Ashley Fiolek / Jeanette Kwakye / Daniel Ricciardo / Mark Webber / Jamie Woon / Jamie xx / Jay-Z
an almost independent monthly magazine
THE STROKES New album
Muddy Hell JUNGLE Formula 1
Start your engines for the Amazon GP Only Connect stephen bayley
On why we need to always be in touch
Man Alive Our epic story Human Planet
MUSIC Clubs travel food gear
FATE DOESNâ€™T ASK. IT COuLD ALSO bE mE. Or yOu. David Coulthard,
13-fold Formula 1 GP Champion and Wings for Life ambassador.
SPINAL COrD INJury muST bECOmE CurAbLE. In funding the best research projects worldwide focusing on the cure of spinal cord injury, the Wings for Life Spinal Cord research Foundation guarantees top-level medical and scientific progress.
your contribution makes a difference. Donate on www.wingsforlife.com
life class Somewhere, right now, on this big, blue planet we call home, a fellow human being is doing something utterly remarkable – yet something that by their standards is routine, humdrum, run of the mill. Just as you, dear reader, might hop onto a train and join thousands of others on a daily commute to the workplace, thinking nothing of it, so will one of Malaysia’s Bajau people, who live in a community of precarious water huts poking out of the coral sea between the Philippines and Borneo, have got up this morning, stretched, stepped out of the front door and dived straight into the sea to catch a fish or three for breakfast. Meantime, deep in the forests of Yandombe, in the Central African Republic, a Ba’Aka pygmy might have sung a verse of praise to the jungle gods that have provided shelter, warmth, food and water. Further north, in the almost perma-frozen Arctic, families on Greenland will have allowed themselves to start thinking of the return of sunny days after the longest, darkest winter, with barely three daily hours of sunlight from October to February. That’s before setting off for a spot of whale-watching. As you’ll be reminded by the centrepiece of this issue, our Human Planet photo-reportage, ‘life’ is seven billion different things to seven billion different people – yet each individual experience of this ‘same’ thing is as real as the next, just as each feels as normal from the inside as it might appear alien to an outsider.
Photographer Timothy Allen spent 18 months accompanying the team who filmed the Human Planet documentary. The result is an amazing collection of images. See his work starting on page 30
Cover Photography: Timothy Allen/BBC 2010. Photography: Patrick Murray
Your editorial team
welcome to the world of Red Bull
Inside your all-action Red Bulletin this month
Bullevard 16 HERE IS THE NEWS Including Awolnation’s ‘megalithic’ music 19 jeanette kwayke Her Olympic goal couldn’t be clearer: she can see the new stadium from home 20 manny Marroquin Mix booth magic from the man with the sharpest hearing this side of Big Ears 21 Where’s YOUR HEAD AT: Jay-Z From NYC unknown to the world’s hippest hopper. Gotta fry your brain, right?
22 KIT BAG Wooden rims served cycling’s greatest champ well; now carbon makes ’em dated 24 Jamie woon Keeping it in the family with his ma on debut album backing vocals
26 WINNING FORMULA Wearing a wingsuit, a BASE-jumper can fly like, ahem, a squirrel… 28 LUCKY NUMBERS As The Space Shuttle shuffles off, The Bulletin asks: “What’s out there…?”
Action 30 HUMAN PLANET It takes all sorts… The story of mankind’s extraordinary population of planet Earth 46 Webber and ricciardo Both Aussies, both super-quick F1 drivers, but can either sing Waltzing Matilda? 50 THE AMAZON GRAND PRIX Meantime, deep in Brazil’s rainforest, this is what motorsport looks like 58 SKIING IN LEBANON Ski in the mountains north-east of Beruit? Huh? Yes, dear reader, you really can 66 ASHLEY FIOLEK Too fast for her motocross rivals – even if she can’t hear them coming 74 DIE ANTWOORD “Where did they come from?” We have the answer on SA’s hottest rappers 04
More Body & Mind 84 red bull X-fighters turns 10 How to get the most from the biggest FMX-fest you’re likely to see
PHotography: Marcelo Maragni, Timothy Allen/BBC, Marcin Kin, getty Images, Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool, Red Bull Records, Alan Mahon, Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
86 GET THE GEAR The unique challenge of Red Bull Crashed Ice calls for some pretty specialised kit 88 PRO TIPS Three hundred chin-ups before breakfast? Now that’s a workout, kayaker-stylee 89 THE STROKES Guitarist Nick Valensi spills on album #4 90 CUCINA MAXIMUS With this month’s dish, upon the humble tails of oxen, was built the Roman Empire. Plus this month’s Hangar-7 chef 92 World’s best clubs Dancefloor thrills with luxury frills at Dublin’s most talked-about venue 93 Take 5: Jamie xx The ambient mood-master on the five discs that inspired a career in music 94 The LIST Because we know you can’t do everything, this is our guide to the global essentials in sport and music 96 save the date Out and about this month? Ink these into your diary right now. Go on! Every Month 06 Kainrath’s calendar 08 pictures of the month 98 mind’s eye
out Now The Rapp Bulletin
the Red Bulletin goes iPad
50 Cent for free FROM 12.4.11 in the iTunes store
illustration: dietmar kainrath
K a i n r at h
sprints into action. and keeps on going. fits i n s
port you s sh r orts
When you’re working out, it’s good to have extra gas in your tank. Which is where a Red Bull Energy Shot comes in. Its compact size and 60ml volume means you can easily tuck it into a shorts pocket or training jacket. And with no carbonation and no need to chill you
can carry, and use it, just about anywhere. Red Bull Energy Shots aren’t designed for re-hydration, but they deliver energy in just a few sips, helping you all the way to your warm down. It’s concentrated energy from Red Bull.
the only shot that gives you wings.
play icely Boys will beveriusti boys. And whensl those boys are top-line skaters from Lenit disciplines as diverse as ice hockey or speed skating, and they’re on a purpose-built ice raceway through one of the world’s great cities, then a bit of rough and tumble is bound to result. These conum incil ip etueracers, minimcompeting volut autatinutround praessequis ice cross downhill three of the 2011 nullandreet dignaIce commolore magnism odipis dit dio feugue Red Bull Crashed World Championship, are part of aeugrowing dolore dolortis nonsectet laor sim quam vulla nim ice illaor clan that has taken an obscure discipline from,commy ahem, thin si.Unt ilitone ventofniam eliquis aci bla aut wis nulla faccumsan to being the fastest-growing winter sports. This kind ulla commy atemfew quis lutat. exer adiate of streetnulput racinginisullutat something ofdelit us have yetOn witnessed, magnibh aliquisi tiohas commod tat, volore exer ad dunt adit, so any of ea these events pulling power measured in tens of consed tie cor suscidui ditAnd nonwith ut utat incidunt dio includes conullandio thousands of spectators. a venue list that the eugait wissectem nos del Munich, ute te dip euis eugue voleniscip elit city centres of Lausanne, Moscow, Quebec City, Prague am ver iuscill ummolorper aliquisislif eu facip ea feuisl and Stockholm, don’t be surprised four skaters blastduis past you. www.redbullcrashedice.com ercip eugue dolore magna feum
Lenit veriusti sl
conum incil ip etue minim volut autat ut praessequis nullandreet digna commolore magnism odipis dit dio eu feugue dolore dolortis nonsectet laor sim quam vulla commy nim illaor si.Unt ilit vent niam eliquis aci bla aut wis nulla faccumsan ulla commy nulput in ullutat atem quis numsandre delit lutat. On exer adiate magnibh ea tio tat, volore exer ad dunt adit, consed tie cor suscidui blandrem dit non ut utat incidunt dio conullandio eugait wissectem nos del ute te dip euis eugue voleniscip elit am ver iuscill ummolorper aliquisisl eu facip ea feuisl duis ercip eugue dolore magna feum
Lenit veriusti sl
conum incil ip etue minim volut autat ut praessequis nullandreet digna commolore magnism odipis dit dio eu feugue dolore dolortis nonsectet laor sim quam vulla commy nim illaor si.Unt ilit vent niam eliquis aci bla aut wis nulla faccumsan ulla commy nulput in ullutat atem quis numsandre delit lutat. On exer adiate magnibh ea tio tat, volore exer ad dunt adit, consed tie cor suscidui blandrem dit non ut utat incidunt dio conullandio eugait wissectem nos del ute te dip euis eugue voleniscip elit am ver iuscill ummolorper aliquisisl eu facip ea feuisl duis ercip eugue dolore magna feum
Credits photography: J端rgen Skarwan
mount beauty, australia
photography: rutgerpauw.com/Red Bull Content Pool
Not your average skate park quarter-pipe, is it? When Red Bull Dirt Pipe contest director Mike Daly said the event was all about doing things a little bigger, he wasn’t kidding. He picked a spot in the Australian mountains, deep in the bush, and designed a series of slopes and curves that had the assembled BMX glitterati as awestruck as they were excited. “I think the best way to describe it,” says British BMX Dirt rider Kye Forte, “is that it’s like a snowpark-style half-pipe, but with plenty of street park-style hits built into it. And it’s fast!” Pre-event rain threatened to turn this sublimely sculpted series of runs into a mudbath, but fearsome Aussie rays managed to pack the surface hard in time for competition. Video highlights at en.redbulletin.com/dirtpipe
Anaheim, california, USA
Anyone fancy telling Supercross teen sensation Kyle Regal that pink is for girls? His competitors don’t, for they recognise in Puerto Rican Regal a talent that has been honed in the school of hard knocks. Regal, 19, has spent the past two years motorhoming around the US Supercross circuit, carving out a reputation as one of the sport’s future stars. Supercross is American-style motocross: indoors and highly technical, placing great demands on riders’ handling skills. This is California’s Angel Stadium, which this time was not a happy hunting ground for Regal, who finished 12th, while his San Manuel Yamaha team-mate James Stewart won outright. But you can be sure it’s just a temporary setback, as Regal likes things tough: “My trainer is an ex US Marine and he’s kinda gnarly,” he says. “But I need a tough person to get me in the right direction.” More pics at en.redbulletin.com/regal
photography: Matt Pavelek/Red Bull Content Pool
Yosemite valley, california , USA
I EYE CAPITAN
photography: Paul Nicklen/national geographic/getty images
Bugs on a tree? No, it’s a men on a rock face – more specifically, two rather brave climbers tackling the renowned south-west face of the El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Were we able to ‘zoom out’ from this pic, the daunting, sheer nature of El Capitan would be more obvious: it’s a 3,000ft hunk of Cretaceous granite, rising almost vertically out of the Yosemite Valley basin. And therein lies the challenge for keen rock-scalers: a lot of mountains are much taller and other ranges attract more violent atmospheric conditions, but there are few lumps of rock that really put the ‘climb’ into ‘climbing’ quite like ‘El Capi’ (as the mountain brethren know it). Now search for more daredevil climbers at www.redbull.com
Lenit veriusti sl
conum incil ip etue minim volut autat ut praessequis nullandreet digna commolore magnism odipis dit dio eu feugue dolore dolortis nonsectet laor sim quam vulla commy nim illaor si.Unt ilit vent niam eliquis aci bla aut wis nulla faccumsan ulla commy nulput in ullutat atem quis numsandre delit lutat. On exer adiate magnibh ea tio tat, volore exer ad dunt adit, consed tie cor suscidui blandrem dit non ut utat incidunt dio conullandio eugait wissectem nos del ute te dip euis eugue voleniscip elit am ver iuscill ummolorper aliquisisl eu facip ea feuisl duis ercip eugue dolore magna feum
Bullevard Sporting endeavour and cultural excellence from around the world
You and your crew Would you like to sail one of the world’s most exciting racing boats with a crew of leading professionals? On April 30, a charity dinner in Hochfügen, Austria, will raise funds for the Wings For Life spinal cord research foundation. For the price of a dinner ticket, you can share five courses with WFL ambassadors such as F1 champ Sebastian Vettel. At the after-dinner auction you can bid for the chance to be the fifth man on the Red Bull Extreme sailing boat next time it races, under skipper Roman Hagara. See below for the crew list for that fantastic voyage. Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roman Hagara Skipper The man at the wheel making the decisions is a double Olympic gold-medal winner and one of Europe’s leading sailors.
Hans-Peter Steinacher Tactician Hagara’s right-hand man for over a decade, including the Olympic wins. Has one eye on the weather even when asleep.
Craig Monk Bowman Two-time winner of the Americas Cup, his duties as bowman include hoisting/lowering sails and watching for other boats.
will howden Trimmer Responsible for the rigging, and the control of the sails therewith. Howden is a veteran of the Extreme 40 racing circuit.
YOU! Fifth Man Saying ‘thisisawesomethisisawesome’ over and over in your head, you are moveable ballast. It is one of the great days of your life.
PICTURES OF THE MONTH
every shot on target Email your pictures with a Red Bull flavour to email@example.com. Every one we print wins a pair of adidas Sennheiser PMX 680 Sports headphones. With a Kevlar-reinforced, two-part cable (it can be short when running with a music player on your arm, or extended with a built-in volume control), reflective yellow headband stripe and fully sweat- and water-resistant parts, they’re perfect for sports. Visit: www.sennheiser.co.uk
Phoenix Golfer Alexis Thompson gets the other kind of driving tips from NASCAR’s Brian Vickers. Garth Milan
b u l l e va r d
the little Questions Kasey Kahne Checklist
From the beginning, all the way to the end
Adam Malysz Just retired, the Polish ski jumping legend picks his hardest opponents
Do past crashes prey on your mind in a race? I don’t think about them. Poles and wins help build the confidence.
Photography: Sabine König (1), Mark Teo/Red Bull Photofiles (4), Getty Images (1), Lukas Nazdraczew/Red Bull Content Pool (1), Imago (3), Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool (2)
Aaron Bruno, frontman of Awolnation, explains the origins of the first and last tracks on his band’s debut album Megalithic Symphony Even as a little kid I went to punk and hardcore concerts. There’s this band, Sick Of It All from Awolnation’s album, New York, a classic Megalithic Symphony, hardcore band, is out now and they walked out to What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. People would go crazy. From that moment I knew, if I ever made music, I wanted an intro. Other bands might use something like the Star Wars theme, but I wanted to make my own, something epic. Knights of Shame Of all the music I’ve ever been a part of, this song is probably my favourite. It was a huge goal to make a 12-minute song that actually keeps your attention. All the parts keep coming and coming: in the beginning there is this barbershoplike theme, then it turns into more of a Euro dance track, like Justice, and then there’s a hip-hop section, too. It totally encapsulates what the album title means to me: it’s a megalithic symphony. www.awolnationmusic.com
Thus far in NASCAR 2011, the Red Bull Racing driver has a top-10 finish and a Daytona 500 wall prang
Martin Schmitt “Our battles were legendary. For a time in the World Cup, it was basically him versus me.”
What about when you see a crash in a race? My first thought is that I don’t want to get hit. How do you stay fit? A lot of cardio. I work out
more in the off-season, and focus on the racing as the year goes on. Is it true NASCAR cars can’t be changed much? I know the feeling I need at each race track, and the crew makes little changes to allow that to happen. How do you cope with searing raceday heat? Food and water help the situation. You have to be mentally ready for it too. www.nascar.com
Simon Ammann “The Harry Potter of skijumping, he pipped me to Olympic gold not once, but twice.”
Uniformula Gregor Schlierenzauer “A legend. Equally as good on the normal hill as he is on the large.”
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber had a big say in the design of the new Red Bull Racing driver kit, including the raceday cap, which is available online now for €29.95 (£26) plus shipping. www.redbullshop.com
Belfast Putting the ‘fast’into the Northern Irish
Kingston “I‘m taking my wife to BMX event Red Bull
capital during a demo: F1 legend David Coulthard. Corey Rich
Conquer The Spot.” “Jamaica?” “No, it was her choice.” Agustin Muñoz
Florianópolis Off the coast of Brazil , the Red Bull Music Armada sets sail. Boarding party, anyone? Marcelo Maragni 17
b u l l e va r d
At the Red Bull Flugtag, pigs might fly, as well as almost anything else...
LearnING to fly
Red Bull Flugtag turns 20, returns to the UK 999 call for BaySixty6
Park life threatened The fight is on to save a beloved London skatepark. BaySixty6 could be redeveloped after the local council said it doesn’t serve youth needs. “We get 500 kids here every week,” says park chief Paul McDermott, “and they’re devastated by the plans. We’re the only place like this in all of greater London.” An online petition opposing the move has almost 3,000 signatures. www.gopetition.com
Plymouth For this all-terrain boarder, poletapping while can-hopping is all in a day’s work. James Everitt 18
On a summer’s day in London’s Hyde Park in 2003, tens of thousands watched as a pub bar, complete with beer pumps and bar stools, made entirely from wood and paper, was launched from a jetty into the Serpentine. Needless to say, The Flying Pub didn’t live up to its name. But a successful Red Bull Flugtag isn’t only measured in flight distances. Since its debut in Austria in 1991, Red Bull Flugtag has travelled the globe from Miami to Marseille to Moscow. The distance record for the handmade flying machine contest
Rakitna Ice hockey players in Slovenia pull off moves far smoother than their frozen lake ‘rink‘. Jelen Matej
(no engines allowed) is 207ft, set last year in the US, but victory also rests on the originality of design and costumes. Teams also have 30 seconds atop the 25m jetty to impress the judging panel with a ‘performance’, before hurling themselves and their flying machines up and away, and the inevitable landing on water. This summer, Red Bull Flugtag returns to the UK, on Sunday, July 17, at Roundhay Park in Leeds. The online entry process is open now, and closes on May 13. Don’t forget a towel. Enter now: www.redbull.co.uk/flugtag
Albany On the New Zealand leg of the Nitro
Circus tour, Travis Pastrana has a bit of a lie-down. Stewart Wilson
Photography: Gary McCall, Dominic Marley, Darren Jacklin/Red Bull Content Pool
Surfer Andrew Cotton is riding Ireland’s little-known big waves. “The breaks are miles out to sea,” says Cotton, 30. “That’s why [tow partner] Alastair Mennie and I need a jet-ski. We were the first to surf a wave in Northern Ireland: we called it Finn McCool’s, after the warrior who built the Giants Causeway, which is where it breaks.” andrewcottonsurfer.blogspot.com
b u l l e va r d
It’s every athlete’s dream to compete in their home Olympics, and seeing the 2012 stadium go up on her doorstep inspires this London sprinter every day
Name Jeanette Kwakye Age 28 Born Walthamstow, London Claim to fame Finished sixth in the 100m finals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 Claim to shame Missed a post-Olympic soirée at Buckingham Palace for a celebratory girls’ holiday to Miami Loves Her tattoos
words: ruth morgan. Photography: Finn Taylor (1), Getty Images (1)
Hates Being injured
Kwakye is aiming to replicate the form that propelled her to sixth in Beijing
Jeanette Kwakye has a tattoo on her right arm, a Bible quote which reads: “Let us run with patience this race set before us.” It’s a sentiment tested every morning the champion British sprinter wakes up in her east London flat and looks out at the cranes working on the 2012 Olympic site. The 28-year-old from Walthamstow has always dreamed of taking part in an Olympic Games on home soil, and now it could come true on her doorstep. “Some mornings I stand at the end of my road and imagine the immense noise that’s going to come out of there,” she grins. Just over 15 months stand between her and the opening ceremony, months in which she has to make the Olympic team. But two years out injured has made Kwakye an expert in the art of being patient. Right now she’s working to regain her form of 2008. That March she smashed a 25-year-old British 60m record at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, then retained her British 100m title in Birmingham, earning her a place on the Beijing-bound Olympic team. In so doing, she became the first British sprinter to compete in the finals since 1984. Her sixth-place finish made her the fastest woman in Europe and a pin-up for young athletes. “Being ranked in the world top 10 was incredible,” she says. “But it was a contrast to the tough years that followed.” In 2009, injury stopped Kwakye in her tracks. She bruised a bone in her right knee, marring the first half of the year. Then in
November, after surgery on both Achilles tendons, her knee flared up. It required a major operation to cut away degenerated cartilage, before holes would be drilled to kick-start new cartilage growth. “It was devastating news,” she says. “I was told it would take six months to heal so I’d miss a winter of training for summer 2010. It was a year wiped out.” Three months on crutches was followed by a slow rehabilitation. “There were some low points,” she says. “But I managed to turn the injury into fuel for my fire. Since I’ve started competing again I’ve been going at it like a woman possessed!” It was a secondary school teacher who first spotted Kwakye’s gift and directed her to the track; by age 14 she’d impressed at county level and was picked for national teams. International contests came next, consistently finishing in the top five before making her 2008 dash to the front of the pack. Now she’s preparing to dash to the front once again. “I’m training six days a week,” she says, “After I’ve covered all the aspects, running the race almost becomes the easiest thing.” Kwakye will hope that’s the case as she tries to sprint onto the Olympic team. Before it is announced in 15 months’ time, she’ll have to fight to make it inside the stadium emerging near her home, but Kwakye is nothing if not a fighter. “I know I’m an underdog,” she smiles with a glance down at her tattoo. When she looks up the smile is gone: “But if anyone doubts what I can do, I will show them.”
“There were some low points, but I managed to turn the injury into fuel for my fire. Since I’ve started competing again I’ve been going at it like a woman possessed!”
Read Jeanette Kwayke’s blog at www.uka.org.uk
b u l l e va r d
One of the world’s most successful record mixers tells Tom Hall that when it comes to being top of your game, sometimes less can mean more
Age 39 Born Guatemala City, Guatemala Current projects Forget You, Cee-Lo Green; Grenade, Bruno Mars; the upcoming Ting Tings album
“When you can pick out a detail that puts a smile on an artist’s face, that’s the greatest feeling”
He’s a multiple Grammy Award-winning musician who calls Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Kanye West his contemporaries. But you’d be forgiven for never having heard of Guatemalan-born Los Angeles resident Manny Marroquin. And despite an undeniable talent, that’s the way he’d like to keep it. Because according to this backroom beat wizard, when it comes to delivering magic in the mixing booth, it’s not about who you see, but what you feel. You’ve worked on some huge records, but some people might not be aware of what a mixing engineer actually does. Can you talk us through it? Of course. Someone will start with a song idea and take it to a producer who will help them make it into an exciting record. But once everything has been recorded, you still need someone who can manipulate the sound for maximum emotion. That’s where I come in. For example? Well, say a producer will be like, “This should feel like a really warm ’70s disco joint.” That’s what’s inside his head but he may not have the tools or expertise to take it there. I use a system called Pro Tools to help me produce that feeling through KANYE WEST KANYE WEST sound filters and effects. But with
ALICIA KEYS ALICIA KEYS
the end result, people should not be hearing the song and be thinking, “Wow, what a great mix.” I should be invisible. So name some songs that we might not know it was you adding the magic to? There are so many. I worked on Kanye West’s Stronger – there were 11 guys who tried to mix it, but the way I managed to level out the Daft Punk sample so it didn’t get in the way of Kanye’s vocal meant that my mix became the finished result. When an artist thinks they know a song inside out but you can still pick out a detail that puts a huge smile on their face, that’s the greatest feeling in the world. Do you think more accessible computer technology is making hard-earned experience less of a requirement now? Music is about new sounds and creative emotions, so the good side is that kids can do anything they want in their bedrooms. But economically, what’s happening is the middle-class of everyday studio engineer is slowly disappearing because up-andcoming acts have less need for them. So I feel beyond blessed to be able to work on the high-level projects that I do, because it’s becoming a smaller field. You’re obviously in demand. Are your ears insured? Oh man. Like J-Lo’s ass? Yeah I could be walking by a construction site and an explosion goes off and I suddenly find myself with blood streaming out of my ears, but no, I haven’t considered that. But I do get them tested pretty regularly. Discography: mannymarroquin.com
The albums that won Marroquin Grammys: John Legend, Get Lifted; Alicia Keys, The Diary of Alicia Keys; Kanye West, The College Dropout; Mary Mary, Thankful
Photography: Theo Jemison (1), picturedesk.com (1), Corbis (1), getty Images (3)
Name Manny Marroquin
b u l l e va r d
where’s your head at?
If he didn’t exist then HBO would invent him: the kid from the New York corner who made it there and, after swapping a life of crime for a life of rhyme, made it everywhere. This is the life and times of S Carter Fro Grow Fo ’ Flow
Dawn Of The Shawn
Tennis legend Björn Bor g wouldn’t shave during a winning streak, hence all those hai ry grins next to the Wimbledon trop hy. Jay-Z has similar traditions whe n he’s recording an album: he doe sn’t get his hair cut and always wea rs a ‘Jesus piece’ necklace formerly owned by his great pal and inspirat ion, the rapper Biggie Smalls.
December 4, a track on Jay-Z’s The Black Album (2003), opens with Gloria Carter saying that her son, Shawn, was born on December 4 (she doesn’t mention the year; it was 1969). Shawn, Gloria goes on to say, “Was a very shy child growing up,” but, aged about 10, he saw a local boy freestyle rapping at the centre of a circle of kids in Brooklyn, New York. And that, as they say, was that.
‘I’m A Bus ine ss, Man!’
Rhyme s With ‘Tip-To p Trooper Car’
Jay-Z’s moneymaking is discussed as often, if not more so, than his music these days. Forbes magazine puts his fortune at US$450m, and rising. Two of his smar ter moves include selling the Rocawear clothing label for US$204m while remaining in overall control, and securing ownership of the master tapes of his early albums. It’s not such a Hard Knock Life any more.
Obsessed with rapping, little Shawn and his older friend Jaz become regulars in local rap battles. He’s known as Jazzy, which over time became Jay-Z. In later life, Jay-Z has said he doesn’t write down his lyrics, but back then he was filling notebooks and binders with ideas, and, he says, even, “Writing rhymes on the back of brown paper bags.”
What More Can I Say?
Words: Paul Wilson. Illustration: Lie-Ins and Tigers
Published last year, Decoded is a splendidly designed book in which the artist also known as Jiggaman and Hova unpicks his lyrics and gives an insight into his life and times. But an earlier memoir, The Black Book, remains unpublished following its subject’s ruling that it was too revealing. Let’s see WikiLeaks dig that one out.
King Deposed Despite the distractions of boardroom and bottom line, Jay-Z continues to do good things on record. His 11th solo album, The Blueprint 3, went straight to number one in the US in September 2009. A collaboration album each with Linkin Park and R-Kelly also topped the charts. With 11 number ones, he is one ahead of Elvis and eight behind The Beatles.
American Gan gster
Along with the skills that would eventually see him become a recording artist, a teenage Jay-Z also developed an aptitude for hustling: selling crack, and the life that goes with it. Aged 12, he shot his crack-addict brother in the shoulder. When he was 16, he “worked 60 hours straight” on the streets with a kid who owed him money. Another time, he was shot at, but all three bullets missed: Jay-Z unplugged.
Behi nd Fren emy Lin
Empire State Of Union Every king of hip-hop needs a queen. After first meeting in 2002, the year they duetted on O3 Bonnie & Clyde, Shawn Corey Carter married Beyoncé Giselle Knowles in NYC in April 2008. As well as making a lovely pair – they really do, don’t they? – they kick ass in the highest-earning-celebrity couple surveys.
es There have been many riva lries between hip-hop artists: some in song, some in each other’s faces; som e friendly, others decidedly not so. And yet its two current biggest names, Kanye We st and Jay-Z, are currently touting a collab orative album, Watch The Throne. U2 and Coldplay wouldn’t do a whole album togeth er, would they? The A-Z of Jay-Z: www.rocnation.com
B u l l e va r d
It’s all about speed with racing bike wheels. And the quest to be quickest has brought carbon to replace wood, with a spoke or two dropped along the way
Life’s a beech Bianchi/Cerchio Clement, 1950 This is the rear wheel ridden by the great Fausto Coppi – Il Campionissimo [Champion of Champions] – in 1950. The rim is made from glue-laminated beech wood and retains its perfect roundness thanks to 40 three-cross spokes keeping things tight 22
between hub and perimeter (even tough mountain-bike wheels only have a maximum of 36 spokes these days). Hub clearance could be adjusted via a cone, but a skilled mechanic was needed for smooth rolling. The four-speed ‘Paris-Roubaix’ shift system
by Campagnolo – now highly prized by collectors – was operated with a deft hand on the gear lever. It gave a marked competitive advantage. If you weren’t Coppi, you could only dream of four functioning gears in 1950. www.cerchiinlegnoghisallo.com
words: werner jessner. photography: kurt keinrath
b u l l e va r d
Light fantastic Lightweight Standard Clincher, 2011 Around 16 hours of handiwork go into creating this carbon wheel, now used by professionals the world over. Riders can choose between 16 or 20 carbon spokes on the front wheel; then 20 or 24 on the rear, depending on how they will be raced
and the rider’s weight. The 53mm-section carbon wheel-rim is a compromise between aerodynamics and performance. The hubs rotate with low wear and low friction around moulded industrial ball-bearings, while a swap of cogs makes the wheel compatible
with transmission components from SRAM, Shimano or Campagnolo, with a choice of 10 or 11-speed gear ‘blocks’. A Lightweight front and rear pair of these beauties weighs just 1,100g – less than Coppi’s rear wheel alone. www.lightweight.info
b u l l e va r d
Future Soul Man
Jamie Woon The hotly tipped Londoner lets loose on his debut album, family affairs in the studio and old school chum Amy Winehouse
Born New Malden, Greater London Family As well as releasing a string of solo albums, Jamie Woon’s mother, Mae McKenna, has also recorded backing vocals for everyone from Michael Jackson to Kylie Minogue and Björk
Dark side of the Woon: Jamie Woon loops soulful samples and dubstep beats into his atmospheric live sets
If your mother has sung backing vocals for Björk and Michael Jackson, a school mate has eight-figure album sales and the BBC listed you fourth in its influential Sound of 2011 poll (former list-toppers: 50 Cent, Adele and Mika), then you have three good omens for a career in pop. That said, Jamie Woon is in no rush. The 28-year-old spent three years tweaking his debut album, Mirrorwriting. It is an elegant interplay between Woon’s soft voice, subtle R’n’B beats and synths – like Boys II Men and dubstep prodigy Burial in a jam session. But as Woon tells us at the London Red Bull Studio, it’s an album in which the Brit has sought to find the perfect sound for his lyrics. After your 2007 gospel-style debut single, Wayfaring Stranger, people were probably expecting an acoustic album from you. But it’s turned out really electronic... I’ve always enjoyed messing around with technology. Listening to DJ Shadow got me into sample-based music when I was a teenager. Then one day I just sat down at my laptop and came up with a track; my friends loved it and encouraged me to keep going. I set myself a challenge. Would I be able to find a modern sound that would suit my songs and lyrics? And? The recurrent theme of the album seems to be about reducing the overall sound… A commitment to tranquillity. Absolutely. I’m a nervy person sometimes. The only idea I had going into making
the album was that I wanted it to be quite a calming record, also for my own nerves. It’s a personal, inward-looking album. That’s why it’s called Mirrorwriting. One name often mentioned in the same breath as yours is Amy Winehouse. We both went to the BRIT School, an artistic secondary school in South London. We occasionally used to hang out together. Later on, we met at a concert we were both performing at in New York. It was when things were just taking off for her, the day before she first appeared on David Letterman. It was amazing to see someone you went to school with just before her big breakthrough. So I went up to her and said hello: it was cool, she remembered me. [Laughs.] Your mother, Mae McKenna, is also a musician. Did you spend your youth in the recording studio? I did. If she couldn’t organise a babysitter, she’d take me to the control room. Going to Nashville with her when I was 15 was a big thing for me. I’d just started playing guitar and bluegrass musicians were in the studio playing fantastic music and having fun. I think that was the moment I decided to be a musician. And then you invited her to the studio for your first album. Did you get on well on a professional level too? Of course! She really likes what I’m doing, and it’s great she’s done backing vocals on Night Air, my single. We joked about it, though. She was like, “There’s no way you could have afforded me!” [Laughs.]
“Bluegrass musicians were in the studio playing fantastic music and having fun. I think that was the moment I decided to be a musician”
Mirrorwriting is out now. Listen to Jamie perform here: Redbull musicacademyradio. com/shows/1716
Words: Florian Obkircher. Photography: Phil Sharp, Getty Images
Name Jamie Woon
b u l l e va r d
Hard & fast Words: Ruth Morgan. Photography: Rex Features, Teddy Keen, Action Images, ted grambeau/Red Bull Content Pool, Getty Images. Illustration: Dietmar Kainrath
Top performers and winning ways from around the globe
His beard froze n by -50°C winds, English amateu r endurance skater Teddy Keen (centre) completed the 200km Finland Ice Marathon in an impressive time of 9h 27m .
Real deal: Twin Atlantic vocalist Sam McTrusty
A classic rock tale: young band gets big break, first decent paycheque. But what happens next? Twin Atlantic have arrived. They’ve signed a deal with Red Bull Records and are touring internationally, playing to thousands on the same bill as acts such as The Smashing Pumpkins and My Chemical Romance. Many bands get this far up music’s career ladder, but history also tells us that the next rungs are the hardest. So how are the Scottish rockers ensuring that their only way is up? “Well, today we’re in London pretending to be a big rock band,” laughs the four-piece’s lead singer, Sam McTrusty. “We’re posing for photos. In the beginning I’d take free clothes just because they were free, then look at the picture and think, ‘Why am I wearing knee-high leather boots?’ I used to care about every little detail because I wanted to get us attention. Naively, stupidly, I used to read reviews. If anyone asks for advice now the first thing I’d say is to ignore all that stuff – it can ruin a band’s magic spark. “Our goal now is to play to as many people as possible, and it’s going great. Last year we played 22 countries and we’re touring again in 2011. It’s incredible to us. Playing abroad is part of what makes us feel like a proper band. I’m not saying we have tons of money, but we used to have massive debt. I suppose what I’m saying is that we don’t have to rely on our parents now. “Being together on the road for weeks on end made us feel like we were at our first practice again. It just kind of refreshed us and brought us back to earth, and we remembered what it’s all about: essentially messing around and avoiding real work as much as possible. Isn’t that why people start a band in the first place?” Twin Atlantic’s debut album, Free, is released on May 2, with the title track available as a single from April 24. www.twinatlantic.com
French legend Sébastien Loeb (right, with co-driver Daniel Elena) won the Rally of Mexico. Is an eighth world title on the card s?
At the Gold Coast Pro in Australia, the first stop on surfing’s 2011 world tour, Jordy Smith of South Africa came third.
There was a fir st se gold for Russian nior long jumper Darya Klishina at the Europe an Indoor Championship s in Paris.
b u l l e va r d
Wingsuit flying – BASE-jumping wearing specially ‘webbed’ kit – is what Icarus would have wanted. But how does it work?
Scientific Officer “BASE-jumping with a wingsuit comes close to realising man’s dream of flying like a bird,” says Professor Thomas Schrefl, professor of Communications & Simulation Engineering at St Pölten University of Applied Sciences. “After jumping off the cliff, the gravity pulls the flyer down. Moving forward at high speed, his fall rate is much slower than that of a regular skydiver. Head first, chest down, a skydiver without a wingsuit will reach a terminal velocity of about 125mph. A wingsuit is much like an airfoil: with sufficient forward velocity a lift force is created. This lift force reduces the fall rate to 40mph. “In order to glide, the wingsuit flyer has to gain sufficient forward speed. Firstly, the air resistance, or drag, has to be as small as possible. Keeping the head and arms in line with the body reduces the cross-sectional area and minimises drag; tilting forward also increases the speed. More air passes over the wings and a lift force increases. By changing the descent angle, the flyer can change his air velocity and thus control the lift force. “A wingsuit flyer may reach a velocity of more than 100mph. When flying with a constant velocity v, the net force acting on the body is zero (otherwise the flyer would accelerate). Three forces act on the body: the weight, W = mg, the lift force, L = 0.5CLρAv², and the drag force, D = 0.5CDρAv². Here m is the total mass, ρ is the density of air, A is the wing area, C L is the lift coefficent and C D is the drag coefficient. The lift force is proportional to the velocity squared. With a descent angle α, the condition of zero net forces gives: L = W cosα and D = W sinα. Now we are able to compute the distance travelled starting from a given height, h: d = h/tanα or d = h L/D. The ratio L/D is also known as glide ratio. Wingsuit flyers reach a glide ratio of 2.5, meaning that they travel 2.5m forward for every metre they lose in altitude. Ascend into descent video heaven at www.redbullairforce.com
Words: Matt Youson, Professor Thomas Schrefl. photography: Natalia Rozova/Red Bull Content pool. illustration: mandy fischer
Flight Commander “We like to say that we fly, rather than fall, using gravity as our engine,” says Jon DeVore, wingsuit flyer and manager of the Red Bull Air Force. “A normal skydive might give you a minute of freefall. It’s overwhelming; you can really lose yourself in that minute, because what you’re experiencing is pure freedom, but with the wingsuit on you can really extend the experience. “Natural body flight might be the purer form of sky diving, but it’s not nearly so efficient as when we wear the wingsuit. With the wing, what we do becomes almost an entirely different sport. It allows you to dramatically slow your rate of fall and gives you time to truly comprehend what’s going on around you.”
b u l l e va r d
Taking flight: Wearing a wingsuit enables a BASE-jumper to get close to manâ€™s dream of flying like a bird
B u l l e va r d
With the final Space Shuttle flights just weeks away, we look to the heavens and ask: what on Earth goes on off-Earth these days?
Weather permitting, on April 19, one of the most complicated machines will be launched for the penultimate time. On mission STS-134 of NASA’s Space Shuttle programme, a six-man crew on the Endeavour shuttle will perform four space walks, four payload experiments, and deliver equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). Then, on June 28, Space Shuttle Atlantis will undertake a round trip to the ISS: the 135th and final Shuttle flight, 30 years and two months after the Colombia Shuttle undertook the first. NASA is working on a replacement craft, Orion.
According to statistics published in the latest edition of Orbital Debris Quarterly News – the only magazine you’ll ever need about stuff in space – there are 15,899 objects greater than or equal to 5cm in diameter in orbit, categorised as either payloads (satellites, etc), rockets or debris. Smaller things can’t be tracked; estimates for all orbital fragments soar past half a million. This includes bits of the Death Star and the stuff General Zod and the other two baddies break out from in Superman II.
803 Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev’s interests are listed as, “swimming, skiing, bicycle riding, aerobatic flying and a range of amateur radio operations, particularly from space”. He has been able to indulge the last of those hobbies more than anyone else, because over the course of his six space missions he has spent more time in space than any other human being. When he returned to Earth for final time on October 10, 2005, he had logged 803 days, nine hours and 39 minutes in space, including 41 hours of spacewalking.
How long is it going to take us to get to Mars? Some say it will take several months for a manned mission to reach the Red Planet. Others who favour the embryonic VASMIR (Variable Scientific Impulse Rocket) propulsion system, which may one day propel spacecraft at 34mps – miles per second, that is – say man could reach Mars in about six weeks. In February this year, volunteers in the Mars500 project, a simulated Mars return voyage at a Moscow research centre, stepped onto the ‘planet surface’ after 256 days in their ‘spaceship’. Have these people never seen Capricorn One?
200,000 The Mercury Seven, NASA’s original bunch of astronauts, will go down in history as having The Right Stuff. Now anyone can go into space as long as they have the right bank balance. Since 2001, seven people have spent time on the ISS, having paid Space Adventures a reported US$20m each for training, a berth on a Soyuz spacecraft and some freeze-dried meals. Virgin Galactic says 400 people have already paid US$200,000 for places on its suborbital spaceship. Test flights are progressing nicely.
Mankind is reaching further into space with the Voyager 1 probe, still travelling and undertaking scientific analysis more than 33 years and 10.5 billion miles after launching on September 5, 1977. It is also carrying a gold-plated disc the size of a 12-inch record, containing 116 photos, 90 minutes of music and greetings in 55 languages for alien life forms. “Zarg – how charming of the humans to send us this!” “I know, Rixmmus, but I can’t believe they still use LPs.” Space travel on a budget: www.worldwidetelescope.com
Words: Paul Wilson. Photography: Getty Images (2), Rex Features (2), corbis (1), The Kobal Collection (1)
EYEWEAR + ACCESSORIES . SAN FRANCISCO www.sutrovision.com
From Pole to Pole mankind has populated Earth’s every square inch. With this series of stunning images, we reflect on how Planet Earth has become the Human Planet
NOW WATCH IT all ON bbc DVD and DISCOVERy channel Human Planet is already available as a DVD collection from the BBC online store for £23.49. It’s described by the Beeb, without a shred of hyperbole, as “an epic eight-part blockbuster that follows in the footsteps of landmark series Life and Planet Earth”. Wave your credit cards at www.bbcshop.com to order. You’ll also be able to catch Human Planet on the Discovery Channel, which co-funded production of the series. It airs on April 10, 17 and 24.
LIVING AT THE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE
Bajau village Sabah, Malaysia Semporna is a small town in a remote corner of the province of Sabah in northeastern Malaysia. The town is on the mainland, but most of the Bajau people live on stilt villages in the bay in part of the coral sea between Sulawesi, the Philippines and Borneo. If you truly want to understand the Bajau, and what the sea means to them, you only have to watch their children playing. These water babies cavort in the ocean like young seals, splash about, dive and swim and their fishing skills must, surely, be the historical product of otter genes. The Bajau have been at one with the water for generations and the sea answers almost all their needs; their sole requirement from nearby terra firma is fresh water to drink. Not for nothing have the Bajau been nicknamed â€˜reef gypsiesâ€™; until not so long ago, they considered even the fragile houses they now inhabit to be too much of an earthly obstacle to a truly free life. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
HUNTERS OF THE CLEAR AIR
Altai Mountains, Mongolia Caught in magnificent, elemental isolation, Sailau Jadik and his son Berik contemplate, for a fleeting moment, life in one of the remotest places on Earth, the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia. Few other locations can be so challenging to their inhabitants: a harsh climate on a barren plateau with few trees and ill-suited to agriculture. When the Kazakhs who live here go hunting, they do so with their trained golden eagles. It takes years to tutor these magnificent birds of prey to slay marmots, foxes and hares for their masters. But hunting isn’t only vital for survival in the Altai Mountains; adolescent boys must also prove their manhood by training the birds. Boys such as Berik, who jokingly named his eagle Balapan, or ‘duckling’. When Balapan snatched his first fox, he was fed its liver, as is Kazakh custom. Berik’s reward was less visceral: only his father’s praise on becoming a man. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
PARADISE OR AN UNTANMED WILDERNESS?
Yandombe, Central African Republic Tropical rain forests cover just two per cent of the Earth’s surface, yet half of all known species thrive here – mankind included. Here more than anywhere, where friend and foe are hard to tell apart, you need smarts to survive. But the Ba’Aka pygmies add a spiritual dimension to their jungle-savvy. For them, the rain forest is the ultimate divine being, which gives them everything they need for daily life. They sing praise to its gifts of fruit and animals to eat; of plants and barks for medicine; of leaves to make the roofs of their huts; of wood to make their fires. Many Ba’Aka have long since left behind the nomadic lifestyle, to become more sedentary, small-scale farmers and traders. But most keep their traditions alive. The Ba’Aka may, one day, choose to leave the jungle, but the jungle never leaves the Ba’Aka. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
WATER OF LIFE (MAY CONTAIN FISH)
Lake Antogo, Mali You’d be hard-pressed to recognise this scene for what it is: an annual ‘festival of fish’ that can occur only once during the year, as tradition dictates. On this special day – usually in May – during the six-month-long winter drought, the Dogon tribe of southern Mali live out a particular time-honoured ritual: men are allowed to fish in the sacred Lake Antogo. The ‘lake’ in question is in reality more of a large pond and when it’s being surrounded by several hundred fishermen waiting to pounce, it looks even smaller, set as it is amid a barren desert landscape. On a signal – a gunshot – the Dogon men storm into the water. Fish are caught with bare hands and rough-weave baskets; many hold on to their catch with their teeth. In this maelstrom of arms, legs and bodies, the fish don’t have a chance. After just half an hour, a second gunshot brings proceedings to a close. The catch is gathered and divided by the village elders. Photography: Jasper Montana
BACK TO THE LIGHT
Ilulissat, Greenland In October and February there are three hours of sunlight a day in Greenland, but for most of the Island’s inhabitants, it feels as if the sun disappears at the end of the summer and doesn’t return until the start of summer the following year. The animal and plant kingdoms have adapted to this challenge over millions of years and Greenland, the world’s largest island, boasts some suitably epic wildlife: the polar bear, the musk ox, the white-tailed eagle, the narwhal and the walrus are all common – and prized by hunters. Whales visit Greenland’s waters in abundance – humpback, minke, bowhead and blue. Mankind has adjusted to this sometimes alien environment by watching nature closely. Only by assimilating Arctic rhythms and accepting the dark and cold for what they are is it possible to survive this long northern night. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
The Mekong River, Laos During monsoon season, 20 times more water than usual flows down the Mekong. For fishermen such as Sam Niang, that means more fish – but it’s a whole lot harder to catch them. Undeterred, Niang builds himself a ropebridge near the Kohne rapids to reach his special fishing perch – although this isn’t a bridge many of us would be comfortable to cross with such a raging torrent below. It’s just two hemp ropes across the river and it makes for a wobbly daily commute. Viewed from a distance, the ropes disappear in the Mekong’s muddy spume, so Sam appears to be walking not just on water, but above it. Skilled though he is at this unique high-wire act, Sam’s always aware of the danger he skirts – especially when returning home carrying a heavy basket laden with fish. “I have to be careful, otherwise I’m dead. And who’d look after my children, then?” he asks. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
THE FIGHT FOR LIFE
The Omo Valley, Ethiopia It’s been the vital question since the dawn of time: who’s the strongest? Who’s the best? The Surma, a pastoral people who live in the savannah of south-western Ethiopia, let Donga decide. In this man-on-man – often village-on-village – combat, two rivals pummel each other with a stick about 3m in length. The aim is to disarm your opponent, and in so doing to win glory, a head of cattle or the favour of a woman. Some fighters protect their heads with helmet-like caps woven out of thick strips of twine. Others are naked but for a codpiece and body-paint that they hope will make them invincible. In spite of all the force with which the men lash out at each other as they try to hit each other with the flexible sticks, a complex set of rules forbids unsportsmanlike conduct. The wounds the fighters eventually bear are relatively small, but they are borne with pride. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
Mombasa, Kenya The many teeming metropolises across the Earth demonstrate in the most explicit way the extremes to which humankind has been pushed, faced with environmental degradation, overpopulation and diminishing natural resources. When millions are forced to live in a confined space, under-resourced, under-sanitised, the weakest, such as this young boy stranded – blink-and-you’d-misshim – on a Mombasa rubbish dump, are hardest hit. Yet they represent (assuredly not through choice) a return to mankind’s most primal instincts as hunter-gatherers; the arrival of a loaded rubbish truck brings forth the dumpdwellers of Mombasa to rummage for anything that might help them survive, just as many thousands of years ago tribes would have found a use for every part of a slain animal. This is their hope for a future. photography: timothy Allen, BBC 2010
the whizzes of oz
Mark Webber is the third Australian to win an F1 grand prix; Daniel Ricciardo is a hot tip to become the fourth Words: Matt Youson Photography: Alan Mahon
Australia’s best racing drivers walk into the room and take up position on the couch. As always, the race overalls look highly incongruous away from a racing circuit. It’s Australia Day, albeit Australia Day in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, complete with slate-grey skies, drizzle and a raw 3°C. Nevertheless, too good an opportunity to miss, so Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo are in front of the cameras today. Both are doing their stereotypes proud. Ricciardo, 21, continues to wear the Cheshire Cat grin that’s been ever-present during 2010. The duties of Red Bull’s reserve driver haven’t given him much to do except attend briefings and soak up the experience over the course of last season, but he’s given the appearance of loving every minute. For the new Formula One season he will move down the pitlane to be test and reserve driver for Red Bull’s junior team, Toro Rosso.
Webber, a veteran of 34 years, is more circumspect. Polite and relaxed, but never for one minute giving the impression that he wouldn’t rather be at home watching the cricket, or pounding around on one of his bikes. He’s happy to do the interview and pose under the lights if that’s the price for having the best job in the world. Ricciardo just finds the whole thing very amusing. Admittedly, he’d probably be having more fun back home in Perth. “I checked my friends’ Facebook pages this morning,” he says. “They’re in limos, going to beach parties and stuff. With hindsight I think I’d rather not know.” “It’s not something we really celebrate over here,” adds Webber. “Though I might have a cheeky lemonade tonight.” They’re relaxed sharing the space, something that’s not always the case with drivers. The accident of a matching passport doesn’t fully explain it and it would be overly dramatic to suggest there exists a common bond between men born thousands of miles apart in different decades, but there is a synchronicity to their careers and backgrounds. Like most motorsport tragics, they both trace their infatuation with single-seaters back to
the excitement of sitting watching all the F1 races in the small hours before dawn. “It was a religion in my house,” says Webber. “We never missed a grand prix or the Indianapolis 500, though Dad would snore his way through most races. I struggled a bit when the adverts, came on, but I usually managed to stay awake. I thought it was sensational. “The first race I watched was Nigel Mansell crashing the Lotus up the hill in the rain at Monaco in 1984. I remember thinking, ‘How the hell can he do that?’ I’d have been eight or nine and I absolutely loved it. I’d record it, so I could watch it again with a bowl of ice cream when I got home from school. I used to bore my mates, dragging them with me to watch it. They’d rather be outside, and most of the time I would too, but motorsport was just my thing. It’s like Marmite isn’t it? You either love it or you hate it. I loved it. “I still think it’s funny that I’ve met some of those drivers. Mansell was writing me letters pretty much every race last year, which was amazing. Back then I was a fan of Alain Prost. At that age you pick up on what your Dad likes. Mine liked Prost, so I liked Prost too. I only became a big
fan of Ayrton Senna after he passed away. I suppose that’s natural, in a way. You only realise what people stood for when they’re gone. Now, having worked with some of the people who worked with Senna, and having looked back at the things he did and the way he handled himself, you realise what an individual he was. “I’ll never forget the night he was killed. I went to bed thinking it was just another crash, and then Mum came to wake me up in the morning and said he died. I thought, ‘Nah, he’s fine.’ It didn’t sink in. Then I watched the news, and the newsreaders, who didn’t usually talk about Formula One, were saying he didn’t make it. I was crying before school.” “I wasn’t even five when it happened,” adds Daniel. “But I had the same experience; Mum told me on Monday morning. I think it had such a big effect because my Dad was a huge fan of his. But most of those early memories of watching the races were fantastic. I didn’t have an alarm clock, but I was pretty good at waking up just before the race started, running into my parents’ bedroom and bouncing around until they put the TV on. The days I didn’t make it I’d record it, then I’d spend all day in school with my fingers in my ears to make sure no one told me the result. I’d watch every sport – if the lawn bowls was on I’d be on the sofa fascinated by it – but F1 was special.”
rom the sofa many are called, but few are chosen; even fewer of those come from Australia. “Politically and financially it’s harder for us to make it to the highest level in motorsport,” says Webber. “Obviously Jack Brabham [Australia’s knight-of-the-realm triple world champ, of the ’50s and ’60s] opened a few doors, and made it easier for the likes of Alan Jones [1980 world champion] to come through, but we definitely struggle. It isn’t like tennis or cricket; it isn’t the huge sport for us like it is elsewhere, and there aren’t the [single-seater] opportunities at home, so you have to leave. Motorsport is expensive, but motorsport on the other side of the world is even more so. Financially, and to a certain extent emotionally, that’s tough. “There are sponsors out there, but back when I was coming through, all the tobacco money went to South Americans, because you aren’t going to sell many fags in Australia. It’s the same with the car manufacturers: if it was me against a German for a drive then forget it.” Webber did it the hard way, moving to England and scrambling through Formula 48
from a land down under Daniel Ricciardo moved to Europe at the tender age of 17. Initially he lived in Italy (despite speaking barely a word of the language). He won the Formula Renault West European Cup in 2008 and moved to England and the British F3 Championship for 2009. Driving for Carlin Motorsport, Daniel took the title at his first attempt and was rewarded with a three-day F1 test for Red Bull Racing, during which he consistently topped the timesheets. For 2010 he moved up to the World Series by Renault (WSR) and took the championship to the wire before narrowly missing out at the final round. He bounced back soon after with another timesheet-topping test for Red Bull Racing. In 2011 Daniel will combine another year in WSR with Friday driving duties for Scuderia Toro Rosso. But before all that, we give him much sterner Australia Day-style challenge. RB: Daniel, do you know all the verses of Waltzing Matilda? DR: No I don’t, unfortunately. RB: OK, not a problem. Could you maybe identify some of the things mentioned in the song. DR: I’ll give it a go… RB: What’s a Jumbuck? DR: A what? A Jumbuck? Sorry I have no idea. RB: OK, moving on, how about a Squatter? DR: This is really bad isn’t it? A kangaroo, maybe? RB: Not usually. And finally, can you describe a Coolabah Tree? DR: Is that one near water or something like that? RB: Good enough. Well done, Daniel. Happy Australia Day.
Ford and Formula 3, existing on talent when money was scarce and always knowing if he didn’t win races, he’d be going home. Daniel’s experience under the wing of Red Bull sponsorship has been somewhat more cosseted, though he argues the mentality is really no different, “because there’s always the pressure of having Dr Marko [Dr Helmut Marko, head of the Red Bull Junior programme] breathing down your neck. And even before I had Red Bull sponsorship, it would be my dad, or sponsors from home trying to push me along,” says Ricciardo. “Ultimately it doesn’t matter, though. It isn’t important who’s watching you because you want to win for yourself. The pleasure of driving and doing a good job was enough to keep me going. Leaving home at 17 and travelling halfway around the world, it’s not easy – like Mark said, you’re homesick at first, but when you’ve been here a few months and you’re doing something you love, you forget about the things you miss.”
A natural replacement
Despite going to Toro Rosso for 2011, there’s a lot of talk about Ricciardo ultimately replacing Webber. Raising this subject is delicate, but Webber is a rare F1 driver in that he will meet the big questions head on. The flip-side of that is a tendency to throw the toys from the pram if he thinks the question is impolite or just dumb, and few things are more likely to rile drivers of a certain age than talk of retirement. Today, though, Mark is sanguine on the prospect of passing the torch. He stresses he isn’t going to ride off into the sunset any time soon, but like any pro, he avoids using the word ‘retirement’. To name it is to call it forth. “I think it’s pretty obvious people would draw that conclusion,” says Webber. “I’ve probably been close to it a few times, but in the last couple of years the fire has been well and truly relit. And so long as my desire, my results and my motivation are good, I’ll continue. I love to see the work the guys do in the factory and being the one to take that out on track. I don’t take it for granted, I love competing and I enjoy the responsibility and being accountable to the team for a good performance. Race weekends are very enjoyable. Testing isn’t as exciting as it used to be, but I can’t wait to drive the new car. While I still feel like this then who knows how long it’ll be before I decide to… begin a new chapter. “Having said that, I’ve been the only Australian racing over the last decade, so when a youngster comes along
there’s going to be comparisons and a convenience to the theory that Daniel will slot in when I leave. Maybe that’s how it will happen, or maybe there will be an overlap of two or three years. Maybe he’ll be racing later on this year and we’ll be on the grid at the same time in 2011. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what people think. I don’t mind the speculation – I think it’s only normal.”
Rather than replacing the man who won four F1 races in 2010, of more immediate concern to Ricciardo is getting to grips with the Toro Rosso STR06. Moving down the pitlane to be test and reserve driver for Red Bull’s junior team is a case of one step backwards to take two steps forward: a smaller team, but the golden opportunity to drive a car in the practice sessions at each grand prix. In another quirk of fate he will emerge from the garage with the same team that gave Mark a debut: Minardi then and Toro Rosso now. It’s still a little Italian outfit with a lot of heart and a place where Webber reckons Ricciardo can learn a lot in a short period of time. “It’s a sensational opportunity for him, but he really deserves it,” says Webber. “Obviously there’s the track time, but he’ll also have his eyes opened just by seeing how that team operates. Working with us [at Red Bull Racing] last year he saw a lot of how a winning team works, and now he’s going to get another perspective. It’s absolutely the best of all worlds.” All the practice sessions on bona fide grand prix circuits will be worth their weight in gold for Ricciardo. F1
simulators are excellent, but there’s no substitute for time on the Tarmac. The downside, if it can be called that, is that he will be driving someone else’s car. “I don’t think being careful because it’s Sébastien [Buemi]’s or Jaime [Alguersuari]’s car will be in my head too much. I think Toro Rosso will want me to rag the shit out of it! At least hopefully that’s what they’ll want me to do. I’m not sure what I’m going to feel when I roll out for the first time at a grand prix. I know it hasn’t hit me yet, but it will. The fact it’s ‘just’ a Friday practice is irrelevant, it’s going to feel very real to me because I’ll be on track with all the guys I’ve watched race for the last 15 years. That’s going to be surreal, but as Mark says, it’ll be good preparation for the future.” The third driver rules have been in and out for a few years and have operated under various constraints during that time. The one constant has been the race drivers’ unvarying opinion of the exercise: they hate giving up their car and they hate it even more when the guy with his hands on their kit is young, eager and lightning fast. If Ricciardo is quick – and his stellar testing pace suggests that very strongly – there’s going to be pressure for
‘There’s a convenience to the theory that daniel will slot in when I leave’
him to move up sooner rather than later. Team Principal Franz Tost, a man who recognises a win-win situation when he sees one, says: “It’ll certainly keep them [Alguersuari and Buemi] on their toes.” That’s the understatement of the year. But Ricciardo is a little more reserved. “I don’t see the need for there to be any tension,” he says. “As far as I’m concerned my job is to do the first practice and to drive to the best of my ability.” It’s a polished answer; one might say a carefully rehearsed answer. But he needs to work on his honesty face. If you’re telling a whopper it’s best to not be laughing when doing it. Webber, of course, is the king of the deadpan, though at the moment he’s grinning. With nine seasons of F1 behind him, he knows a thing or two about the warfare bubbling under the surface of every garage.
ord comes through that England’s cricket team have beaten Australia in the One Day Series at the Adelaide Oval. As an Aussie in an environment dominated by Poms, Webber takes a lot of stick when Australia lose, and he isn’t averse to giving it back when they win. But some say 10 years living in England has knocked off the edges, leading to some bloggers saying he’s gone soft – becoming anglicised in more ways than just talking about Marmite rather than Vegemite. “Never. I’m still right behind any and every Australian team, no matter what the sport – and I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of amazing Australian sports men and women,” says Webber. “But you pick up a few things along the way, and what I’ve learned in the last 10 years is that just because we’re Australian doesn’t mean we’re always going to win. “Other teams work hard, they apply themselves and they love to kick our arses. They do that because we’re good at cricket, we’re good at rugby, we’re good swimmers. I fly the flag for Australia and I’m very proud of what we achieve as a sporting nation. But maybe these days I’m more balanced in my opinions.” “We’re a sporting country,” adds Ricciardo. “It’s in out nature to want to win. Obviously motor racing isn’t a big team sport, which means it doesn’t have the mass recognition at home, but the same rules still apply – we want to go out there and kick arse.” In attitude at least, it’s very difficult to tell these two drivers apart.
Follow Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo’s 2011 seasons at www.redbullracing.com and www.scuderiatororosso.com
there will be In the Brazilian rainforest, the annual Jerico race is as big as it gets. It’s Formula One for ‘motorised donkeys’, or a mudbath Wacky Races… Words: Cassio Cortes Photography: Marcelo Maragni 50
From left: Melquisedeque de Lara celebrating his win in the mud with friends; Dirceu JosĂŠ Bogorni with red eyes after his second heat; JosĂŠ Alex accelerates his Jerico at the steepest curve of the course
or God’s sake, be careful at turn two, the banked corner.” Race director Renato ‘The Paraguayan’ Ribeiro is outlining the perils ahead to the 23 men gathered at the drivers’ briefing for the 2010 Jerico event. Go off track there and ya gonna kill a coupla people in the crowd for sure,” he cautions. The 23 competitors, most aged less than 25, a few significantly overweight, all of them well-tanned, nod in earnest. The 10th annual National Race of Motorized Jericos is about to start. This is a good thing, because the crowd packing the Jericodrome is getting restless. The start of the event has been delayed to accommodate the arrival of Senator Cassol, the local kingpin politician here in the remote Brazilian state of Rondônia. The Senator is flying from the National Congress in Brasilía directly to the tiny city of Alto Paraíso to attend the race. But what is a Jerico and why is Alto Paraíso, a sparsely populated place that’s located on the southern fringes of the Amazon rainforest, the self-proclaimed capital of them? Jerico-maker Silvio Stedile, or ‘Silvinho do Jerico’ as he’s known locally, explains: “When the town was first built in the late ’80s, roads were so bad that no regular truck would last – the pieces of bodywork just fell off. So people had to come up with a car that could take that kind of beating.” What resulted were wooden chassis riding on old Jeep suspensions and powered by the stationary diesel engines used to generate electricity for the local timber farms and tin mines. ‘Jerico’ in Portuguese means donkey, so the correct name for these pieces of mechanised inventiveness is ‘Jerico Motorizado’ – literally, a motorised donkey: the perfect workhorse for the hostile Amazonian environment. Boys being boys, it didn’t take long for one local farmer to start wondering whether his diesel donkey might be faster than the one built by his miner neighbour. Races – low-key and ad hoc – were the swift result, and a decade on, to celebrate Alto Paraíso’s 10th anniversary, a 560m muddy circuit, which has since been lengthened, was built on the outskirts of the city, and the National Race was born. It was such a hit that it became known across the north of Brazil as the ‘Formula One of the Amazon’, and around 40,000 people (more than twice the population of the area around Alto Paraíso) flock to the Jericodrome year after year to watch their heroes in action. Being a Formula One star is usually synonymous with fame and fortune. In the F1 of the Amazon, however, fortune comes in the shape of the first-place prize, a brand-new Honda 125cc motorcycle (actually two, as the National Race is divided in two categories, for one-piston and two-piston engines). And fame… to Silvinho do Jerico, it came in the form of being elected president of the Alto Paraíso City Council. Silvinho’s fan following, however, is eclipsed by that of brothers Melquisedeque and Cefas de Lara,
dubbed by the local press as the ‘Schumachers of Alto Paraíso’, which is a bit unfair, considering they’re both defending champions [unlike Ralf and Michael Schumacher, only one of whom ever won the F1 world title]. ‘Melqui’ is two-piston champ; Cefas, king of the one-piston class. The latter’s main rival happens to be Silvinho, who won in 2006 and ’07 before being dethroned by Cefas’ victories in ’08, ’09 and ’10. The brothers’ almost-unpronounceable names have biblical origins, which probably explains why there’s evangelical music blasting from the speakers in their shop as the two make the final adjustments to their Jericos on the day before the Race. “The era of taking your day-to-day Jerico to compete is long over,” Melqui reveals. “To win now, you need a purpose-built racing Jerico.” Melqui and Cefas tend to their machines year-round to appear in just two or three events annually, of which the National Race is the biggest. A look at Melqui’s machine reveals its pure-bred origins: the engine is placed in the
Clockwise from top: Norival Silva during the first heat of the race; brothers Melquisedeque (left) and Cefas de Lara at their Jerico Factory; the street parade the day before the official race; Silvio Stedileâ€™s Jerico factory before the race; Silvio in his factory
centre of the longitudinal axis, but off-centre to the right of the transversal one, this ensures a perfect weight distribution on all four wheels as the driver sits on the left. And like all Jericos, Melqui’s is Frankensteinlike in its assembly. The chassis frame of an old Volkswagen Kombi aids rigidity underneath, while the front suspension comes from a VW Golf. The brakes are from a Fiat Uno, and the rear suspension is Kombi too. The traction system is a work of fine art: engine power is routed by a Jeep gearbox to a centre differential built by Melqui, from which two driveshafts, also Melqui-built, direct power to a Golf transaxle in the front and a chopped Kombi differential in the rear. Deep inside the rainforest, the oldest of the Lara brothers is using the same principle as the Torsen centre differential that was the technical slam-dunk of the of the legendary Audi quattro rally car of the ’80s. Power comes in the form of a Yanmar generator, which is listed by the factory as a 27hp unit. “But it’s impossible to win the race with less than 50hp,” reckons Melqui. “We manage to get there mostly with stronger valve springs, lighter pistons and richer fuel injection.” Even with all the tuning, the engine still makes that pop-pop-pop, low-rev diesel sound, just like a small fishing boat. But it’s now a lot faster: “I’ve reached over 55mph on the highway with my Jerico, which means Melqui’s can easily top 60mph on a paved road,” says Cefas.
and humid, the only way for a sane person to cope is to engage in heavy drinking. Luckily, street vendors toting bottles of Johnnie Walker abound. A shot costs the equivalent of just two dollars for a simple reason: the scotch is actually ‘Juanito Caminante’, the local slang for counterfeit Johnnie. The Red Bull meanwhile is legit, but its label is written in Spanish, not Portuguese, so it’s been brought in from Bolivia. Just as a brutal headache begins to engulf this reporter’s brain, Silvinho appears in a longcargo Jerico boasting all 14 girls who competed for the Queen of the Race accolade. Headache be damned, his invitation to “jump on and join the party” on the cargo bed cannot be turned down, and from that advantageous vantage point I notice a long scar under his left ear. “Toppled a Jerico while practising two years ago: 16 stitches and a lot of pain.” The parade passes through downtown before ending at the Jericodrome. Next to the circuit, a mud pit the size of a football field hosts action
“I’ve reached over 55mph on the highway with my Jerico, which means Melqui’s can easily top 60mph on a paved road” 54
hen the clock hits 3pm, Cefas politely asks us to leave so they can close up shop and get ready for the Parade of Jericos. Which may be, even more than the race itself, the biggest reason why half of Rondônia is coming to Alto Paraíso this weekend. Around 4pm, the main downtown street begins to clog up with a crowd, all in party mood, and the battle of the soundwalls starts. A soundwall is a pickup truck with loudspeakers bigger than itself, from which various types of music are blasting out at ear-bleeding volume. That variety of music is unfortunate as 25-or-so soundwalls are spread over a stretch of avenue maybe only 300m long, and all are competing for the attention of the ladies. Meantime, hundreds of small motorcycles rev high as their riders also vie for the attentions of the opposite sex, thus making the Parade of Jericos the most noise-polluted event on planet Earth. With the afternoon air knife-cut hot
Clockwise from top: Driver Juliano Moreira has his eyes cleaned by a team-mate; Melquisedeque de Lara during the final heat. He won the two-piston category; street parade action; even spectators end up covered in mud
that can broadly be defined as Amazon-rednecksplaying-daredevil-meets-USA-like-demolition-derby. Sliding your car across the mud pit in the most radical way is the goal, and big pickup trucks share space with urban compacts, which run backwards – the only way to powerslide a front-wheel-dive car. People ‘surfing’ on the beds of the sliding pickups is as common as trucks hitting each other. Nobody minds the fender-benders, though: timber, cattle and soy prices are all high in the international market, so everybody seems to have enough money in Rondônia. Sobriety, meanwhile, is a less-valued commodity – at least among those venturing into the mud pit. “Well, you have to understand that for us, this is our carnival,” 17-year-old Luzia Garbini, the Queen of the 2011 race, explains by way of justification, appearing slightly embarrassed by her subjects’ wild behaviour. As night-time approaches and with the party continuing downtown, the Jericodrome starts to 55
“You could touch another driver and nudge him out of the line, but now the officials are very strict about contact” quieten down. Going to bed is the only option to cure the whisky-induced hangover in time for the big race the following morning.
n Sunday, the racing Jericos arrive in the ‘paddock’ – a muddy corral – at 11am. A quad race heats up the crowd. While the drivers wait for The Paraguayan’s safety briefing, fans shout for autographs, with the signature of lumberjack Alex Oliveira being the most coveted. Alex’s machine sports a camouflaged paintjob and has taken him to four consecutive two-piston wins before Melqui dethroned him in 2010. Fast but erratic, this Gilles Villeneuve of the Amazon likes to trash-talk: “Melqui only won last year because I rolled over,” he says. The steering wheel on Alex’s Jerico, as on most others, has a bicycle handle grip welded to the rim. “To be fast in a Jerico, you need to shift gears very fast and very often,” he explains. “With the handle I can steer using just my left hand and keep my right hand on the shift knob all the time.” It’s past 2pm and the thermometers have climbed above 40°C when Senator Cassol’s chopper finally arrives, and it’s… showtime! Here’s how it works: four Jericos start lined up side-by-side for a four-lap heat. The top two qualify for the next round, until there are just four left for the big final. A helmet and a seatbelt are the only safety equipment required. The one-piston class runs the first heat. In the No 9 Jerico (sponsored by Senator Cassol himself), Norival Silva takes the lead on the first lap. No 8 then rolls over and is stuck in a dangerous spot on turn five; it takes three laps for a flagman to show up to wave a yellow flag to signal the danger. The random draw has put Melqui and Alex on the same heat for the first two-piston qualifier – a ‘Clash of Titans’, as the announcer shouts on the PA system. They place 1-2 with ease, while No 11 is sidelined by an engine fire. Back to one-piston, Cefas wins his qualifier, while Silvinho is defeated by his former mechanic Macedo, but goes on to the semi-finals in second place. Another mechanic at Silvinho’s shop, Reginaldo, is leading the second two-piston heat when a broken steering column sends him careening into a mud bank. He takes off his helmet, kneels down and cries unashamedly. In between heats, drivers work feverishly back in the paddock to fix their damaged vehicles. Support crews throw clean water on their eyes – most drivers don’t use goggles (too dirty too fast) and they end each heat with bright red eyes. On to the first one-piston semi-final, pitching Silvinho and Cefas head-to-head. Silvinho jumps 56
Clockwise from top: Melquisedeque de Lara crosses the finish line to win the race; after the final race, spectators jump into the muddy water; Silvio Stedile makes a turn in front of Cefas de Lara, during the final heat of the one-piston category
into the lead at the start, but Cefas’ machine is clearly faster. But as it turns out, after the first couple of heats it becomes very difficult to pass another Jerico. Only the racing line remains flat; everything else begins to look like arable land. Plus, the inside line on the two slowest corners is flooded, so dive-bombing on the hairpins is a no-go. “It used to be that you could touch another driver and nudge him out of the line, but now the officials are very strict about contact,” complains Cefas, who has to settle for second, but still makes it to the final. In the second two-piston semi, Alex and Melqui meet again. Melqui takes the early lead, while Alex misses a gear and drops to third. The four-time champ’s Jerico is much faster than Ismael’s in second place, but lacks the power to overcome the puddles of water outside the racing line. Trying to create a passing area where there isn’t one, Alex goes off-track and is stuck in the mud. Another DNF in the career of Amazon Gilles. Time for the one-piston final. Marcelo Bogorni’s No 4 makes the best start, leaving Silvinho and Cefas to go head-to-head on the first corner for second place. The way they almost touch wheels evokes Michael Schumacher squeezing Rubens Barrichello to the pitwall in last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, and although there’s no contact, the no-holds-barred battle takes them off the racing line and into the giant puddle at the first turn. It’s enough to give Marcelo an insurmountable lead. For the first time in seven attempts, he wins the National Race, despite his throttle pedal breaking on the second lap. Which is impressive indeed, as it means Marcelo has to take his left hand off the steering wheel and cross it across his chest on every one of the dozens of times has to change gear on the final two laps. With Alex absent, the two-piston final should be a Sunday drive for Melqui, and it looks like that’ll be the case when he takes the lead, heading into the first corner. But on the tricky turn two, the unthinkable happens: the champ goes into a spin. The dumbfounded “Ohhh!” that comes from the grandstands sounds like a Roger Federer double fault in a Wimbledon tiebreaker. Melqui drops to last as Dirceu Bogorni – Marcelo’s brother – jumps into his place, only to retire with a broken gearbox on the second lap. On lap three, Melqui pushes Juliano out of the way and moves to second behind Ismael. Seeing the champ closing in on the final lap is just too much for young Ismael, who misses his turn-in point on turn five and sinks into another giant puddle. The crowd goes insane as Melqui flashes by to win his second Honda bike in as many years. And so the Carnival resumes. Winners, losers, the local politicians, this out-of-town reporter: everybody either jumps or is thrown into the mud lake inside turn five. The sun is gone and the wind on our wet, muddy clothes feels chilly. No worries, though: there’s enough ‘Johnnie Walker’ to keep us all warm until dawn. You can see photos of the Jerico race by logging onto www.capitaldojerico.com
SNOW W AY ! Snowboarding in Lebanon. You’re having a laugh, right? These two pro freeriders would beg to differ Words: Szymon Styrczula-Maśniak Photography: Marcin Kin
Szymon StyrczulaMa śniak, freerider and and article author
Marcin Kin, photographer 58
Lebanon is stunning at first sight. Nightclubs, expensive cars and churches alongside mosques, modern architecture and feisty women. And a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere
Józek Gąsienica Gładczan, speedrider
ebanon is not likely to be high on your list of dream snowboarding destinations. But when Józek Gąsienica Gładczan and I, together with our good buddy photographer Marcin Kin, hit on the idea a year ago of scouting exotic locations in Lebanon, we were met with uncomprehending shakes of the head all round. “Are there even mountains there? Is there snow? Isn’t there a war on?” These, and many similar, were typical responses, so after repeated attempts to convince everyone that Lebanon had actual powder on real mountains, we give up talking about it. We decide
to fly there, experience it for ourselves and then we’d finally know the facts. Our plan is a long time taking shape. We wanted to broaden the horizons for our passion at whatever price, shooting freeride photos on unusual tracks, enjoying extraordinary powder and showing locals something new – speedriding – a mix of paragliding and skiing with long jumps and take-offs on the track. I’m the freerider in our team and Józek is the speedrider. Marcin will do pics. Our adventures begin somewhat earlier than planned, however. There had been peace in Lebanon for some time, but events take a dramatic turn just as we board our plane in Warsaw. 59
Lebanon and its contradictions. Beauty beside destruction. Ancient but also convulsed by the politics of the day
1. Take-off Just before our mobile phones lose reception in the plane, we read this on a news site: “Eleven Lebanese government ministers have just resigned in protest. That makes the work of government impossible, according to the country’s constitution. Consequently this can mean only one thing: emergency rule.” Still, we take off, we fly, we land. There are some increased security measures at Beirut’s airport, but nothing overly dramatic. No long queues, no fuss. It’s very hot, but we’re prepared for that. None of the customs officers pay any attention to our skiing equipment. Not because they’re used to the sight, but because there isn’t any. It’s still at Frankfurt where we had our stopover. We’re told that we’ll only be able to pick it up the next day. Happily, Marcin has his cameras with him. Once we’ve dealt with bureaucracy, we set off on our next mission: to find some wheels. Slowly, we begin to sense that people are nervous in a way that seems out of the ordinary. We pass the first military patrol and see armoured cars. That would have been fine at the airport, but here it’s more threatening. We pay a $100 deposit and hire a Hyundai i10, size: micro. We begin to wonder whether it might take two trips to get to the mountains because the three of us fill the car as it is and that’s before we’ve got any baggage in there.
2. Road Rage Driving in Lebanon is the first shock to the system, assuming, of course, you’ve made the crazy decision to confront the local traffic at all. They all blow the horn non-stop. During the day, at night, when overtaking. At a red light. At a green light. At roundabouts. At junctions. Small cars beep at big cars; big cars at small. The beeping becomes a constant, all-pervasive, paralysing racket. I’m the designated driver, probably because I appear halfway calm. But I’m soon at the end of my tether once we hit the road. A three-lane highway, which doesn’t have any markings, suddenly turns into a six-lane stream of vehicles. It would seem the rule here is to drive as if there as many lanes as the number of cars that can get alongside each other. The art of driving isn’t just to be able to predict someone’s sudden intention to change lanes or for a lorry to brake
DRIVING IN LEBANON Driving here yourself can be a daunting prospect. Before setting off, make sure you have maps, GPS and a French dictionary. But it always ends up the same: the only reliable signposts are the people you ask along the way.
Our route There Back
Gharzir BAALBEK Faraya Resort
SYRIA We feel the world around us is old, much older than the Alps that we are used to. We’re in the cradle of civilisation here, after all. The view stretches west from Beirut and out to sea
GOOD PRICE FOR YOU On our way to Faraya Mzaar, our curiosity leads us to stop at a stall which has been set up hastily in the boot of a parked car. An enterprising salesman is selling dates, nuts and the like. We’re thrilled, and get bags of them as a treat for our journey back. To our astonishment, the salesman – polite and smiley throughout the transaction – charges us $70! This is the second time we learn we should ask the price in advance. The first time was in the hotel; the third would be a couple of days later when we get charged $30 for three cobs of sweetcorn. By then we finally understand: first agree a price and say that we’re from Poland, not the West. We say goodbye to our nut-seller who promptly takes out his prayer mat for afternoon prayers by the roadside.
full-on. It’s a lot more than that. You have to keep looking from one mirror to the other; every other second someone appears out of nowhere and overtakes you on the right-hand side or cuts in from the left. There are no rules, no laws, it’s just a battle to hang in there. And don’t even think of driving alone. In no time my passengers have a function: they’ve got their hands out of the windows to convey our intentions (or threats). Polish expletives prove just as effective as local ones. We’re pretty proud of ourselves after a week of this endurance test.
3. Three Days till Normality Our hotel makes a pretty average impression, but we’re told that it’s going to cost $40 per person per night. That doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s less impressive when we first clap eyes on 62
our ‘two-star’ bedroom. We’re barely surprised when we learn that the price doesn’t include hot water or internet access. It becomes clearer we’re on another planet here. Well, we’re just going to have to get used to it... We head out into the city for the first time in the early evening, thirsty for adventure. The taxi driver, who, it later turns out, will be our only adventure that evening, dives straight into his account of the current unrest. He says there’s nothing for us to worry about. But we can’t see any people on the streets. Their place has been taken by soldiers and heavily armoured cars. But according to our loquacious tour guide, everything will soon be back to normal. Just give it three days. “We’re completely used to this sort of situation,” our taxi driver assures us. “The military are here to guarantee security in the short term. Then the people will unite and everything will be back to normal.” We believe
him, but mainly because we have to – we really have no other choice. By night, the city is virtually empty and it demonstrates to us once again how far from reality our Central European image of the Middle East really is. We’re amazed at the old buildings, at the Catholic churches (built in an almost brotherly fashion alongside mosques), but most of all at the modern architecture. Like little children, we’re constantly pointing up at glass skyscrapers, new residential districts, funfair illuminations, nightclubs, restaurants and exclusive shops. And the cars! Never in our lives have we seen so much high-end metal per square metre. A lemon-yellow Lamborghini Gallardo passes us on the right. We overtake a Rolls-Royce on our left. A young woman smiles as she slams shut the door of a Ferrari California on the roadside. We begin to understand why our hotel costs as much without hot water and internet access as hotels in other countries do with. Money seems to grow on trees around here. As he waves us goodbye, the taxidriver shouts over to us a reassuring reminder: “Don’t worry. In three days everything will be back to normal!”
4. Faraya Mzaar The rest of our luggage arrives the following morning, and right to our hotel room, just as promised. Excellent. We squeeze it all into our micro-car in record time. Somebody points us towards Faraya Mzaar, our inland ski destination. “Straight on, turn right after the tunnel and then it’s uphill all the way.” So that’s clear then. The European-looking glass buildings soon give way to grey, two-storey, slightly crumbling structures, most of which have a small shop on the ground floor. Everyone’s working an angle here: everyone’s pushing or pulling something; everyone’s selling something, building something, repairing something. Nothing and nobody stands still for a second. The traffic gets heavier as we make the ascent. We overtake a car ill-equipped to make the journey with its summer tyres. At 8am, it seems as if all of Beirut has set off to go skiing. All hell has broken loose. We dive for the nearest parking place and then we’re off. There’s a buzz as we go up in the chair-lift, despite cloud ruining the view early on. After a few gusts, though, the sky clears and what we see takes our breath away. The
The long journey pays off. We discover exotic mountains with a breathtaking view. We get the feeling at the summit that we can see all of Lebanon
As we wait for the weather to improve, we get to know this ancient land. According to local fishermen, you can still find traces of civilisation here dating to the Phoenicians. Later came the colonial power, France
practice slope. Lesson learned, we’re the last to leave the slope. We’re happy and exhausted. As we should be.
5. Snoop Dogg at Powder
MEAN STREETS After a week of driving ourselves around, we have learned to hold our own pretty well on the road. We put hastily learned gestures, the right facial expressions and some shouting to good use. It doesn’t matter what language we scream in either. Although there are often six lanes of traffic on what is meant to be a three-lane road, we don’t see a single accident the whole time we’re in Lebanon. Although we do see one nightclub-goer staggering into his Mercedes GLK and ramming other cars in the narrow streets. He is immediately apprehended by passers-by and handed over to the police. Note: third-party insurance is not the norm in Lebanon. The person who causes the damage has to pay out of his own pocket. It’s as simple as that.
Lebanese mountains may not be the steepest that we’ve ever been on, but their location makes them pretty extraordinary. They look like giant dunes and hills with an untold number of crevices. They ascend from the Mediterranean to an average height of 3,000m and the whiteness of the snow makes an eerie contrast with the drab backdrop of the densely populated country. In fact, the country was named after these snow-covered mountains. The word ‘Lebanon’ means ‘white’ or ‘milk’ in the local tongue. At the top, Józek and I pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and plan our lines. We feel the world around us is old. Much older than the Alps, which is what we are used to. We’re in the cradle of our civilisation here, after all. The view stretches west to Beirut and out to the sea. The mountains descend sharply in this direction, and they are overgrown with oak forests. Towards the east on the other hand, towards the
direction of Damascus, the drop is gentler, and it ends in dry desert. Marcin gives the signal. We start together and remain side by side for a moment. Then I see my friend opening his parachute and taking off. Cue a few more turns and a landing and we end the descent together at the agreed location. There’s fresh snow and the weather’s perfect; there’s the joy of a first descent. We’re getting a snowboarder’s high. We could scream with happiness. Our fellow boarders and skiers have probably never seen anything like it before. We don’t leave the slope again. The terrain is relatively simple and avalanche-free, so plenty of people head off-piste. You’re a freerider here before you know it. But we’re asked by a liftattendant to “drop the parachute thing”. He explains why. Some of the visitors to the ski resort are terrified by the “threatening shadow from the sky” and of the man who by sheer misfortune lands among frightened skiers on the
That same day, we get to know the owner of the hippest bar in Faraya. The parties at Powder are said to attract revellers from as far afield as Beirut. The bar’s small, but the atmosphere makes up for that. And there are plenty of hints, besides the name, that we’re probably going to meet lots of like-minded individuals here: the walls are decorated with photos of world-famous freeriders and in the middle of the bar, a TV is showing videos on the same theme. It soon becomes clear the Lebanese know how to party. They really know how to party. And when a Snoop Dogg gig is broadcast on the TsV, suddenly everyone’s a West Coast hip-hopper. We’ve soon met almost everyone. They’re mountain people, like us, addicted to freeriding. They’re friendly, approachable and helpful. Their ‘inside info’ helps us scout locations that give us more great locations for photoshoots. The pace has eased back a little after the Snoop concert and people drift away along the winding mountain roads. We’ve made new friends and have a million invitations to come back.
6. Tripoli The weather doesn’t always play ball with our plans. Like on the day that we check the skiing conditions and decide we’d better give it a miss. So we scout the surroundings for an hour or so until we take the decision to tackle Tripoli head-on. Marcin, our photographer, realises he doesn’t have a change of shoes and becomes the centre of attention, wandering around the town in snowboarding shoes, a garish jacket and bright green trousers. Cue stunned looks from the locals. In Tripoli, with its largely Sunni population, the dress code is black (possibly combined with some other inconspicuous colour). We squeeze our way through the narrow and stuffy alleyways of the old town and treat ourselves to lunch. Looks like it’ll take a little longer for us to pass as locals... To find out more about skiing in Lebanon, check out www.faraya-mzaar.com
Ashley Fiolek has overcome broken bones and total deafness to succeed in the traditionally male sport of motocross. Up next, another championship â€“ if only she can stop the boys from texting and wild boars messing up her track Words: Ann Donahue Photography: Brady Fontenot
ost of us spend our lives moving in a horizontal plane: walking from house to car, driving from home to work, maybe pedalling a bit on the bike after a day’s work at the office. But two-time women’s motocross champion and double X Games Super X gold medallist Ashley Fiolek prefers life on the vertical. Give her a 250cc motorbike and she’ll climb on and set about finding the biggest dirt hill around to fling herself up and over. Give her a unicycle and she immediately wheels off and starts stunting with confident bunny hops. Give her a bowling ball and just before she hucks it down the lane, she finishes her approach with a quick, bouncy skip. Fiolek turns and smiles at the crowd that’s assembled to watch her bowl at Florida’s Anastasia Lanes in St Augustine, USA. Deaf since birth, she attended the nearby Florida School for The Deaf & 68
Ashley Fiolek can often be found training in her parents’ back garden
The Blind and is something of a local celebrity. “That’s the secret!” she signs. “Jumping!” Admittedly, Fiolek’s bowling technique sends her cell phone skittering out of her pocket into one gutter and the ball into the opposite one. Her goal on the day is to break a score of 100 – an aim-low target that makes her mother, Roni, a former league bowler, sigh disconsolately. But catching air is where the 20-year-old is most comfortable. There are other rivals besides gravity that Fiolek must vanquish en route to attempting to regain her title when the motocross season starts in May. First and foremost, there’s six-time women’s motocross champ Jessica Patterson, who took the title back from Fiolek during the 2010 season. But a day spent with Fiolek as she trains reveals an array of foes: ghosts, robots and lovelorn boys. Also, at night the wild boars come.
“ I want to be the first woman to qualify for the men’s national race. My fans are telling me I can do it”
iolek is in the bedroom of her house in St Augustine – it’s her first home of her own. She completed the purchase the same day as winning X Games gold last summer, and she’s showing how the ghost communicates with her. Standing in front of a lavender-coloured wall in her bedroom, she signs that she will be in bed when the door to the adjacent bathroom will suddenly slam closed. “We keep telling her it’s the vent,” says Roni Fiolek. “But she’s named the ghost Fred.” Fred, by all accounts, seems to be a benevolent spirit. And he could also be wreaking havoc with the electricity, as today the flashing light that tells Fiolek when someone rings her doorbell is on the fritz. But she still seems quite content in her new home. She has a training room upstairs with cardio equipment and free weights: her schedule is to mimic what she does on race day by getting up at 7.30am, making breakfast, reading for a while – her current choice is Apolo Ohno’s Zero Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday – and then working out. “I started a new training programme this year,” she says. “I increased my strength and my cardio, and I’m working with my dad again as my coach. I didn’t work with him for a couple years – it’s hard because he’s my dad and it’s difficult to separate that. But he’s the only guy I can really understand.” Jim Fiolek was an amateur motocrosser who introduced his daughter to the sport when she was three, on a Yamaha with training wheels. She was racing competitively by age seven, with Jim teaching her when to change up or down gears by judging the feel of them rumbling. (Her participation worried other parents, who feared Ashley wouldn’t hear their children approach to pass and she would crash into them. As it turned out, her competitors didn’t find themselves in a position to pass her very often.) Riding by sensation is a technique she still uses, and when Fiolek was asked to coast in neutral for a recent commercial shoot, she confessed that it’s the hardest thing for her to do on a bike. After a 2010 season where Fiolek finished second in the WMX series to Patterson and struggled with her motivation as she attempted to catch up with Patterson, now she’s renewed her focus on the rivalry. “Me and Jessica, we both work really hard,” says Fiolek. “I want my title back. She wants to keep it. But I think I’m ready this year.” For her part, Patterson is just as eager to resume her rivalry with Fiolek. “Not winning races isn’t much fun,” she says. “I think that’s why we both keep pushing each other to that next level.” It’s a competition that helps the women’s side of the sport, which has suffered in exposure due to erratic TV coverage in recent years. “The greatest
“ All the boys she talks to were mad at her, saying, ‘why doesn’t she text me?’ and she’s like, ‘I’m busy – I have a job’ ” 70
a quick route to stardom is being at the top in your field and looking like a bad-ass, mud-covered dakota fanning challenge – which is a challenge for most women’s sports – is getting media coverage of the racing and more of the racers,” says Miki Keller, founder of the Women’s Motocross Association and X Games Women’s Super X Director. “A TV package for the WMX Nationals would help the athletes get more support deeper in the field.” In February, Fiolek extended her contract with the American Honda Racing factory team for two years, giving her a bit of breathing space. “Last year I was so stressed about, ‘What if I lost? What would happen?’” she says. “And I think this year it kind of helps me because it gives me more confidence to know that I’m signed.” Enough confidence, perhaps, to strive for a big goal: Fiolek has her eye on qualifying for a men’s motocross national race in the 250cc class. “I want to be the first woman to do that,” she says. “My fans are telling me I can do it.” Besides her spot on the factory Honda team, there is another worry off Fiolek’s mind. In December of last year the metal plate was removed from the collarbone she broke in the final event of the 2009 season. “If it got cold then it would start to hurt,” she says. “It’s weird, I could feel the screws kind of moving around.” (At this point, Roni Fiolek interrupts her translation of Ashley’s signing to say out loud and aghast: “You didn’t tell me that!”) “If you touched it, or if people grabbed me there, the screws would be kind of popping out, and because I’m so thin I could feel it and it bothered me,” she explains. “But it feels good now. There’s no more metal in me. I’m not a robot any more.”
ith Fiolek’s back-to-back wins in the X Games, her popularity has gone up. Besides Red Bull and Honda, her sponsors include Rockwell, which designed a hot pink watch for Fiolek, and moto fashion brand Smooth Industries made motocross-style Fiolek pyjamas. She’s made the transition from teen athlete to businesswoman, and as her profile increases, so does interest in her personal life – after all, a quick route to stardom is being at the top in your field and looking like a bad-ass, mud-covered Dakota Fanning. She coyly alludes to dating fellow Red Bull athlete, BMX rider Daniel Dhers, in her autobiography, Kicking Up Dirt, and she’s a frequent target of yenta-esque manoeuvres by the mothers of other extreme athletes. Fiolek isn’t giving anything away though: “I keep getting phone numbers, but there’s nobody serious,” she laughs. Roni Fiolek laughs as her daughter describes playing the field. “Last week was bad because she 72
worked from 7am to 6pm every day, so we were in bed by 9pm,” says Roni. “All the boys she talks to were mad at her, saying, ‘Why doesn’t she text me?’ and she’s like, ‘I’m busy – I have a job.’” Ashley interrupts her mom, giggles and gives off-the-cuff advice to would-be Romeos: “If you don’t like me, just move on. I don’t need you.” Even with her newfound independence, Fiolek still relies on her family. Her parents’ home is less than a mile away, and every day she drives her pimped-out black Ford F-150 truck with hot pink detailing down the street to ride the motocross track they’ve built in the backyard. She rides for a couple of hours in the afternoon – the closest neighbours drive Harleys, so they’re OK with the noise as long as Fiolek finishes by 5pm – and then eats dinner. When Fiolek pulls up in front of her parents’ home for an afternoon riding session, her father, Jim, comes outside. Fiolek’s seven-year-old brother, Kicker, is laid up inside with a fever and Jim wants to keep her away from the germ zone. She tells her father about the morning’s photo shoot and the tour she gave of her house. “Did she tell you about the ghost?” asks Jim. “It’s just the air vent,” he explains, before giving an update on the condition of the track before Fiolek starts riding. “The wild boars were back last night,” he says, giving the sign for ‘pig’ – right hand under the chin and a vigorous waggling of the fingers. “There are prints all over the place in the back.” Sure enough, there’s tell-tale evidence on the sandy portions of the course, with deep tracks, patches of up-rooted mushrooms and large chunks of bark missing from trees where the boars rubbed themselves. Given the size of one of the set of prints, Jim estimates that one of the boars may weigh upwards of several hundred pounds. For her part, Fiolek is less concerned with the boars than by the fact that the muddy track may hamper her practice session. She puts in a few tentative test laps to find out where there is standing water she needs to avoid. When she gains her confidence, she guns it through the whoops – the bumpy part of the track – and over a jump that sends her soaring in front of a cluster of pines. She repeats the circuit 15, 20, 30 times and makes goofball hand gestures to her friends and family each time she hits the apex of the jump. It may be the first time a display of finger guns receives an honest laugh from an audience.
ack at the bowling alley, Fiolek is close – tantalisingly close – to breaking 100. Her form gets a little more traditional; even with the hop at the end of her motion she focuses more on her back swing and is experimenting with adding some spin to the ball. In one glorious turn, it all comes together: she glides down the alley, pops up, and gives the ball just enough of a heave to send it dead centre down the middle of the lane. The pins clatter as she achieves her first strike of the session. “BOOYAH!” Fiolek yells and, of course, she then leaps into the air to celebrate.
Ride over to www.ashleyfiolek.com
Die Antwoord: The Bigger Question
Die Antwoord is fronted by Waddy Jones and Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Jones inhabits his â€˜Ninjaâ€™ persona with such dedication that he refuses to allow anyone to refer to him as anything else
Controversial electronic/ hip-hop group Die Antwoord went viral and took South African music global. True or false? A little bit of both, actually. Before, during and after their rise to fame, other South African artists were making a noise, both at home and abroad Words: Bruno Morphet
photography: ross garrett
own at the front of a Die Antwoord show, it’s like you’re waiting for someone to throw the first punch. The sense of foreboding is laced with adrenalin as the group’s front man, Ninja, stands sullen and silent, scowling at the crowd assembled in a Cape Town warehouse. Front woman Yo-landi Vi$$er squeaks out the intro to Enter The Ninja, DJ Hi-Tek drops the bass, and Ninja comes alive: fists out, teeth bared, whipping up a riot. His performance is relentless, impossible to ignore. Some poor guy takes his eye off the stage for a moment, and suddenly Ninja is nose to nose with him, barking orders through the mic, telling him that he should leave if he can’t handle it. Ninja will get into people’s faces if he has to. The event is the launch of Die Antwoord’s single, Evil Boy. Both song and accompanying video were produced by American electro maestro Diplo. It is October 2010, just nine months after the group went nova, thanks to the video for Enter The Ninja finding its way onto the hugely popular BoingBoing blog, and after that, pretty much everywhere else on the internet. The resulting wave of interest led to a world tour and a deal with the Interscope record label, home of Lady Gaga and Eminem. It also directed the world’s attention onto the wider South African music scene. And where many of those observers see overnight success, there is in reality something inevitable about all this. For a long time, South Africa was a cultural dumping ground. In the aftermath of the boycott of the apartheid state, the country’s artists and creatives suffered from a deeply entrenched inferiority complex brought on by 30 years of geographical and cultural isolation. In music, local bands were
STYLE: Known as ‘zef-hop’, it’s like Vanilla Ice, only much scarier. This is heavy rave hip-hop with a lot of swearing. career: Known for his propensity to tear things down soon after building them up, Watkin Tudor Jones has stuck with Die Antwoord and achieved massive incendiary success. Listen to: Die Antwoord unleashed their belligerence last year with debut album, $O$. WEB: www.dieantwoord.com
Die Interview Nothing is conventional about Die Antwoord. Conducted via email at his request, here is Ninja, in his own words Why do you think there is such a big buzz about South African electronic music now? Probably because of Die Antwoord or something. Me and Yo-landi also got a buzz after we smoked a zol and went for a ride in a SAP helicopter last week. It was during dis secret project we doing wif Neill ‘Fokken’ Blomkamp, the D9 director. I got ‘D9’ tattooed inside my lower lip. Are there any South African musicians right now that you’d like to work with in the future? Ja I would work with Scallywag, Isaac Mutant, Jaak Paarl, Knoffel and Jack Parow again. I also shmaak Jitz Vinger. Have you got a favourite Die Antwoord gig? All our gigs are da same. We come, we see, we skop fokken gat. How did your recent collaboration with American DJ and producer Diplo come about? Diplo sent us a beat and asked us if we wanted to rap on it. It sounded like a Kwaito beat, even though Diplo can’t even spell Kwaito or his own name. We thought da beat was real nasty, plus it mystikally fitted wif dis rap we was working on called Evil Boy. So everyfing worked out spif. Who did you think was cool early on when you were starting to make your first raps? N.W.A, Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, and Da Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In your book, you mention the many other rap groups you formed while you were smoking weed. Why so many? Were you bored? I get bored when things are kak. If things are ace of bass, I never get bored. Is it true that you have kicked some people in the face at your gigs? No. I’ve never kicked someone in da face at a gig. I only kneed some dronk Scottish guy in da face in Glasgow after he threw a full beer can at DJ Hi-Tek’s face and cut his eye open. DJ Hi-Tek punched him in the face also. The Scottish people party fokken rof. We love dem, except dat one guy. Yo-landi was the one who kicked some French guy in the face during a live show after he kept trying to grab her while she was rapping. She also hit him fokken hard on da head wif a Sure SM57 microphone which is a very tuff mic. But Yo-landi uses a AKG mic now cos it suits her voice better.
"DA BEAT was real NASTY, it FITTED WITH WHAT WE WAS WORKING ON" NINJA
not supported with any great enthusiasm and international acts only toured as a last resort. After liberation in 1994, South African musicians were given, slowly but surely, the opportunities available to their overseas peers. After that international bands and DJs started visiting more often, the internet and social networking bridged the geographical gap, and homegrown artists and audiences became more confident in their own product. A burgeoning electronic scene sprang up in South Africa’s major cities, with artists and producers collaborating more freely. Some even went on to achieve success overseas. The announcement of South Africa as the host of the FIFA World Cup, however, directed global attention on the country more than ever before. Suddenly, journalists arrived in numbers to document the road to 2010 and artists found their music travelling much further than before. When District 9, the sci-fi movie set in a township outside of Johannesburg, took US$200m at the worldwide box office in 2009, it was clear that South African culture was ready, willing and able to make more big noise on the world stage. Enter the Ninja. Die Antwoord (which translates to ‘The Answer’ in Afrikaans) is the latest in a long series of collaborative projects in which Ninja, aka Waddy Jones, has had a hand. This latest endeavour has been the 36-year-old’s most carefully orchestrated and successful, yet it is only one of many sonic catalysts that ignited the explosion of South African electronic music. (Die Antwoord stand poised to move beyond music with a film project currently being planned with Neil Blomkamp, the director of District 9.) It’s important to know that the seeds for this ‘sudden success’ have been germinating for years among a nexus of South African talent, drawn together through collaborations, and propelled by a relentless drive for success that has seen the group leave behind allegiances and identities like so much obsolete studio equipment. Inspired by the DJ sets of South African hip-hop pioneer Ready D, Simon Ringrose, aka Sibot, started spinning in small clubs in Cape Town in the late 1990s, and quickly became one of the city’s leading scratch DJs. A meeting with Waddy Jones in a Johannesburg club led to the formation of Max Normal, an electronic/hip-hop four-piece. The marketing savvy of Jones, then going under the stage name of Max Normal, and the band’s reputation for solid live 77
"I got INVOLVED in sWEAT X for THE FAME RATHER THAN AS AN ARTISTIC PURSUIT" MARKUS WORMSTORM
MArkus WormSTORM STYLE: A classically trained hip-hop and techno-influenced musician, producer and DJ known for his atmospheric soundscapes. career: Has collaborated with Waddy Jones and Felix Laband. Was also involved with Real Estate Agents, Sweat X and Blackheart Gang. Listen to: Check out his Not I, But A Friend mix, a download from Wormstorm’s website. WEB: www.markuswormstorm.tv
performance earned them spots at major festivals in South Africa and abroad, but just as interest in Max Normal peaked, Jones disbanded the group. He and Sibot, however, stayed in touch and upon meeting producer Markus Wormstorm, started working on their Constructus Corporation project. The creative nucleus of Jones, Sibot, Wormstorm and fellow producer Felix Laband, produced The Ziggurat, an ambitious concept album for the pioneering African Dope label, that came with an 88-page graphic novel. The scope of the project, and its escalating costs, proved to be the undoing of the
photography: morne van zyl (2), nico krijno (1)
STYLE: Mathambo’s progressive sound has been labelled everything from African-electro to new wave and rap. career: A self-styled Afro futurist, he gained prominence fronting SA electro-rap outfits Sweat X and Playdoe. Listen to: His heavy Mshini Wam album features a Kwaito-style cover of Joy Division’s Control. WEB: www.spoekmathambo.com
band. Jones retreated into solo work, while Wormstorm and Sibot formed scratch ’n’ synth duo Real Estate Agents, becoming the darlings of Cape Town’s underground club scene thanks largely to their irreverent performances in elaborate costumes. While touring South Africa with the Real Estate Agents, Wormstorm began a collaboration with Johannesburg rapper Spoek Mathambo, a contributor on Jones’ 2005 album, The Fantastic Kill. Wormstorm and Mathambo formed Sweat X in 2006, whose fusion of proto-rave, ghetto tech and local patois gained the attention of international booking agents, which resulted in gigs at clubs such as London’s Fabric on several tours of Europe. “There’s no doubt I got involved in Sweat X for the fame rather than as an artistic pursuit, but I am proud of what we achieved in that time,” says Wormstorm. He is currently involved in The Blackheart Gang, a collective of animators and illustrators whose 2006 film, The Tale Of How, won a succession of international awards. Mathambo is a creative force all of his own, but he also typifies the evolution of South African electronic music. Attending the same school as Sibot in Johannesburg, he was drawn into the scene at an early age. Dropping out of medical school to study advanced marketing was a logical step for someone looking to promote himself, and soon after, in 2006, when Mathambo was 22, Sweat X was formed. Not content with just the one collaboration, he teamed up with his school friend Sibot to form Playdoe, who, like Sweat X, played festivals as part of European tours. Playdoe was a killer combo of Mathambo’s electrifying stage presence and Sibot’s deft scratching. They were signed to French label Jarring Effects in 2009. “Playdoe brought me my biggest success to date,” says Sibot. “But at that stage, South African electro was also getting a lot of attention through stuff like DJ Mujava [Mujava’s electronica track Township Funk was released on legendary UK label Warp, home of Aphex Twin]. His Township record virtually spawned an entire sub-genre in the UK.” By 2010, Mathambo had gone solo and signed to the prestigious BBE label in London. He put together a full live band, and named his album, Mshini Wam, which translates to ‘my machine gun’, in reference to President Jacob Zuma’s much-loved political anthem. “I wanted to move away from the whole ‘one guy on a mic, one guy on a laptop’ aesthetic that I’d toured with Playdoe
SIBOT STYLE: Difficult to pin down. Somewhere between electronic, hip-hop and Kwaitech. career: Max Normal, Constructus Corporation, The Real Estate Agents and Playdoe are all on Sibot’s CV. Has worked a lot with Waddy Jones and Markus Wormstorm. Listen to: Sibot’s Super Evil Me mix on MySpace is a perfect example of his deeply eclectic sound. WEB: www.myspace.com/sibot
"PLAYDOE BROUGHT ME MY BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE" SIBOT
STYLE: Modern, deep Afro house blending African voice choirs and interpretations of Zulu Maskandi rhythms. career: Found success after being selected for the 2009 Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona. De Song was inspired by the African house spun by DJs Black Coffee and DJ Kabila. listen to: His first album, We Baba, is a hypnotic, lush affair. WEB: www.myspace.com/culoedsong
"The internet changed everything. I’m amazed that my music is well known when I travel" Culoe DE SONG
photography: morne van zyl
CULOE DE SONG
and Sweat X,” says Mathambo. “I wanted to create a big party atmosphere on stage like P-Funk had. George Clinton and those guys had literally 20 guys on stage, you can’t help but party with them.” Mathambo recently returned from a tour of the United States and Europe, during which he was offered a deal by legendary Seattle label SubPop, one-time home of Nirvana. Even though Die Antwoord singled him and Wormstorm out in their 2009 diss track, Fish Paste, Mathambo regards Die Antwoord’s success as well-earned, but distinct from his own: “Their success hasn’t affected me much,” he says. “But they were the first to break that difficult US market.” Eloise Jones, aka EJ von Lyrik, feels differently. “I think Die Antwoord makes great business sense,” she says. “But with that kind of power comes responsibility.” Jones grew up in the Cape Flats community (south-east of Cape Town) from whose slang and cultural identity Waddy Jones (no relation) borrowed in the process of creating Die Antwoord. As a member of female rap group Godessa, EJ achieved recognition through the Rogue State Of Mind series of albums, as well as playing large European festivals such as Pukkelpop in Belgium. Now solo, she has two albums under her belt and toured Germany and France last year with her band. She also disagrees with the violent, hyper-sexualised ‘zef’ manifesto of Die Antwoord. Coming from the gang-infested streets of Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, it’s easy to see why. “I don’t see why a woman needs to flash her ass at the audience to get results,” she says. “I think Die Antwoord’s content is questionable, but I can appreciate the planning that’s got them to where they are.” Hip-hop and electronic artists aren’t the only South Africans making their mark internationally. Largely unsung on taste-making blogs is the country’s deep house sound, made by producers such as Black Coffee and Culoe De Song, both alumni of the Red Bull Music Academy. Coffee’s production career took off after securing a place at the 2003 Academy in Cape Town, while De Song’s big break came in 2008 when he attended the session in Barcelona. The latter’s lush sound captured the attention
"I don’t see why A woman has to flash her ass at the audience to get results" EJ VON LYRIK
EJ VON LYRIK STYLE: Influenced by funk, rock and roots reggae, von Lyric’s message-orientated lyrics are concerned with social progression. career: First gained notable success with all-female hip-hop crew Godessa in 2000. As a solo artist, she performs with her band The Champions. Listen to: Showed her true lyrical brilliance on second solo album, The Human Condition. WEB: www.ejvonlyrik.com
of German label Innervisions, who released his tune, The Bright Forest in 2009. This led to a string of bookings on the European club circuit, where he remains in high demand. “The internet and social networking changed everything for us,” says De Song, who is wise for his 21 years. “Producers and DJs who you previously never had access to could suddenly be reached, and collaborations were made easier. Selling music online became simpler and more producers could get their sound out to a wider audience than ever before. I’m always amazed when I travel to Italy, for instance, and my music is well known.” Die Antwoord’s ‘year zero’ approach to their music has made it somewhat difficult to revisit the network of collaborative projects that form their history. Waddy Jones will not answer questions about anything before Die Antwoord, nor will he allow any of the material to be re-released. He inhabits the Ninja persona with such conviction that not even his friends and family are permitted to refer to him by any other name. Yet those he has collaborated with on the path to international recognition have made their own imprints on the world’s music market, and continue to achieve success in their own right, both because of, and in spite of, the unprecedented focus on Die Antwoord. South Africa has been forced to play catch-up with the rest of the world in terms of cultural exports, but the pace with which its current roster of noted artists have succeeded shows that boundaries to competing on the world stage exist only in terms of desire and ambition – if you want it, you can get it. As interest in South African music increases outside the country, so does the support for them from inside, making possible a second wave of producers and artists. Hip-hop acts such as Sedge Warbler and P.H. Fat play to capacity crowds at clubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, while SA festivals no longer rely on big international names to draw crowds. As the local electronic and hip-hop music scene reaches a critical mass, its clear that not only is the product stronger, but that best is yet to come. South Africa’s music industry can be found online at www.mio.co.za
Body+ Mind more
Ready for battle: Red Bull X-Fighters will celebrate its 10th birthday in the famous Plaza de Toros de las Ventas this summer. Turn the page for the full 2011 tour schedule
Contents 84 TRAVEL IDEAS Follow the 2011 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 86 GET THE GEAR Wanna try Red Bull Crashed Ice? You’ll need this lot 88 TRAINING Top tips from the pros 89 THE STROKES Guitarist Nick Valensi on making their new album 90 FOOD Chef’s secrets and a recipe to follow 92 BEST CLUBS The Wright Venue, Dublin, Ireland 93 TAKE 5 Jamie xx on his top five albums 94 THE LIST 96 SAVE THE DATE
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
98 MIND’S EYE
more body & mind
Up and away This month‘s travel tips
X = 10 years Red bull X-fighters world tour
Those Red Bull X-Fighters have been wowing crowds for a decade. The big anniversary party takes place in Madrid this summer, so we thought we’d give you some ideas to make your stay in the Spanish capital that bit better 84
The Red Bull X-Fighters competition at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid has been a highlight on the sporting calendar since 2002. More than 23,000 bike-crazy fans – some armed with chainsaws and white handkerchiefs – guarantee a frenetic atmosphere at Spain’s largest bullfighting arena. The crazy freestyle motocross event turns 10 this year, making it an extra-special season, and this Madrid leg of the tour promises to be a unique occasion, as Spanish daredevil Dany Torres, last year’s winner Robbie Maddison and eight other bikers lock horns with reigning champion Nate Adams in a display of their breathtaking flights through the night sky. But step away from the arena and you’ll find the city has plenty of other attractions. www.redbullxfighters.com
Tour dates April 15 JBR Beach, Dubai, UAE May 28 Esplanada dos Ministérios, Brasilia, Brazil June 24 Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy July 15 Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, Madrid, Spain August 6 Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland September 17 Sydney, Australia
Words: ulrich corazza
A colourful, action-packed show and a deafening atmosphere at Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
Tips for your Red Bull X-Fighters trip to Madrid The Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas arena is right next to Ventas metro station on lines two and five. A single ticket costs €1 (85p). It’s only 30 minutes in a taxi from Madrid’s Barajas Airport in the north-east of the city to the arena and the journey isn’t expensive, but the traffic is terrible in rush hour. If you haven’t got much luggage, you could take a motorbike taxi to avoid the queues.
Regardless of where you sit in the 23,000-capacity arena, your view will be unimpeded thanks to the steeply set stands. The best place to sit is right in the middle so that you’re swallowed up in the atmosphere. The Madrid fans are very enthusiastic and crazy about bikes. Some bring chainsaws (without blades) to the stadium which makes for quite a racket. Ear plugs are essential!
In recent years, the event has always been held over two days. But this year it will take place on one day – July 15. You can buy tickets online at www.redbullxfighters.com and www.elcorteingles.es as well as at El Corte Inglés department stores throughout Spain. If you can’t get your hands on a ticket, you can still follow all the action on Red Bull Web TV.
If you really want to get involved in what is probably the most colourful stop on the tour, you should dress up as a superhero or bullfighter. But don’t put on too many clothes – the temperature in Madrid in July can reach a sweltering 40ºC.
One tradition that’s been borrowed from bullfighting is spectators waving white handkerchiefs. That’s how the public express their admiration for a torero, so it seems fitting that the crowd does the same for a fancy bike trick. The handkerchiefs, which are distributed free for the Red Bull X-Fighters competition, are a sought-after collector’s item. Make sure you grab one on the day.
Last year’s winner Robbie Maddison in action… And then celebrating If you want to stay right next to the arena, check yourself into the modern, four-star Rafael Hotel Ventas. Its big talking point is a wonderful art collection. Then there’s the swanky four-star Zenit Abeba. It’s about 600m west of the Plaza de Toros in the pretty district of Salamanca. Prices for a double room including breakfast start at about €80 (£70) for the room.
You might meet one of the riders at Los Timbales, on Calle Alcalá 227. This tapas bar is right next to the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas and has real ‘torero flair’. You should definitely try their speciality of Rabo de Toro – that’s oxtail to you and me.
If you’ve got time to hire a motorbike for a day, you should definitely ride along the open mountain roads from El Escorial to Avila. One of the places bikers like to stop for a snack is at the Bar Cruz Verde. Get your wheels from one of these hire services: www.motocircuito.net www.rentscooterspain.com www.imtbike.com
If you want more action, you could take your (hired) bike for a spin at the Jarama Circuit (20 miles north of Madrid) or a little further north at El Molar Motocross Circuit, which is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
Ángel Nieto is a 13-time motorcycle road-racing World Champion, so it’s little wonder he’s a hero in his homeland. If you want to know more about the life of a man who racked up 90 grand prix victories, then head over to the Museo Ángel Nieto. It can be found at: Avenida del Planetario 4. Opening hours in July: 9:30am to 3pm and 5:30pm to 8pm weekdays; 10:30am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/red bull Content Pool (2), Jörg Mitter/red bull Content Pool (1). illustration: andreas posselt
more body & mind
TSG downhill helmet; Scott goggles Safer, better-looking and much more comfortable than an ice hockey helmet, plus downhill goggles with transparent lenses. Special Ice Cross Downhill helmets will soon be on the shelves.
CCM elbow pads It’s only natural to come into contact with the boards in our sport. Top-quality ice hockey pads are a must-have item.
Red Bull Crashed Ice bag Airlines frequently try to charge me £250 excess baggage fees for the bag, and it’s always a pain to get it down to £50.
Salming gloves These lightweight ice hockey gloves don’t just keep your hands warm; they’re protective, too, in case you fall over. Crashed Ice socks My favourite pair of socks are from Red Bull Crashed Ice Lausanne in 2009.
get the gear Pro kit
Ice-cool all-rounder claudio caluori The
Swiss mountain bike downhiller and World Cup team boss is a Red Bull Crashed Ice expert, impromptu cameraman and TV pundit. This is his equipment for testing tracks at the fiercely contested downhill races
Graf Ultra G-70 ice hockey boots Top Swiss skates. The blades are interchangeable for different tracks and temperatures.
Biberli A Swiss pastry with an almond filling for something to eat on the road. The best thing to go with it? An ice cold… Well, what did you expect?
CCM pants Heavily padded, good-quality ice hockey pants are a big must.
CCM shoulder pads A loan from the world of ice hockey. Pads are being developed that will also give spine protection.
Photography: jürgen skarwan
Knee and shin pads Another ice hockey loan. As we don’t have to block flying pucks, they can be a bit thinner in our sport.
more body & mind
MORNING 300 chin-ups, wearing a 16kg rucksack for the last 100
MORNING 12 sets for the back and stomach muscles using weights
10 sets of bench presses
AFTERNOON Paddle (5 miles, level of difficulty: 5); keep pulse rate lower than in the morning
AFTERNOON Paddle 10 × 2 min at 100 per cent; 1 min at average speed. Then 20 sec at 100 per cent, and 10 sec taking it easy: repeat until end of 5-mile course
Uphill sprint 3 × 450 steps
wednesday MORNING 300 chin-ups, wearing a 16kg rucksack for the last 100 10 sets of bench presses Friend Challenge To bring a bit of variety, a friend and I think up funny challenges, such as who can do 1,000 press-ups the quickest
MORNING 12 sets for the back and stomach muscles using weights AFTERNOON Paddle 10 × 2 min at 100 per cent, 1 min at average speed. Then 20 sec at 100 per cent, and 10 sec taking it easy: repeat until end of 5-mile course
AFTERNOON Paddle on flat water; 5 to 10 min warm-up, 5 min at 90 per cent, 1 min taking it easy, 5 min at 100 per cent, 1 min taking it easy, 4 × 2 min at 100 per cent, 20 sec taking it easy, 10 × 20 sec at 100 per cent, 10 sec taking it easy
MORNING 20 × 5 sets of chinups (five per set, ending up as high above the bar as possible). 100 chin-ups in total 10 sets of bench presses AFTERNOON Paddle the whole river at different intervals: 5 min at 100 per cent, 2 min taking it easy
saturday ALL DAY Crosstraining For a charity race for the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, I had to do a kayak race, then a mountain bike race that went from 8,000ft to 10,000f t, and after that a 10km run with 3,000ft of elevation gain, then we had to do a road bike race up the Vail Pass. This sort of torture helps you push your limits. Plus it’s for a good cause
Train like the pros
Christian Schiester Extreme runner
Tao Berman The
extreme kayaker on his intensive competition training
If your job involves making your way down 10m waterfalls, it’s not a bad idea if your body can handle a few hits. “It wouldn’t work if I didn’t have a strong body,” Berman, 31, explains. His training consists of gym in the morning and kayaking in the afternoon. And it’s important to be flexible. “I get bored quickly if I do long endurance training exercises, so I don’t run much,” he says. “That’s why I keep my training as short and as intense as possible, up to the point where I’m ready to puke. When people tell me they don’t have the time to train, I say: ‘Do what I do. You can get all the positive effects of training in 25 minutes.’” 88
ALL DAY Sunday is normally a laid-back day when I do what I feel like. But if my friends and I are in the mood, things can get out of hand. One time, someone bet us we wouldn’t be able to do 100 miles on our racing bikes. We got home after 150 miles and a couple of serious mountains. That sort of thing keeps you motivated
success secrets from…
Fast & hard
1. Think short-term Think from checkpoint to checkpoint, milestone to milestone: 150 miles is too big to get your head around. Partial successes motivate you and will urge you on.
3. Do your homework You can only be physically and mentally prepared to take it to the limit if you have an idea about what to expect. You can’t just blindly stumble into things.
2. No pain no gain You can’t fight pain. Accept it and learn to deal with it. I once ran on with an open flesh wound in a 125-mile jungle race in the Amazon; it made me much stronger mentally. Long-term damage: none.
4. Stay flexible Things don’t always turn out how you expect, of that you can be sure. I was lost for hours during my first desert
race. But try not to be put off; think in terms of solutions, not problems. I ended up finishing that race third after being in 44th at one point. 5. Learn from things You learn something from every experience. Whether it’s the visual impressions, the culture or the pain, they all help you develop.
Photography: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool (1), Ian Coble/Red Bull Content Pool (1), Jürgen Skarwan/Red Bull Content Pool (2)
more body & mind
‘I was often all alone in the studio’
The new album Angles rivals their classic debut but, guitarist Nick Valensi tells Piers Martin, recording it wasn’t an entirely harmonious affair
Photography: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME/IPC+ Syndication, Ryan mcGinley
When New York indie titans The Strokes shot to fame in 2001, they made rock ’n’ roll look easy. Millions of record sales and numerous solo projects later, the five-piece are back with Angles. This adventurous fourth album finds the band embracing different styles while staying true to their garage-rock sound. Although Nick Valensi reveals a fractured approach meant it was a long time in the making. Why spend so long recording just 10 songs? We started in January 2010. We were in a big, expensive studio [Avatar Studios in New York] for two and a half months. We spent a lot of money and recorded an album, but we kind of scrapped it and started over by ourselves. In future I’d like to make albums faster. I think that having a band that’s in the same room together would facilitate that. What do you mean? The process of making this record was more fragmented. Once the songs were written, our singer Julian [Casablancas] never showed up to the studio when we were recording. He was on tour doing his solo stuff a lot of the time. There were days when I would go into the studio by myself and
out now Essential listening
lay down guitar solos, then someone would come in and want to change something. Nevertheless, you’ve moved out of your comfort zone: the song, Games, features synthesisers and a drum machine. I think I was most comfortable working within the limitations of two guitars, bass, drums and vocal. There are some new sonic elements, which maybe I was resistant to at first. I can stress out about how we’re going to do stuff live. Are we going to get a keyboard player? I don’t know if I want to be in that band. So do your influences extend beyond Iggy Pop and The Velvet Underground and these days? Joy Division was a sonic reference, as well as a lot of ’80s stuff – we love The Cars. Daft Punk was referenced too: not in terms of song writing, but more the sound of things. Angles is out now on Rough Trade. More info at www.thestrokes.com The Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi
more body & mind
The World’s best chefs our guest at Hangar-7
Best food forward Daniel Humm After
cooking up a storm in Switzerland and San Francisco, this top chef now works – and runs – in New York City
“At 14 I had to choose between cooking and becoming a professional mountain biker,” says Daniel Humm. He chose cooking and, after training, Humm began working for the best chefs in his native Switzerland. “Gérard Rabaey had a big influence on me,” says Humm, who worked with him at the triple Michelinstarred Le Pont De Brent. “Every day I spent with him was like a competition. He’s a perfectionist.” From Rabaey he moved on to Nik Gygax. It was with Gygax that Humm cooked his way to a first Michelin star of his own at the Gasthaus zum Gupf in the Appenzell region of Switzerland. He was 24. “All of a sudden all eyes were on me,” he says. Two years later he was invited to chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. “Until that point, I’d spent all my working life in Switzerland. It was my chance to see the world.” Then his French cuisine won over critics and drew attention from the east coast. “When I was offered a job in New York, I said yes straight away.” The people, the energy and the city fascinate Humm. But he still needs sport for some balance: “I run the New York Marathon every year; that makes me happy.” And he doesn’t just jog it either. Last year he ran it in a rather rapide 2hrs 51mins. St Pierre [John Dory] with lemon sauce, grapefruit and young soya beans
My restaurant Eleven Madison Park 11 Madison Avenue New York, 10010 USA www.elevenmadisonpark.com “What I really love about the restaurant is its tall windows,” says Humm. “You’re right in the heart of Manhattan with a good view of the Flatiron Building, but at the same time you’re surrounded by all the nature of Madison Square Park. I consider myself very privileged to work here.”
Contact Interaction with his diners is particularly important to Humm. “The guests eat one course at a table in the kitchen,” he says. “They can keep a close eye on us from there.” Minimal “Words can’t describe a dish all that well,” says Humm. “So we only write the main ingredients on our menus. That gives us a little more freedom in the way we prepare the dish and a diner can also remove an ingredient if he or she wishes.” Inspiration “Five years ago, a critic gave us three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying that all we were missing for the perfect four was a little bit more Miles Davis,” he says. “She was referring to Davis’ coolness, spontaneity and ability to think ahead. A large Miles portrait has hung in the kitchen ever since.”
Hangar-7’s guest chefs Every month, a guest chef comes to the Ikarus Restaurant in Hangar-7, at Salzburg airport, and teams up with the permanent in-house kitchen staff to create two menus. The guest chef for April 2011 is 34-year-old Swiss Daniel Humm, who’s head chef at the Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York City. You can find more information about Humm’s menus and forthcoming guest chefs at the Ikarus restaurant at www.hangar-7.com. For bookings and enquiries send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +43 662 2197-77.
Words: Lisa Blazek. Photography: Francois Portmann/Red Bull Hangar-7
more body & mind
tastes of the world National dishes to make at home
Roman oxtail stew Words: Klaus Kamolz. Photography: Fotostudio Eisenhut& Mayer
Italy The rich, meaty dish with a sweet surprise is food fit for gladiators. Buon appetito!
Coda alla vaccinara or Roman oxtail stew is considered by many to be The Eternal City’s signature dish, loved for its beefy flavours set off by chocolate. In Imperial Rome, cows were butchered according to a strict and rigorous social pecking order: nobles got the best quarter; clergy the next best; the bourgeoisie got the third-best part with the last quarter for soldiers. That still left the tail, however – the so-called ‘quinto quarto’ or fifth quarter. The butchers in Regola, the seventh rione [district] on the banks of the Tiber, had no complaints: offal, head and tail were all money in the bank and they devised a panoply of cuts and dishes for the poor from these leftovers. Coda alla vaccinara – Oxtail butcher’s style – became the most famous. Why so? As any abattoir worker will tell you, the best meat is close to the bone.
the recipe Serves four 1.5kg oxtail, cut into pieces at the joints Salt, pepper Flour Olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely cubed 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 500ml white wine
400g Italian canned tomatoes, roughly chopped 70g pancetta (Italian bacon) 3 sticks of celery 3tbsp small raisins 3tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted 15g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa content) Nutmeg 3tbsp chopped celery leaves
Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Season the oxtail with salt and pepper, dust with flour and brown gently in olive oil in a large baking tray. Remove the oxtail and add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook through and deglaze with white wine and tinned tomatoes. Cube the pancetta, brown in a pan without any fat and add to the baking tray. Put the oxtail back in the sauce, cover and braise in the oven for 2½ hours. Meanwhile, slice the sticks of celery into 5mm pieces and blanch in salted water so that they remain crispy. Remove the baking tray from the oven and stir in the celery, raisins and pine nuts. Cover and leave to braise for another 30 minutes. Then grate the chocolate into the sauce and season with a pinch of ground nutmeg and more salt and pepper to taste. Finally, simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes and sprinkle with celery leaves just before serving. Eat with polenta or crusty white bread.
more body & mind
Natural born lady killer Cee lo Green Despite fears over his response, we quizzed the Grammy Award winnner
PArty the world over
Night cube-ing The Wright Venue, Dublin
It’s got the thrill of dancefloor mixed with the intimacy of a luxury members’ bar, but the club’s owners explain there’s even more to it When we started the club in July 2009 our idea was… …to create a combination of the best nightclubs from around the world. Taking inspiration from the likes of XS, Pacha and Tao. This form of nightlife experience has never been seen before in Ireland. From outside the club looks like a… …gigantic flashing Rubik’s Cube, incorporating a multicoloured light show. If we were to compare our interior to a movie it would be… …Studio 54 meets Moulin Rouge. We usually get going… …from the minute the music kicks in. It’s a mystical world of glamour, theatrics and fun. We consider the club packed if there are… …2,800 people partying the night away. 92
If we had to define our regulars, they would be… …sexy, glamorous, fun-loving and FABOOSH, and with just as much love for music as us. The craziest night was… We’ve had many. Our most recent ultimate night was when Usher came to party with us. He arrived on Friday and didn’t leave until Sunday. Or when Rihanna ended her European Tour at the club. We should also mention our bathrooms because… …the men’s LED urinals flash to the beat of the music, the ladies find themselves looking into heart-shaped mirrors, and the sinks are held up by mannequin legs. The best night spot nearby to buy something to soak up the alcohol is… Pizzadog. Whether you’re a pizza or a hotdog lover, they’re the best in Ireland. The Wright Venue South Quarter, Airside Retail Park, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland Tel: +353 1 8900099 www.thewrightvenue.ie
1) Y our spring break song? Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. 2) Y our wild vacation? Freaknik [spring break in Atlanta; now defunct]. 3) Y our unusual music choice? Nothing’s unusual. 4) Y our karaoke song? Perfect Day by Lou Reed. 5) Y our 9-to-5? Goodie Mob’s new album.
Cee Lo Green
The Lady Killer tour dates: www.ceelogreen.com
PHOTOGRAPHY: REX FEATURES (1), FLORIAN STRAVOCK (1), MARC O’SULLIVAN (1), SYNC IMAGING (3)
The last few weeks in Cee Lo Green’s life have been more exciting than many other popstars’ whole careers. In a feathered Muppets outfit the US soul singer teamed up with Gwyneth Paltrow on stage at the Grammy Awards Show, where he won not just a golden gramophone, but also the audience’s sympathy. Soon after, he scooped the prize for Best International Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards, and just recently he entered the Red Bull Soundclash ring in Las Vegas to meet fellow musicians The Ting Tings in a creative battle. It was a brilliant show, witnessed by 6,000 spring breakers, and both acts finished with a collaborative rendition of Cee Lo’s hit Forget You. And that’s not all. His new tune Bright Lights, Bigger City, from his album The Lady Killer, is just about to be released and his European tour kicks off in early April. The Red Bulletin broke into his schedule to ask him to think fast and give his off-the-cuff responses to our nosy questions.
more body & mind
Portishead – Dummy I heard this for the first time in the late ’90s when I was about 10. It was the first piece of electronic music that blew my mind. I had a couple of mates at secondary school who were into the same stuff, so we’d go to the electronic nights where DJs played this kind of experimental hip-hop. But Dummy inspired me to start making music myself. The whole record sounds like one piece, but every track is also individually amazing.
Take Five The music that influenced the stars
words: florian Obkircher. Photography: Jamie-James Medina
“Portishead inspired me to start making music myself”
London beat maker kicked off a solo career this year with a reworking of one of his favourite albums by soul legend Gil Scott-Heron. He explains why that record is so special and talks about four others that inspired him
Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman This is my favourite dance track from the ’90s. It’s the chord progression that I love, it’s melancholy but people dance to it. Recently I’ve been playing more house tunes in my DJ sets, and I love to drop Gypsy Woman. I think it’s the progression in dance music, that’s the big thing for me – going to clubs to hear new music and how it’s moving forward.
Jamie xx The
It’s been quite a year for London-based indie trio The xx. Their eponymous debut album waltzed up the UK charts and received the vaunted Mercury Prize, while numerous artists including Gorillaz and Shakira covered their gentle, melancholic pop gems. The band’s beat juggler, Jamie xx, managed to escape from media hype by locking himself up in the studio to fine-tune his solo project, We’re New Here – a reworking of Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 soul standard comeback album I’m New Here – recently released to critical acclaim. Jamie, 22, recreated Scott-Heron’s original with wobbly bass sounds, bouncy dubstep beats and shimmery synths and the result is an album that sends the listener back to the future. However, Scott-Heron is just one of his influences.
Rjd2 – Deadringer It’s the first sample-based record I got into, I love the creative way Rjd2 boiled bits from soul and funk. Sometimes I dig through my record crates – lots of them have parts I want to sample some day. I was impressed by Deadringer as I had no idea how they did it. I wanted to find to out more and that led me to the Akai MPC. It’s now one of my main instruments.
The Streets – Original Pirate Material One of my favourite albums of all time. It has this sound of London in it, and it’s a very nostalgic thing for me because it came out about the same time that I started going to pubs. Of course I could relate to the lyrics a lot, too. My favourite tune is Turn the Page, the first track, and I love to end my DJ sets with Weak Become Heroes. Just recently I’ve heard a couple of tracks from Mike Skinner’s upcoming album. It’s OK, but still not half as good as this early masterpiece.
Gil Scott-Heron – I‘m New Here I’ve been a huge fan of his music since my childhood, as my parents are big soul fans. But I admire the fact that this recent album wasn’t a political one like most of Gil’s others: it shows a more personal side of him. As for the production, it complemented Gil’s vocals so perfectly. I stripped away most of Richard Russell’s music from his production of the original album. I felt it was a fresh start, I wanted it completely different to what Richard was doing. And it seems I did well – Gil loves it.
Jamie xx and Gil ScottHeron: We’re New Here (XL Recordings). Listen to Jamie xx on the turntables at redbullmusicacademy radio.com/shows/3689
more body & mind 4
21 8 15 6
Vettel and Webber’s one-two finish in Malaysia
Motorsport NASCAR Sprint Cup Series USA (1) Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, 09.04.11 Last year’s championship runner-up Denny Hamlin can’t wait to get to Texas. Last year the 30-year-old came out on top in both races on the 1.5-mile quad-oval. FIM Motocross World Championship bulgaria (2) Sevlievo, 10.04.11 This season’s favourite is current champion, Antonio Cairoli. The Italian is out for a third title, but there will be competition from his German KTM team-mate Maximilian Nagl, who won last year’s Bulgarian race. WRC rally jordan (3) Dead Sea, Amman 14–16.04.11 This is Jordan’s third appearance in the World Rally Championship. Sébastien Loeb is the latest in a long line of Jordanian rally kings, taking the 2010 crown on the dirt roads – but can he continue his reign in 2011? Formula one Grand Prix Malaysia (4) Sepang International Circuit, 10.04.11 Last year’s race was all about Red Bull Racing: pole position, fastest lap, and a one-two finish for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber respectively. As ever the question in Malaysia: when will it rain?
Formula Renault 3.5 Spain (5) AlcaÑiz, 16–17.04.11 Having finished just two points behind last year’s winner, Australian Daniel Ricciardo is eagerly anticipating another chance to take the coveted crown, starting with the season opener at Motorland Aragón. Red Bull Rookies Cup portugal (6) Estoril, 30.04-01.05.11 The youngsters are already familiar with the 2.7-mile Estoril circuit from pre-season testing in March. After the season-opener at the Jerez track in Spain, the talent moves on to a further two races in Portugal.
The List April 2011
this month there’s a whiff of petrol in the air as the motorsport season gets under way. here’s our guide to the events NOT TO BE MISSED 94 94
Watersports Red Bull Cliff-Diving World Series Mexico (7) Ik Kil, Yucatán, 10.04.11 The magical location of Sacred Blue Cenote is just 2 miles away from the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Here the world’s best cliff divers jump from almost 27m into the pool below. O’Neill Coldwater Classic Scotland (8) Thurso, 13–19.04.11 This contest is all about extreme surfing. Last year, only the most daring took to the waves clad in thick wetsuits to contend with chilly water temperatures and heavy snowfall. ASP World Tour Australia (9) Bells Beach, Victoria, 19–25.04.11 Sally Fitzgibbons is yet to register a win on the ASP Women’s World Tour, and with the support of her home crowd, Bells Beach would be the ideal place to change that. Extreme Sailing Series CHINA (10) Qingdao, 15–17.04.11 The season’s second port of call sees the Red Bull Extreme Sailing team at the 2008 Olympic sailing venue. The season began with a very promising third place in Oman.
more body & mind
1 16 7
Electron Festival Switzerland (19) Geneva, 21–24.04.11 For three days, the Electron Festival turns the whole of Geneva into one big digital playground. There are interactive installations all over the city, exhibitions and conferences at the Museum of Modern Art and electronic gigs at a range of venues, including the Red Bull Music Academy stage.
11 The B-Boy heroes will call into the Caucasus
Unsound Festival USA (13) New York, 06–10.04.11 Poland’s best festival is going on a junket, crossing the Atlantic for the second time to bring some weird electronic music to New York. Germany’s acid dandy Atom™, British bass-futurist Lone and Bulgaria’s new house guru KiNK will all be on the plane.
Photography: Red BUll Racing, Getty Images, Camilo Rozo/Red Bull Content Pool, Hörður Ellert Ólafsson
Red Bull Thre3Style USA (14) Pittsburgh 08.04, Minneapolis 16.04, Chicago 22.04, Brooklyn 22.04, To play three music genres in 15 minutes is the challenge the local DJs face at Red Bull Thre3Style. The styles they go for don’t matter, as long as they manage to meld them together elegantly. The DJs are judged on their choice of songs, skills, creativity and – most importantly – how well they rock the house.
Red Bull Funk-se Tour Brazil (11) Various cities, 01–24.04.11 The Akai MPC [Music Production Centre] is a compact groove machine with something like holy cow status in Brazil. It was on this gizmo that local producers came up with Rio’s distinctive electro-rap baile funk sound. On the Red Bull Funk-se Tour, the best MPC artists go head-to-head with the craziest beats their machines can muster.
Break On Stage Spain (15) La Casilla, Bilbao, 09.04.11 Head-spins, power-moves, top-rocks: this dance contest sees international crews including De Klan from Rome, La Smala from Bordeaux and the Jinjo Crew from Seoul turn into human spinning tops.
snowbombing Austria (12) Mayrhofen, 04–09.04.11 For one week only the Austrian valley of Zillertal turns into a music Mecca, as thousands of young Brits come to spend their spring break at the Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen. But there’s none of the traditional après-ski music here – these holidaymakers will be getting down to The Prodigy, Ms. Dynamite and Ramadanman.
Sally Fitzgibbons hopes for a home win in Oz
Coachella Music Festival USA (18) Empire Polo Field, Indio, California 15–17.04.11 Coachella is America’s most important outdoor pop event, but it’s not child’s play, even for hardened festival fans. During the day, temperatures in the Californian desert can reach 38°C; at night it’s bitterly cold. But that doesn’t bother the 25,000 fans – as long as they’ve got a line-up with stars like Arcade Fire, Kanye West, The Strokes and Interpol.
Rokolectiv Romania (20) The Ark & MNAC, Bucharest, 23–25.04.2011 With transgender activist and conceptual artist Terre Thaemlitz answering questions from the audience, and Nabaz’mob planning to perform an ‘Opera for 100 Smart Rabbits’, it’s quite clear that the Rokolectiv Festival isn’t your usual muddy-field affair. Though it’s partly staged in a museum, it won’t just be populated by people in horn-rimmed spectacles: Motor City Drum Ensemble, Omar-S and Legowelt will be sure to light up the dancefloor with some house sounds. L.E.V. Spain (21) VARIOUS VENUES, Gijón, 29–30.04.11 With the likes of Mount Kimbie, James Blake, Aufgang, Scuba, Shackleton all starring, the L.E.V. Festival brings together an eclectic line-up of young guns for an electronic marathon. And to top it all off, bosses at the experimental Raster-Noton label are hosting a Red Bull Music Academy workshop. Red Bull BC One Cypher bolivia (22) La Paz, 30.04.11 The world’s best B-Boys are set to come together for the next Red Bull BC One competition this autumn in St Petersburg. But before that can happen a host of local up-and-coming breakers need to show what they’ve got now in national qualifying heats, with the aim being to impress champion jury member Lilou. Now it’s time to call in at the Bolivian capital.
Red Bull BC One All Stars Azerbaijan (16) Baku, 14–15.04.11 Georgia Tbilisi, 16–18.04.11 Armenia YErevan 18–20.04.011 Champion Frenchman Lilou and his six dancing colleagues are to the B-Boy world what the Justice League is to the world of comics. They are light-footed superheroes, each of whom has special powers. This time around, the Red Bull BC One All Stars make their way to the Caucasus armed with a host of new tricks to show the locals. Timbre: Rock & Roots Singapore (17) Marina Promenade, 15–16.04.11 The Timbre Festival in Singapore has a line-up as sumptuous as a four-tier wedding cake. Multiple Grammy Award-winner John Legend joins British rising star Imogen Heap and hip-hop poet Michael Franti, all topped off beautifully by the inimitable Bob Dylan.
British dubstep duo Mount Kimbie
more body & mind
Save The Date
The nation’s, and bookies’, favourite
Recession, schmecession: last year, Britons gambled £100m on the Grand National, and this year that wedge is expected to be even bigger. Run over four miles and four furlongs by around 40 competitors, the UK’s premier steeplechase has been made slightly more horse-friendly in recent years, yet it remains the most unpredictable and captivating, the one for which Brits set aside a punting fiver. Favourites win often – the clue is in the name; joint-favourite Don’t Push It, ridden by Tony McCoy, won in 2010 – but a random bet can pay off. It was only two years ago that Mon Mome won at odds of 100-1. One can but dream.
don’t be Stuck for something to do this month. choose from our selection of inspirational events
The world’s biggest annual money-raising event takes place this month, with a marathon as the backdrop, or is it the other way around? In truth, the London Marathon is two races: an elite competition for the best 26.2-milers in the world, and a lung-busting slog for thousands of amateurs generating funds for noble causes. With up to 40,000 runners and 12 times as many spectators, London only gets sweatier and busier on New Year’s Eve Tubes. www.virginlondonmarathon.com
On a roll
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2011 kicks of this month in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Gee Atherton, 26, will start the defence of his downhill title, while his sister Rachel, 23, is out to improve on last year’s injury-ravaged seventh-place finish. Eldest Atherton, Dan, 29, is out with a broken neck he sustained in July 2010. www.athertonracing.co.uk
Red Bull Manny Mania is the skate contest that keeps things old school. Skaters show off their manual, or ‘manny’, tricks (where only two wheels are in contact with the ground) on a pad of small ramps and flats. Qualifiers in London, Manchester and Birmingham will produce 15 skaters for a final in the capital on April 30. www.redbullmannymania.co.uk
Words: Ruth Morgan, Paul Wilson. Photography: PA, Action Images
It’s not a sprint
or me, wireless routers are among the most depressing things on Earth. In terms of sheer, visceral appeal they are right down there with body bags and warfarin anticoagulant bait stations for rodents. Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs and all those happy, shiny people at Apple sit in their fastness in Santa Clara County creating mesmerisingly powerful and beautiful tools for communication. They do this so well. And then it all comes down to a cruddy box of blinking radionic plasticky junk made in a backyard in Taipei. There is pathos here. I suppose ‘wireless’ is itself a bit of a conceited delusion. Just as the great Finnish American designer Eero Saarinen created his 1950s pedestal tables to eliminate “the slum of legs”, so we hope that wireless routers will eradicate the slum of cables. The promise of this uncluttered nirvana is only half-realised. We do indeed do without the cables, but so far as I can tell we also do away with the slum of efficient network switching. These ugly things rarely work properly. And worse, their functional failure mocks our yearning to be connected. This connectedness thing is a defining characteristic of contemporary life and, the thing is, I am not sure it is a good one. The need for connectedness of any sort betrays a psychological unease, an appetite for bonding, that a stable and satisfied psyche might not need. Shouldn’t we, as Voltaire suggested, be cultivating our own gardens rather than voyeuristically looking over the fence into our neighbour’s patch? Getting connected is an American obsession. First evidence of this was, perhaps, the franchise system of American business. A vast, promising, rich, secular continent populated by deracinated souls needed meaningful social glue. So it got a unique system of distribution and trademark hire in the form of things like Coca-Cola, Hertz
High On Social Glue With everyone wanting to get connected, Stephen Bayley wonders if we’ll ever be released and Taco Bell. These provided a belief system, a social network where none of these things had hitherto existed. Long before Mark Zuckerberg, social networks fascinated Americans. The idea of a social network goes back to 1929, when Frigyes Karinthy, who was known for his skillful Hungarian translation of Winnie The Pooh, published a collection of stories called Everything Is Different. One of the stories, Chains, is a strange anticipation of the human web where Karinthy speculates how connected we all are: what is the calculus that links us? The most famous, possibly notorious, study of social networks was a 1967 experiment by American psychologist Stanley Milgram, who was already infamous for a behavioural experiment he conducted four years earlier at Yale in which he tested concepts of authority and obedience under the Nazis. His 1967 experiment became known as ‘Small World’. A worthless package was sent to a random group of hillbillies in Omaha, Nebraska, with the instruction that, starting with the best intermediary they knew, it should eventually be delivered
to a Boston banker. The package would travel the entire US social spectrum, but analysis of the results showed that it only needed to pass through five or six people. This gave rise to the concept of ‘six degrees of separation’ which became the title of a 1990 play by John Guare. Milgram was mocked by pernickety academic peers for shoddy science, but a 2008 survey by Microsoft, 24 years after he died, found that 6.6 contacts was the average amount of people even the most hopeless homeless scumbag would need to go through to get to the President. Ever since, lowering this number has been an ambition. LinkedIn, for example, works on the basis of first degree introductions. The ambition, it seems, is for every modern person – petulant wireless routers notwithstanding – to be one introduction away from everyone else. You do not need to be in conversation with the ghost of Voltaire to find this as touching as it is odd. Another American classic about connectedness was a 1950 book by David Riesman called The Lonely Crowd. In a culture and economy, Riesman explained, that depended on huge organisations, it was necessary for people to be what he called “other directed”. This is defining themselves by the needs of others: to conform rather than to be individual. To be connected. The sadness of this was captured in Bob Dylan’s 1967 song I Shall Be Released. The beautiful lyrics state: “Standing next to me in this lonely crowd, Is a man who swears he’s not to blame.” Sometimes I wonder if things might be better if they were not so well connected. Given the cruddines of my own wireless router, I am now participating in this experiment. It’s not me who’s to blame. It’s it. 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 Bulletin GmbH Editor-In-Chief Robert Sperl General Managers Alexander Koppel, Rudolf Theierl Editorial Office Anthony Rowlinson (Executive Editor), Stefan Wagner Associate Editor Paul Wilson Contributing Editor Andreas Tzortzis Chief Sub-editor Nancy James Deputy Chief Sub-editor Joe Curran Production Editor Marion Wildmann Photo Editors Susie Forman (head), Fritz Schuster Deputy Photo Editors Valerie Rosenburg, Catherine Shaw Design Erik Turek (Art Director), Miles English, Judit Fortelny, Markus Kietreiber, Esther Straganz Staff Writers Ulrich Corazza, Werner Jessner, Ruth Morgan, Florian Obkircher, Andreas Rottenschlager Production Managers Michael Bergmeister, Wolfgang Stecher, Walter Omar Sádaba Repro Managers Clemens Ragotzky (head), Christian Graf-Simpson, Claudia Heis, Nenad Isailovic, Karsten Lehmann, Josef Mühlbacher, Thomas Posvanc, Thomas Safranek Multi Media Martin Herz Finance Siegmar Hofstetter Corporate Publishing Boro Petric (head); Justin Hynes, Christoph Rietner, Nadja Žele (chief-editors); A product of the Dominik Uhl (art director); Markus Kucera (photo director); Lisa Blazek (editor). The Red Bulletin is published simultaneously in Austria, the UK, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Poland, South Africa and New Zealand. Website www.redbulletin.com. Head office: Red Bulletin GmbH, Am Brunnen 1, A-5330 Fuschl am See, FN 287869m, ATU63087028. UK office: 155-171 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JP, +44 (0) 20 3117 2100. Austrian office: Heinrich-Collin-Strasse 1, A-1140 Vienna, +43 (1) 90221 28800. 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 For all advertising enquiries, call Philip Sharpe or Rob Walker on +44 (0)20 7437 4377 or email email@example.com. Write to us: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The next issue of the Red Bulletin is out on May 1 & 3
more body & mind
Reg. charity 267444 Photo: © Rodrigo Baleia.
Cattle ranchers in Paraguay want to cut down vast tracts of uncontacted Indians’ rainforest and still portray themselves as environmentally responsible. How? Simple. Just call the islands of forests that are left ‘nature reserves’. Help restore logic. www.restorelogic.org/paraguay