history is rich with speed records, celebrity owners, biker clubs and logo tattoos

Cal Rayborn’s 1970 world record

The largest American motorbike manufacturer came close to bankruptcy in 1981. Willie Davidson, grandson of company founder Arthur, is said to have given the following answer to the bank’s question regarding security when he sought a loan: “I’ve got the only company logo in the world that people get tattoos of.” A US$80 million loan was soon in the company’s coffers.

In 1900, in a back-street garage in Milwaukee, USA, two young engineers, William S Harley and Arthur Davidson, began development work on a two-wheeled motorcycle. A prototype was ready in 1903: a bike with a reinforced frame, a 2bhp single-ended engine and a belt drive. A certain Mr Miller was the first customer and more soon followed. By 1907, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company Inc was building and selling 150 motorbikes a year.

833

Billy Idol

Jay Leno

Harley-Davidson has always enjoyed a good relationship with American cinema. Who can forget Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, or Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction? More recently, super-heroes have been getting in on the action with Cyclops in X-Men 3: The Last Stand and Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider. Away from the bright lights, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jay Leno have all owned a Harley. Billy Idol famously crashed his in 1990, spending six months in bed recuperating as a result.

Harley-Davidson has an annual sales revenue of US$4.66 billion. About $274 million of that sum comes from annual sales of clothing bearing the company logo, and as much as $817 million from motorcycle parts and accessories. The 2013 Parts and Accessories catalogue is 833 pages long and contains almost 9,000 items.

427.25

The ubiquitous Harley tattoo

In 1970, facing competition from Japanese manufacturers, Harley-Davidson organised a world record attempt to prove they were the fastest. Riding the torpedo-like Streamliner, American motorcycle road-racer Cal Rayborn attempted to break Yamaha’s record of 405kph in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert. Rayborn crashed on his first attempt, but was sufficiently injury-free to push the record up to 427.25kph a few days later. The record stood until 1985 when another US rider, Dan Kinsey, reached 460kph on the Tenacious, a single-engine Harley.

1953 Hells Angels

Easy Rider

24

6

Hells Angels are as synonymous with Harley-Davidsons as they are leather jackets. When the bikers’ club was established in 1948, you only had to own a motorbike to join. Within five years, the Harley had become the gang’s trademark. “I still ride one today, even though I don’t like the brand at all,” says Sonny Barger, founding member of the Oakland, California chapter of Hells Angels. “I’d rather have a BMW or a Triumph.”

www.harley-davidson.com

WORDS: ARKADIUSZ PIĄTEK. PHOTOGRAPHY: HARLEY DAVIDSON, GETTY IMAGES (4), CORBIS, AIKA/DALLE

150

80,000,000


Two Birkin cars fly past at sunset. Built by local students, they reached top speeds of 185kph


ACTION

D E S E R T R AC E R S On a dry salt lake in South Africa, cars, trucks and motorbikes reach speeds impossible on roads and racetracks. Will the first 1,000mph jet car follow them? Words: Steve Smith Photography: Luke Daniel

27


ACTION

AN AMERICAN IN AFRICA A 1970s Ford Mustang parked outside its driver’s tent. This old-school American muscle car managed to edge past the 200kph mark on the track, followed by a lengthy burnout that generated a huge cloud – not from the customary burning rubber (not possible on the sandy surface), but a choking smog of churned-up dust

28


T

o be driving in the desert, you’re either very lost or very committed. These guys weren’t lost. Neither were they committed in the usual manner a trip through the desert requires. They weren’t doggedly driving rugged 4x4 vehicles at low speed through shifting sands. This was another type of commitment altogether. These guys were blitzing through the speed trap significantly faster than any knobbly tyred Land Rover. About 250km north of the South African town of Upington, close to the borders of Namibia and Botswana, lies the Hakskeenpan – a very large, very flat, dried-out salt lake, perfect for driving a car or motorbike at speeds not possible on a public road or even a racetrack. Similarly rare geographic anomalies have given rise to the legendary Bonneville Speed Week in the USA and the Dry Lake Racers at Lake Omeo in Australia. As at those remote locations, there is a steep cost for driving at Hakskeenpan, and not one that merely can be settled by opening a wallet. The price you pay is total loss of comfort. The long trek to get you and your souped-up vehicle there is only half of it; staying there for the entire week settles the bill. It’s so hot that cars can only run in the morning or late afternoons, the only accommodation is a tent, and this time, there are no ablutions – the truck carrying the portable showers overturned on the way up. The most comfortable place is probably doing 300kph in your race machine, watching the thin white line of the horizon edge closer. That’s the kind of commitment that taking part in Kalahari Speedweek demands.

There is a steep cost for driving at Hakskeenpan – the price you pay is total loss of comfort

THE 300 CLUB Greg Parton (above) poses with his 6.5-litre V12 Lamborghini Aventador, the car that set the record at Speedweek, topping out at 308kph on The Flats. Many entrants hoped to exceed 300kph, but it proved to be an almost unbreakable barrier. Only three vehicles managed to edge past that mark, with Parton and his Lamborghini being the only car to do so. Two Suzuki Hayabusa superbikes joined him in the 300s. Anton Cronje’s Lamborghini Gallardo (below) managed a top speed of 298kph on Hakskeenpan’s 7km-long treated track. Halfway through Speedweek, this treated track began to break up and cause serious traction issues, especially for the motorcycles.


TARGET: 1,000MPH Dave Rowley (above, right) is the education programme director for The Bloodhound Project, which plans to break the world land speed record at Hakskeenpan in 2014. The project’s jetpowered car, Bloodhound SSC, will be piloted by the current record-holder Andy Green. The aim is to break the 1,000mph barrier (1,609kph). With Rowley is Nico Fourie of South Africa’s Department of Public Works, whose team is helping to prepare for Bloodhound SSC’s record attempt.

JOB DONE Deon Gerber (right) stands next to rider PD Van Der Westhuizen and a 2007 1,300cc Suzuki Hayabusa. Equipped with a modified fairing called the NOSE, made by Gerber, a Pretoria motorbike shop owner. On its final run at Speedweek, the superbike managed to reach 307kph. Gerber now hopes to produce the NOSE commercially.

30

Next year at Hakskeenpan, a jet car hopes to break the world land speed record


ACTION

LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR: 308kph

KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-14R: 292kph

PORSCHE 911 CARRERA: 200kph

SUZUKI HAYABUSA: 307kph


SURVIVED Arrie De Beer brings his heavily modified 1985 Mazda RX-7 back to camp after nudging 274kph. Earlier that day, he spun the car at just over 220kph. The loss of traction was blamed on the poor condition of the surface, and a sudden surge of power from the car’s turbo. De Beer’s spin was the worst high-speed incident on the track.


ACTION

Speedweek competitors must bring their accommodation with them, along with their bikes and cars

TAMING THE TRACK In windy conditions, a Triumph Bonneville T100 ridden by Doug Moss (above) topped 189kph. It wasn’t only the wind that affected the racers, though. The organisers opted to coat the pan’s surface with a biodegradable binding agent in an attempt to create a dust-free track. Unfortunately, it quickly disintegrated.

NEW-SCHOOL THINKING Bhutana Duda (right), a student at Floors High School, was part of the group from two Northern Cape high schools that built Birkin cars as part of a school project. Duda achieved the top speed for the project with a run of 185kph.

33


Speedweek officials applied a binding agent to the track to prevent dust clouds. It didn’t work

LOUD AND PROUD, AND RUSTY Wynand Nell, from the Northern Cape town of Springbok, with his 1941 ‘rat rod’ (a ‘rat rod’ is a rough and ready imitation hot rod of 1940s, 1950s or 1960s vintage) nicknamed The Culprit. It was a title well-earned, thanks to the thunderous noise it produced as it shot across Hakskeenpan early one morning, waking everything within a 5km radius.


ACTION

35


DESERT RATS Many ‘rat rods’ are allowed to develop a natural patina – aka rust. Rust buckets they are not, though. With solid automotive engineering and big V8 engines providing the power, these rat rods were hitting 150kph-plus on the dusty track. Barry Ashmole (left) was part of an enthusiastic Cape Town crew that made the long trip to Hakskeenpan in their ‘rat rods’, enduring their fair share of breakdowns and blow-outs on the 1,200km journey. www.speedweeksa.com

36


ACTION

At Speedweek, imitation 1940s pick-ups share the track with superbikes and buggy-like cars built for school projects


LISTEN UP, GUYS ACTION

AS SU R F I N G’S GOV E RN I N G BO DY PR E PA R ES TO REST R U CTU RE THE FO RMAT O F I TS AN N UA L TO U RI N G C O MP E T I T I O N ,H AWA I I AN WAVE R I D E R CA R I SSA M O O RE I S CAL L I N G FO R WOME N TO GE T T H E SAME PAY AND P E R KS AS T H E P RO MEN Words: Ann Donahue Photography: Brian Bielmann 38


Star of the surf scene: Carissa Moore is the youngest winner of the ASP Women’s World Tour

39


ACTION

C arissa Moore’s home is at the end of a cul-de-sac in the mountains above Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, surrounded by jungle on three sides. It’s a quiet place of respite for the surfer: a deck built on the back of the house leads down to a path that heads to a waterfall. It’s an impressive spread for a 20-year-old and one befitting a world champion of her sport. In 2011, Moore became champion of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s World Tour and since 2008 has won a total of six ASP tour events. Known for her agile cutbacks, Moore has been honing her gutsy surfing style since she first got on a board aged five and appeared on the cover of Surfer magazine when she was just 16, after winning a slew of amateur titles, but before she debuted on the pro tour. Then, in 2011, she became the first woman to receive a wildcard entry into the men’s Triple Crown of Surfing. Her success comes at a time when competitive surfing is in a period of upheaval. Starting in 2014, the ASP will team up with ZoSea Media – a media company run by Terry Hardy, who manages US surf star Kelly Slater and Quiksilver board member Paul Speaker – to restructure the format of the tour to increase its brand value. This includes event licensing, the potential of formalising special events like the Eddie Aikau Invitational, and administering the ASP’s lucrative media rights. For Moore, this overhaul represents a chance to address the problems she has found with the women’s tour, such as inadequate venues, pay inequality and relative invisibility to surfing fans. “I have to say that the women’s performance has been better than ever, which is exciting,” she says, “but unfortunately the state of the tour for the women is the worst it’s ever been.” 40

  : When Australian Julian Wilson won the US Open of Surfing, he earned US$100,000. The women’s winner, Lakey Peterson, got $15,000 for riding the same waves. How do you feel about the significant difference in prize money?  : I think that’s just maybe our culture, to be honest. Surfing has been really male-dominated for so many years. I honestly think it’s slowly getting better, where I think eventually men and women will be equal. But there are women on our tour who are not sponsored, and they are losing money. They have to work part-time jobs. How are they going to be at their best athletically if they have to do that? I’m so fortunate that I have a great family of sponsors. I make my living off of my sponsorship deals, not the prize money. I think the women should be respected and rewarded for what they do. It’s different for the guys. The guys definitely do charge bigger waves and they do bigger airs and stuff, but there’s a different beauty and appreciation for what the girls do. It seems that many people often fail to understand that. I think if we had better venues, and the women were really able to showcase everything they have – because in performance-based ways, the girls are so close to getting to where the guys are. But right now, with us surfing small beach breaks in cities and towns, I can’t blame them – it’s not much fun to watch. I started watching the guys’ France Pro on TV last year and one day it [the surf] was so small and so bad that I turned it off. This is what people do to the girls all the time, and I did it to the guys because I don’t want to watch it if they’re surfing crap. If


“ S URFING WIL L A LWAYS BE IN M Y BLO O D A ND IN M Y L IF E” Girl power: Moore is known for having superior core strength, a crucial attribute for battling through the ferocious ocean waves

41


ACTION

Moore the emancipator: “You can’t market us like the guys, it just doesn’t work”

they gave us better waves and better venues, the viewing figures would go up. What kind of venues would be ideal for women to surf? I think definitely they would be in Hawaii. There are four girls on tour now who are from Hawaii, and it would be great to have it here. I think there needs to be more of a variety of waves on the tour. To be world champ, you should be well rounded. You should be able to surf big waves and you should be able to surf powerful waves, small waves, bad waves, everything. Do the organisers think if they don’t have that easy beach access at the venues that people won’t attend? I think, especially for the girls, they put them in cities and towns because they’ll get more people to come down to the beach. Then they’ll put us on in conjunction with the men, because people will come down to watch the guys. But it’s crazy, because even when we’re on with the men, the guys get the best days. It is so biased. How so? Case in point: every year at the first event, the Roxy Pro at the Gold Coast [in Australia], surf at Snapper Rocks is best at low tide. High tide is horrible. They ran 42

“ WHE N I’M D O N E SURF I NG, I WA N T TO L E AV E BEHI ND A G R E AT L EGACY ” half a round – two or three heats of the girls – at high tide just to get to the low tide. They stopped us, then ran the guys. It was so bad. They do it every year. Do the women have any say? The organisers say, “Oh, you should have a women’s representative.” So we choose a surfer to meet with the contest director before events along with the men’s representative. But the contest director is a man, the guys’ director is a man. It’s two against one. Who is going to listen to the girl? What’s the point? It gets really frustrating. Have you ever been the representative? Honestly, I watched [Australian surfer] Chelsea Hedges. She used to be on tour and she used to be the surfers’ rep for us. I watched her come from the meetings so distraught, she couldn’t focus.

It gets argumentative, then? It does, and you get frustrated. It’s almost selfish of me to be like, “I’ve got to compete at this point.” I really do care for the state of women’s surfing. I want to see surfing for women go so much further then just me. When I’m done, I’d like to leave behind a great legacy. What would you like to see happen on the women’s tour to garner more fan interest? It just takes someone with a big sense of professionalism to market our tour. The girls are not only beautiful, but they surf well and they have great personalities. There’s something there if someone can find a way to think out of the box and market us. You can’t market us like the guys. It just doesn’t work. Women are a different market. I buy clothes: I feel bad, but I don’t look at Serena Williams and think, “Oh, I want to wear that because Serena Williams wears that,” but I like it just because it looks cute. Guys will see Kelly Slater wearing a cool boardshort and they’ll think, “Kelly performs really well in those boardshorts. I want those same ones so I’ll perform just as well as him.” It’s not the same for girls. What about TV coverage? I think with the new deal the organisers are going to try and package it and sell it to ESPN, but the hardest part about surfing is that it’s not going to be on TV like other US sports, because the surf is all about Mother Nature. In advance of next year’s big shake-up, there have already been some changes before the start of the 2013 season in March. You’re wearing a Hurley shirt, for example. This past week, I’ve migrated from Nike to Hurley, and it’s been kind of a weird time. I didn’t see it coming. At first, I was kind of like, man, I joined Nike to be part of this company that elevates surfing to a new level, and maybe puts the sport on a level of being respected among athletes like Serena Williams and Tiger Woods. Maybe I was a little sad, to be honest. But I am super-excited to be part of Hurley; they’ve never had a women’s team before, so there are three of us on there now: myself, Lakey Peterson from California, and Laura Enever from Australia. Between that and Nike pulling out of their sponsorship of the US Open of Surfing, do you


THDE N I T E L L R E BU ! P P A

OR I E S T S Y R A ES R DI N E X T R AO NG I M AG

OV I M G N I H S C EY E- C AT C LUSI V E PHOTO EX

Download

tablet eE isOsR u R F E F

www.redbulletin.com Find a list of all compatible Android devices at www.redbulletin.com


ACTION

Making waves: the 20-year-old has been surfing for 15 years

Physically? Physically and mentally, to get yourself to that same level as a guy. If you watch these guys on TV, you know what they’re capable of. I think I could have done a way better job of staying in my bubble and sticking to what I know. It’s a great learning experience for me. It was great to see how the guys compete. What’s different? I feel like the girls are really intense, but the guys push each other more. They’re not so much like, “Oh my god, you got that score, I don’t know if I’m going to get it.” It’s like, “I’m going to get the best score. I’m going to get a better score.” I think it’s a whole other level of intensity.

From top: Moore winning the Roxy Pro in Gold Coast, Australia; holding up her special winner’s cheque after the Billabong Rio Pro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; celebrating her tour win on the podium at the Roxy Pro Biarritz in France

44

think there is any broader implication for the state of surfing as a business? I think there are positives and negatives to the change. Because Nike owns Hurley, I think they can do a great job in elevating Hurley to the next level. But at the same time, I think that Nike’s kind of taking a step back, and they didn’t see themselves doing well in surfing. I think it’s hard, but you can’t just go into a new endeavour for five years and expect to see a change. These companies, like Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Hurley, have been around for years, and they’re respected by a lot of people. If it’s like, OK, I want to get something that looks like a surfer, you’re not going to think of Nike. It’s hard. You were given the chance to compete with the men in two of the 2011 Triple Crown events – how was that? Two years ago, just after I won my world title, I was blessed enough to be given a wildcard into the first two events of the men’s Triple Crown. I surfed in Haleiwa and Sunset [in Hawaii]; it was such an honour. I got to surf with Sunny Garcia at Sunset – he’s a legend. I didn’t do well in either of the events – I lost in my first heat. Unfortunately, the waves weren’t that great. It is hard to even paddle with the best guys in the world. To fight for a wave, it’s pretty challenging.

How old were you when you first realised that you loved surfing? I knew that I loved it and wanted to become a world champ when I was 10. I actually remember when I told my dad. We were in the car, and I said, “Dad, I want to become a world champ, and I want you to help me get there. I want you to do whatever it takes to help me.” Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I think surfing will always be in my blood and in my life. I don’t know how long I’ll be in competitive surfing – I hope another 10 years. By 35 I would love to be going back to school. I would love to be studying to become an elementary school teacher. And hopefully have a family, be married. Have a simple, happy life. www.carissamoore.com Watch Carissa Moore show off her surfing prowess on The Red Bulletin tablet version. Download it now for free

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES (3)

“ W H EN I WAS 10,I TOLD M Y DAD I WA NT E D TO B E WOR LD CH AM P I ON”

Is there particular element of your surfing that you want to hone? I think I’m mostly just trying to focus on my overall performance: how I compete, how I surf on a wave and how I just handle being around the contest. There’s so much going on at surf events, especially for the girls. We have a really short season, so we have events back to back to back to back. We recently had another event added in Australia, so now we have three, potentially four events – which is almost half our tour. It’s crazy. In the rulebook, it says you’re not supposed to have more than two events in any region, but we can’t really say anything because if they take away those events, then we don’t have any left.


Subscribe to the

WORLD OF RED BULL

DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR 12 MONTHS

+ Collector’s Edition “WE – A Collection of Individuals” DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital download in Full HD

For £ 25.99/€ 34.90* Subscribe now: www.getredbulletin.com TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The Red Bulletin is published 12 times a year. You can subscribe to the International Edition (English version) from any country in the world via www.getredbulletin.com and will be charged in your local currency*. If your country is not highlighted on the map please choose the button ‘INTERNATIONAL’. The subscription price is € 34.90 / £25.99* for 12 issues. Please be aware that your bank may charge additional fees. *Subject to currency fluctuation

BEYOND THE ORDINARY THE RED BULLETIN


ACTION

DRAWN

to music Album release party or gallery opening? Toro Y Moi wants to make music that touches you – and that you can touch Words: Caroline Ryder Photography: Rick Rodney

C

hazwick Bundick, otherwise known as chillaxed electropop maestro Toro Y Moi, is a touch less chillaxed than usual. Maybe it’s because his gallery show opens today, his first in his home base of San Francisco. Though recognised primarily for his music, art has also been a major creative outlet throughout Bundick’s life. He started doodling in his first sketchbook way before he figured out how to use ProTools. He still has his first drawings, back from when Michael Jackson and Ninja Turtles ruled his world. “I was five years old, so my Michael Jacksons had big round goblin faces,” he says. “Those drawings were kind of playful, and really cool.” Judging by his latest efforts, his art hasn’t changed much: still kind of playful and still really cool. He’s standing in front of 13 of his canvases, all of them in shades of black and red, and laden with comic-book nostalgia. There’s a red tongue with a pill on it and a stylised rendering of the figure 3. The paintings line the walls of the tiny gallery space at Public Works Gallery in San Francisco’s Mission district. Bundick arrived a few minutes ago, a little damp from the rain, after travelling across town from his home in the north of the city. A contemporary-art junkie who studied graphic design at university, Bundick is all nerd chic in tortoiseshell glasses and red rain jacket as he explains

Sound and vision: At Toro Y Moi’s show, attendees listened to tracks from his new album as they viewed his art works

the concept behind his show. Because this isn’t just an art opening, as he points out – it’s also a listening party. Beneath each painting hangs a pair of headphones, each looping a different track from his new album, Anything In Return. He’s trying to create an experience – one that is public yet private, less subject to the alcohol and the jostling of a gallery show, more inclusive than plugging into your laptop on your own. “The internet has made music too fast-paced and therefore very forgettable,” explains Bundick. “So I wanted to do something that was interactive and physical, as opposed to just online and virtual.” Later, the small gallery will fill with Toro Y Moi fans, who will don the headphones and nod their heads in quiet appreciation while checking out the paintings. “By connecting people to the art as well as the music, you’re heightening their listening experience,” he says. “I think it’s better this way.” There is no discernible correlation between the paintings and the songs. The art was created after the music, and the music was not made with any of the visuals in mind. But Bundick cares less about the art matching the songs, and more about creating an environment in which to hang out with his music. “This way, people can preview the album without any distractions,” he says. “No skip buttons. No ability to see the wav 47


ACTION

file on SoundCloud, which means you can’t skip ahead to the breakdown.” There are plenty of contemporary acts using art to enhance the musical experience, from singer Hannah Hooper occasionally painting canvases live on stage while her band, Grouplove, jams behind her, to the LED-screen backdrops employed by artists Richie Hawtin and Nine Inch Nails that involve audience smartphone participation. Last year, Usher hired multimedia experts Moment Factory to create “participatory content” for his show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, with the audience posting tweets on a stage screen in real time and creating on-screen avatars that danced with Usher. With thousands of new songs popping up online every day, it’s no surprise musical acts are searching for ways to prolong the shelf life of their music, even if it is just in people’s heads. So is this a one-off for Bundick, or is he planning to launch a career in visual arts? He laughs a little and shrugs. In fact, while he was studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, he was in the process of sending his CV to graphic design firms, right around the time Toro Y Moi became popular in 2010. “Honestly, I thought the design would take off first, and it seemed more realistic than music,” says Bundick. “Definitely, art has always been a big part of who I am.” But the music gained him the attention, with 48

“THE INTERNET HAS MADE MUSIC TOO FAST-PACED AND THEREFORE VERY

forgettable”

his sounds becoming part of the briefly influential ‘chillwave’ scene; his 2011 album Underneath The Pine was named in the top 50 albums of the year by online music magazine Pitchfork, which commended his “knack for analog warmth” alongside his gifts for “lush ambiance” and “addictive rhythmic interplay”. That’s serious praise from some of the most highly regarded music critics in America. Bundick’s art is the exact opposite of serious. “People say I’m a, quote unquote, ‘deep thoughtful songwriter’,” he says. “But I don’t always act deep and thoughtful. I think my art shows that side of my personality.” There is the cerebral Bundick that you hear through the earphones, and then an entirely different, giggling, childlike Bundick before your eyes. One of his paintings looks like a bleeding pear, for instance. “What does it mean? I don’t know,” he shrugs. “It’s a pear, and it’s bleeding?” So perhaps the art is his way of relieving the pressure of being Chazwick Bundick, chillwave luminary, or even “the next Prince”, as some have put it. “Listen, don’t get me wrong, I totally appreciate how seriously people take my music, because that’s how I want to be accepted as a musician,” says Bundick. “But you can take life too seriously. That’s why people get thrown off when they look at my drawings and see that I’ve drawn a pear, or a pipe, or a big boob. Because, believe it or not, I like boobs.” toroymoi.blogspot.com


ACTION

elcome to Matehuala” reads the monumental cement arch that greets visitors. Truth is, this autumn morning, there’s little to welcome you to this mournful city. There are two inns – El Trailero (The Truck Driver) and Las Infieles (The Unfaithful Ones) – as well as junkyards, old tyre yards and mounds of rubbish that an old farmer sorts through so his goats can get to the thin slivers of grass that sprout from the cracks in the pavement. Before the droughts a little over two years ago, when it was still peaceful here, journalists from as far as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands travelled to this city in San Luis Potosí, a state in northern Mexico. Their cameras focused on a colourful musical extravagance: Los Parranderos, Los Socios and other groups of teenagers who had popularised a genre of music called tribal guarachero – a mix of electronica and traditional South American music – with dances held at private clubs. Along with the music, one of the scene’s most appealing characteristics was the dancers’ pointy boots, the tips of which, up to 2m long, were used in intricate choreographies. But now, such anthropological/funny stories coming out of Matehuala have to compete with news steeped in misfortune, as is common in Mexico. On the morning of August 12, the city’s newly elected mayor, Edgar Morales, left a wedding held at the Club de Leones. He was intercepted by armed men and murdered. 50

DANCING IN

NARCOLAND From small-town Mexico to big-city USA, a new dance style is offering a generation on both sides of the border respite from the ongoing drug gang wars. The Red Bulletin goes into the clubs and onto the streets with the pointy-booted guaracheros Words: Aníbal Santiago Photography: Katie Orlinsky


“ONE DAY I WAS GOING TO PLAY A GIG, BUT I DIDN’T MAKE IT BECAUSE DRUG DEALERS HAD BLOCKED THE ROAD WITH A BUS”

‘THIS IS OUR HIP-HOP’

Down the desolate La Dichosa Road, south of Matehuala, is where you’ll find tribal guarachero quintet Los Parranderos (The Partiers). Under a furious sun, a blue Dodge Grand Caravan Truck, old and run-down, veers off the road, raising a cloud of dust before stopping. When Pascual Escobedo, the leader of the group, opens a window, the car’s stereo booms with Mexican accordion, the chun-ta-ta of the drums and a refrain that goes: “You make me feel butterflies in my stomach when my cell phone rings and I see it’s you.” The members of Los Parranderos step out of the car. Pascual, Miguel, Jonathan, Erick and Luis are standing front of 52

Mesquit Rodeo, an imposing club in the middle of the desert where three years ago, dressed in identical blue skinny jeans, T-shirts, pointy boots and hats, the band, who were the first to break out with choreographed tribal dance in northern Mexico, won their first tribal disco contest. From that night on, they were tempting fruit for hordes of women who gather to watch them perform at fairs, discos and rodeos across the region. That’s why they don’t bat an eye when two girls approach (who knows how they found out that they’d be here for a photoshoot). Lucy Méndez, an outgoing 30-year-old from Texas poses for pictures with her idols, showing off the curves formed by her revealing

black top. “For Mexicans in the US, tribal is our hip-hop,” she says, gazing raptly at Los Parranderos as she whispers with the other fan. Mayra Rivera, 23, wearing Bermuda shorts and a white smile, sneaked out of her job as a shop assistant just to catch a glimpse of the band. “They look tough but they’re sweet, and with those tight pants, I get excited,” says Rivera, blushing as she surreptitiously checks out each Parrandero, decked out in black and pink pointy boots and T-shirts stamped with pictures of giant beer bottles. Like veteran cowboys, Los Parranderos walk alongside the bar, the dry ground crunching under their feet. They pose for the picture, hooking their thumbs over the pockets of their jeans, with tough-guy faces, laughing at their own banter and looking at the camera sideways, like TV heart-throbs. “Women,” says 18-year-old Erick Castillo, hair spiked with gel, “look


ACTION

Left: Los Parranderos (from left, Luis Puente, Jonathan Castillo, Erick Castillo, Pascual Escobedo and Miguel Hernández) make a point of showing off their shoes. Above: Jonathan Castillo practises at the Mesquit Rodeo. Below: Miguel Hernández motors around his hometown

for us in hotels all the time.” “They kiss us, they hug us, they grab at us – you don’t know how to get them off you,” adds Escobedo. But soon, the dream of dance, music, dames and money – the dream of a better life – could disappear. Drug gang violence is severely curtailing nightlife across the region. Pushed north along with others in search of shelter, the tribal movement has crossed the Río Bravo to plant roots in Texas.

‘I LIKE YOUR BOOTS’

With his trousers clinging to his meaty thighs and a golden cross hanging around his neck, Joel carefully watches the packed dancefloor at Kalúa, a disco in northern Dallas. He’s serious, unflappable, oblivious to the dozens of women twirling around him on the prowl for macho men. His gaze is brusque. His boots are black, shiny and pointy. He is wearing them for good reason: “It’s because the girls say, ‘I like your boots.’” His three feather-hatted friends, nod as if this were a universal truth. “Let’s hear it for Tamaulipas… Zacatecas… Chihuahua!” a voice shouts over the PA, and the mainly Mexican Saturday night crowd answers with loud screams every time they hear the name of their town. Up in the sound booth, the DJs lower the volume of romantic Mexican singer Julión Alvarez to push up a mix of DJ Tetris and 3BallMTY, the group that put tribal music on the map. This trio of DJs popularised tribal guarachero, becoming one of the most popular acts in Mexico, and even garnering a Latin Grammy nomination in 2012. Six years ago, Erick Rincón, Sheeqo Beat and DJ Otto played at parties for teenagers in their northern Mexico hometown of Antiguo de Monterrey. In 2011, the local scene dimmed. “One day,” says Rincón, “I was going to play at the Arcoiris bar, and I couldn’t 53


ACTION

make it to the gig because drug dealers had blocked the road with a bus.” Now a path is opening up for them thanks to the video for their song, Inténtalo. 3BallMTY (short for Tribal Monterrey) have performed at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Worldtronics in Berlin and El Zócalo in México City: their ticket out of the violence that surrounded them. Back in the club, women are clinging to men’s necks and unlock their hips to continue their ritual tribalero dance. The couples then leave the dancefloor and gyrate counterclockwise around its perimeter. They advance slowly, elbows bent, a Corona with lime wedge in hand. They take tiny steps, so as not to disturb with expansive moves the addictive flow of the music through their bodies. “Regional Mexican music was oldfashioned; tribal modernised it,” says DJ Nando, his hands over the console. “With tribal, women are more forward,” adds DJ Shaggy, watching the crowd, sweaty from the dancing and the beer. There are eight million people of Mexican origin in Texas, 30 per cent of the state’s population, and it doesn’t take much to attract throngs of Tex-Mex teenagers to tribal contests from Dallas and the suburbs. The rotation goes on. No one laughs, no one shouts, no one loses form. Once in a while, a young man with an image of the patron saint of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe, embroidered on the back of his shirt, ambles to the centre of the floor and takes a couple of dance steps. Yet although the ambience is Mexican, the law is American. At 2am, the party ends.

‘THIS IS WHAT I SOWED’

During the day, the F-150 Ford, Ram 1500 and other flashy trucks that pack disco parking lots at night, prowl down dusty Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas’s busy Mexican shopping street. They often stop at number 11253, Gómez Western Wear. “So, you’re the one with the emails?” asks Vladimir Gómez, the young owner from Michoacán, after introductions are made. “I deleted them. Everything that comes from Mexico I delete,” he says. “The way things are there, you never know who you’re dealing with. Every inch of the store’s walls, shelves and floor is packed with products designed to make Mexicans dress, says Gomez, “like Mexicans”. In two words: boots and hats. On a thin shelf, 40 pairs of pointy boots form a tower of colour, the only bright spot in a store dominated by brown leather. There are purple, silver, 54

“IF YOU SPEND YOUR TIME DANCING, THEN YOU THINK LESS ABOUT ORGANISED CRIME”

Right (from top): The Erika shoe shop in Matehuala, Mexico, where pointy boots are made; different shapes are customdesigned for men, women and children

red and blue pointys, made of satin and sequins, with lights, golden hooks, rhinestones and fake diamonds. Gómez worked as a waiter until 2000, when he started selling pointy boots. Each pair is made of only the best materials, and the quality is evident in two ways: on one side, he uses tanned calf leather, which makes the point firm and flexible; on the other, he uses calfskin, making the shoe ductile and comfortable. The length stretches as far as the imagination: “I’ve made them up to six feet in length,” he says, “so you can grab the tips without leaning down. The American Dream Mexican can have what he would never have in Mexico: a good truck and a good pair of boots. When you wear them, you’re saying: ‘Look, this is what I sowed.’”

‘YOU HAVE THE STYLE’

Three years ago, Los Parranderos began weekly rehearsals in the dusty streets of their neighbourhood. They were getting paid to do wedding gigs and quinceañeras (15th birthday parties),

and soon became known in and around Matehuala. In 2011, 3BallMTY’s Rincón wrote them a message on Facebook: “Guys, I want to do a video with you. América Sierra and El Bebeto will sing. You have the style.” A few days later, Los Parranderos travelled to Monterrey. Producer Toy Selectah gave them a new look for a sexy video for Inténtalo, which has now been watched more than 32 million times on YouTube. Things exploded: together with 3BallMTY, Los Parranderos packed out bull rings across Mexico. “Tribal in the street, tribal in the stores, tribal on radio, tribal on TV,” says Escobedo. “And girls would only look at you if you were wearing the boots,” adds Rincón. Tribal has since travelled to Central and South America, where 3BallMTY have performed live. “These people all get our music via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube,” says Rincón. “It’s interesting: They feel a new calling for traditional music, because we blend in styles from Central America and Argentina. They see themselves reflected in tribal and they get hooked.”


Above: Tribal dancers take a walk around one of the main streets of Matehuala. Left: Pascual Escobedo, frontman of Los Parranderos

‘WE WANT OUR VISA’

The sounds of the pointy boots echo loudly inside the huge, dimly lit Mesquit Rodeo, but there’s no party atmosphere as Los Parranderos get ready to rehearse. They’re serving as a musical diversion in the midst of the drug gang war that has wounded San Luis Potosí, flagbearers for a fad that has brought joy to a terrorised community. “If you spend your time dancing, you think less about joining organised crime,” says Escobedo. And though local radio stations play tribal music every day, the number of live shows has dropped dramatically. “We go out scared,” admits Escobedo. “No one drinks alcohol. We’re always together; we always travel on main streets. We hear about murders, bodies and we think, ‘What if something happens during the show?’ You live in uncertainty.” The atmosphere in Matehuala is subdued. To escape the fear, you have to drive 340km north to the new tribal guarachero paradise of Texas. In the last few years, 160,000 people from San Luis Potosí have taken that route. “In one 55


ACTION

YouTube video,” says Miguel Hernández, of Los Parranderos, “someone says, ‘Leave these guys alone. They’re from my country, Matehuala, and thanks to them, Matehuala is doing better.’ We want our visa. People are waiting for us on the other side.”

A BLUE LAMBORGHINI

On the steps of Club Rio in Dallas, snow cones, tacos and tortillas are selling well. A Sunday afternoon tribal party full of children. Even so, the host, Don Pepe, a big man with a red shirt and a double chin, can’t help taking a dig at Mexico’s drug culture: “The band that’s playing today doesn’t have a Grammy nomination, but a gram nomination, ha ha ha.” He lifts his beer towards a cowboy with a black hat, sideburns, and giant medal of folk hero Jesús Malverde on his chest. “Boys, until cirrhosis do us part,” Don Pepe says. The cowboy lifts his beer in reply and laughs. In this ring in Arcadia Park, the five Dallas cops patrolling the area don’t bat an eye at what they see or hear: “At 17, he already organised his army in school, he already had his first BlackBerry, he’s backed by El Cheyo, bullet against bullet, the brain behind the bills/your homework is his name and his nickname,” are the words to La Plomería, a song that plays minutes before the sun goes down. Like every Sunday, dozens of youngsters listen to tribal on the 56

dancefloor inside the enormous hangar. They can do one of two things: play tag or practise their dance steps. With not much in the way of grip on their boots, the kids often lose their footing on the slippery floor, bumping their heads or hurting their knees. But they’ll never lose their hats, which they immediately grab and put back on as soon as they start to fall. A tribal kid must look the part. Take Carlos Zaragoza, nine years old and six-time winner of the Kiddie Tribal contest. Even though he’s a little overweight, he can still dance with the agility of a cat, pick up prize money here and there to make his dream come true: “I’m saving my money so I can grow up rich and buy a blue Lamborghini,” he says.

THE KING OF TRIBAL

Payasos, Plebeyos, Alterados, Socios… Matehuala is a breeding ground for tribal groups. Between police sirens and the silent fear of its inhabitants, the booted ones defend their right to do great things with their long, coloured feet. Today, for example, Fernando Martínez, leader of Tribal Matehuala, has parked his black convertible Pontiac in the middle of the city. “Can I take a picture of you on the hood?” asks the photographer when she notices him walking by with his muscular thighs, pungent aftershave skin-tight T-shirt and fluorescent pointy boots. He grumbles, but agrees to do it with

Above: At the Kalúa Club in Dallas, Mexican-American tribal fans make the traditional rounds of the disco floor. Right: Dancers wearing pointy boots are searched before they enter the club


Left: There are almost eight million people of Mexican origin living in Texas. Each week, hundreds crowd the Dallas clubs where tribal has become king on the dancefloor

a nonchalance that quickly disappears. From the crowd that forms to see him pose, out steps Karla, a black-eyed beauty wearing tight trousers. She looks at him flirtatiously, and he responds by inviting her to pose with him. She smiles and collapses into his biceps. “With my boots and this,” he says, slapping the car, “they can’t resist.” Martínez and his group are different. “The original look of shirt, feathered hat and pointy boots is gone. Let them criticise us. That makes us famous,” he says. Martínez refuses to wear hats, often swaps his boots for “tribal sneakers”, while his group includes two women, which refutes the taboo that only men can dance tribal. Martínez, like Los Parranderos and other local bands, are survivors not only of the musical genre, but also of the violence and lack of opportunities that afflict northern Mexico. What they do is link to a more normal life, far from drug lords and danger. At least while they dance.

A few blocks from here, where earlier 30 armed policemen were on the alert, Los Parranderos meet for a photoshoot. The corner of Juárez and Cinco de Febrero is like any other, lonely and adorned with dry trees. Three young boys, brothers Ángel, Isaac and Itzel, leave their house and are surprised to find the group putting on their boots. “It’s Los Parranderos,” whispers their mother from her doorstep. A minute later, as the dancers pose in front of a graffiti-painted wall, one of the boys, three-year-old Ángel, is watching a video on a smartphone. “Look how you dance this rhythm/with a foot here and there/with these long boots, that’s how you dance, dance tribal,” goes the song by El Rey del Tribal, featuring Los Parranderos. Dirty and snot-faced, the boy looks over and starts to gyrate with his arms and feet. He wants everyone to see that he, too, dances tribal. Pointy-boot pointers: twitter.com/3BallMTY

57


ACTION

CON DOHERTY

The Hard Way Last-minute entries, no bike, no footwear: this young triathlete reaches world championship podiums like nobody else Words: Declan Quigley

Though Con Doherty won Ireland’s first-ever triathlon world championship medal, a few weeks before his historic achievement, he wasn’t sure he’d be in the race to win it. Triathlon world champion Jonathan Brownlee, who won Olympic bronze in 2012, two places behind his brother Alistair, encouraged Doherty to go to the ITU Junior World Finals in Auckland last October, having seen the potential of the 17-year-old from Westport, Co Mayo, at the Blenheim Triathlon earlier that year. However, Triathlon Ireland’s tough international qualifying standards meant there was no guaranteed ride to New Zealand. Rather than plead his case, Doherty kept training and eventually the call came, as inevitably it would, because the hilly Auckland course, a favourite of mountain bikers, seemed an ideal fit for the wiry teenager. Doherty’s bronze medal may have come as a surprise to many, but not the man himself who, if anything, harbours a tiny regret that he couldn’t convert it into gold. “I would always say, ‘I’m coming here to win.’ A top 15 would have been brilliant, from the standpoint of my coaches and my dad, but while bronze is nice, it’s not gold. I was thinking that just after I crossed the line.” Doherty’s determination is not in question. A year ago he caused a stir in the Dublin City Triathlon when he arrived in T2, the transition from cycling to running, and couldn’t find his running shoes. Undaunted, he set off barefoot, caught his competitors and duly ‘won’ the event, only to be disqualified for not wearing the missing footwear. Top 10 finishes at European cup level barely suggested that Doherty might be among the medals when it came to the races in Auckland, but two key elements of the race played into his 58

Photography: Richie Hopson

hands. A keen runner turned cyclist, with a climber’s physique, Doherty has been playing catch-up in the swimming element of triathlon, but, to his advantage, the chilly temperatures of a New Zealand spring meant wetsuits were sanctioned for the swim, making his time in the water a little easier. It helped overcome the disadvantage of being

“I would always say, ‘I’m coming here to win.’ While bronze is nice, it’s not gold. I was thinking that just aer I crossed the line” in 74th and last on the starting pontoon after an administrative oversight meant he missed the pre-race briefing. In the water, he opted to track the lead swimmers around the first buoy, rather than engage in the brinethrashing frenzy of the field funnelling towards the inside line. The tactic worked well, and a burst of energy

in the final moments of the 750m swim saw him tagged onto the leading pack for the transition to cycling, on a new bike. His regular bike had broken the week before, and the Cunga provided by David O’Loughlin, a local former pro cyclist, turned out to have a more favourable set-up than the mount it replaced. The hilly, wet 20km bike ride was where Doherty knew he had to make his mark. With his punchy climbing ability and intrepid bike-handling skills, he led the 12-strong lead group into the second transition. This time, with shoes in place, T2 was seamless and he emerged with a narrow lead over Wian Sullwald of South Africa, who caught and passed him early in the 5km run. Simon Viain of France also went past in the dash for the line, but a world championship medal was in the bag. Doherty has another two years as a junior. His coach, Chris Jones, is quick to temper the inevitable hype. “In Ireland, any success creates huge expectations because there isn’t a huge abundance of top athletes,” says Jones. “To me it was a good performance and a great achievement. The course in Auckland was tailor-made for him, with a wetsuit swim, and played into his strength on the bike. “He’s a good guy, very forwardthinking, and has huge support from his father. Now the decision needs to be made where to base him for training. His development is focused on his swimming, which is his Achilles heel. The podium result is a bonus. The message is: to keep working.” With ambition not in short supply, and a steely focus, Doherty is locked on Rio 2016 as a long-term goal. “Just looking at the city on TV, it’s massively hilly,” he says. “Who knows, history might repeat itself?” www.triathlonireland.com


Born July 11, 1995, Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland Honour Roll ITU World Finals bronze, 2012; Irish Duathlon Championship, 2012, 2011; Irish Triathlon Championship 2012, 2011; British Youth Championship, 2011 It’s A Trick Con is not short for ‘Connor but ‘Constantine’, Doherty’s grandfather’s name. His middle name is Ayrton, after Senna; it was set to be his first name before the family ties won out.

A shoe-in: Con Doherty is surefootedly making his way to the top of triathlon


ACTION

A COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN Which film will win Best Picture at this year’s Oscars? In the run-up to Hollywood’s annual awards, predicting the winners is the preoccupation of millions. The Red Bulletin analysed film history and spoke to past winners and nominees for insight. The results may surprise you – and help you win your Oscar sweepstake Words: Rudiger Sturm Illustration: Infomen/Carlos Coelho

FORMULA OSCAR How to win the trophy 60

Appeal to the old white guys: Best Picture is usually the story of a white man. Academy members aren’t too keen on brutality; nudity is another no-no. Lesbian psycho-thrillers or gay cowboys aren’t popular. As a rule, an Oscar-winning film should take itself seriously, which is why comedies are rarely nominated.

BASIC THEME The story of a man who stands firm against external pressures, learns something about himself and ends, at least morally, victorious.


ACTION

H

ollywood’s fate is sealed in Bethlehem. Bethlehem, Connecticut, that is, where 74-year-old nun Mother Dolores llives ives and prays. As one of the 5,783 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members entitled to vote, the Benedictine nun is one of the people with the fate of countless filmmakers in her hands, with a say over who gets one of the most hyped prizes on the planet: the Academy Award for Best Picture. In theory, any film can win the Best Picture Oscar as long as it is at least 40 minutes in length and shown for seven consecutive days in at least one commercial cinema in Los Angeles County. That means 265 films are in the running for the Oscars for 2012, to be awarded on February 24. At first glance, there appears to be no logic as to which of them wins Best Picture. “You can have the best intentions

in the world, but at the end of the day, nobody has a clue who or what is going to win,” says Leonardo DiCaprio, who has played the lead role in two Best Picture-winning films – Titanic (1997) and The Departed (2006) – that couldn’t be more different. “It’s all a big game.” Jodie Foster, who won best actress for The Accused (1998) and for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), shares his view: “As you sit there at the awards ceremony, it’s like being at a tombola and you think to yourself, ‘Please, please, please let them draw my number.’” Saul Zaentz, one of the most decorated producers in Oscar history with three Best Picture awards to his name, can suggest only one recipe for success. “You’ve got to be a lucky devil. When we won for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, we were seen as lucky assholes, after Amadeus, we were the very lucky assholes and when we won for The English Patient, we were the very, very lucky assholes.” This year, as ever, there are Best Picture favourites: Kathryn Bigelow’s

Zero Dark Thirty, on the hunt for Osama bin Laden; Argo, Ben Affleck’s Iranian-hostage rescue thriller, and Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Lincoln. Popular opinion is currently split as to which of them is most likely to win. But look hard at the history, and the Best Picture winner isn’t quite as random as it seems. Which is where it comes down to people like Mother Dolores. The opinion of the devout lady – who was formerly known as actress Dolores Hart who played opposite Elvis in 1958’s King Creole – deserves to be taken seriously. One becomes a member of AMPAS one of three ways: by receiving an Oscar nomination; by applying for membership with two other members vouching for your work; or being endorsed for merit by the Academy itself. It takes years of work – and perhaps more importantly, years of networking – to attain any one of these membership requirements. This creates something of a barrier to young film industry talent, and that is reflected in the demographics of the Academy. According to a report

Inevitably, the Oscar winner’s journey starts with the ‘man goes his own way’ basic formula. Strong acting performances strike a chord: the Best Picture victor usually also wins one acting Oscar. It takes a chunk of money, spent wisely and aggressively, to seal the deal. Get movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on your team: nobody mounts better Oscar publicity campaigns.

61


ACTION

Factor 1: Appeal to the old white guys

We shouldn’t be surprised when a basic theme shows up again and again in the Best Picture: the story of a man, usually white, as a rule a staunch individualist, who stands firm against external pressures, learns something about himself and ends victorious, at least morally. For example: Rocky, The Artist, Million Dollar Baby, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, The King’s Speech, Schindler’s List, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart, American Beauty, Kramer vs Kramer, The Hurt Locker, Platoon, Shakespeare in Love, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Forrest Gump, The Departed, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes there’s a variation on the theme. In the cases of Slumdog Millionaire and Gandhi, the skin colour changed. In The Silence of the Lambs and Titanic, it was the gender. But what would Clarice have been without her Hannibal? Rose without her Jack? In Amadeus and Rain Man, the basic theme was split between two men; in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, between a fellowship. In No Country for Old Men, the testosterone odyssey ends in bitter disaster.

Best Picture favourites 2013

Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, on the hunt for Osama bin Laden; Argo, Ben Affleck’s Iranian-hostage rescue thriller, and Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Lincoln

62

So, inevitably, the journey to the Oscar begins with the ‘man goes his own way’ basic formula. This bodes well this year for Lincoln and Argo; less so for Zero Dark Thirty, which features a female – gasp! – intelligence agent bucking the system in the hunt for bin Laden. Other notable trends: older members of the Academy aren’t too keen on brutality. (See Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture of 1998.) Nudity is another definite no-no. (Sorry, lesbian psycho-thriller Black Swan. It’s the nomination that counts, right?) As a rule, the winning picture usually has no viewing restrictions – although as the exception that breaks the rule, Midnight Cowboy was rated ‘X’ when it won Best Picture for 1969. Yet for all the Academy’s conservatism, the films should not be reactionary either. After all, an average age of 62 means the members grew up in the flower power era and began their careers in the 1970s, when Hollywood was producing the most daring and progressive films in its history. Enlightened, liberal, socially aware, but not too provocative. Gay cowboys are not on – as Brokeback Mountain discovered when it lost to the hit-you-over-thehead-progressive attitude of Crash despite a Best Director win – because there are still the ‘steak-eaters’ to contend with, as the macho technicians and tradesmen who form a large group within the Academy’s membership are known. As a rule, an Oscar film should take itself seriously and put that across, which is why comedies rarely have a chance. “It needs to be dramatic and weighty,” says Wolfgang Petersen, the first German to be nominated for the Best Director award since 1947, for Das Boot. He means ‘weight’ physically, too. Epic films lasting over two hours are Oscar favourites, but no guarantee of success, as the 100-minute lightweight film The Artist demonstrates. (Notable for this year: Lincoln comes in at a bladderbursting 150 minutes.)

Factor 2: Winning other awards pre-Oscars

Hollywood is, at its core, a union town. The Screen Actors Guild handles contracts for actors, while the Directors Guild of America, The Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America handle the behind-the-screen talent. It is estimated that almost one quarter of the Academy members are card-carrying actors, with another 15 per cent made up of directors and producers. The results

21%

of the members are actors, past and present, one of whom is a nun

THE VOTERS of the end-of-year awards for these individual guilds are a good indication of the mindset of the overall Academy. In 2012, the little-film-that-could Oscar momentum for The Artist started with the guilds. The SAG nominated the film for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the best correlation for the Best Picture award from the Academy. Bérénice Bejo was nominated for female performance in a supporting role and Jean Dujardin won for male performance in a leading role. Director Michel Hazanavicius won the DGA’s award for outstanding directorial achievement in motion pictures and producer Thomas Langmann won the PGA’s motion picture producer of the year award. When awards season was said and done, The Artist received 10 Oscar nominations and won five, including Best Picture, Actor and Director, as well as Costume Design and Score. This year, SAG nominees for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture were: Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. It’s not for nothing that the Best Picture victors usually also win one acting Oscar. (That applies to 16 of the 25 pictures mentioned above.) “Strong acting performances strike a chord with people, so you can build a whole film around them,” says Robin Swicord, an Academy member who was nominated for an award for the screenplay for

PHOTOGRAPHY: WARNER BROS, DREAMWORKS/TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, ANNAPURNA PICTURES

in the Los Angeles Times that roiled progressive-kumbaya-affirmative actionliberal Hollywood, the average age of Academy members is 62, with only 14 per cent of them under 50; 94 per cent are Caucasian and 77 per cent are male. This, then, leads us to the first factor when it comes to winning Best Picture.


ACTION

77%

of the members are white men; only two per cent are African-American

14%

of the members are under 50. The average age overall is 62

5,783 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members are entitled to vote for one of the most hyped prizes on the planet: the Academy Award for Best Picture The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The honourable CGI creatures in Avatar never had a chance.

Factor 3: It’s not who you know, but the money you spend on who you know

Appealing to men and the unions still isn’t enough for the Best Picture win. This is where Oscar campaigning gets down and dirty: it takes a chunk of money, spent wisely and aggressively, to seal the deal. Anyone who wants to get their film nominated should be willing to cough up US$2 million on average. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has raised this third factor to an art form. Even his most dogged opponents have to concede that nobody mounts a better Oscar publicity campaign. Films made by Miramax – the company he founded and used to work for – have had 249 Oscar nominations and won 60 times in various categories, including three times for best picture. He has struck the jackpot in recent years with The King’s Speech and The Artist. That is partly because he has a nose for the right films, but also because he is dogged in his attempts at winning over every voter. He calls the Academy members at home to ask if they have seen his films, and he spends plenty of money on mailing campaigns, ads, screenings and parties. If Oscar voters are too old and infirm to head out to screenings,

he makes sure they get DVDs at home. It is said he spent US$15 million to help Shakespeare in Love sneak past Saving Private Ryan for the ultimate Oscar glory. (And when one of Weinstein’s films wins, he rewards his loyal voters well with one of the most-sought after, luxuriant post-Oscar parties in town.) If you haven’t got Weinstein on your team, you can still learn from his aggressive tactics, as the producers of the relatively low-grossing The Hurt Locker did in their successful David-and-Goliath campaign against the hugely popular Avatar. Producer Nicolas Chartier ran afoul of Academy rules forbidding derogatory communications during awards season by penning emails imploring voters to vote for Locker instead of the “US$500 million film”. He was barred from the ceremony, and so wasn’t able to see his picture win the top prize – or to see director Bigelow besting ex-husband James Cameron in the directing category. There are those who turn their noses up at this. “The Oscars are to be won purely on the basis of popularity,” says veteran Mike Medavoy, who was studio

“It’s a real election campaign where you even get to kiss babies. I felt dirty afterwards” George Clooney

manager for films like Rocky and The Silence of the Lambs and has been nominated as producer for Best Picture three times. “It’s a real election campaign where you even get to kiss babies. I felt dirty afterwards,” George Clooney has complained. Perhaps not too dirty; he’s a frequent presence on the Oscars scene, having been nominated five times and winning Best Supporting Actor for Syriana (2005). But for the Best Picture winners it’s worth it. A nomination increases box-office earnings by, on average, 22.2 per cent. If your film wins, these tend to go up by a further 15.3 per cent. Last year’s winner, The Artist, saw its weekover-week box-office tally increase by 34 per cent after its victory. The only question is whether that is reward enough. The Oscar doesn’t hold its sheen for long, both in terms of career – many actor Oscar winners never repeat their peak achievement – and literally. “They’re just sitting there gathering dust,” Meryl Streep says of her three statuettes. “I had to pack mine away to stop the sea air corroding it,” Halle Berry remembers. The only person to have found an exciting use for his is Dustin Hoffman. “I take both my Oscars to bed with me every night,” he says. “I hold them, kiss them, make love to them, which is allowed, because they don’t have a penis. And my wife doesn’t mind.” He is, it is fair to say, an old white guy. www.oscars.org

63


ACTION

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES In the hottest spot during the hottest week at the height of the Brazilian summer, elite B-Boys battle for the honour of becoming breakdancing’s world champion at the Red Bull BC One World Final. Who can keep his cool and win?

PHOTOGRPAHY: MARCEL MARAGNI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, DENIS KIERO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Words: Cassio Cortes

64


Colombian B-Boy Arex Opposite(from left): Vicious Victor (USA), Lil Zoo (Morocco), Issei (Japan), Sunni (UK) and Klesio (Brazil)


Hotting up: the finalists hone their moves at a preview event in searing Rio heat

T he Maze guesthouse is at the top of the Tavares Bastos favela, in the heart of Rio de Janeiro’s south side. It’s owned by Bob Nadkarni, an Englishman and former BBC cameraman, who built it as a house about 15 years ago after falling in love – with the favela, with his soon-to-be wife and with Rio. From the terrace here, there’s a great view of Sugarloaf Mountain, but tonight, all eyes are looking down, to where 24 samba musicians, four curvaceous samba dancers and the world’s 16 best B-Boys are jamming on a tiny concrete soccer pitch, surrounded by makeshift favela 66

houses seven storeys high and the nine storeys of The Maze guesthouse. The B-Boys dance and drip sweat under an ungodly sun. A record heatwave grips Rio for the week of the Red Bull BC One World Final 2012. During this Wednesday-night demonstration ahead of Saturday’s final proper, planting hands on scorching concrete, which happens a lot during the breakdance and street dance moves that are the stock-intrade of a B-Boy, is causing blisters. In spite of the 40°C temperature and 80 per cent humidity, reigning Red Bull BC One world champion Omar Delgado Macias, 20, known as Roxrite – every B-Boy goes under a short nickname, like a graffiti artist or an online gamer – wears a nylon vest over his baggy shirt. He is staying extra-warm to aid the recovery from a muscle injury in his lower back. “It hurts, but it won’t stop me once my body gets warm,” says the 30-year-old Mexican-American. “I want to be the first B-Boy to win this twice in a row. Some of the other former champions think they’re above battling after they’ve won the big belt, but not me. I’m not

afraid of getting down to the ground and facing the other guys again.” Among the 15 other guys Roxrite will have to face in order to retain his belt is Klesio, the only Brazilian in the competition, who earned his finals spot at the Latin American qualifier held in Mexico City. In sharp contrast to Roxrite’s short, muscular build, Klesio is a lanky 22-year-old kid from a shanty town outside Brazil’s national capital, Brasília. You would be forgiven for thinking that skinny Klesio is no match for powerful Roxrite in the physically demanding pursuit that is breaking, but once the samba musicians pick up their drumming pace, Klesio opens his bag of tricks, which includes his inimitable Brazilian swing. “Any Brazilian kid who grew up experiencing the joy of samba brings that joy to breaking,” he says. “That joy defines my style.” Klesio is one of six B-Boys who took the hard road to Rio by winning their respective regional qualifiers. Morocco’s Lil Zoo triumphed in the Middle East/ Africa region. Shorty Force from Korea is here as winner of the Asia Pacific event. France’s Mounir earned his way in via the Western Europe qualifier; Bulgaria’s Slav from Eastern Europe. DOMKey is one of three representing the USA flag after victory at the North American regional. Nine other competitors were picked because they didn’t have to prove they were among the world’s B-Boying elite: Hill (Mexico), Arex (Colombia), Sunni (UK), Issei (Japan) – aged 15 and the youngest in the tournament – Differ (South Korea), ExacT, (Russia), Vicious Victor and Kid David (USA) and legendary Frenchman Junior, returning to the World Final stage seven years after his last appearance. His one-of-a-kind style has earned him a second nickname, The Extraterrestrial. Defending champion Roxrite completes the line-up. The final proper is taking place at Fundição Progresso, a former cast-iron stove foundry built in the 19th century, which closed down in 1976 and reopened as a cultural centre in 1987. That this building was once a birthplace of stoves and ovens seems appropriate. The remodelling of the interior to create a breaking arena that can hold 3,000 spectators did not include air conditioning. “The average human being radiates about 80 watts of heat per hour,” says Red Bull BC One production director Hello Haas, in the run-up to the event. “You can do the math. And make sure to hydrate.” At 8am on Saturday, exactly 12 hours before the action gets under way, a group

PHOTOGRAPHY: MARCELO MARAGNI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL (2), DEAN TREML/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

ACTION


Breaking good: a closely contested quarter-final saw crowd favourite Klesio (above) lose out to on-form Frenchman Mounir (below left)

of teenagers waving the flag of the state of Amazonas, over 4,000km away from Rio, has arrived at the Fundição’s main entrance, even though the competition will be broadcast live on TV in 10 countries, including Brazil and on the internet. “We want to be the very first to get in,” says one, an amateur B-Boy from Manaus, the Amazonas capital. The mercury peaks at 42°C at about 2pm, and has subsided only slightly three hours later, when the judges arrive at Fundição. It’s an impressive panel featuring local hero and 2010 Red Bull BC One winner Neguin, now earning his bucks as Madonna’s lead dancer, plus renowned B-Boys Storm (Germany), Taisuke (Japan), Moy (USA) and Niek (Netherlands). At 7pm, the gates open, and 3,000 B-Boy-mad youngsters swarm in to fill the Fundição. All that human wattage means that, when Hill and Slav take to the stage for the first round of the night at 8pm sharp, they’re already pouring with sweat. The former admits 67


Battle-hungry in Brazil: 3,000 people packed into the Fundição Progresso cultural centre in Rio (above) to witness Mounir (below and above right) take the Red Bull BC One belt after the final, in which he beat Korean Differ (far right), one of the favourites to win next year's event on his home soil

to being slightly nervous before opening the big show: “I like this feeling of butterflies in the stomach. When the nerves before going on stage have disappeared, it’s because you don’t like what you do as much anymore.” Drips of sweat make the dancing surface slippery, but Hill, arguably the quickest and most agile of the competitors, is surefooted in his victory over Slav, and goes on to beat Vicious Victor in their quarter-final, the American having prevailed over Japanese teen Issei. Hill falls in his semi-final against Differ. The Korean won the crowd over during his first battle, thanks to his funfilled style, which included a homage to his countryman Psy, of Gangnam Style fame, and his support only grew after his surprise upset of Roxrite, perhaps hampered by his back injury, in the quarter-finals (in dominant fashion; Differ wowed the judges and won 4-1). With the champ out, it becomes anyone’s tournament. “It’s part of the game, 68

anyone can lose a battle,” says a visibly frustrated Roxrite, backstage immediately after his defeat. “Nobody is invincible.” The other semi pitches Mounir against Junior, whose unrivalled upper body strength lets him pull off moves the others can only dream of. Earlier on, Mounir won no favours from the partisan crowd when he beat a visibly tired Klesio, the Brazilian having previously beaten ExacT with ease in the first round. Falling in the quarters isn’t as frustrating for Klesio as it was for his fans, however. “I’m not sad,” he says. “I came here to do one thing and one thing only, which

THE CROWD ERUPTS, HALF SUPPORTING AND HALF CONTESTING THE RESULT


PHOTOGRAPHY: DEAN TREML/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, MARCELO MARAGNI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, DENIS KLERO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, ROMINO AMATO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

ACTION

was to show what I got for the entire world to see, and tonight I did just that.” So it’s Mounir versus Junior, France versus France, under the watchful eyes of another Frenchman, Lilou, Red Bull BC One’s only two-time champion (2005 and 2009), who has been tweeting frenetically from the stands all night. It’s a battle as even as can be, and though some feel Junior deserves a win after so many years away from the competition, Neguin’s decisive vote gives the duel to the underdog Mounir, 3-2. The crowd is similarly split and erupts dividedly, half

supporting and half contesting the result. “Mounir was so self-confident, and that’s the key,” says Neguin, later, clarifying his choice. “He showed us he was comfortable being himself, and that’s the main thing in B-Boying.” Differ enters the grand final as favourite, but backstage in the warm-up room, a soaking-wet Mounir seems to have spotted a chink in his rival’s armour. “I’ve never been more tired in my life as in the moments before the final,” the Frenchman admits afterwards, “but when we got to the stage, I could see that Differ was even more tired than I was.” Unlike in the previous rounds, when the B-Boys take it in turns to do their thing for 60 seconds three times, in the final each B-Boy takes five minute-long turns instead of three. Mounir’s perfect execution of aerial moves, the sheer craft of his fancy footwork and extended freezes, and Differ’s exhaustion, mean the outcome is a no-contest. At 28 years old, Monnir Biba, aka B-Boy Mounir, finally takes the Red Bull BC One World Champion belt at his third attempt, after failures in 2008 and 2011. “For the past four months, I have been training non-stop, full-time, every day,” Mounir says, still glowing from his win. “I really fought my way this time. I did the whole trip. I won the cypher [local qualifier, before regional] and the regional qualifier to be here, so I came to Rio to win. Winning the Red Bull BC One World Final had been my dream for a long time, and now it’s finally reality.” “Mounir was consistent, didn’t make mistakes with the heat and was always in tune with the music,” says judge Niek. With an approving roar from the fans, Mounir takes centre stage to receive the champion’s belt, but as a Muslim he politely declines the customary celebratory champagne. When the Frenchman talks to the media backstage, a smiling Differ comes to offer his sweaty embrace in recognition of his rival’s superior performance. “I can’t complain,” says the Korean. “It was a nice battle, and this event for me will always be a good memory.” The champ remains humble. “Next year, it’s yours,” he says, looking at his Korean friend and pointing to the big shiny belt. On home turf in South Korea, for the 10th anniversary Red Bull BC One World Final, who would bet against it. www.redbullbcone.com

Watch the B-Boys in action on The Red Bulletin tablet version. Download it now for free

69


ACTION

AIMEE FULLER

Slope And Glory

Born in England, based in Belfast – these are not the entries you usually see on a world-class snowboarder’s CV. This snow queen has a different set of rules Photography: Alex De Mora

which changed everything. In England, The odds of anyone making it as a pro she’d preferred racing motocross, having snowboarder are pretty slim, but for been on a bike since the age of six, Aimee Fuller, they were miniscule. competing against the boys. But with Firstly, she grew up in snow- and access to snowy slopes, she soon slipped mountain-free Kent. Secondly, when off the saddle and back onto a board. she first tried boarding, aged eight, “When I arrived I was a bit of a punter,” on a dry slope, she hated it. “I don’t she says. “I’d only been skiing a couple usually get frustrated,” she says, “but of times. Then a friend persuaded me I got so angry I threw the board on the to try out a snowboard again and we floor. I couldn’t stand it.” Yet now, aged 21, snowboarding is central to Fuller’s life. She’s one of the world’s leading female professional riders, earning invites to top events on two pro tours to compete in her specialism, slopestyle, the discipline that involves performing technical tricks off ramps and obstacles. Today she’s on a rare break from the slopes, at a photoshoot in London, stuffing her huge blonde mane into a small beanie hat (she wears a men’s size M helmet when competing to accommodate her hair), flashing a customary grin that’s at odds with the cold, grey day. She has a lot to be happy about. Unlike the City workers passing by, she won’t have to put up with this weather for long. London is only a pitstop on the journey from her home of Belfast to Colorado, USA, where she’ll swap the rain for virgin snow. “I know I’m lucky,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll feel tired, but then I think, ‘Hold up, look around, you’re not in an office or a lecture theatre, Board meeting: you’re up a mountain Fuller in action with your mates.’” during a recent It was a family move training camp to Pennsylvania, USA, in Idaho, USA when Fuller was 12,

“Some people say it’s cool just to take part in the Olympics, but I want to go and smash it”

70

just started throwing ourselves around. That time it clicked.” After two years, Fuller began entering small competitions and soon got her first taste of winning. But then another family move, to Belfast, took the 16-year-old Fuller back to snowless climes. “I started college,” she says. “I was just trying to get used to the idea of a life without snowboarding.” Then came a phone call, from a representative of surf and snow brand Roxy, saying they’d spotted Fuller’s skills at a camp she attended the week before she left America. “She said, ‘We want you in Switzerland next week for a Roxy camp,’” remembers Fuller, her blue eyes widening at the memory. “I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I couldn’t believe what was happening.” Five years after that phone call, Fuller travels the world following the snow. After a recent series of wins, including the retention of her title at the O’Neill Pleasure Jam event in Austria, and becoming one of only a few female riders to land a double backflip, she has her sights set on Sochi and the 2014 Winter Olympics. “Team GB is looking good,” she says. “I want a medal for sure. Some people say it’s cool just to take part in the Olympics, but I want to go and smash it. I don’t think the limit with girls’ snowboarding has been reached yet, so my main aim is to step it up and push myself.” And with that she’s off to the airport, smile on face, board in hand, ready to go. www.aimeefuller.co.uk

ADDITIONAL PHOTO: BRIAN NEVINS/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Words: Ruth Morgan


ACTION

Born July 21, 1991, Bromley, Kent, England Trademarks A fearless riding style, blonde ‘fro’ Top Turn One of only five women to have landed a double backflip Suitcase Essential Pair of high heels: “You’ve got a make an effort sometimes” Biggest Pain Competing in the 2011 European X Games with two injured heels: “It hurt so much I puked afterwards” Biggest Fan Her grandmother, who watches all of her webcasts

Rising snow star: 21-year-old Aimee Fuller is one of the most exciting talents in women’s snowboarding


ACTION

Mr Lava Lover

New Zealand cameraman Geoff Mackley films natural disasters for a living. Abseiling into the heart of a volcano to the edge of a lava lake is something he does for fun Words: Robert Tighe Photography: Bradley Ambrose

Hot work: Geoff Mackley’s assistant, Nathan Berg, stares into the Marum lava lake on Ambrym Island in Vanuatu

72


ACTION

F or the last decade-and-a-half, a burning question has consumed Geoff Mackley: how would it feel to stand at the edge of the lava lake on Mount Marum and stare into the heaving mass of molten rock? Now he knows the answer. “It looks like the surface of the sun,” he says, over the radio, to his right-hand man, Bradley Ambrose, perched 100m above on a rocky overhang capturing the moment on film. “It’s like my wildest dreams.” Marum on Ambrym Island, the fifth-largest land mass in the Republic of Vanuatu archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, is home to one of the world’s few persistently active lava lakes. A lava lake is a large, permanent volume of molten rock bubbling away in a crater or vent. Since 1997, Mackley has spent close to US$500,000 on expeditions to Ambrym, to figure out a way to abseil down the 400m vertical cliff to the lava lake. “I’ve been here 13 or 14 times now,” says Mackley, “and the footage and pictures we got this time, I’ve had in my mind’s eye for 15 years. On some of the early trips we carried our gear up the mountain, sat in our tents in torrential rain for weeks, and left without seeing 74

Suited and booted: “This is Nathan Berg abseiling down with full heat suit and breathing apparatus,” says photographer Bradley Ambrose. “He helped us test all the gear, so he knew what to do in an emergency”

anything. I’ve learned from previous expeditions and tried not to make the same mistakes. When we first went there it was tents and equipment that failed, so now we use the highest-quality gear. But the failure has usually been down to people. People go crazy up there.” With Mackley on this trip were fellow New Zealanders Bradley Ambrose and Nathan Berg, and American filmmaker Rui Cavender, who piggybacked on the expedition. Ambrose, a freelance cameraman, began working with Mackley a few years ago after they met filming the aftermath of a car crash for a news

channel. This was the 36-year-old’s fourth trip to Ambrym. Berg was washing dishes in a café when Ambrose, whose stepson is Berg’s best friend, asked him if he’d be interested in visiting a volcano. The 18-year-old, who’d never been out of the country before, jumped at the opportunity. “I was cheap labour I guess,” laughs Berg, “plus I’m fit, I work hard and I do what I’m told.” The three Kiwis arrived in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, at the end of June, and were joined by Cavender a week later. A combination of bad weather


“THE PICTURES WE GOT THIS TIME I HAD IN MY MIND’S EYE FOR 15 YEARS”

Adventurers in the mist: “The Vanuatu and New Zealand flags fly over the campsite,” says Ambrose “The mist in the background is a cloud of toxic gases being blown towards the campsite”

and their freight company losing some crucial gear meant they didn’t board the helicopter to take them to the top of Marum until mid-July. With them on that chopper they carried over one-and-a-half tonnes of equipment and a lot of pressure to get the money shot. “On the last trip two years ago we got some reasonably good pictures,” says Mackley, whose cameramen that time were two climbers who got to within 50m of the lava lake. “The only way to outdo that was to get closer to the lava.” Getting close to the action is something Mackley has been doing since he started working as a TV news cameraman over 20 years ago. Fires and car crashes were his stock-in-trade, until 1995 and the eruption of Mt Ruapehu, a volcano on New Zealand’s North Island. Mackley hiked up the mountain for five hours through thick snow to get shots that sold around the world. A UK production company bought 15 minutes of his Ruapehu footage, paying him US$20 per second, or US$18,000, for his troubles. It was a eureka moment, after which he carved out a new career travelling the world filming extreme events in dangerous places. The 48-year-old has since chased storms across the USA, captured the devastation of the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia and covered the war in Afghanistan, but volcanoes are his passion. In 1997, the Discovery Channel commissioned him to make a TV series called Volcano Detectives. During filming, Mackley visited one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. While he was there, the locals told him about a huge lake of lava on the island of Ambrym. “The people I was with were like, ‘Bullshit’,” says Mackley. “If there was 75


Deep breath: “Geoff (left) and I are preparing to descend into the crater,” says Ambrose. “We’re wearing gas masks and heatproof visors to stop our eyes getting burned by the acid rain”


ACTION

a lava lake, everyone would know about it and it would be a massive tourist attraction. I soon found out why it wasn’t.” Mackley couldn’t afford to hire a helicopter, so he climbed the 1,334mhigh mountain. When he got to the top, he found that a recent earthquake had buried the lava lake under a pile of rocks. “There were just a few puffs of smoke coming out,” he says. A few months later, he heard that the lava had re-emerged, and so he went for another look. “Sure enough, there it was, at the bottom of an enormous hole in the ground,” says Mackley. “We had terrible weather and you could only see it for a matter of seconds between the rain, but even then I knew I wanted to get to the bottom. I knew what was waiting for me and I also knew how hard it was going to be to get down there. I’ve taken people to Ambrym who’ve climbed Everest and they’ve looked over the edge and said, ‘I’m not going down there.’ I wasn’t taking no for an answer.” There are other lava lakes around the world, but, according to Mackley, they are dangerously volatile. The pulsing, boiling molten rock in this lava lake, which reaches temperatures of up to 1,250°C, has remained at the same level since Mackley first started coming here. “The lava lake at Marum isn’t erupting,” he says. “The pressure is being released in a very stable manner. Most other volcanoes you can’t get close to, because you don’t know what they’re going to do next.”

S

o how does Mackley know what Marum is going to do next? “I don’t really,” he admits, “but it’s easy to look and see where the lava has been recently. If you go any closer than that, you’re stupid.” The top of the volcano where Mackley set up camp is a flat ash plain, 12km across and completely devoid of life. A short stroll from the campsite is a ridge line, from which the lava lake can be peered down to, some 400m below. Even from that distance, the cauldron of lava, which is roughly 200m in diameter – the size of a couple of soccer pitches – is an incredible sight. “It’s just mesmerising,” says Ambrose. “It’s like a living creature.” 77


ACTION

Mackley and his motley crew used seven tents for the duration of their stay on the mountain: one each for the four crew, a mess tent, a tent for the guide and the generator, and a shelter where they cooked, watched movies and tried to keep each other sane as the weather messed with their schedules and their heads. A combination of the altitude, the heat and the gases from the volcano gives Ambrym its own weather system. “We probably got five good days while we were up there,” says Ambrose. “It’s like living in a cloud.” “It might be fine and sunny across the Pacific, but it will be pissing down on top of the mountain,” explains Mackley. “If we had good weather, we could have been in and out in a week.”

T It’s a gas (top): “Most of the time, the gases were blown away from the campsite,” says Ambrose, “but this time Nathan was caught outside without his gas mask.” Long way down (above): “The lava lake seen from the top of the Marum crater”

“EVERYTHING UP THERE ON THE VOLCANO IS SLOWLY TRYING TO KILL YOU” 78

he bad weather turned a costly exercise into a very expensive one – around US$70,000 estimates Mackley. The initial plan was to spend no more than 20 days on the mountain. Instead they were up there for 38 days. That meant more money on supplies, more money for the helicopter pilot to fly in the supplies and more money for the local village of Ranvetlam. “We could get a helicopter to the top of the volcano and not pay anyone, but that would be silly because you’re on a remote island surrounded by people with guns and machetes,” says Mackley. “You’ve got to align yourself with a village and have guides from that village with you. They’re not really guides. They’re there to keep the peace.” Mackley had previously dealt with the village of Lalinda, on the opposite side of the volcano to Ranvetlam. That relationship soured a few years ago after the villagers hid most of his gear and held it to ransom for a ridiculous sum of money. On this trip, a Lalinda villager rang Mackley’s pilot and threatened to shoot down his helicopter if it flew over Lalinda airspace. However, the biggest threat on Ambrym is not from angry locals, but from the volcano itself. “Everything up there is slowly trying to kill you,” says Mackley. Some nights the crew members were forced to wear gas masks as they slept as the wind blew a nasty cocktail of toxic gases over the


On the edge (left): “This is Nathan 5m from the top,” says Ambrose. “The orange glow is from the lava lake 400m below.” Life lines (right): “Preparing a sandbag to secure the abseil lines at the top of the crater. There was nothing to tie our ropes to”

campsite. Other times, the hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide belching out of the volcano mixed with rainwater to produce acid rain strong enough to burn skin. The locals call Marum the ‘Entrance to Hell’. Mackley agrees with their otherworldly sentiments: “There definitely are times when you think, ‘I shouldn’t be down here.” Harsh weather and low visibility made filming and climbing impossible most of the time. When the weather cleared, the crew set up the ropes and rock bolts for the descent and worked out a route to get Mackley, Ambrose and the camera gear to the bottom of the 400m cliff. Mackley went down first, on a 200m rope – half the size of the cliff – setting bolts in the rock at regular intervals. Just before his rope ran out, he found a 10m wide ledge, which gave him space and time to scope out the second half of the descent. Meanwhile, Ambrose lowered another 200m rope to Mackley and carried down some of the camera gear. Before they could attempt to abseil down the second rope, the weather took a turn for the worse and it rained every day for almost two weeks, confining the crew to their tents or odd jobs around the campsite. It was August 10, day 45 of the expedition, before Mackley got an opportunity to find out what lay at the end of the second rope. After a two-hour descent, he made it to the floor of the crater and ran 50m from the base of the cliff to a ledge just 30m above the pulsating lava lake. Wearing only a T-shirt and cargo pants, he lasted five or six seconds before the intense heat

forced him to retreat. “I didn’t expect to make it to the bottom that day,” he says, “but after 15 years of trying, there was no way I was not going to run to the edge once I found my way down.” The following day, the weather gods smiled on Mackley, and wearing a heat suit and breathing apparatus, he stayed at the edge of the lava for three-quarters of an hour, watching the dazzlingly bright orange and red molten rock. (The spectacular footage Mackley and his team took was viewed over two million times just days after it was uploaded to the internet. Since his return, Mackley has been approached by the BBC and TV stations in South Korea and Japan, hoping to go back to Ambrym with him and do it all again.) “I was in La La Land at that stage,” says Mackley, of his 45-minute experience at the end of a 15-year dream. “By the time I got to the bottom, I was so exhausted and hot and dehydrated I could barely think straight. And the noise: it’s like the sound of an angry ocean, but 10 times louder. I stayed there until my air ran out. I didn’t want to leave because it was so spectacular. The greatest show on Earth.” www.geoffmackley.com

AMBRYM ISLAND

Vanuatu Islands

A volcanic island in the archipelago of Vanuatu, formerly known as the New Hebrides

Marum Volcano Ash Plain

10 km 10 miles

“ THERE DEFINITELY ARE TIMES WHEN YOU THINK, ‘I SHOULDN’T BE DOWN HERE’” 79


Contents 82 TRAVEL Diving down to a shipwreck off Australia 84 Get THE GEAR The trekking tools of the world’s best dog sledder 86 WORK OUT How to train like a mountain bike champion 88 THE SOUNDS OF 2013 Irish electro duo Solar Bears 90 NIGHTLIFE Everything you need to get you through ’til dawn 94 WORLD IN ACTION What’s coming up in sport and culture 96 SAVE THE DATE Events for the diary

photography: imago

98 MIND’S EYE Columnist Stephen Bayley

Cold comforts: how do you make hot food for you and 16 huskies at -40°C? Find out on page 84


MORE BODY & MIND

Deep impact

AWAY DAYS SPECTACULAR TRAVEL ADVENTURES

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA

Man meets nature at the resting place of the SS Yongala, which sank off the coast of Australia over 100 years ago and is now one of the world’s best dive sites 1. The place Mention the SS Yongala

Dive time: you can get to the wreck in just 30 minutes

Barrier Reef, the wreck is far enough from any other coral beds to make it a haven for marine life in the area. 3. Final voyage The Yongala, named after a small town in southern Australia and meaning ‘good water’ in the language of the indigenous Ngadjuri people of the region, transported freight and passengers between the goldfields

One off a century: the SS Yongala passenger ship sunk off the coast of Australia on its 99th voyage in 1911

82

of western Australia and the eastern ports of Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns between April 19, 1903, and March 23, 1911. On its 99th voyage, from Brisbane to Townsville, the Yongala was caught in a cyclone and sank without trace, taking all 122 people on board down with it. 4. Get in line The wreck was discovered in 1947 by a navy ship sweeping for mines, but it wasn’t formally identified until 1958, when two local divers salvaged a safe from the ship which confirmed the wreck’s identity. Dive companies began organising regular dive trips in the 1980s, and the Yongala now attracts up to 6,000 divers each year. 5. ‘Murder’ mystery In October, 2003, the Yongala made headlines around the world after Tina Watson, an American woman on her honeymoon, died while diving the wreck with her husband of 11 days, Gabe. He was an experienced rescue diver; she was a rookie. Gabe was accused of her murder and eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter in an Australian court, although a criminal case in Alabama was dismissed for lack of evidence in 2012. 6. Big fish “What makes the Yongala special is the quantity and size of the marine life on the wreck,” says Heather Batrick of Yongala Dive. Everything

WORDS: ROBERT TIGHE. PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES (3), DDP, QUEENSLAND MUSEUM

to any experienced scuba diver and watch their eyes light up. The shipwreck has acquired legendary status among divers with good reason. The hull of the 110m-long steamship is still largely intact and the coral that grows on the wreck attracts an incredible diversity of marine life. Lying 33m below the surface on a sandy seabed, the Yongala is not a difficult dive in good weather, so even if you’re a novice you can still enjoy its underwater charms. 2. The location The wreck of the Yongala lies 80km south-east of Townsville, in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Although located within the Great


Shore leave: Magnetic Island, the perfect place to relax post-dive, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville

Most dives depart from Townsville (above) or Ayr

The shipwreck is a haven for marine life

there is of the giant variety: giant Queensland gropers, giant marble rays, giant trevally, giant sea turtles; as well as sea snakes, tiger sharks, spotted eagle rays, schools of mangrove jack, batfish and barracuda. Other, more unusual species that frequent the Yongala include whale sharks, bull sharks and the occasional shark ray. 7. Look, don’t touch The Yongala is a no-penetration dive, which means entering or touching the wreck is strictly prohibited. The restrictions were put in place to maintain the integrity of the wreck, as air bubbles from divers’ oxygen tanks speed up the deterioration of the iron structure of the ship. 8. Tiptoe around locals Most of the marine life on the Yongala is harmless, but will react if provoked. Paul Crocombe of Adrenalin Dive tells the tale of a Swedish diver who almost ended up as fish food. “He started clowning around with a 1.4m-long Queensland grouper, which was already being a bit aggressive towards the divers,” says Crocombe. “When they started going up the line, the fish grabbed the Swedish diver by the head and gave him a bit of a shake. When he got to the surface, one of our instructors described him as ‘good-looking when he went in, but not so pretty when he came out!’” That’s the diver, not the fish. 9. Cyclone central A cyclone was responsible for sinking the Yongala in 1911, and the ship still takes a battering in storm season. When Cyclone Yasi hit the Queensland coast in 2011, it stripped most of the coral from the wreck, right back to bare metal. Thankfully the storm didn’t scare away the marine life and divers can appreciate the wreck itself before the coral grows back to cover it.

DIVING OFF AUSTRALIA The journey Adrenalin Dive in Townsville and Yongala Dive in the small town of Ayr (about an hour’s drive from Townsville) organise regular trips to the Yongala. It’s only 30 minutes to the wreck from Ayr, compared with a three-hour boat trip from Townsville. When to go Peak season is from September to January, when good weather and good visibility of 10-15m make for pleasant diving conditions. From June to September the weather can be more unpredictable, but visibility increases to 20-25m and there’s a good chance of spotting a pod of humpback whales. Back on shore You can also experience the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef at Reef HQ on dry land in Townsville. The world’s largest living coral reef aquarium is a treasure trove of information on the creatures that live in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. www.yongaladive.com.au www.adrenalindive.com.au

SS Yongala Townsville

AUSTRALIA Brisbane

83


MORE BODY & MIND

GET THE GEAR

Mush, puppies

A PRO’S ESSENTIALS

Last year, aged 25, American dog musher Dallas Seavey became the youngest winner of the Iditarod sled race, covering 1,150 miles of Alaska in just over nine days. This is what he’ll need on his title defence in March 1. Sled dogs At the start, I have 16 Alaskan huskies. When a dog gets tired, you can leave it at one of 20 checkpoints and continue racing with one dog down. Vets at the checkpoints regularly check the animals. 2. Dog sleds I build my own sleds. So they’re as light and robust as possible, I use carbon-fibre ice-hockey sticks, high-strength aluminium and ultra-high-molecular-weight plastic. A sled weighs about 20kg, and you can use up to three of them in a race. 3. Critterwoods brake hook You stop the sled with a foot brake, and to keep it stationary, use this hook made of rustproof steel, anchored in the snow or ice. 4. Dog food cooker A device of my own creation. Using alcohol-based fuel, I melt snow for drinking water, and to add to the dry ingredients to make the thick meat stew for the dogs. 5. Aluminium ladle With temperatures as low as -40°C, each dog burns between 8,000 and 12,000 calories a day. I use this ladle to divvy up the dog food. 6. Integral Designs sleeping bag For a power nap – I only rest for 30 or 40 minutes per day – I slip, fully kitted, into this sleeping bag. 7. Bungee section The blue-black rope is a custom design. In the event of abrupt

84

braking manoeuvres, it functions like a shock absorber between the dogs and the sled. 8. Taiga harness This harness, made from waterproof lightweight fabric, has minimal pressure points, is specially fitted for each dog and is designed for long-distance racing.

5

9. Prairie Bilt Sleds runner plastic Rather than washing the runners, you fit a plastic cover over them. There are different plastic types, depending on the consistency of the snow. The runners are changed every 80-120km.

4 3

10. Black Diamond lamp During Iditarod, we travel many hours in darkness. I use this brand of headlight because it is very reliable. 11. Wiggy’s mittens In extreme cold conditions, I put these huge mittens over my thin, functional gloves. Sometimes I use them as a pillow in my sleeping bag. 12. Wiggy’s Joe Reddington mukluks Most of the time, I run alongside the sled, or push it with one foot and a ski pole. These boots, made from thick foam, with thick rubber soles, are designed for temperatures as low as -45°C. I can put them on over my light, insulated running shoes during the race. 2013 race starts March 3: www.iditarod.com

6

7

8

9 Doggy bag: Dallas Seavey’s huskies consume about 900kg of food during the Iditarod race. Dried food, made into a hot stew with melted snow, is carried on the sled and replenished at race checkpoints


11

10

WORDS: ULRICH CORAZZA. PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL DEYOUNG

1

2

12


MORE BODY & MIND

Gearing up: Rachel Atherton has upped her training regime in preparation for the new MTB downhill season

TRAINING WITH THE PROS

Work, rest, press play

RACHEL ATHERTON Food, fitness and films are vital elements in forging the reigning downhill mountain bike World Cup champion

Without a tough training regime, Rachel Atherton wouldn’t last long in the world of competitive downhill racing. “Downhill is a short, intense event,” says Atherton, 26. “You feel the burn after 30 seconds. Training helps us develop a high lactate threshold, so your body can process more lactic acid and ease that Rachel burn. Then you’ve got to have a strong upper body, legs Atherton and core, because your body’s taking such big impacts from the drops. When you crash at these speeds you have to be strong to hold yourself together, so we do a lot of weight training to help protect against injury.” But there’s an upside to taking the hard knocks. “ I pretty much eat what I want,” she says. “Some cyclists have to stay light, but in downhill a bit of extra weight helps you take the hits. I’d change sports if I had to be too strict.”

TOP TIP

The science of sleep

“Getting enough rest is something I struggle with. If I’m resting, I feel I’m not doing enough. But it’s also my secret weapon, and essential to good training. I’ve seen so many riders keep going until they eventually burn out or get injured. Your body needs a chance to recover, so you get the most out of your next session. For that reason I make sure I do it. Out of season, October to March, I do a morning session, then rest for a few hours so I’m fresh for an afternoon one. The time between winter workouts is all about watching movies and sleeping.”

UPHILL TASK Atherton does her off-season training at the North Wales home she shares with her brothers, Gee and Dan, both pro riders. This is her weekly regime through to the season-opener in March MONDAY & THURSDAY 9am: Gym workout. Warm-up, using a foam roller 10am: Circuit session with oneminute bursts. Repeat five times: • Lunges, holding a medicine ball overhead between steps • Press-up plank with a Bosu ball • Press-ups • Press/pull-ups using wall strap 11am-2pm: Rest 2-5pm: Cross-country bike ride TUESDAY & FRIDAY Weight-training day at the gym 9am: Upper body. Fifteen reps of the following: • Overhead presses • Flat bench-presses • Bent-over row with dumbbell 10.30am: Core work. One-minute bursts of front plank, side plank, Russian Twist with medicine ball 11.30am-2pm: Rest 2pm: Lower body. Foam roller warm-up for 15 minutes, then 15 minutes low intensity on the rowing machine. One-hour workout using a 5060kg barbell or squat bar. Fifteen reps each of squats, lunges, dead

lifts. Repeat set three times 3.30-6pm: Rest Evening: Yoga session, 1-2 hours WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY Skills day 9am until dark: One, or a combination, of downhill sessions, dirt jumps and riding motocross SUNDAY Morning: Yoga session, 1-2 hours

Rachel Atherton trains under the guidance of brother Gee

Check out Rachel Atherton in action in The Red Bulletin tablet version. Download it now for free www.athertonracing.co.uk

86

WORDS: RUTH MORGAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: SVEN MARTIN (2), YORICK CARROUX/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

WORK OUT


MUST-HAVES! 1

1

MOUNT ST ELIAS DVD

The multi-award-winning feature film from visionary director Gerald Salmina is now available internationally. Starring Axel Naglich, this awe-inspiring documentary follows three of the world’s greatest ski mountaineers to ‘The Man Eater’, Mount St Elias, where they risk life and limb in their attempt to realise the longest ski descent ever attempted. Available now on collector’s edition DVD/Blu-Ray and iTunes. www.mountstelias.com

2

2

SUUNTO AMBIT-SILVER

The Suunto Ambit-Silver is the first-ever GPS watch to combinine advanced training and heavy-duty outdoor features. Altitude, location, speed, heart rate, weather conditions – it is all at your fingertips. The Suunto Ambit is especially valued for its superior mechanical durability, reliable altitude measurement and water resistance. The screen can be switched from light to dark background for optimal visibility or stealth mode. RRP: €459.20. 3

BEAR GRYLLS FOLDING KNIFE

The Bear Grylls Scout Clip Folding Knife was designed with scouting in mind. This thin and lightweight folding knife is loaded with innovations. The half-serrated, high-carbon stainless steel, drop point blade is ideal for edge retention and cutting ropes. The ergonomic-textured rubber grip maximises comfort and reduces slippage and for easy single-hand opening, this knife has a dual-sided thumb stud and the lock blade locks the blade securely in place and maximises safety during closing. For convenient pocket carrying, this knife has a clip. RRP: €46.

3

4

4

SKINS MEN’S COMPRESSION TIGHTS

Whatever your sport, Skins A200 Men’s Compression Long Tights will boost your circulation, bringing more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles so you can perform better for longer. By strategically wrapping and supporting your muscles, these tights also reduce muscle vibration, so there is less risk of injury. Whether you’re a dedicated sports fiend or an active outdoors man, you’ll be sure to notice the difference. RRP: €69. Member’s Price: €65.55.

5

5

LOWA RENEGADE BOOTS

A classic among multifunctional footwear, Lowa Renegade Gore-Tex Mid Boots are perennial favourites for day hiking and short-haul, weekend backpacking because they're phenomenally comfortable, supportive and cushioned. The slightly stiffer nylon shank provides enhanced performance for hikers who tackle more rugged terrain, while the climatecontrol footbed has comfort perforations to improve breathability. RRP: €175. Member’s Price: €166.25.

6

6

BERGHAUS MERA PEAK II

PROMOTION

Cross rough terrain, climb rugged mountains and face extreme conditions with confidence in the Berghaus Men's Mera Peak II Gore-Tex Jacket. Constructed from tough and durable two-layer Gore-Tex and comes with Gore Extreme Wet Weather Guarantee – this jacket is built to protect you in the harshest of conditions. With a new contemporary design and an abundance of practical features, the Mera Peak II Gore-Tex Jacket is one of the most versatile mountain jackets on the market. RRP: €330. Member’s Price: €313.50.

All clothing and equipment available from 53 Degrees North: Blanchardstown, Carrickmines, Cork and online at

www.53degreesnorth.ie


MORE BODY & MIND

Bright sparks

THE SOUNDS OF 2013 #2

SOLAR BEARS After two years in hibernation, the Irish electronica duo are back with less of the same

Solar Bears’ Inner Sunshine EP and She Was Coloured In

88

Cinema plays a big part in the sonic world of Solar Bears. They’re named after a Russian sci-fi film by Andrei Tarkovsky for a start. There’s the love of experimental film that Dubliner John Kowalski and Wicklow native Rian Trench bonded over when they met at Pulse creative media college in Dublin. They formed the band in 2009 and their mix of programming, acoustic instrumentation, analogue synthesizers and vintage tape machines soon found favour. “We had six tracks completed within a couple of months of forming,” says Trench. “One of the people who fed back to us was Mike Paradinas from Planet Mu records. He told us he started to really get into our music one day while doing the washing-up.” Marigolds aside, it’s easy to see how Solar Bears’ sound can soundtrack moments of contemplation, sinkful of dirty

dishes or not. The breadth of their musical influences, including everything from freeform ambient washes to the rhythms of Krautrock, is reflected in the diversity of both their influences and their output. “I’m a big Krautrock fan, stuff like Neu, Harmonia, Cluster,” says Kowalski. “I also love Death in Vegas, Primal Scream, Vangelis and French composer Alain Goraguer – music that has an emotional core. I respect

Need to know THE LINE-UP Rian Trench – composition, production, instruments John Kowalski – composition, production DISCOGRAPHY She Was Coloured In (2010) Inner Sunshine EP (2010) Supermigration (2013)

people like Broadcast, Grizzly Bear, Björk and David Bowie. Artists with a fearless attitude who are always evolving.” And then there’s Boards of Canada whose narcoleptic synths and drowsy beats make them Solar Bears’ most obvious point of comparison. With that band on an open-ended hiatus there’s a definitely room for Kowalski and Trench’s particular brand of electronica. Planet Mu released Solar Bears’ debut album She Was Coloured In in 2010 and it was quickly praised by the blogosphere. Tracks such as the primitive analogue drone of The Quiet Planet and the understated dancefloor sensibility of Crystalline (Be Again) had online audiences clamouring for more, but the duo preferred not to rush-release a follow-up. “Sometimes when acts have a strong online profile they almost feel obliged to churn out music,” says Trench. “Our attitude was, and is, take as much time as we need. The new album’s taken us two years, on and off, to complete, but we’re really pleased with it.” Sessions for this second album, Supermigration, took


MORE BODY & MIND

WORDS: EAMONN SEOIGE. PHOTOGRAPHY: MARCUS CASSIDY (2)

Bears in their den: Rian Trench and John Kowalski (in hoodie)

place at The Meadow, the Wicklow studio which is owned and operated by Rian’s father, Fiachra Trench, an acclaimed arranger and composer who has worked with Paul McCartney, Kate Bush and Van Morrison, all of them known for their attention to detail and fastidiousness in the studio. Some of this has obviously rubbed off on Kowalski and Trench, as they constantly appraise the validity of their work and their processes. “Sometimes influences can feel very apparent, but if it’s too familiar we’ll scrap it and start again,” says Trench. “We’re often inspired by a soundtrack or a bizarre combination of instruments, but the main objective is always to produce something new every time.” And when inspiration eludes them, they go back to the thing that first brought them together: cinema. “We’ll often watch a film to try and soak up the stimulus and bring that chemistry to the track,” he says. “We like to develop things quickly and if it’s not happening after a day, it often gets ditched.”

“The new album has a lot more live instrumentation and less sampling,” says Kowalski. “It’s a less polite record than our debut, still melodic, but a lot of the tracks finish on major climaxes. Rian also played all the instruments on the album, everything from guitar to drums.” “I’ve played some of the new tracks to friends and some think it sounds like us and others are a little surprised with the departure,” continues Kowalski. “We’ve become more guitar-led and less lo-fi. I’m really looking forward to more people hearing it and seeing how they respond. We’ve worked so hard on the record, making sure each track’s the best it can possibly be.” The addition of live instruments to their sound has also inspired the duo to take the new album out on the road, expanding the line-up to a fivepiece to give them the scope to further develop the album in a live setting. “We want to develop as a live act and playing with a full band allows for more spontaneity,” says Trench. “It’s really exciting, this year should be a very interesting.”

“Our main objective is to produce something new every time”

The story so far Solar Bears are electronic music duo John Kowalski and Rian Trench. They met while attending a City & Guilds sound engineer course in 2005 and immediately became friends, bonded by their common interest in both music and world cinema. In early 2009, John was producing his first track and contacted production whizz Rian to help turn his vision into reality. Soon, the fledgling Solar Bears were taking their first steps, working on a series of tracks in a small attic space, armed with basic equipment and production software. Their love of movie soundtracks and sci-fi permeates their textured, atmospheric sounds as does a fascination with the electronic music innovators of the past 40 years. Trench and Kowalski adopt an open mind to musical composition, incorporating everything

from programming, live instruments and analogue equipment to create their grand soundscapes. Their debut album, She Was Coloured In, was released in 2010 by UK-based Planet Mu to general acclaim, highlighting Solar Bears as one of the most original acts in electronic music. They recently completed their follow-up album, Supermigration, due for release in April. In January 2012, Alpha People, a single from the album, introduced a slicker, pop-tinged sound with a guest vocal from Sarah P of Greek band Keep Shelly in Athens. The album will be predated by an online teaser, expected to land in February. This summer promises to be an eventful one with an extended series of gigs across Europe and a maiden tour of America in the works. www.soundcloud.com/ solar_bears

89


MORE BODY & MIND

Nightlife Whatever gets you through ’til dawn

DO IT

City-centre ice racing SWISS OPPORTUNITY: On March 2, the ice cross downhill world championship, Red Bull Crashed Ice, will be making its first stop in Lausanne, Switzerland, since 2009. TAKE YOUR MARKS: At 7pm in the city’s Place Saint François, the starter’s gun will propel the first four competitors along the 440m frozen track, purpose-built for this event. Entry is free. FAVOURITES: It’s hard to look past Canadian ace Kyle Croxall, who won the season-opener at Niagara Falls. The Swiss crowd will be pinning its hopes on homecountry boy Kilian Braun, who finished third behind Croxall in Canada.

OUT NOW

The atomic underdog Jamie Lidell He lives in the home of country music, married soul to electronica and now what? The funk His 2005 album Multiply brought soul back into the pop consciousness, a year before Amy Winehouse sparked a full-on soul revival with Back To Black. But a ride on the bandwagon is not something the 39-year-old Englishman enjoys: he is too much of a contrarian for that. On his new, eponymous album, he is reinventing funk, using the toolbox of electronica that has forged all of his music to date. If Prince was 20 years younger and embarking on his mid-career today, his music would sound like Jamie Lidell’s. You recorded your latest album in Nashville, the capital of country music. So how did it turn out so electronic?

90

The New York apartment I used to live in was too small. I have a big studio in Nashville, where I live now, and there I can finally use all my synthesisers. Do you look back on the soul revival of the mid 2000s and feel part of it? When I delivered Multiply to my record label they didn’t understand at first. A soul album? They were expecting something more electronic, but there was electronic stuff on there too. Amy Winehouse really pulled off the Motown thing, whereas I felt more comfortable in the role of the abstract soul guy. What music inspires you? You spend a lot of time listening to the radio in your car in Nashville. There’s one great radio station. Its anthem is Atomic Dog by George Clinton. They play the song at least once a week. I love it. I've even been calling myself ‘Atomic Underdog’ ever since.

Jamie Lidell (Warp) is released on February 18. Samples, and tour dates, at: www.jamielidell.com

WISE WORDS

“ Night is the other half of life, and the better half ” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer (1749-1832)


WHAT SUP

Umhlanga Sling

WORDS: FLORIAN OBKIRCHER. PHOTOGRAPHY: PICTUREDESK.COM, JOERG MITTER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, GREEN VALLEY (4), FOTOSTUDIO EISENHUT & MAYER

Kelly John Bauwer is the star behind the bar at the five-star Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, a city a few clicks south of Durban on South Africa’s east coast. He has concocted the Umhlanga (pronounced ‘umshlanga’) Sling, a fresh and fruity refreshment, with a hint of mint. Bauwer is raising this glass with a nod to the legendary Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, from where the Singapore Sling went global. Perhaps its South African cousin will follow.

CLUB GREEN VALLEY

INGREDIENTS Crushed ice 8 mint leaves 1 part cachaça 1 part mango juice 1 part pineapple juice Pineapple and mint to garnish

METHOD Muddle the mint in the ice in the glass (as you would for a mojito). Add the cachaça and the juices. Garnish with pineapple and mint.

GREEN VALLEY Rua Mamoré, 1083, Rio Pequeno, Camboriú, Brazil www.greenvalley.art.br

CLUB

“We give the DJ a dry ice bazooka” Green Valley Superstar DJs like Erick Morillo and Steve Angello agree: the best club in the world is in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest Our name refers to… The location. You will find us in a valley in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by lakes, about 1,000km south along the coast from Rio. There are hardly any walls; the club is basically an open area. At Green Valley we celebrate the harmony of technology and nature.

The place holds... Up to 10,000 people. We've had that many in: our record crowd was for a David Guetta show. The average attendance is about 4-6,000. The best parties happen... During the summer season in Brazil, which runs from December to the carnival in February. Then, the club opens at 11pm and closes at 7am. Things really get going when... The four fire machines send huge flames into the air. The DJ is also equipped with a bazuca de CO2 – a dry ice machine gun – which is aimed and fired into the audience. If you get hungry, there’s food in... In our very own pizzeria. It has a lounge with sofas, and a fantastic view across the lakes. Superstar DJs agree that... Green Valley is the best club in the world. Ask any of them: Erick Morillo, Armin Van Buuren, Steve Angello. They will all tell you that. Interview: Eduardo Philipps, co-owner

91


MORE BODY & MIND

YELLOW SUBMARINE (1966) “At first, the track seems like a children’s song, with a catchy melody and simple lyrics telling the story of a man who sailed to sea. Listen closely, though, and you’ll discover a fantastic audio drama built with the sounds of breaking waves, a submarine and a brass band. To me, it’s the sonic equivalent of a Vermeer painting where you can see a painting on the wall: a picture within a picture.”

TAKE 3

All you need is computerlove Karl Bartos The electro-pop legend, now releasing a fourth solo album after 15 years in Kraftwerk, acknowledges the influence the Fab Four had on the German giants of electronic music

When Kraftwerk introduced electronica into pop music’s bloodstream in the mid 1970s, it was Karl Bartos who programmed the rhythms of songs such as The Model and Computerlove. Bartos, a classically trained percussionist, joined the group in 1975, just as their futuristic sounds, iconic imagery and socialist ideals fused into something special. He left in 1990, going on to write and record music (with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, among others) and teach auditory media design at Berlin University of the Arts. For his new album, Off The Record, he delves into his archive of Kraftwerkera home recordings to fashion nostalgic electro. Drawing on memory is a key element in his career, and, in turn, the development of electronic music. When he first heard A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles, aged 12, in 1964, he thought he’d been struck by lightning. “I was drawn deeply to the music of the ’60s, particularly The Beatles, and eventually became a musician,” Bartos says. “Without the work of the guys from Liverpool, my contribution to the so-called ‘electro sound’ would not have been possible.” www.karlbartos.de

92

TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS (1966) “With its 128bpm, this track predates the dancefloor sound by 30 years. This is the genuine beat played by Ringo Starr: a constant drone over which John Lennon sings, his voice fed through a Leslie speaker cabinet, quoting from Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience. Then you hear loops flying in and out like UFOs or psychedelic dreams.”

BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! (1967) “By using different meters and music, such as that of the Victorian era, this song evokes the perfect circus soundscape. The most striking part is the steam organ solo. The tape recordings were made from historic steam organs and then cut into snippets and pasted together in a different order to avoid melodic connotations. This recontextualisation opened the door for all of us.”

NIGHT SNACK

Cape Town Gatsby

What inspired South Africa’s favourite street food sandwich? F Scott Fitzgerald’s decadence? Robert Redford’s flat cap? Or an empty fish and chip shop?

WHAT SHOULD A GATSBY BE ABLE TO DO? First and foremost, fill you up. Which a Gatsby really has no problem doing. A Gatsby is a huge sandwich that can have all sorts of fillings. You cut the bread and cover it with lettuce. Then come the various fillings: masala steak, chicken, polony, frankfurters, fish, even calamari. But for it to deserve the name Gatsby, it also has to have a ton of French fries, and sauces like Thousand Island dressing or achar, an Indian chutneylike condiment of pickled fruit, such as mangoes.


WORDS: FLORIAN OBKIRCHER. PHOTOGRAPHY: KATJA RUGE, FOTOSTUDIO EISENHUT & MAYER

PROBABLY THE TRUE STORY OF WHERE IT CAME FROM... There are several versions of how the Gatsby came about. The boring version is people simply took whatever they found in the fridge and stuffed it between two pieces of bread.

...THE ONE THAT ALMOST CERTAINLY ISN’T TRUE, FEATURING A MAORI CHIEF... This far-fetched version of events says a Maori tribal chief was the great Gatsby maker. A lover of French food, he is said to have taken a baguette and cut it in half. Then he put in some polony, put the two pieces of bread back together and took a bite. In the 1980s, the chief is said to have shown off his invention at a rugby match in South Africa. The people of Cape Town liked it.

... AND THE ONE ABOUT ROBERT REDFORD, WHICH COULD BE The third creation myth. One day in 1976, fish-and-chip proprietor Rashaad Pandy ran out of fish, prompting him to come up with a type of sandwich, to feed a bunch of day labourers, which contained everything Pandy could get his hands on. The first Gatsby was made using a loaf of bread as round as the flat cap Robert Redford wore in The Great Gatsby, which was showing in a cinema close by.

WHERE CAN YOU GET THE BEST GATSBY? This is the subject of much debate in Cape Town. Ottery Farm Stall, in the south-east of the city, tops many lists. Some people prefer Golden Dish, near the Royal Cape Golf Club. Super Fisheries, in Athlone, the shop belonging to the supposed inventor, Rashaad Pandy, also has its followers. SIZE MATTERS A Gatsby is enough food to feed a family, so in times of people paying greater attention to what they eat, you can now find a Half Gatsby or a Quarter Gatsby on many menus.

93


MORE BODY & MIND

World In Action 8

February/ March 2013

5 6 1

2

9

Sport 20.2-3.3.2013, VAL DI FIEMME, ITALY

Nordic World Ski Championships The Fiemme Valley is the venue for the 49th Nordic World Ski Championships and, as the name suggests, athletes will be strapping two planks to their feet to compete in events including ski jumping, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined skiing. If 2011 is anything to go by, the competition will be dominated by Norway and Austria. Norwegians Petter Northug and Marit Bjørgen won seven golds and three silvers in the cross-country events, while the ski jumping belonged to Austria, with Gregor Schlierenzauer, Thomas Morgenstern and Daniela Iraschko taking gold.

1

1

3

2-13.3.2013, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA

3

ASP World Tour It’s already one of the busiest surfing locations in the world, but Australia’s Gold Coast is going to get a whole lot busier with the start of this year’s professional surfing season. The area is home to a 2km man-made ‘super bank’, which creates some of the longest waves in the world – perfect for competition. Local champions Stephanie Gilmore, who has already won four times on the Gold Coast, and Joel Parkinson will be looking to defend their respective Roxy Pro and Quicksilver Pro World Champion titles.

3

2 Stephanie Gilmore in the Gold Coast waves 3-10.3.2013, CHILE

Petter Northug was way out ahead in 2011

Atacama Crossing

2-19.3.2013, FUKUOKA & TOKYO (JAP), SAN JUAN (PUR), PHOENIX, MIAMI & SAN FRANCISCO (USA), TAICHUNG (TWN)

Part of the notorious 4 Deserts series, this ultra-marathon will see 200 hardy souls drag their aching bodies 250km across the world’s driest desert. The Atacama ‘enjoys’ just 0.5mm of rain per year – that’s 50 times less than Death Valley in the US. Lack of moisture isn’t the only thing the self-supporting runners will have to deal with: the huge fluctuations in temperature between day (40°C) and night (5°C) and the altitude (up to 3,000m) combine to make their job a lot harder, which makes last year’s winner, Vicente Juan García Beneito’s new record of 23 hours and 46 minutes all the more impressive.

4

World Baseball Classic This is the only tournament of its kind to feature professional players from all the major leagues around the world, including US Major League Baseball. Pitting the world’s 16 best teams against each other, the final is on March 19 at the AT&T Park in San Francisco. The previous tournaments, held in 2006 and 2009, saw Japan victorious both times.

2

94

Will Japan win its third World Baseball Classic?


MORE BODY & MIND

10

2 2

16.2.2013, OKAYAMA, JAPAN

Hadaka Matsuri

7 2

No, Spencer Tunick isn’t putting together an installation in Japan. Rather the 9,000 half-naked men wandering through the streets of Okayama are taking part in a Japanese ritual that dates back to 767BC. The point of this anarchic clothelessness is the absolving of the men’s evil deeds by Shin-otoko, the spiritual head of the festival. The spectacle attracts tens of thousands from all over the world, but don’t worry, the participants’ modesty remains intact. Well, you wouldn’t want to be totally naked in sub-zero temperatures, would you?

9

2

9

4

12.2.2013, NEW ORLEANS, USA

Mardi Gras

Since 1857, New Orleans has been making the most of the run up to Lent with Fat Tuesday. Up to a million people, many in fancy dress, take over the city’s French Quarter, as brass bands and brightly decorated floats make their way through the streets. Traditions such as the throwing of beaded necklaces into the crowd, and the scoffing of barbecued treats, have made the celebration renowned the world over, but despite what may have heard, public nudity is still illegal, so cover up to enjoy the party.

7

5-10.3.2013, VOSS, NORWAY

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Championships

6

For the first time ever, the Freestyle Skiing World Championships are to be held on Norwegian snow. The competition will take place 100km east of Bergen and spectators can enjoy athletes being judged on aerials, moguls, dual moguls, ski cross, halfpipes and slopestyle. This year’s contest is the 15th; the last was held in 2011 at the American resort of Deer Valley. There, the Canadians dominated with a team including Jennifer Heil and Alexandre Bilodeau taking no fewer than eight out of 12 gold medals.

PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES (3), TODD GLASER, PICTUREDESK.COM, ICE ALASKA KAREN H. CLAUTICE

5

Berlinale

If you think your local cinema has long queues, spare a thought for the 430,000 filmgoers attending the Berlinale, the world’s largest public film festival. This 63rd edition is showing 400 films over a 10-day period with a prize, the Golden Bear, being awarded at the end. This year, the jury will be presided over by Chinese director Wong Kar-wai (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love). Claude Lanzmann, the French director best known for his nine-anda-half-hour Holocaust documentary Shoah, will receive an honorary lifetime achievement award.

6

26.2-31.3.2013, FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, USA

World Ice Art Championships The chainsaw was not made with creativity in mind, yet every year the world’s biggest ice art festival brings together the best ice-sculptors from 30 countries and lets them loose on blocks of frozen water. Ornate mythical creatures, delicate palaces and huge statues attract 50,000 spectators into the temporary open-air museum. Teams taking part in the Single Block Classic competition are each given a 40-tonne block of ice that they have two days to turn into art. No shortage of ice cubes, either.

10

Culture 7-17.2.2013, BERLIN, GERMANY

Not a lot on in Okayama

10

New jury president at the Berlinale: Wong Kar-wai 15-16.2.2013, REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

Sónar Reykjavik

Known for a somewhat sunnier festival experience, the team behind Sónar are heading north to the Icelandic capital for a weekend of eclectic electronica. With more theatres per capita and more successful musicians – notably Björk, Sigur Rós and Emiliana Torrini – than any other city of its size, Reykjavik is Europe’s chilly creative centre. International stars including James Blake, Squarepusher and Modeselektor will be performing alongside Icelandic artists such as GusGus, Ólafur Arnalds and Retro Stefson.

8

Icely done: the World Ice Art Championships

95


MORE BODY & MIND

Save The Date February, March & April FEBRUARY 16-17; MARCH 1

Northern nights

FEBRUARY 16

On track Track and field stars of London 2012 are heading back to competition, this time in Birmingham, for the British Athletics Grand Prix. Last year, the event provided a hint of Olympic glory to come, when Jessica Ennis won the 60m hurdles and Mo Farah broke the British and European indoor two-mile records in front of a home crowd. This year, athletes including Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, will hope results point to a similarly successful 2013. www.uka.org.uk

Feature film: Red Bull Flow Hunters has top billing on The Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour UNTIL APRIL 13

Action! No need to travel in search of adventure: action is coming to a screen near you. Two film festivals will celebrate all things adrenalin with new and rarely screened tales of hair-raising, eye-wateringly tough sporting endeavour. The Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour, with dates across the UK and Ireland, includes Red Bull Flow Hunters, an epic white-water tour of New Zealand, and Wideboyz, the story of two British crack climbers who conquered one of the world’s most difficult cracks after two years practising in a Sheffield cellar. The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival weekend continues the on-screen action with 75 indoor screenings and the Red Bull Cityscape outdoor cinema, along with live talks from athletes, including Liverpudlian freerunner Ryan Doyle and mountain bike superstar trio the Athertons. www.banffcentre.ca www.shaff.co.uk

FROM MARCH 6

Wicked cricket The England cricket team enters the final leg of its winter 2012-13 efforts with a three-Test series in New Zealand. With one-day and T20 kit packed away, the men in white will be hoping for a repeat of their last visit, in 2008, when Monty Panesar bowled them to series victory. Both sides are much changed since then, but Panesar will be back in contention and Stuart Broad (right), a newbie on that tour five years ago, will be hoping to regain his Test place. www.ecb.co.uk

96

FEBRUARY 24; MARCH 22

The gloves are on Olympic boxing gold medallist Katie Taylor takes to the ring on home soil, with two fights in Dublin. It’s a homecoming that also begins a quest to defend her London 2012 title in three years’ time. The 26-year-old’s first steps on the road to Rio 2016 will be cheered by capacity crowds, as fans grab the opportunity to see the Bray lightweight in action. The Women’s European Boxing Championships, rumoured for Dublin, follow later this

Dublin bouts: 2012 Olympics hero Katie Taylor

year, then the world championships in Canada in 2014 take Taylor closer to her dream of a second gold. www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

WORDS: RUTH MORGAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: MILES HOLDEN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, ACTION IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES

South London dubstep pioneer Benga is heading north to support fellow capital dweller Example on his UK tour. The DJ/producer will ensure he’s last back on the tour bus, as he hosts a series of late-night after parties, starting at the Cosmic Ballroom, Newcastle, on February 16, followed by The Arches, Glasgow, on February 17, and Joshua Brooks, Manchester, on March 1. Can’t join the party? Go online and watch the warts-n-all web series I Am Benga. www.redbullstudios.com/iambenga


ILLUSTRATION: DIETMAR KAINRATH

K A I N R AT H

97


F

or someone of my years and habits, age has not withered me (much). I can do a six-minute mile and, even if I feel bit puffed after three flights, I run up stairs two at a time. Thus, since I am above-average articulate, way aboveaverage confident and possess an impressive left profile which hides incipient jowls, I am often asked: “Why aren’t you on television more often?” The answer is simple. Being on television is a demeaning, destructive, boring and exasperating way of wasting time and spirit. In some ways it resembles flying – lurching from long periods of shrieking, foreheadslapping boredom to contrasting short moments of acute, debilitating panic. On telly or in flight, you are incarcerated in an unhealthy, sealed environment which crackles with nasty static and disgusts with bad smells. Your entire being is in the hands of others reluctant to share the dark secrets of their art. Your company is total strangers more concerned about their well-being than yours. Those 15 or 20 seconds of polished, to-camera face-time have likely been achieved only after many phone conversations or email exchanges, and hours either eating filthy sandwiches in an airless and squalid ‘green room’ or trying to keep warm on the streets, followed by a silly conversation with a distracted presenter who is in any case listening to something else in an earpiece. For a very brief contribution I once made to a popular news programme, I later calculated that each word had cost the broadcaster about £200. Spiritually, it had cost me more. Of course, TV professionals argue that the built-in redundancy of spending hours to achieve seconds is evidence of a commitment to excellence at all costs. It is evidence only of bloated complacency. The process is at its worst when you are, as I sometimes am – but will no

Mind’s Eye

Switched Off Don’t stay tuned for Stephen Bayley – he’s turned off television for good longer be, I think, after this column is printed – tapped up to appear in a prime-time series. This process begins with someone called a Development Producer, usually a young woman of well-favoured aspect and limited analytical means. She checks out your willingness and strokes your trembling vanity, saying the entire channel admires your work. If all goes well, you are invited to make a pilot programme for the Caesar-in-the-Roman-Forum, thumbs up-or-down decision of a high-up briefly prised out of a fashionable Soho restaurant to determine the cut and colour of next year’s schedule. There is something wrong with television people. They are ingratiating, but disingenuous. Fearlessly exploitative of people and resources, they are not at all brave or independent-minded. Everywhere there is a lazy political correctness incongruously combined with wince-making, rabble-rousing tabloid tastes. They are allergic to bold

ideas or unusual styles and stupefied by conventional patterns of thought. They have been made arrogant by contact with wealth and talent they do not possess and derive mean pleasures by cynically manipulating the people they deal with. Meanwhile, on the technical side, directors pretend to a visual connoisseurship beyond their intellectual means and still, in the days when we all have HD video recording technology in our smartphones, assume that contact with a piece of swanky kit confers a mysterious authority absolving them from the constraints of good manners. I have been through this recently. Months of schmoozing had got me, reluctantly, but also a bit excitedly, to the verge of commitment to a “major” series. I had just one proviso: involvement was conditional on the other participants. Not that I am a snob. Ask anyone who matters. I just like the best and know what will work and what will not. Of course, they nodded in choreographed unison, emphasising how the entire future of broadcasting depended on my being able to articulate intellectually significant ideas in a style which the French call haute vulgarisation. This is what I enjoy: you can make important ideas popular, but that’s not the same as saying that which is popular is important. The day before the shoot, they turn up with a footballer’s wife as an accomplice and tell me we are to spend two days in a West Country council estate in a Winnebago with coal-effect fires. It was all over when a lanyarded and clipboarded weasel in an amusing T-shirt assured me of “fun”. I told him I detest “fun”, much preferring a walk in the rain. So that, since you have followed the inquiry this far, is why I do not appear on television more often. Stephen Bayley is an award-winning writer and a former director of the Design Museum in London

THE RED BULLETIN United Kingdom: The Red Bulletin is published by Red Bull Media House GmbH Editor-in-Chief Robert Sperl Deputy Editor-in-Chief Alexander Macheck General Manager Wolfgang Winter Publisher Franz Renkin UK & Ireland Editor Paul Wilson Contributing Editor Stefan Wagner Chief Sub-editor Nancy James Deputy Chief Sub-editor Joe Curran Production Editor Marion Wildmann Chief Photo Editor Fritz Schuster Deputy Photo Editors Ellen Haas, Catherine Shaw, Rudolf Übelhör Creative Director Erik Turek Art Director Kasimir Reimann Design Martina de Carvalho-Hutter, Silvia Druml, Miles English, Kevin Goll, Peter Jaunig, Carita Najewitz Staff Writers Ulrich Corazza, Werner Jessner, Ruth Morgan, Florian Obkircher, Arkadiusz Piatek, Andreas Rottenschlager Corporate Publishing Boro Petric (head), Christoph Rietner (chief-editor); Dominik Uhl (art director); Markus Kucera (photo director); Lisa Blazek (editor); Christian Graf-Simpson, Daniel Kudernatsch (app) Head of Production Michael Bergmeister Production Wolfgang Stecher (mgr), Walter Sádaba Repro Managers Clemens Ragotzky (head), Karsten Lehmann, Josef Mühlbacher Finance Siegmar Hofstetter, Simone Mihalits Marketing & Country Management Barbara Kaiser (head), Stefan Ebner, Johanna Jenewei, Elisabeth Salcher, Lukas Scharmbacher, Peter Schiffer, Julia Schweikhardt, Sara Varming Advertising enquiries Deirdre Hughes +35 (0) 3 86 2488504. The Red Bulletin is published in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Website www.redbulletin.com. Head office: Red Bull Media House GmbH, Oberst-Lepperdinger-Strasse 11-15, A-5071 Wals bei Salzburg, FN 297115i, Landesgericht Salzburg, ATU63611700. 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.The Red Bulletin (Ireland): Susie Dardis, Richmond Marketing, 1st Floor Harmony Court, Harmony Row, Dublin 2, Ireland +35 386 8277993. Printed by Prinovis Liverpool Ltd, www.prinovis.com Write to us: email letters@redbulletin.com

THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE RED BULLETIN IS OUT ON MARCH 5, 8 & 9 98

ILLUSTRATION: VON

MORE BODY & MIND


Cold Smoke Awards: Best Overall Film & Best Cinematography

Filmfestival Thunersee: Best Documentary

Byron Bay International Film Festival: Best Documentary Award

Internationales Bergund Abenteuerfilmfestival Graz: Kamera Alpin in Gold Award

Anchorage International Film Festival: Special Performance

Newport Beach Film Festival: Audience Award Winner Action Sports Feature

Whistler Film Festival: Best Mountain Culture Film

IF ALL GOES WELL YOU ARE A HERO. IF IT GOES WRONG YOU ARE DEAD.

AVAILABLE NOW COLLECTORS EDITION

includes DVD, Blu Ray, and Digital Download

and on iTUNES

PLANETWATCH GMBH & CO KEG PRESENTS “MOUNT ST. ELIAS” CO-STARRING PAUL CLAUS STEVEN SIIG RUEDI HOMBERGER DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY GUENTHER GOEBERL CAMERAS GUENTHER GOEBERL PETER THOMPSON MICHAEL KELEM CHRISTOF OEFELEIN JIM SURETTE ROBERT FROST FRANZ RECKENWALD MIKE SINGLE MUSIC ANDREAS FREI LUDWIG HEILE MATT REARDON DOLBY MIX TREMENS FILM-TONSTUDIO ANMATION BERND WARMUTH KARIM SHAFIK MICHAEL SUMPER LOCAL LINE PRODUCER JOHN MARKEL ANDY SALEK BEZI FREINADEMETZ EXECUTIVE STORY COMMISSIONER PHILIPP MANDERLA EXECUTIVE PRODUCER GERALD SALMINA WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY GERALD SALMINA

MOUNTSTELIAS.COM

Whistler Film Festival: Best Mountain Culture Film


The Red Bulletin February 2013 - KW  

Inside a Volcano - New Zealand cameraman Geoff Mackley films natural disasters for a living.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you