Page 1




It’s a

LDN thing

The culture-shifting artists redefining the city’s sounds


Because no other fabric proved soft enough, we invented our own. Behold the silky smooth perfection of Stance’s proprietary Butter Blend technology, a sustainably sourced fibre innovation that delivers on our promise of softness superiority. STANCE.E U.COM / R E DB U LLETI N STANCE E U ROPE

BRINGING THE FRESH In our cover feature (page 40), drag artist Victoria Sin makes a statement worth repeating: “Not only do we need our own spaces, but when we get together we start creating our own culture, and that’s beautiful.” This philosophy applies to all 10 of our cover stars – artists who have, in some way, been shaped by London and who are, in turn, redefining the city. This month, they’ll be playing at London’s first Red Bull Music Festival, a celebration of its cultural diversity, progressive values and ever-evolving soundscape. Culture’s malleability to fresh interpretation is everywhere this issue. At the US Sumo (page 52), a centuries-old Japanese art form is opening up to international competitors; flat-track rider Leah Tokelove (page 30) is laying the groundwork for a gender-irrelevant playing field; and, as our piece on the birth of rave (page 32) shows, all it takes is one fine summer to ignite a cultural revolution.



The British writer/filmmaker travelled to the far north of Vietnam with BASE jumper Tim Howell to document his attempt to pull off the country’s first-ever wingsuit jump. “I’m always interested in people who live on the margins,” says Langenheim, “and Howell is exactly that – tough, independent and resourceful.” Page 66


The London-based pop culture writer is experienced at interviewing talented people, but doing so at an event as busy as our cover shoot still provided a few surprises. “What stood out were the opportunities and the inclusivity of London's music scene,” says Sigee. “All these artists are doing something totally different, but they’ve found or made their own space to express themselves.” Page 40 EDD HORDER (COVER)


Wall of sound: London-based photographer Edd Horder shoots 10 of the stars of Red Bull Music Festival London for this issue’s cover feature. Page 40 06  



LYRIK ULTIMATE Go up faster. Come down harder. The Lyrik Ultimate is the world’s best enduro fork, full stop. Whether you’re after a big mountain excursion or the coveted weekend podium, Lyrik is here to help you conquer. ROCKSHOX.COM

CONTENTS September 2019

Leap into the unknown: BASE jumper Tim Howell searches for a launch point in Vietnam

10  Rockin’ in the freeride world:

a sequenced shot in the scorched landscape of Utah 12  Catching a break: an encounter with the Antipodean force of nature known as ‘The Right’ 14  Sharp contrast: a BMX image that puts others in the shade 17  Drop zone: drum-and-bass dons Chase & Status share four groundbreaking jungle tunes 18  Curtiss Motorcycles: reinventing the bike, not just the wheel 20  Call him Mr Marvel: the origin story of comic-book god Stan Lee 22  China’s Mars Base One: all the thrills of the red planet without the risks (if you don’t count pollution)

2 4  Brad Pitt &

Leonardo DiCaprio

A lesson in longevity from two Hollywood heavyweights

28  N ick Ashley-Cooper The earl of endurance talks adversity and how to survive it

30  L eah Tokelove

The ‘hooligan with pigtails’ who’s blazing a trail in flat-track racing

32  B irth of rave

Snapshots from the ‘Second Summer of Love’

4 0  Red Bull

Music Festival

Meet the London artists shaping the sound of the city and beyond


52  S umo

Not just big in Japan: the age-old form of wrestling goes global

75 Equipment: the most desirable

gear around, from a deep diver’s watch to a cool credit card and the smartest of glasses 86 Lure of the wild: join the Kenyan safari where there’s a photo op around every turn and you might get peed on by a lion (optional) 90 Less fitness tracker than fitness tractor, Tom Kemp’s farm-based exercise regime is the ultimate outdoor workout 91 Thinking outside the sandbox: what Minecraft can teach us about our planet 92 Essential dates for your calendar 94 This month’s highlights on Red Bull TV 95 The freewheeling stars of Red Bull Soapbox 2019 98 Rotor city: ’copter tricks in the skies of New York

66  BASE jumping

Winging it in rural Vietnam




Brand New Ancients


Sequence photography is an increasingly popular art form in the world of freeriding, but few shots have ever managed to capture a ride quite like this one. Taken in Caineville, Utah, by photographer Chris Tedesco, it captures X Games winner and pro rider Tom Parsons in his element. “I think it’s the combination of the epic, ancient landscape with the quality action that makes this shot so special; the amount of time those rocks have been there, contrasted with the in-the-moment energy of the rider,” says Tedesco. The photo was nominated for Red Bull Illume’s ‘Best of Instagram’ category in February. Instagram: @tedescophoto




Savage Swell When a huge swell moves through the Indian Ocean, it can bring colossal waves to ‘The Right’, Western Australia’s infamously deadly reef break. Only the most fearless of surfers take on this beast when it rolls around, so photographer Ren McGann knew he had to capture the moment this rider braved and conquered the wave. “This image is special to me; it's probably my favourite of all the shots I’ve taken,” says McGann. “For me, being in nature is the ultimate goal. When I take my camera, load my car and drive off, the trip begins. Nothing brings me more peace than being surrounded by giant waves.” Instagram: @phlyimages; @renmcgann



With its clean lines and bold contrasts, it’s easy to see why this BMX shot was chosen as Red Bull Illume’s ‘Best of Instagram’ winner this March. But when photographer and filmmaker Baptiste Fauchille set up his camera at this bowl in Fillinges, a small town in the HauteSavoie region of eastern France, he had no idea he was about to take an award-winning image. “My first thought was to make a top-shot video with the drone,” says Fauchille. “Then I realised that the bowl was really clean: no tags, no dust. I was able to have the rider and his shadow come out well. I asked Alex Bibollet [a rider in the team of BMXers, photographers and videographers Fauchille was with] to do what he did best, and I immortalised the moment.” Instagram: @baptistefauchille


Shadow Play





KYGO A11/800 headphones are perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of what’s happening around you. Whether you’re doing business on the go, studying or unwinding, you can now be in complete music bliss by enjoying all the benefits of these ultramodern noise cancelling headphones. Besides superior Kygo-approved sound quality, it’s easy controlling the amount of ambient noise you want to block out via our Kygo Sound App.


Welcome to the Jungle Drum-and-bass titans Chase & Status revisit four tracks that helped shape their career When jungle hit the UK rave scene in the early ’90s, it was the deep, dub-like basslines and echoes of Jamaican reggae culture that set the genre apart from other breakbeat-driven derivatives. This was also one of the reasons why Londoners Saul Milton and Will Kennard fell in love with the music as teenagers. Today they’re better known as Chase & Status – arguably the world’s most successful drum-and-bass act – and on their latest album, RTRN II JUNGLE, the duo (pictured with ‘third member’ MC Rage, left) pay homage to the genre. Here, they list four jungle/drum-and-bass tunes that sparked their passion… Listen to Chase & Status’ Fireside Chat on Red Bull Radio on Mixcloud; mixcloud.com

DMS & The Boneman X


Adam F


Milton: “One of the earliest [jungle] tunes that caught my attention. Everything about it – the drums, the percussion, the dancehall vocals they sampled – sounded so different to anything I’d heard before. This is what jungle did so well back then: you’d just have loads of different vibes on one track, which either didn’t make any sense or made perfect sense, like in the case of this tune.”

Kennard: “In the mid ’90s, Good Looking Records dominated the jungle scene, particularly the more atmospheric style that people at the time called ‘liquid’. PFM were a group on that label and had a string of groundbreaking releases. On this track they’re using pads, samples and strings, which was really cutting-edge and sort of led into what Goldie was doing with [his drum-and-bass label] Metalheadz.”

Milton: “It was around 1996 when I heard this tune for the first time. It would have been on a pirate radio station, and the track shaped my youth. Whereas other jungle tunes use reggae or dancehall elements to go deep, Adam F maintained this vibe with lavish pads and playful percussion. Consequently, it became a timeless classic that works on the radio as well as at a rave at three in the morning.”

Kennard: “This tune has become synonymous with jungle and has one of the genre’s most recognised hooks. What makes it so legendary is the use of lots of different samples to create something new and unique. The producer behind it, Jumping Jack Frost, is an absolute legend and a pioneer of the genre. I just finished reading his book, in which he talks about his musical journey. Highly recommended.”



Sweet Vibrations (1994)


One & Only (1995)

Circles (1995)

Burial (1994)



Mount Olympus Inspired by Greek mythology and the world’s first motorcycle land-speed legend, this is the last bike you’ll ever have to buy

aeroplane engines. Its early models – the Zeus Cafe Racer and Bobber – were the kind of innovation Curtiss would approve of: 190hp electric beasts capable of 0-100kph in 2.1 seconds – 0.7s quicker than the world’s fastest car, the Koenigsegg Agera RS. The new Zeus Radial V8, however, looks back to Curtiss’ 112-year-old machine for inspiration. Its unique radial V8 design is inspired by the original V8 record-breaker, while the cylinders contain proprietary battery-cell technology for colossal speed. “Our goal is to develop machines that last for ever,” says Cornille. “We’re saying, ‘Buy one Curtiss motorcycle and pass it down to your kids and grandkids.’ Our batteries will be swappable and fully recyclable, so you’ll always have the latest tech.” curtissmotorcycles.com


Electric dreams: Curtiss Motorbikes’ creations – with their hyper-futuristic shapes, monocoque aluminium bodies, prototype carbon wheels and touchpad cockpits – push the boundaries of bike design. The Zeus (below) is a case in point

Curtiss Motorcycles is building bikes unlike anything that’s gone before. Its electric steeds – named after Grecian gods – seemingly belong more in a sci-fi movie than on our roads. “We asked ourselves, ‘Why do motorbikes look the way they do?’” says head designer Jordan Cornille. “The bike’s components have defined its proportions for the last 100 years. Making these bikes look like modern-day internal combustion machines? That didn’t make any sense.” The US firm is named after Glen Curtiss, the inventor and aviator famed for creating the American V-Twin motorbike engine, and for breaking a landspeed record in 1907 on a bike powered by one of his 40hp V8



Hero worship If you’re writing a book about one of the world’s most gifted comic creators, there’s only one person good enough to introduce it…


“If you’re able to lift this book, then you truly belong in our wondrous world of superheroes.” So says Stanley Martin Lieber, aka Stan Lee, Marvel’s legendary writer, editor-in-chief and star cameo performer in its Cinematic Universe films. That he’s penned it in a foreword to a book that posthumously celebrates his own magnificence tells you everything you need to know about the incredible, uncanny, amazing showmanship of one of 20th-century pop culture’s greatest bards. At 624 pages, Taschen’s The Stan Lee Story is a mammoth tome (with an equally massive £1,750 price tag), but is still

The illustrated man: Lee in cartoon form as the comic fans’ hero



Stan ‘The Man’ Lee in Marvel’s Manhattan offices, 1968

barely able to contain the life and career of a man who managed to go from junior editor (refilling the inkwells of the artists and fetching their lunch at the age of 17) to publisher of the entire Marvel Comics Universe – all while co-creating beloved characters such as Spider-Man, Hulk and Black Panther. Lee reimagined the comicbook medium, both in how they were made (developing the Marvel Method – a collaborative storyboarding technique between writer and artist that allowed comics to be created ever quicker) and how they were perceived by the world. Breathing fun and wit into his stories and prose, Lee conceived of heroes who were more than just strength and brawn; here were fully imagined individuals with everyday problems and flaws – ones that readers could readily identify with. The story of the Marvel Universe is, in many ways, the story of Stan Lee, so it stands to reason that perhaps no one could better explain it than the man who wrote the origin stories for more than 200 comic characters: Stan the Man himself. “It’s a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic,” Lee once said of his masterwork. “It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye and the imagination; a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.” Lee may have passed away last November at the age of 95, but his stories and legacy will endure. After all, as all True Believers know, the best is yet to come! taschen.com


Lee as a security guard in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

unit all help you wring more flow out of every trail. It’s playtime. cannondale.com

agile handling, Proportional Response size-tailored suspension and Bosch’s most powerful drive

We took our most fun trail bike and put a motor in it. A light BallisTec Carbon frame, impressively


Habit NEO Press play.


Celestial Simulation “Mars Base One allows visitors to understand what it’s like to live in closed quarters where every aspect of daily life must be controlled with very limited resources,” says C-Space. “Water needs to be salvaged and recycled down to the last drop. Food sustenance must contain high protein to keep the base’s occupants fed and in shape. And taking a walk outside means putting on a space suit and going through the pressurising cabin.” Open to the public, this 1,115m2 educational facility may only be playing make-believe, but the hope is that it will inspire the next generation of space explorers, and help China catch up with the United States and Russia in the interplanetary exploration game.

C-Space – the C stands for Community, Culture and Creativity – created the base for Chinese teenagers at the cost of almost £6 million. It will teach them about space exploration and living on Mars



Mars Base One sits in a dusty arid landscape of endless red rock, with no sign of life in the parched fog that engulfs it. But not everything is as it seems. This is not the surface of the Red Planet, but the Gobi Desert – just 40km from the city of Jinchang in China’s northwest Gansu province. The base aims to simulate the experience of life on Mars. Comprising nine capsules – including a control room, biomodule (a greenhouse/lab), airlock room, medical facilities, recycling unit, living quarters, and a fitness and entertainment room – it was created by education initiative C-Space with the help of the Astronaut Center of China and the China Intercontinental Communication Center.


The Martian base that allows you to live like an astronaut without saying goodbye to planet Earth

Wheat grows in the base’s bio-module, a greenhouse/laboratory dedicated to research into the growth of plants and animals in the Martian climate THE RED BULLETIN

The Gobi Desert was chosen as the location for Mars Base One as its landscape is reminiscent of the surface of the Red Planet, with hot dry conditions, frequent sandstorms, and heavy pollution from the lithium mining town of Jinchang, 40km away

Inside the control room. Mars Base One was featured in reality TV show Space Challenge, in which six volunteers – five of them Chinese celebrities – had to survive at the base after receiving astronaut training THE RED BULLETIN 


Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio

Last Action Heroes In the shark pool known as Hollywood, it’s a case of swim or get eaten. What does it take to survive? We asked two guys who know a bit in that regard… Words RÜDIGER STURM

think, “I have the right material and a great director,” and sometimes it still misses, but you keep going. bp: Acting is like being in the ring: you’re enjoying the fight, but taking punches. A film is a big commitment – it’s one or two years of your life. In a leading role, the preparation alone can take six months, and then you’ve got post-production. It’s got to mean something to me. I don’t know how much time I have left, I just want it to matter.

Be prepared to take risks

“Once you get in the door, you have to stand in the room” 24  

Don’t fear the reaper

brad pitt: There’s a shelf life to what we do, and we’re aware of that. It makes us more appreciative of the time we’ve had. As long as you find meaning in what you do, it’ll transition into something else. Look at the amazing careers of Anthony Hopkins and Gene Hackman. leonardo dicaprio: Any career is a rollercoaster ride; there are ebbs and flows for better or worse. I look at this as a long-distance race. Both of us try to make the best choices we can, working hard on films that challenge us and are hopefully great pieces of art. That’s the best we can do.

You need to get lucky, but be ready

ldc: Brad and I talked about this. You need to be prepared, but also you need to have that one stroke of luck. I have actor friends who are still searching for those opportunities. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time when I was younger. bp: I agree. I feel like we won the lottery. There are many talented people out there, but the trick is: once you get in the door, you have to stand in the room. We’ve had opportunities to learn that, find our way, and make it our own.

Keep your chin up

ldc: I’m ambitious. I grew up in LA and I don’t come from a well-to-do background, so I know how hard it is to get your foot in the door, to be a working actor. It comes from a need to satisfy a hunger – not for wealth or celebrity, but to do great work that moves me. That’s not easy. You

bp: I don’t ever like to repeat myself. For better or worse, I want to keep moving on. It’s like I’m on a road trip and I forget something – I can’t go back, I’ve just got to do without my glasses or my licence and risk getting a ticket. I choose projects by the inexplicable feeling that this next one is something new and different. ldc: Martin Scorsese once said to me, “It’s important to do films about the darker side of human nature. Don’t sugarcoat it. If you’re authentic about the way you portray someone, the audience will go on that journey with you, no matter what.”

Always bring your A-game

ldc: Research is the most underrated part of filmmaking. If you don’t show up with a wealth of knowledge about a person and the way they would act – if you’re not comfortable in their shoes – it won’t result in an authentic character. On the day, the director may change his mind, or you might. If you don’t have real intent going in, it won’t be as good.

Become a strong negotiator

ldc: A lot of making movies is agreeing on what you don’t want to do. You have to be blunt from the very beginning and tell the writers and directors what you’re comfortable with and in what direction you feel the movie should go. My blunt German honesty [his mother is German] comes out when it’s something I really care about. I hope that elevates it sometimes. Directors don’t always agree with me, but not one of them would say that I ever pull my punches. The unknown is what you do want to THE RED BULLETIN


“The most exciting dynamic star duo since Paul Newman and Robert Redford” is how director Quentin Tarantino describes the leads in his latest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film is Tarantino’s confessed love letter to Los Angeles in 1969 – the year that the Manson murders shook Hollywood, signalling the end of the hippy movement; the Vietnam War was at its zenith; Nixon entered the White House; and humans first landed on the Moon. It’s also the year that Newman and Redford starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a revisionist Western that – alongside the two other highest-grossing films of 1969, Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy – heralded a new wave of counterculture cinema. Enter the protagonists of Once Upon a Time: an ageing film star and his stunt double, struggling in the afterglow of Hollywood’s golden age. Half a century on, the parallels are clear. Global unrest and controversial presidents aside, Pitt, 55, and DiCaprio, 44, could be seen as anachronisms – the last big-screen idols in a shifting landscape of streaming media consumption. Are they portraying representations of themselves? What does it take to stay alive in a carnivorous industry with younger talent waiting to take their place? The Red Bulletin asked the stars for their survival secrets…

“You need to be ready, but also have that stroke of luck”

do. You discover that when you’re committed to the movie.

Respect where respect is due

ldc: My father has always been a huge influence in my life and continues to be. I remember being 18 years old and getting a script about Arthur Rimbaud [1995’s Total Eclipse, about the 19th-century French poet]. I was like, “OK, I don’t know who this person is.” My father stopped me and said, “Don’t brush it aside because you don’t know about it. This was the James Dean of France at the turn of the century. He revolutionised poetry and took on the establishment. Let me give you a little insight.” Even with my own production company, I still ask for his advice. bp: There’s this view that Hollywood is solipsistic and needy; that it’s all about getting ahead. You can’t deny that attitude exists, but that’s the case anywhere. I’ve found people in this industry with thought-provoking ideas; people who are searching for meaning and worth through their storytelling. One of the reasons we love movies is that they point us in a direction. I think that defines this industry the most.

Ride together, die together

bp: Leo and I came onto the scene about the same time; Quentin, too. [Pitt won his first major film role in Thelma & Louise in 1991; Tarantino directed his feature-length debut, Reservoir Dogs, the following year; and DiCaprio made his breakthrough in 1993’s This Boy’s Life.] We all have the same reference points; we’re sequestered in the same circle. There’s an immediate comfort and ease. I respect [Leo] and I think he respects me. There’s also a relief that you don’t have to carry the whole thing; you’ve got all-stars with you who are giving their best.

Tarantino always knows best

ldc: There are few filmmakers I’ve worked with like Quentin – Scorsese being another. Their childhood was so immersed in this art form that anything you discuss – whether cultural or political – is in the context of movies. It’s in their DNA. If any director were to ask what’s the first THE RED BULLETIN 


Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio

“Acting is like being in the ring. You’re enjoying the fight, but taking the punches”

but there was no mention of it. I was surprised, because I felt I’d witnessed a true victory. It’s the same with movies: we often don’t think about how difficult it is. For me, that’s success; it’s not just being recognised as Best Picture.

What’s gone before will happen again

To know someone, first you must fight them

bp: There was one director who made me and my cast mates spar with each other. He told us it was to help get comfortable with a daily level of violence. It wasn’t until later that he revealed it was also to get us to know each other. He said you never learn about someone until you punch him in the face. We formed 26  

a relationship through sparring. You push a little, but also hold back because you’re rooting for each other. You’re competitive, but also protective.

Don’t get greedy for the limelight

bp: Trying to steal a scene is a dead end. If you’re fighting for that, it’s a sure way to crap out on the film. On a great film, everyone’s firing on all cylinders.

Success doesn’t always mean winning

bp: I remember watching the gymnastics at the Olympics in the early ’90s, and there was a Russian woman who was supposed to take it all. But then, 10 seconds into her routine, she fell. The announcer went, “What a shame. This is just horrible.” But she just picked herself up, persevered and finished the routine perfectly. It was magical and inspiring, but all [the media] talked about afterwards was how humiliating it was. I looked for recognition [of her strength and resolve] in the papers the next day,

You are what you leave behind

ldc: Movies are the greatest modern art form. I feel privileged to be a part of it. I’ve been able to be my own boss creatively, and I feel fortunate for that. bp: Now that I’m a dad [he has six children], I’m clearer about the work I want to do. I’m now painfully aware that my kids are going to be seeing my movies as they grow up. I think of how movies affected me when I was a kid; the ones that told me something, honed me a little bit, left that indelible mark. It’s important to me that I leave something they’ll be proud of. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens in cinemas on August 14; onceuponatimeinhollywood.movie THE RED BULLETIN


thing they should do, I’d say, “Spend two years watching what the hell people have already done and then come to the table and try to create your own thing.” bp: Quentin’s a purist. There is no CGI. He wants it to happen in the moment, on camera. We had to do this long fight scene with Bruce Lee [played in the movie by actor/ stuntman Mike Moh], and Quentin says, “We’re going to do it all in one shot.” I go, “Oh, man. But you can do some whip pans, cuts, switch it if some of the takes don’t work, right?” He says, “No, man. If we do it all in one shot, it’s got to be all in one.” You can debate with him, but you can’t argue with him.

bp: Quentin is prophetic, hitting us with this now – certainly with the change in our industry. And at that time America was transitioning. The Manson murders were a loss of innocence for our country. We’d been coming off this free-love ride of peace and utopia, and then we saw a dark side of human nature that made people feel unsafe. Fences and security cameras were being put up, leading into the full-on darkness of Vietnam and Nixon. I don’t need to say anything about the state of America right now, about our leadership and how split we are as a country. It certainly is relevant. ldc: Quentin is not only a cinephile, he’s a great historian. He’s taken the perspective of two guys on the periphery of Hollywood, looking in, and that’s a unique way to view not only one of the most pivotal periods in world history, but one that produced some great cinematic pieces of art. We’re not only watching the changing of culture but inhabiting these old TV cowboy guys who are now relics of the past. It’s an amazing approach to this story.



Nick Ashley-Cooper

The noble’s calling A triple tragedy transformed a hedonistic New York DJ into an accidental earl – and a dedicated ultrarunner Words MATT RAY  Portrait NEIL MASSEY

Even a privileged background can’t insulate you from tragedy and pain. Nick Ashley-Cooper discovered this in 2004 when his father was murdered by his own estranged wife. Six months later, Ashley-Cooper’s elder brother died of a heart attack. These events catapulted him out of his career as a professional DJ in New York and into the hereditary role of the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury. Returning to the family’s UK estate, St Giles House – then a disused wreck – Ashley-Cooper took on the mantle of its restoration, enrolling in the London Business School and turning parts of the home into accommodation and an events space. He also took up running, clocking up marathons before going deeper into ultrarunning territory. Then, in 2009, more outrageous misfortune struck when he took an awkward tumble from a horse, fracturing a vertebra and permanently injuring his spinal cord. Rather than accepting a limited life, Ashley-Cooper pushed himself to recover and, a little over a year later, ran a 250km ultramarathon across South America’s Atacama Desert. He still walks with a limp, but has a love of the mountains and, on August 26, will embark on the gruelling 300km


Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Petite Trotte à Léon, ascending the Alps (to a height of 25,000m) to raise money for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation, which aims to find a cure for spinal injuries. The earl’s life has been one of highs and lows, but has his strength been forged in adversity? the red bulletin: Losing your father and brother within a year must have been deeply shocking… nick ashley-cooper: The way I lost my father and brother was very sudden and unexpected. Part of me was just like, “Wow.” There was a realisation that you’re just not in control of life; it has its own path and you have to adapt to the things that are thrown your way. I became very focused. I felt driven and, in a way, that’s how I channelled the grief: “Right, I’m going to try to turn this tragic situation into a positive. I’m going to do it for me. I’m also going to do it for my brother and my dad.” Your sleeve tattoo looks like a robot arm. What does it mean? When I was DJing in New York, the event I was doing was called ‘Robots’. Part of the rationale of my tattoo was that I realised I was being taken down a different path and my life was changing. But I’ve always tried to stay true to myself, and I didn’t want to lose sight of where I was at that point in time, so it anchors me. Why did you turn to running? I find it really grounding. That’s the beauty of running. It gives you that space to just think and be alone with your thoughts. You turned the derelict St Giles House into a business as well as an ancestral home… No one thought that this house could be saved. It seemed like too big a mountain – no one had lived here for 50 years. I used the most simple yet profound lesson I’ve learnt doing ultramarathons: don’t think too far ahead. Break it down into chunks you can tame, get little victories along the way, and don’t think of the whole problem and be overwhelmed. Meeting Dinah [his wife] – someone who seemed to be up for an exciting adventure – it was like: “Why don’t

we just move into a few rooms of this crazy, falling-down house and then think of what to do next?” Though unlucky to fall from a horse and permanently damage your spine, you had the good fortune not to be paralysed. What was that whole experience like? It was the toughest moment in my life, mentally. I felt really scared in the hospital, not knowing what my future would be like. It was such a strong emotion. Then I imagined all those who have been through harder stuff, and I was in awe of them. When I attempted to run again, it felt like I was running on sand; I couldn’t lift my legs. Now, I’ve just become so used to that feeling when walking – that’s the technique. Has adversity shaped you? Adversity is a powerful thing. You get confidence when you have real adversity and you find a way to overcome it. It’s also really important to know that you’re not always going to overcome everything, and not to beat yourself up too much when you don’t manage to do something. Have you been surprised by what you’ve achieved despite having a permanent injury? You’re capable of much more than you think. That’s what I’ve learnt through all the things I’ve done, from ultrarunning to mountaineering; that the limits of what you can achieve are much further than you think. It’s for everyone to try to find it. I mean, my edge is here, but you see some of the things that people are doing and it’s insane. I’ve always had that hunger to try to find my personal edge, both physically and mentally. Do you feel your life was destined to be the way it is? I’m not one for destiny. Life is like a wave you ride. You’re never really in control and, if you can let go of that notion and just ride the wave, you get loads out of it and won’t be upset when something knocks you for six. Nick Ashley-Cooper is an ambassador for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation; wingsforlife.com


“I became focused and driven. It’s how I channelled the grief” THE RED BULLETIN 


Leah Tokelove

Success is no easy ride Flat-track racing is wild, brutal and doesn’t have a women’s category. No problem for this rising star of the sport Words JESS HOLLAND  Photography JUAN TRUJILLO ANDRADES

motorcycle and adventure festival Camp VC in Wales’ Brecon Beacons earlier this month, she encouraged more women to get into the scene – something Tokelove actively pursues through her own women’s flat-track school, Days On The Dirt. Here, she tells us why she loves playing rough. the red bulletin: What does being part of the flat-track community bring to your life? leah tokelove: I do think, “What the hell would I be doing if I wasn’t racing bikes?” The meets, the places I get to go, like Morocco and California, it’s all because of riding motorcycles. It’s made me a more interesting, well-rounded, better person. I’ve mixed with people I wouldn’t have mixed with before. It’s a real passion that’s driven me to be the best version of myself. The Hooligan race series is aptly named. Consisting of street bikes with no front brakes racing on dirt speedways, the discipline of flat track is rough, dangerous and scary. In this heavily male-dominated sport, it’s tempting to underestimate the chances of Lincolnshire-born Leah Tokelove, aged 21 and a little over 5ft tall. But that would be ill-advised. Having ridden off-road bikes since she was five, and raced them from the age of 13, the self-proclaimed “hooligan with pigtails” became the only female competitor in the UK’s Dirt Track Riders Association pro championships before she was out of her teens, and is ranked ninth in the pro class (at the time of going to press). But Tokelove doesn’t want to stand out in that regard. At women’s 30  

What goes through your mind when you’re racing? Flat track is over very quickly. I do a lot of positive visualisation before I start, because I sometimes feel my mind drifting when lining up for ages. But the second the green light hits, all you think about is who you’re behind and how you’re going to pass. There’s not much space, so you have to be tactical. In some races, towards the end, I’ll make more aggressive moves, not really caring if I crash, just going for it. But if you’re in a good starting position, you’ve got to stay focused and not let anyone pass. Are big crashes a part of the sport? Touch wood, I’ve always walked away pretty lucky. I’ve been run over a few times when I’ve fallen off. I’ve been clipped, T-boned, just normal

bike stuff. I’ve had some bad ligament damage and bruises – one of my knees is permanently swollen from a crash – but I haven’t broken anything. As a rule of thumb, I’m a really fluid rider. I’m a bit like a cat: I always seem to land on my feet. Why do you run events specifically for women? I know how much of a thrill I get out of riding a bike, so why shouldn’t someone else get the same? Yes, I race against the men, but I love being on girls’ rides. Every time I go to the track and see more women, I’m stoked they’re there. I don’t think there will be enough riders for a women’s class for some time – but then, in a sport like flat track I don’t think we need a women’s class. I don’t just want to be the best woman, I want to be the best out of everybody. Do you face pressure to play safe? Yeah. The Indian Scout I was riding in the UK Hooligan championships last year was 250kg. I’m 5ft 2in [1.6m] and everybody was offering their unwanted opinions that I would never be able to race that big bike. I was too small, I was too this, not enough that. But if I’d passed up that opportunity, I don’t know where I’d be now. Obviously I know there are massive risks riding a 250kg bike. I don’t need every Tom, Dick and Harry saying, “Oh, you don’t want that landing on you.” Of course I fucking don’t. I’m not stupid. But the second I got on it, I fell in love with the way it rode. It was like taming a beast, and once I had it tamed we had some unreal riding moments together. I won on that bike. I got multiple podiums on it. How do you find strength to push against those pressures? People are always going to give you their opinion and put doubts in your mind, even if they’ve got your best interests at heart. You just have to get that tunnel vision on, disregard all the negative comments and focus on what you want to get out of riding the bike. One of my favourite things to say to myself is: “Just be your own person, do your own thing.” That’s how I’ve worked it out. Be your own. leahtokelove.com THE RED BULLETIN

“Riding that 250kg bike was like taming a beast” THE RED BULLETIN 


Birth of rave

“It was the start of something really big…” Thirty years ago, a cultural revolution hit the UK. And the impact of rave – a scene drawing from the sounds of Chicago and Detroit via Ibiza – can still be heard in music today. Photographer Dave Swindells was there for the ‘Second Summer of Love’

Tottenham Court Road, London, July 1988 I’d heard that a street party might happen after [London club night] The Trip at the Astoria closed at 3am. So I was thrilled when this car pulled up with its speakers blaring, and a few hundred people were suddenly jumping around, dancing in the street and on top of the bus shelter, screaming “Street party!” and “Acieed”. We were right outside the Dominion Theatre in the heart of London, causing a party roadblock. The police seemed to regard it as joie de vivre rather than as a serious nuisance, but the revellers were already making their way into a multi-storey car park below the YMCA, which must have been pretty freaky for the hapless people who came to collect their Porsche and found it surrounded by screaming ravers.


Shoom, London, May 1988

Shoom, London, April 1988

It seems amazing now that [singer] Sacha Souter wore this straw hat without those strands blinding half the people around her – most of whom were surely a bit smitten. What a look! It’s like something out of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. I only noticed her that morning because the house lights were switched on around 5am and everything was illuminated in their fluorescent glare. People danced on, but everybody was out by 6am, heading off to RIP on Clink Street to carry on.

In a sports studio off Southwark Street, with mirrored walls, strobes, dry ice and around 300 people squeezed in, [club founder] Danny Rampling played amazing acid and gospel house like The Night Writers’ Let The Music (Use You) and Joe Smooth’s Promised Land. Amid this maelstrom was [Shoom regular] Andrew Newman, who treated acid house as an opportunity to dress in style, proudly sporting a Stephen Sprouse jacket and getting utterly lost in music.

Ku, Ibiza, June 1989 Now called Privilege, this was a superclub long before British people had dreamt of such a thing. The club held 7,000 and had an enormous roof, but it was still partially open-air in 1989. So when a violent electrical storm blew in at around 4am, most sensible people – including the likes of Boy George, Fat Tony, MC Kinky and Adamski – ran for cover. Fortunately, there were a few Brits who carried on regardless, dancing in the downpour as Lil Louis’ orgiastic track French Kiss throbbed to a climax for the third time that night. And when we came out into the sunshine at 7am, there were about five of the trendy little Suzuki jeeps in the car park, all full to the brim and looking like warm baths. 34  


Tribal Dance, Sudeley Castle, August 1990 I was asked to do some Super-8 filming at this rave, so I bought a vintage camera and headed west to Gloucestershire. It was a beautiful warm night and the rave was amazing, but it was impossible to shoot on Super 8 film without lights, so after a while I went back to taking stills, meeting people from all over the West Country. This guy stood out: Joe Bloggs T-shirts were as massive as their typeface that summer, and teaming it with baggy dungarees and big, bright patterns, complete with a beaded-necklace whistle, made him the model raver.

Rage, Heaven, London, 1990 At this club night, Fabio and Grooverider were transforming hardcore house by adding sped-up, chopped-up breakbeats and ever-more rumbling basslines – elements that coalesced into jungle around 1991 – so I should really have been photographing them. But as I was crossing the dancefloor, the podium dancers caught my eye. It wasn’t the shell suits that stood out – they were everywhere that summer – but one of the dancers, Leeco [right], who was performing brilliantly athletic moves in his new Nike Air Max trainers and fantastically baggy trousers. It was great to hear, when I posted the photo a few years ago, that he has gone on to have a successful career as a dancer and choreographer. 36  


Birth of rave The Future, The Soundshaft, London, March 1988 I’d seen clubbers on ecstasy before, especially at [outrageous club legend] Leigh Bowery’s Taboo in ’85-86, but this time it wasn’t the hedonistic demi-monde getting “on one, matey”. This was a dressed-down crowd who, like the DJ/host Paul Oakenfold, had been out to Ibiza, fallen in love with ‘Balearic beat’ and the vibe there, and wanted to carry on in London. Most were ordinary suburban kids, and if they were this over-excited on a Thursday night, Oakenfold’s club name was bang on: this was The Future, only it was already happening.

Fascinations, Downham Tavern, Kent, July 1988 I couldn’t believe it when I first saw a gyroscope at an all-day rave. Whether the kids were on ecstasy or not, being spun every-which-way was bound to result in diced carrots flying through the air. I was happy to be proved wrong. The promoter, Tony Wilson, also organised indoor pyrotechnics and two go-go dancers – from London gay club Troll – wearing dungarees and performing synchronised moves with fans in front of the lasers, which was pretty radical in Kent in the late ’80s.

Fantasy FM radio studio, late 1990 Sixteen storeys up in a tower block somewhere in Hackney, pirate station Fantasy FM was broadcasting to the east side. No one bothered with NDAs in those days, but I had to promise not to reveal where their studio was based. I’d been to their storming World of Fantasy night at the Astoria, and the invitation came from there. I had dreamt of a shot of the DJs playing in front of a window, with the city spread out behind them – but, of course, that could well have given away their location. So instead I took some snaps of DJ Stacey on the decks while DJ Foxy, aka Mystery Man, who ran the station, got busy on his brick-sized mobile phone in the background. THE RED BULLETIN 


Birth of rave

World Dance, near East Grinstead, West Sussex, August 1989 I set out with writer Alix Sharkey to photograph some of these ‘orbital’ raves [so-named because of their proximity to the newly completed M25 motorway, which was given the moniker ‘the Magic Roundabout’]. I was worried about whether we’d actually find any parties, as I’d been out with fellow journalists before, driving around Surrey, encountering police roadblocks, getting lost down country lanes, doubling back, following convoys, getting lost again and finally having to give up and drive home at 6am. This time we were lucky, as there were two raves a few miles apart near East Grinstead. At World Dance, they’d brought in these great lighting rigs and sound systems on huge flatbed trucks, so keyboard wizard Adamski played tracks like N-R-G and I Dream of You live and around 5,000 people danced all night. We left just as the dawn lit up the horizon.

Dave Swindells, photographer A London nightlife snapper since the early ’80s, Swindells was perfectly positioned to capture these pivotal moments in the birth of rave in spring 1988, when DJs Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway took their experiences in Ibiza the previous summer and transported them to the UK club scene. “It was intense and euphoric, kickstarting parties and outdoor raves, while pirate radio reached even more people,” recalls Swindells (pictured here, furthest right, in August 1989 at the second of the East Grinstead orbital raves). “At the same time, there was democratisation in Russia, the Berlin Wall was dismantled, the ‘Velvet Revolution’ took place in Czechoslovakia, and Mandela was finally released in South Africa. It seemed like oppressive regimes were taking a battering across the world.” Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today, an exhibition featuring the work of Dave Swindells and other photographers, is at the Saatchi Gallery in London until September 14; saatchigallery.com 38  


It’s a


Red Bull Music Festival London



Red Bull Music Festival London

July 2019. In a warehouse in Peckham, south London, 10 of the UK’s freshest musicians and performers gather for the photoshoot you see here. For four weeks from August 20, they will be part of the first Red Bull Music Festival London, showcasing their boundarypushing talents in venues across the capital. Here, they explain why they‘re involved, what their neighbourhood means to them, and what their own music represents

Lava La Rue & L!baan

September 7: NiNE8 Collective, No Place Like Home Live Westbank Studios, Thorpe Close, W10 NiNE8 will celebrate its west London heritage with a workshop, panel talk, performance, and a clothing collaboration with ’90s rave collective MAP. “We’re doing a showcase of the older generations we look up to, who helped pioneer the sound system culture here,” says Lava La Rue. “You have dancehall and, from that, drum and bass and jungle, then grime and a lot of the UK music we play today. It’s paying homage to our roots.”


Twenty-one-year-old rapper and singer Awia Laurel, aka Lava La Rue, hails from Ladbroke Grove, west London. The founder of arts and music collective NiNE8 believes that cultural and gender diversity are pivotal to the area’s unique sound. “A lot of groups are all one thing – all from Harlem or LA – but that’s not our vibe,” she says. “At NiNE8, we have people who are Indian, Jamaican, Caribbean, Irish, kids who grew up in Spain, Somalia… We’ve got just as many female as male rappers. It’s music where we all come from different backgrounds but coexist on one track. “That’s west London. It has one of the starkest gaps between superupper-class, multimillion Kensington houses and then estates like Grenfell. But that means you’re exposed to all walks of life. There’s a generation of kids who’ve grown up together. You walk down Portobello and you’ve got the Rastafarians, the Moroccans, the Spanish, all in this area together. That’s what our music is.” There’s a strong social message in the lyrics of La Rue and NiNE8, but she doesn’t see their music as overtly political. “I don’t think any of us strive to make political music,” she says. “It’s just inherently political because of the lives we live. We’re

rapping our perspectives, and if mine is, ‘I’m from London, I’m gay, I’m of colour, I’m working class,’ then there’s going to be politics in there. “I love the idea of catchy music and it being quite politically strong and people singing it like a mantra. What you say every day, you speak into existence, so let people say stuff that benefits them, rather than, ‘Yeah, I’m from the south, put my dick in her mouth,’ or that shit, which is what you get in a lot of rap. Let’s have people say something they’re going to speak into existence every day, and positively.” Twenty-two-year-old MC and producer L!baan hails from north London, but now considers himself “pretty much local to west” after getting to know the NiNE8 Collective through friends. A drummer while at school, L!baan – real name Libann Hassan – joined the collective after chatting to La Rue in a skate park. “Skating forced me to explore other parts of London. And on the way to all these places, you see and hear a lot of things. That’s relayed into my music, because I try to be as versatile as I can be. And, for real, there are a lot of artists, painters and musicians among skaters.” THE RED BULLETIN


Wild, wild west

“We don‘t strive to make political music. It’s just inherently political because of the lives we live” Lava La Rue

“My music is a mix. I don’t want to think about genres when I make tunes” Joe Armon-Jones

Red Bull Music Festival London

“London has a profound impact on me as a creative. It‘s a very harmonious chaos”

Joe Armon-Jones & Nabihah Iqbal

Nabihah Iqbal


The tag team Just back from playing at Glastonbury, 26-year-old pianist Joe Armon-Jones seems a little dazed that jazz superstar Kamasi Washington had joined him on stage at his Sunday-night gig alongside Afrobeat band Kokoroko. “[LA trombonist] Ryan Porter rolled through, and Kamasi played on some of my tunes. It was pretty mad,” he says. “I was directing legends that I’ve looked up to for some time.” Armon-Jones is used to adapting quickly. He plays with different musicians almost every night, either as part of renowned London jazz crew Ezra Collective or in his own projects. But despite the nearconstant attachment of the word ‘jazz’ to anything he does, he’s reluctant to label his music. “I don’t sound like Miles Davis. It’s a mixture of improvisation, dub, hip hop, soul, funk – if I start giving it a stupid name like, ‘Oh, it’s trap-dub-jazz,’ then it’s like I’ve put a stamp on it. It would stop me from making whatever I want to make in the future. I don’t want to be thinking about genres when I make tunes.” The Oxfordshire-born musician moved to south London to study jazz, and he cites local DJ and producer Maxwell Owin as a key influence. “He opened my mind to dance music. As a jazz musician, it’s easy to be arrogant about other music styles because, say, there might not be as many notes. But when you go to make those styles, you realise how hard it is.” When 32-year-old Nabihah Iqbal says she has diverse taste in music, she means it. A childhood Michael Jackson fan, she spent her teens THE RED BULLETIN 

dancing to ska-punk at Camden’s Underworld club, and cites her favourite recent gig as jazz legends Sun Ra Arkestra at Dalston’s Cafe OTO. On her fortnightly NTS radio show, she’ll play anything from the US punk-rock of Alkaline Trio to calypso. “There are no boundaries,” she says; something that has surprised those with narrow ideas about what music a British-Asian woman might listen to and play. “It’s why I’ve chosen to use my real name as an artist,” she says, explaining why she dropped her previous moniker, Throwing Shade. “This is who I am and what I do, and there’s nothing incongruous about it.” Iqbal’s own sound is dreamy and electronic, as heard on her 2017 album Weighing of the Heart. A multi-instrumentalist – playing guitar, piano, flute and sitar, thanks to a degree in ethnomusicology – she studied to be a human rights lawyer and sat the bar, but a sideline in DJing at friends’ parties led her to music. If music is her first love, London is a close second: “It’s where I was born and lived my whole life, so it has a profound impact on me as a person and a creative. It’s a very harmonious chaos.” She grew up near Regent’s Park and now lives behind Abbey Road Studios. “I’m channelling the energy. There are legendary studios in that area, so I’ve got good music feng shui. Noel and Liam Gallagher lived nearby when I was a kid – I used to see them on the street and freak out. Once, I walked into a lamppost because Noel, Paul Weller and Alan McGee – Oasis’ manager – were sat outside a café on St John’s Wood High Street. I was 10 years old.”

September 11: Round Robin EartH, Stoke Newington Road, N16 Created for the RBMF, this event pairs up solo artists from different backgrounds for unpredictable, one-of-akind performances. So, how does Round Robin work? NI: “There’s one person on stage, then the second person comes on and you play together for a bit. Then the first person leaves and a new person comes on. So there are always two people playing, but it’s random.” RED BULL: How do you feel about sharing the stage? NI: “Jamming with people on the spot can be a bit daunting, but it pushes you out of your comfort zone.” JAJ: “I like having other people to bounce off.” RB: What will you play? JAJ: “Just keys, man. I can’t play anything else.” NI: “Guitar. I’ll take some effects and maybe a loop pedal. I play lots of things a little bit.” RB: Can you prepare for an event like this? JAJ: “You can try to make a plan, but it’s a bit pointless, really. Whatever happens, you’ve just gotta go with it.”


Red Bull Music Festival London

“The oppressed dance the best!” Lil C

Lil C & Alicai Harley

Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, W10

West Norwood native Lil C – aka Cesca Ivaldi – credits her corner of London with her interest in music: “It’s synonymous with people playing bashment from cars.” The 23-yearold, who began her DJ career on student radio while studying art in Leeds, is a “kind of self-professed” dancehall expert. She’s proud of the scene’s roots, but conflicted about its mainstream success: “It’s great that people are listening to it more, but only a certain number are eating off it. It annoys me that the money doesn’t feed back into the scene.” Her top spaces to play are London QTPOC (queer and trans people of colour) nights Pxssy Palace and BBZ. “It’s like playing for family. I’m bi, and the energy of queer people is next level. ‘The oppressed dance the best’ – me and my friend coined that.”

This west London park will host the Red Bull Music stage for the third year running, bringing together the best sounds from the UK and Caribbean on a bill of dancehall, Afrobeats, bashment and rap. AH: “The Red Bull Sound System is gonna be lit. It’s Carnival! I want to give a show to all those drunk people. Everyone is going to be so finished by the time I go on, I just want to bring something more here than I do anywhere else. LC: “Playing tunes for girls gets me going. The dance is led by women. When there’s a woman on the decks, there’s reciprocal joy. I want you to have fun, and then everyone else feeds off that energy.”

South London rapper/singer Alicai Harley likes to mix up her sound, but, when pushed, describes it as “’90s dancehall pop in its purest form – nostalgic, infectious vibes.” Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the 23-year-old moved to London in 2002. “South London definitely influences my music,” she says. “Even though I was born in Jamaica and my family is Jamaican and my culture is so strong in me, I’m British, too.” When it comes to working with other artists, Harley’s dream line-up is strictly dancehall (“Buju Banton, Lady Saw”) with one exception: “Destiny’s Child”. The influence of Queen Bey extends to her career mantra, too: “I always tell my friends, ‘In life, remember you have the same number of hours as Beyoncé.’”

August 25: Red Bull Sound System at Notting Hill Carnival


Galdem style

“South London definitely influences my music. My Jamaican culture is strong in me, but I’m British, too” Alicai Harley 


Red Bull Music Festival London

“Dance music is an inclusive space. There’s a common thread that unites everyone” Anz

Anz & Riz La Teef Sunday drivers


for this one DJ or genre, there’s a common thread that unites everyone in that space. It helps.” Anz is just as excited to be in the crowd when her friends are on the decks. “I’m looking forward to Afrodeutsche playing with Aphex Twin [at the RBMF finale at Printworks] because she’s a friend in Manchester. Going from us playing together in my living room to seeing her play in that context is unreal.” South Londoner Riz La Teef started spinning records in 2008 when his university housemate went on a foreign exchange and left his decks behind. His name comes from an unusual source: the BBC news. “We used to watch the news for London every day and the presenter was called Riz Lateef,” he reveals. “I thought it kind of sounded like someone who steals people’s Rizlas.” La Teef is known for cutting his own dubplates, and this year the 30-year-old started his own record label, South London Press. So, what do people get at a Riz La Teef set? “A bit of everything: dubstep, garage, funk and grime,” he says. “I still play vinyl. I’m pretty analogue. I’ve got about 3,000 records in my front room.” Here’s a DJ who knows how to move a crowd – no matter the size. “I’ve played Fabric three times. The first was at about 11pm and it was just me and the security guard. He seemed to like it, though.”

September 8: The Sunday Club Union Car Park, Great Suffolk Street, SE1 In the late ’90s, UK garage was the sound of the moment, dominating pirate radio and impacting on the Top 40. Its epicentre was the so-called ‘Sunday Scene’ – a series of laid-back daytime sessions across south London. On September 8, at a car park just south of the Thames, Anz and Riz La Teef will join a host of garage veterans – including So Solid Crew, Ms Dynamite and Todd Edwards – to revive the party series and celebrate those glory days of UK garage. “Playing tunes alongside this line-up is surreal and an honour,” says Anz. La Teef agrees: “With so many legends, it’s going to be quite interesting finding those off-piste garage tracks. Mike Millrain is one of the best garage producers ever. Jeremy Sylvester as well.” CLOTHING: RIZ LA TEEF: COAT, APC

Anna-Marie Odubote, better known as Anz, couldn’t be further from the image of an aloof DJ hiding behind the decks. The London-born 27-yearold rarely stops dancing through her own sets, which she describes as “a mishmash, a taster of music I like, from old-school, breakbeat, hardcore and rave all the way to Afrobeat”. In person, she has the same exuberant energy and a huge smile. Anz began creating and posting her own music to SoundCloud about four years ago, and someone soon messaged to say they wanted to book her. “I was like, ‘To do what?’ So my partner and I got a ratty mixer and a pair of old £80 CDJ-100S CD players. That’s how I learnt.” Now, she’s released a debut EP – Invitation 2 Dance (dedicated to ​ “the boys who used to muscle me off the decks at house parties”) – and has just played iconic Berlin nightclub Berghain. “I was worried it would be techno-focused and 4/4 serious music, but they told me to do whatever I wanted. It was 4am to 6am at the Panorama Bar, so I had a nice slot – although I accidentally got drunk at the artists’ dinner and had to have a nap before my set.” Today, the Manchester resident is optimistic about marginalised voices in the industry. “Dance music is a fairly inclusive space, even if it can sometimes look like it isn’t. At the parties I play, there isn’t a sense of otherness because, whether you go


“I’m pretty analogue. I still play vinyl. I’ve got about 3,000 records at home” Riz La Teef

“It’s our queer London, one we were born of, met in and celebrate” Victoria Sin

Red Bull Music Festival London September 13: We Know That We Can Shape Ourselves

“Get started at Wetherspoons, then go to Pxssy Palace. It’s a great night”

Venue TBA

Shy One

Victoria Sin & Shy One


The shape changers Performance artist and drag queen Victoria Sin doesn’t need to invent a stage name – the 28-year-old Canadian’s real one works just fine for a multi-disciplinary and genderexploratory artist who offers a unique interpretation of drag. “When I was 17 in Toronto, I used a fake ID to go to drag clubs and saw this empowered embodiment of femininity in a way I never had before,” says Sin. “I was transfixed. I always wanted to be a drag queen, but didn’t know it was something I could do until I moved to London. I’m trying to express that gender and identity are constructed, but it doesn’t mean we can’t take pleasure in those things. Through a process of doing drag and putting on and taking off my gender, I realised I wasn’t a woman and came out as non-binary.” Sin’s Red Bull performance with Shy One is all about queer spaces, but these opportunities alone don’t mean the world is becoming more open-minded. “Trans rights have so far to go in the UK, and this is why spaces like BBZ and Pxssy Palace are so important, because that’s where I can be myself,” says Sin. “I live in a country that doesn’t recognise nonbinary as a legal gender identity, so what does that do for me?” Sin also recognises that the way femininity is treated on stage is totally different to how it’s treated on the street. “Femininity is something you can wield to make space for yourself and other people and be loud and proud. Unfortunately that’s not always possible, because of the social context we exist within. My work is about distancing ideas of THE RED BULLETIN 

femininity from ideas of womanhood. They are not necessarily related.” Given that Shy One’s dad is the DJ Trevor Nelson and her godfather is Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, people assume they know how the 29-yearold – born Mali Larrington-Nelson – ended up being a DJ. However, her mum was the biggest influence: “She was a raver and big music lover. She introduced me to jungle, garage and broken beat when listening to pirate radio in her car, and also neo-soul like Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.” Having said that, it was Jazzie B gifting her decks on her 13th birthday, combined with a mixing workshop at her local youth club in Harrow, that led Shy to become one of London’s most eclectic underground DJs. “Right now, I’m definitely playing more broken beat and jazz,” she says. “Not to look down on other styles as I play them all, but there’s a heavy jazz presence.” Influential on London’s queer party scene, Shy is part of the BBZ collective that centres on women and non-binary people of colour, and chooses queer collective Pxssy Palace as her favourite night to be on the bill. But her eclectic taste extends to socialising. “Wetherspoons is somewhere I feel comfortable going and being able to eat and drink for cheap,” she says. “I used to take my laptop and work there. It’s odd that I, as a queer young black woman of immigrant descent, often feel more at ease in spaces you expect to be most hostile. Line your stomach at ’Spoons and then go to Pxssy Palace – it’s a great night.”

Victoria Sin and Shy One will be collaborating at this bespoke event expressing what it means to be queer in club culture. Here, they explain what we can expect: VS: “This is a meeting of our worlds, and of the collectives and artists we know and love. It’s our queer London, one we were born of, met in and celebrate. Mali does the music that creates the narrative, and I activate the words by performing as this extreme embodiment of identity.” SO: “It’s quite cool that we’re doing the show with BBZ and Pxssy Palace, because we met through their events.” VS: “When we met, I was coming into something that’s unique in London, which is a party scene that centres the experiences of queer people of colour in ways I’d never experienced before. Within queer spaces, places are often cis-male and white, and if you’re queer and not those things, it can be very violent coming into those spaces.” SO: “In London, there are so many of us crammed into a small scene. There are a lot of black people and other people of colour, and we probably have the most populous gay scene in the UK. There are so many opportunities for us to have parties.” VS: “It feels like a moment, like we’re part of something special and unique. Queer people of colour are realising that not only do we need and want our own spaces, but when we get together we start creating our own culture and our own world – and that’s really beautiful.” Styling: Hannah Elwell Hair: Maki Tanaka Make-up: Emma Williams Thanks to Copeland Park, Peckham, for the location

Red Bull Music Festival London takes place from August 20 to September 14. For more event details, head to page 93 or redbull.com   51

Practised for more than 2,000 years, sumo is still Japan’s national sport, but no longer its exclusive field of mastery. International competitors have muscled in, forcing the country’s wrestlers to push harder for a place at the top. Nowhere is this more evident than at the largest contest outside Japan: the US Sumo Open Words TOM WARD Photography JEREMY LIEBMAN



Byambajav Ulambayar is a giant of sumo in more ways than one: the Mongolian former pro has won the men’s heavyweight title at the US Sumo Open 10 times since 2007

“Sumo is a bit like American professional wrestling, in that it’s a theatre show” The 19th US Sumo Open – the biggest sumo tournament outside Japan – attracted almost 5,000 spectators and 64 international wrestlers to the Walter Pyramid arena in Long Beach, California


Norway’s Henning Westerby attempts to force America’s Robert Fuimaono (with the ‘Bulldozer’ tattoo) out of the ring

Sumo is a heritage in the midst of being reimagined for the tastes of a wider, global audience

Hiroki Sumi weighs up the competition. In 2018, the Japanese sumo was a surprise entrant in the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, a 50-man battle royale staged in Saudi Arabia




iewed from the bleachers, the three sumo squatting on the basketball court below look like oversized tan beach balls. It’s an unusual juxtaposition. After all, this is California – the arena of California State University Long Beach, to be precise. Built in the shape of a pyramid that mirrors the clement sky, this 4,000-seater is home to the Long Beach State 49ers basketball and athletics teams. The interior of the Walter Pyramid is festooned with gold and black banners reading ‘Go Beach’, there’s a stall selling kettle corn, and, whichever way you turn, vendors are ready to furnish spectators with hot dogs and oversized sodas. In short, the place is as American as apple pie. All of which makes the two Japanese and one Mongolian sumo all the more conspicuous as they warm up against the polished wood and black markings of the basketball court. The three athletes are Byambajav Ulambayar, a 1.84m-tall Mongolian and former sumo pro; the 1.92m-tall Hiroki Sumi from Japan; and, standing at 1.7m, the relatively diminutive Takeshi Amitani, the former five-time Japanese National University Champion. What brings them to town on this midMarch afternoon is the 19th annual US Sumo Open – the largest and longest-running sumo event outside Japan. Collectively, its participants have amassed 18 World Sumo Champion titles and travelled from as far afield as Japan, Mongolia, India, Egypt, Tajikistan, Georgia, Ukraine, Norway and Germany. If the eclectic make-up surprises you, it shouldn’t. More than any other sport, sumo is a tradition in transition. In Japan, the best national wrestlers are regularly bettered by a new influx of Russians, Mongolians and Ukrainians – nations that have proudly adopted its national sport and set out to dominate it. So great is the impact of non-Japanese in sumo that in 2017 Japan celebrated its first yokozuna (the highest rank) in almost 20 years: Kisenosato Yutaka. But when Yutaka retired this January, at the age of 32, a brace of Mongolian wrestlers were competing for the top spot. This development is indicative of the changes happening across sumo. In short, sumo is a heritage in the midst of being reimagined and remoulded to fit the tastes of a wider, global audience. And nowhere is this more evident than at the US Sumo Open.

Worth the weight

Two days before the 19th US Sumo Open is due to begin, The Red Bulletin arrives in Long Beach. Inside the Walter Pyramid, sheltered from the bright sunlight, we find some of the event’s most famous competitors weighing in. Ulambayar, the 35-yearold former pro, tips the scales at 161kg. “I’m so skinny,” he jokes. As Ulambayar dons a purple floral gown and paces around with regal grace, 29-year-old Sumi clutches his plentiful stomach in his hands and climbs onto the scale. At 220kg, he will be one 58  

of the heaviest sumo to compete in the competition. At 100kg, 26-year-old Amitani easily makes middleweight class. As Ulambayar attempts to score a basketball with a balled-up towel, Amitani and Sumi form a little-and-large double act, with the former translating our questions for his towering counterpart. Perpetually beaming, Sumi – who, in 2018, fought in a one-off WWE Greatest Royal Rumble – resembles a Japanese version of Dustin from the Netflix series Stranger Things. Amitani, meanwhile, is handsome and muscular with swept-back hair and a cauliflower left ear, one eye partially closed from injury. “I train very hard,” Sumi says through Amitani. “I benchpress 90kg, shoulder-press 60kg, and leg-press 140kg.” He acts out the movements as he speaks, fleshy limbs bunching up. He points to his right knee, where an angry, jagged red line THE RED BULLETIN

The Ukrainians are particularly deadly in modern-day sumo. Pictured: compatriots Demid Karachenko and eventual winner Sviatoslav Semykras do battle in the men’s lightweight final

of scar tissue is visible. This, Sumi says, has put paid to his deadlifting and squatting days. Amitani’s routine is similar. Back in his college days, he wanted to bulk up, so he mainlined sushi, ramen and the sumo staple chanko-nabe – a relatively healthy stew loaded with proteins such as chicken, tofu, meatballs or fish, plus starchy rice or noodles, and veggies including bok choy, mushrooms, daikon (white radish) and carrots – to build himself into heavyweight shape. Now, as a middleweight, he includes running in his regime. Last night, the three sumo enjoyed a barbecue at their hotel. “We had 5-6kg of meat,” smiles Ulambayar. It was clearly a welcome change from chanko-nabe – to build the body shape needed for top-flight sumo, the likes of Ulambayar will shovel down industrial quantities of the stew on a daily basis. Dinner, THE RED BULLETIN 

“Slapping, leg-sweeping and pulling the belt are allowed; punching, kicking and hair-pulling are not”



Japan’s best wrestlers are regularly bettered by Russians, Mongolians and Ukrainians meanwhile, comprises lighter fare such as fried mackerel, noodles and salad. And because sumo is a 365-day sport without competitive seasons, the diet of a professional wrestler remains the same all year round. All of this feeds into the typical Western image of the sumo as an obese but muscular athlete. Many sumo – especially the Ukrainian competitors – come from a more traditional wrestling background, but packing on as much mass as possible is essential for the heavyweight stars of the show, not just to add to the spectacle but to make themselves an immovable weight. The heavier you are, the harder it is for your opponent to shift you from the ring. Training with opponents who weigh in excess of 160kg makes match preparation easier, too: try to stop one of them and your legs will quickly develop the strength necessary to withstand their onslaught in the ring. Sumo can grow so large that a 1994 study by sports scientists from four Tokyo universities –

conducted to determine the upper limit of fat-free body mass in humans – found that the average competitor’s body is 26.1 per cent fat, as opposed to a bodybuilder’s 10.9 per cent. But to be classified as a professional sumo involves more than just a big appetite; it requires dedicating oneself to a sumo stable in Japan and training day-in day-out to compete at the highest level. Anything outside of that is considered ‘amateur’. While Amitani was only ever a collegiate sumo wrestler in Japan, both Sumi and Ulambayar competed as professionals. Now, all three live in California and, as such, are arguably the face of the sport outside Japan. With sumo now recognised as an Olympic sport (though still not on the programme for Tokyo 2020), their services are more in demand than ever. When he isn’t competing, Amitani teaches in a nearby dohyō (ring) and regularly performs for television, expositions and conferences, as does Sumi. Ulambayar, meanwhile, came to the US in 2007 to appear in the film Ocean’s 13, and he hasn’t looked back. But the US Sumo Open is not just another expo for these wrestlers – as well as being the most prestigious competition outside professional sumo, it’s also a way to keep their hand in alongside foreign competitors. Ulambayar has taken the top spot in the heavyweight class 10 times since 2007, while Sumi won 234 matches during his professional career in Japan. “Sumo is very simple,” Amitani translates for Sumi. “There are many people who respect what sumo is, so I don’t mind if non-Japanese people compete. Sumo is still a minor sport, and I want it to be more popular. I was a professional for many years in Japan, but I wanted to show my techniques to more people. That is why I came to America.” Our resident Mongolian, Ulambayar, is a man of few words but deep insights. “I love my sport,” he says. “In America, it’s a growing sport. The competitors are getting stronger and learning a lot. I think they respect the culture. It’s difficult to fight the guys who haven’t been professional. With a professional, you know their moves. Others come from different sports, like judo, so we don’t know how they will move.” He shrugs. “But I’ll handle it.”

Brawn in the USA

While the former pros are feeling strong, there are a whole host of American-born sumo eager to make their names known. Lightweight Andrew McKnight is a wiry, kinetic Californian native. “I’ve always wrestled, and sumo was just something to do,” he says. “I think a lot of guys hope to be a professional boxer Left: Andrew McKnight prepares his sumo belt – mawashi – for his first tournament. The length varies from five to six metres for amateurs, up to 10m for top professionals. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Takeshi Amitani (JAP), Owen Albers (USA), Jose Galindo (USA), Sviatoslav Semykras (UKR)





Sumi in repose. At 220kg, he’s one of the heaviest sumo in this competition




“Sumo is the hardest sport in the world. It’s just brutal”

US hopeful Jose Galindo takes a tumble in the men’s heavyweight final

or MMA fighter, but once you accept that isn’t going to happen, this is a good step down.” Feeling inspired a year ago, McKnight built a ring in his backyard and has been practising with his roommates ever since. This will be his first competition. “I love the traditional side,” he adds. “In my mind, sumo is like American professional wrestling, in that it’s a theatre show. It’s nice to see something where the old ways are respected, even if they no longer make much sense.” Heavyweight Jose Galindo, meanwhile, got into sumo after watching Ulambayar body-slam an opponent on YouTube. Born and raised in Utah and Los Angeles, Galindo used to play semi-professional football. He’s now a chiropractor by trade and appears for his weigh-in covered in red cupping bruises. Like McKnight, this will be his first tournament. “I started participating a month and a half ago,” he says. Now, having filled in the entry form and paid the $30 fee, here he is. “It’s been a baptism of fire,” Galindo admits. Not every American competitor will be making their debut, however. Heavyweight Kelly Gneiting is a legend in the sport and has claimed the US national championship five times. Gneiting, who weighs in at 197kg, originally got into the sport after becoming too heavy to compete in Greco-Roman wrestling. Now 48 and sporting a grey beard, he’s also the only competitor here to have competed in the very first US Sumo Open in 2001. “The highest truths are hidden from people,” he says, philosophically. “One is that sumo is the hardest sport in the world. It’s just brutal.” He recounts a story of how, during his THE RED BULLETIN 

time in Tokyo in 2004, he was beating a champion when the president of the sumo team gave his opponent a signal, which led to Gneiting taking a palm to the eye. “You don’t do that in sumo,” he says. “It felt like the kitchen sink had fallen on my head. Things they wouldn’t stand for in the US or the UK, over in Japan it’s normal.” He claims that the Japanese team didn’t like a foreigner muscling in on their sport – an attitude that Gneiting says was once widespread in professional sumo. Over the years, though, he believes the Japanese have learned to “release their baby”. Andrew Freund is the founder and organiser of the US Sumo Open and has the frantic energy of the sleep-deprived. Having spent time in Japan in the early ’90s, Freund began putting on sumo events in California as a hobby, before organising the first US Open in 2001. The mix of competitors, he says, has traditionally been 50 per cent American, 50 per cent foreign. And 90 per cent of the time it’s the foreign competitors who end up on the podium. “The US is a little behind the curve in terms of international amateur sumo,” he shrugs. Freund explains that the dichotomy between Japanese and non-Japanese sumo is not really the focus of division in the sport; the largest contrast is between professional and amateur sumo. “Professional sumo in Japan is its own entity entirely,” he says. “When you join pro sumo, you don’t have a vocation, you don’t have a holiday, you don’t have your own place. You wanna go somewhere for a day? You have to check with your coaches. Most of these guys are training 365 days of the year. It’s not like   63

“Sumo is very simple… People in Japan don’t mind when Japanese sumo don’t win” [American] football where you have a season of three [or four] months, then a down season with free time.” Ulambayar, he explains, was a professional sumo for five years. During this time, he got to see his family only once. “Once you’re pro, you can’t do anything else. And once you retire, you can’t go back.” But not everyone who practices sumo in Japan does so within the rigid confines of its heritage – far from it. “Tens of thousands of people practise sumo in Japan,” Freund says, “but there are only 600 to 700 ‘pros’.” The others practise sumo like you might play football. There are elementary-school teams, company teams, regional teams, salary men competing after-hours. You might see the Nissan team squaring up against the Toyota team, for example. “It’s not about sumo inside and outside Japan,” Freund says. “It’s about pro and amateur standards in Japan and worldwide.” In terms of the Japanese response to non-Japanese competing, Freund admits reactions are mixed: “On the one

hand, there are some purists who say we’re diluting and corrupting the sport, that these guys don’t know the concepts of honour and Japanese tradition.” Despite this, there is an official moratorium on foreigners joining professional sumo stables, with just one allowed per team. “There are 700 pro sumo on 35 teams, which means no more than five per cent of them can be foreigners,” Freund says. “That’s pretty damn strict. If you lifted that ban, you’d have 7,000 Mongolians pouring into pro sumo tomorrow.” Others, meanwhile, think the influx of fresh blood into the sport encourages Japanese sumo to train even harder. And Freund believes that the Japanese unreservedly support foreign participation outside the country. “It’s the Japanese national sport, foreigners are learning it, and [the Japanese] take pride in that. Foreigners are learning Japanese culture and techniques. It’s an inevitable thing once a sport becomes popularised – people will want to do it.”

Amitani dispatches an opponent in the men’s middleweight rounds




America’s Kelly Gneiting (left) grapples with a fellow contender during the early rounds in the men’s heavyweight division

Lords of the ring

It’s competition day. The 4,000-strong audience is hunkered down with bento boxes and cans of Sapporo as ritual taiko drummers perform. These Japanese accoutrements aside, this could be the crowd for any traditional American sport: eclectic and not shy of verbalising their enthusiasm. By the dohyō, a Japanese referee in a white shirt, bow tie and gloves calmly officiates. Matches frequently last as little as 10 seconds before being won by the first wrestler to either knock down their opponent or force them out of the circle. There are 82 recognised techniques for doing this, most of which involve pushing or throwing. Slapping, leg-sweeping, and pulling of the belt (mawashi) are allowed; punching, kicking, and pulling of the hair are not. Beneath the bleachers, the sumo await their matches. Some sit wrapped in towels, others chat among themselves. The Ukrainians – an unusually muscular group – are sequestered in a corner, warming up. Some competitors alternate between practising moves and napping. McKnight has taken himself off to perform some Jedi-esque stretches. Ulambayar waits calmly in his purple gown, eating. The Norwegian team – all blond hair and matching tracksuits – have set up their national flag in a corner, like some makeshift Arctic base camp. The men’s lightweight matches are over in a flash, with McKnight and the 12 other US competitors quickly ejected from the dohyō and the tournament. At the climax, Ukrainian Sviatoslav Semykras launches himself at his opponent’s chest and, with a half somersault, sends him flying into the crowd before landing neatly on his feet to claim gold. Not for nothing are the Ukrainians revered in this sport. The men’s middleweight competition offers few surprises. Amitani is the clear master of his class. While others grapple and shove, the Japanese wrestler deftly sidesteps, tussles and THE RED BULLETIN 

pushes, using his opponent’s weight against him to claim the top spot, his second win in three years. It’s the men’s heavyweight competition that most spectators have been waiting for. Next up is Ulambayar, squaring up against the Egyptian Ramy Elgazar, US Sumo Open champion in 2015. A sumo match begins when the two opponents rest both fists on the floor of the dohyō, and Ulambayar and Elgazar revel in the element of theatre by placing just one hand down, then standing up, stretching or walking around the ring when the other’s knuckles hit the floor. When they finally clash, the Egyptian knocks the Mongolian down and out. It’s only Ulambayar’s seventh loss in more than a decade of US sumo matches. Newcomer Galindo’s tournament looks set to come to an abrupt halt as he squares up against Gneiting, but then, all of a sudden, the veteran is out of the ring and Galindo stands victorious. It’s an incredible result for someone who admits to having trained for only a few months. Galindo’s next opponent is Sumi. They grapple for a while, then Sumi goes down. The referee, believing the American’s foot left the ring first, awards the match to the Japanese wrestler. The crowd boo. A replay is checked, the panel of officials consulted. The result is reversed and Galindo wins, beating his second world champion in two matches. As Sumi sits serenely, the victor gees up the crowd with his arms. “I’ve been to Super Bowls, NBA finals, and this is more fun than all of them!” says an audience member. Eventually, with every favourite eliminated, Galindo faces off against Oleksandr Veresiuk in the final, but succumbs to the onslaught of the Ukrainian. Resigned to second place, a beaming Galindo shakes his opponent’s hand. “I feel good,” he enthuses afterwards. “Going up against Hiroki was amazing. I didn’t think I’d beat him – I was just hoping to tire him out.” His confidence newly bolstered, Galindo wants to continue to compete in sumo. If today’s performance is anything to go by, he could well be America’s best sumo athlete since Gneiting. As the day’s competitions come to an end, the Ukrainians have emerged victorious in every category – both men’s and women’s – except men’s middleweight, which Amitani claimed for his home country, the originators of the sport. Results such as these are becoming commonplace, but Amitani appears to bear no ill will towards the foreign usurpers, believing instead that the increase in popularity is good for sumo. “I think it’s great,” he says. “Sumo is very simple, and many people can enjoy doing it. People in Japan don’t mind when Japanese sumo don’t win.” Perhaps, then, the influx of foreign talent into the sport does not represent a dilution of sumo’s traditions, but rather a widening of its parameters – and people’s perceptions – making for a more inclusive sport. “In America, they see sumo as two fat guys belly-bucking, and they think it’s funny,” Gneiting says in parting. “But sumo is a legitimate martial art, and nothing could be further from the truth.” usasumo.com   65

Howell wears a Phoenix-Fly Rafale wingsuit – a relatively large model that’s ideal for high gliding and short starts

On a wing and a prayer How far will an elite BASE jumper go for the chance to break boundaries in their sport? For Tim Howell in Vietnam, the answer was three days‘ travel for just 40 seconds of flight Words JOHNNY LANGENHEIM Photography JAMES CARNEGIE


Wingsuit BASE jumping


im Howell isn’t answering our shouts. All that photographer James Carnegie and I can hear are echoes bouncing off the crags and gorges below us. Howell’s rope, tied to a hollow rock, snakes into thick jungle at a near-vertical gradient. Somewhere down there is a 300m sheer limestone face, and he’s looking for it. As concern sets in, a sudden string of elated expletives tells us he’s OK. Even better, he thinks he’s found an exit point. Howell first saw Vách đá Trăng in Vietnam in 2017. The 30-year-old British mountaineer and BASE jumper had been scouting possible wingsuit routes in lesserknown locations when a spectacular white cliff popped up on his Instagram. He was intrigued. Checking out the BASE jump forums, he realised no one had ever done a wingsuit descent in Vietnam before. Six months later, he and his fiancée, fellow BASE jumper Ewa Kalisiewicz, were on their way to Hà Giang, Vietnam’s northernmost province. Halfway up the 1,364m peak, in driving rain, they were forced to turn back. With no prospect of a let-up in the weather, and commitments back in Europe, the couple reluctantly headed home. This March, 15 months later, Howell decided to try again. We’ve spent three days just getting here: London to Hanoi, then an overnight train to Lào Cai province on the northwest border with China; three of us in a fourberth sleeper with a young Vietnamese guy, his face lit by raucous game shows he watches on his phone all night. This is followed by a six-hour minivan ride east along the border to Hà Giang, crossing high plateaus on dirt roads, and finally seven hours to Ðông Văn in a bus that doubles as a postal service for everything from sacks of rice to four bemused-looking ducks riding on the roof. When you put 68  

Above: the overnighter to Lào Cai. Below: locals wear masks against pollution

in 72 hours of travel for a 40-second flight, the destination had better deliver. Howell scrambles back up to us. There’s no time to jump today: it’s almost 5pm and he’ll need a machete to clear the exit, sort out his gear and prepare himself for the point of no return, 100 per cent committed, leaning into the void. It’s a moment he loves, but it’s not to be rushed. Still, there’s disappointment. That morning, the three of us had scoped out the landing area, clambering down and then back up a steep muddy track bisecting steep terraces planted with corn and cassava, passing huddled houses of mud and thatch, down to the banks of the Nho Qué River. After a pot of bitter green tea and a grilled sausage from a makeshift market at a nearby lookout point, we’d headed up in search of the exit. THE RED BULLETIN

Howell loves to open new routes. It’s an explorer’s mentality The Vietnamese flag flaps in a chill wind blowing up through the gorges of the Mã Pí Lèng Pass. This viewpoint was the team’s base of operations

Wingsuit BASE jumping

Top: Bushwhacking to the top of Vách dá Trang in search of an exit point. Bottom: Howell uses a machete to clear undergrowth – a botched exit can prove deadly



“I’ve walked away from an exit if I didn’t like the conditions” Howell, 30, is a former Royal Marine Commando who has climbed the north face of the Eiger; Carnegie is an ultrarunner used to 100km jaunts. Both set a relentless pace, despite carrying heavy packs. People don’t climb Vách đá Trăng. Its flanks – save for the limestone face – are covered in thick jungle that overhangs the cliff edge. We trek to the point where Howell and Kalisiewicz turned back last time – literally the end of the track. “From here, we’re bushwhacking,” Howell says with relish. “We should head for that seam of rock.” He points to a faintly visible break in the vegetation. Without a machete, it’s tough-going. We scramble through dense foliage and over crags, loose shaley rock giving way beneath our hands as vines ensnare us. We veer left to avoid blundering over the edge. Within half an hour, we’re covered in cuts, our trousers torn to shreds. Doubt creeps in – does Howell know what he’s doing? By the time he finds the exit, any preconceptions about wingsuit pilots as devil-may-care, instant-thrill seekers are gone. This is methodical madness. “I’ve already put 10 days’ work into this one jump,” Howell says that evening at a backpacker café in Ðông Văn – our base of operations. “A lot of people are content to do what they know – you can head to Lauterbrunnen [in Switzerland], ride up in a gondola and do five jumps a day. It’s a lot harder to open up a jump [create a leap never attempted before].” For Howell, BASE jumping is freedom. “There’s no one saying you shouldn’t be doing that because you don’t have the right sticker in your log book,” he says, taking a swig of whisky. His approach is as much about exploration and finely tuned preparation as it is about leaping off precipices. Mountaineering, skiing and rock-climbing are part of the story. There isn’t much of the adrenalin junkie about him – but then, in a sport that requires so much skill and composure, such headlinegrabbing tags are often off the mark. Adventure is a crowded market. As our appetite for content becomes ever more THE RED BULLETIN 

voracious, and once-remote places turn into the next selfie opportunity, the extreme tends to get amplified. But while Howell – by necessity – inhabits the world of sponsorship and social media, his projects have an old-world appeal. As he puts it, he’s more inclined to ice-climb to a BASE jump exit in the Alps than to double back-flip off a 50m crane. And he loves attempting new projects, opening undiscovered routes, being the first. It’s an explorer’s mentality. “My dad was a paratrooper; I grew up seeing pictures of him parachuting in Kenya in the ’70s and ice-climbing Mont Blanc,” Howell says. His mother, meanwhile, was a flight attendant. “She took me on longhaul flights when I was a toddler, stashing me in the crew quarters,” he laughs. At school, he was restless and struggled to concentrate, traits he thinks are par for the course with adventurous types: “We’ve all got stories of not wanting to conform as kids, not liking to be told what to do.” So why spend eight years in the Royal Marines? It provided the chance to travel, he says, and to develop mental aptitude in demanding situations, including a stint in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, training Afghan forces to fight insurgents.

Howell uses laser range-finding binoculars and his smartphone to calculate the trigonometry of his flight path. He needs to be sure that his trajectory will clear power lines located further down the mountain

The next morning, a thick pall of grey mist hangs low as we emerge from our hotel. It doesn’t look good for Howell’s flight today, and the forecast is for cloud all week. By contrast, the streets are awash with colour. It’s market day, and everywhere there are traders representing the various ethnic groups that populate the mountains: Hmong, Dao, Nung, Tay. The tribes wear homespun outfits: hemp stained with batik motifs, the men in berets – a legacy of six decades of French rule. There’s a Hmong village right under Howell’s flight path, and I wonder what they’ll think when he whizzes over their heads. We buy a machete, gear up and head out on our rented mopeds. While the other two bushwhack up to the exit, I head towards a skywalk right beneath the face to try to capture the launch from below. But the cloud isn’t lifting. We chat via walkie-talkie – they’ve found the exit, an outcrop no more than a foot wide. Howell clears away brush, unphased by the gut-wrenching drop on all sides; when not adventuring, he works as a rope access technician, dangling precariously from skyscrapers and bridges. But there’s zero visibility. All day, fog drifts across the mountain, lifting tantalisingly only to descend moments later. Howell can’t fly blind: it’s an unknown route with power lines below. At 5pm, we call it and they head down. Howell has logged more than 600 BASE jumps, half of them wingsuit flights. Around his 300th, he had an accident. He was with a group at Beachy Head in East Sussex when he attempted a barrel roll, a move he wasn’t that familiar with. His chute got tangled and he hit the cliff twice, almost fatally snagging the canopy on a rock. He hit the ground hard and was lucky to escape serious injury. “I learnt an important lesson that day about getting caught up in the group mentality and being complacent. Since then, there have been loads of times when I’ve walked away from an exit if I didn’t like the conditions, even though others have been jumping all day without a problem.” Though a more experienced skydiver and wingsuit pilot, Kalisiewicz isn’t unscathed either. At Christmas 2017, Howell proposed to her on South Africa’s Table Mountain before a wingsuit BASE jump. In wingsuit flying, speed is crucial for lift; pilots can achieve glide ratios (forward vs downward movement) of 3:1. But slow down too much and you can   71

Having spent a full day at the exit point waiting for the fog to lift, Howell launches himself from Vách dá Trang, dropping vertically down the 300m cliff face before picking up enough speed for forward momentum



Wingsuit BASE jumping

Minutes pass. “Three… two… one… see ya.” And he’s gone

stall. “If you go into a proximity line [flying close to the floor or walls] without enough speed, you can’t get out of it,” Howell says. The couple lost performance because they were trying to fly together. They opened their chutes earlier than planned and, instead of landing on a rugby pitch, hit uneven turf studded with tree stumps. “I landed first and then I saw Ewa tumble. She’d hit a stump that was sheared to a point like a shark’s fin. It scalped her shin to the bone.” His military training kicked in. Keeping his injured partner calm, Howell carried her and all the gear to their car before heading to hospital. Last year was a bad one for BASE, with 32 recorded deaths. One was a friend of Kalisiewicz. Others were guys Howell had jumped with. Though deaths are recorded in some detail, BASE jumps are not, so it’s impossible to get an accurate fatality rate. What’s certain is that it increased with the advent of wingsuit BASE jumping. It’s arguably the most dangerous sport there is. Howell is matter of fact about it; he’s confident in his personal margin for error. The next morning, he sits despondent at the viewpoint. Vách đá Trăng’s entire face is shrouded in mist, impervious to advances. Time is running out and Howell begins discussing other options. He scouts a nearby peak for a possible BASE jump exit into the gorge below, but the face isn’t sheer enough. As he slogs back to the road, Vách đá Trăng hoves into view again. He whoops abruptly. The fog has lifted and the summit is visible. He’s got a window. Howell stands on a lone jut of rock, his rope held loosely in one hand, a void in front of him. His suit and BASE rig, about the size of a child’s backpack, seem absurdly flimsy, but his face is as fixed as the mountains. “Call my dad if anything goes wrong.” Then he’s quiet. Minutes pass. “Three… two… one… See ya.” And he’s gone. There’s a flapping sound as his pockets fill with air, then silence… until he reappears, skimming the shoulder of an adjacent peak. Thirty seconds later, his canopy flares and opens above the river. Roars of triumph rebound off the ravine. We meet Howell again as he clambers back up to the road. He’s with an elderly Hmong couple who are laughing with delight, making flying gestures. Aside from us, they, their neighbours and some farmyard animals are the only ones who witnessed this monumental event. Finally, when Vách đá Trăng retreats for good behind its veil of cloud, meaning no more Promethean flights of fancy, we pack up and prepare for the long trip home. timhowelladventures.com















redbull.co.uk/pro Terms and Conditions apply.

Equipment Your guide to gear born with purpose, engineered to achieve, and built with style


The 6,000-fathom diving watch


Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional When explorer Victor Vescovo descended into the deepest point of the Earth’s oceans in April this year, he needed a watch that could withstand depths of 11,000m and pressures more than 1,000 times greater than at the ocean’s surface. Who better to build this timepiece than the makers of the first watch to land on the Moon…





robot arms of Limiting Factor and another attached to one of his three detachable landers. As he reached the record-breaking depth of 10,928m, Vescovo gazed upon terrain never before seen by human eyes. “People think the bottom of the trenches are



in. The company’s plan: to build a watch to withstand the same external pressures as Limiting Factor. To do so, it used offcuts of the vessel’s Grade 5 titanium hull. Three watches were sent down to the Challenger Deep with Vescovo: two strapped to the

barren moonscapes, but within 10 minutes I saw a transparent holothurian – a sea cucumber – undulating gently on the sea floor; 16,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, just above freezing, and here was life.” Twelve hours after Vescovo began his descent, Limiting Factor broke the surface, its hull intact and ready for three more dives the following week. “I would die in that submersible if it had not been built perfectly – pressure will find a weak point,” he says. “It’s the same for the watches.” All three survived their mission in pristine condition (see opposite). For once, Vescovo was happy to accept sponsorship. “Omega is keeping two of the watches,” he says, smiling. “I’m keeping one.”



ictor Vescovo knows a thing or two about daring exploits. The 53-year-old Texan is an former naval officer, aviator and submarine test pilot. He’s completed the Explorers’ Grand Slam – scaling the highest peaks on all seven continents, and skiing to both Poles – and in April this year he descended to the deepest seabed on Earth:  the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. And he did it four times. At 10,994m below sea level, the floor of the Challenger Deep is more than 2km deeper than Everest is tall, with an atmospheric pressure more than 1,000 times greater than at the surface. “It’s an incredibly hostile place,” says Vescovo. “No submarine had ever gone to the bottom more than once. I wondered what it’d take to construct a submersible that could do it repeatedly and reliably.” The answer is around $35million (£28m) – the cost of his two-seater submersible, DSV Limiting Factor. Vescovo self-funded its construction for his Five Deeps Expedition, a mission to reach the deepest points of each of the five oceans. “I wasn’t even considering sponsorships. I wanted total control,” says the multimillionaire, who’s also a successful Wall Street trader. But when Swiss watchmaker Omega saw that he was wearing one of its Ocean Seamaster watches on his first dive into the Puerto Rican Trench in the Atlantic, it wanted


Building the ultimate diver‘s watch Omega’s Ultra Deep: an innovative design that borrows from the durability of a ship’s hull and the biology of one of the ocean’s most graceful creatures

Sea level 0m


Blue whale 500m



RMS Titanic (final resting place) 3,800m

Omega has a long history of building precision diver’s watches, starting in 1932 with the world’s first ever, the Omega Marine, which used a leather disc as a hermetic seal and was dropped 73m to the bed of Lake Geneva. Today’s regular Seamaster Planet Ocean watches are capable of withstanding depths of up to 600m, but at 100m deeper than even a blue whale can endure, only a diver wearing a US Navy atmospheric ‘hardsuit’ would push that limit. However, to build a watch capable of withstanding a staggering 11,000m, Omega had to throw out everything that had gone before, and create a new concept inspired by none other than Vescovo’s own vessel. The connection between the crystal glass and the case is copied from Limiting Factor’s viewport, which uses a conical design to spread and minimise the stress on its surface. The case is cut from a block of the Grade 5 titanium used to make the ship’s hull, and the strap lugs – an area of potential weakness on any watch – are modelled on the cephalic lobes of a manta ray, creating an open design that can endure huge degrees of traction. Incredibly, the watch is only 28mm thick – perfectly wearable

on a human wrist. The wrist the watch was designed for, however, is a robotic one, so the strap is made from tough polyamide with Velcro fastenings, similar to those on the Apollo astronauts’ space suits. To comply with diver’s watch standards, a safety margin of 25 per cent had to be added to the Ultra Deep’s depth capabilities, so at Triton Submarine’s HQ in Barcelona it was tested to – and withstood – depths of 15,000m. When Vescovo emerged from his first Challenger Deep dive, he discovered one of the detachable landers – the one with the watch attached – had failed to return to the vessel; it was still on the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Vescovo had to decide whether to leave the watch and the lander in the abyss for ever. He chose to rescue it. Almost three days passed before conditions were suitable for a second dive. When the Ultra Deep was finally retrieved and checked on the surface, it was working perfectly, having lost only a second of accuracy, making it eligible for Master Chronometer certification – the highest standard any mechanical watch can achieve at any pressure. omegawatches.com


5,000m Clockwise from top left: Vescovo; his submersible, DSV Limiting Factor, during an earlier Five Deeps dive in the Southern Ocean; the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional; a maquette of the watch on the robot arm



Ceramic rim with 60-minute scale

8,000m One-directional rotating bezel

Sapphire crystal glass

Grade 5 titanium case, with gripped crown


10,000m Challenger Deep 10,994m 11,000m ‘Manta ray’ lugs THE RED BULLETIN 





Half bike, half beast

Superstar sound

Identiti AKA

Kygo A4/300

For more than two decades, UK-based bike-maker Identiti has been concocting fiendish rides with names such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (that’s two bikes, not one with a split personality). The outwardly respectable AKA really does hide an inner monster; its frame employs long, low, slack, progressive geometry and a suspension-free ‘hard-tailed’ rear. Head into the woods at night and howl it under the moon. identitibikes.com

If the 660-million-plus YouTube views of the video for his single Firestone are any indication, Norwegian DJ and music producer Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll has a knack for making tunes. He’s equally adept at producing headphones, as these wireless cans demonstrate: clear, bass-leaning audio; minimalistic Scandinavian design; and a battery that lasts 16 hours. kygolife.com


World‘s greatest Game Boy Nintendo Switch Lite



Japanese gaming giants Nintendo returned to glory in 2017 with their ingenious Switch console and its blistering games library (mostly ported from the less successful Wii U). This lighter, cheaper version loses the TV output and detachable controllers (and thus the motion controls and two-player option), but is still the best on-the-go games machine around. nintendo.com THE RED BULLETIN




These boots were made for ripping Vans Surf Boot Hi Founded in 1966 by the Van Doren brothers and best known for its timeless skate shoes, Californian company Vans has now turned its talents to a different kind of boarding. This coldwater boot is made from liquid-rubber-dipped neoprene that insulates while maintaining board feel beneath your tootsies. Riffing on Vans’ ‘waffle’ sole, the super-sticky underside has grippy crosshatching, meaning you can forgo nipple-chafing surfwax and protect your pinkies from sharp seabed rocks and razor reefs. And the boot features the brand’s signature chequerboard motif and skate logo. Because, after all, surfing is just skating the sea. vans.co.uk THE RED BULLETIN 





From top: PROTEST Powelly swim shorts protest.eu VOLCOM V Dye Stoney shorts volcom.co.uk 300 SPECIES Gelato Geometrico Bondistyle shorts 300species.com ORLEBAR BROWN Thunderball 007 Exclusive Edition Bulldog shorts orlebarbrown.com THE RED BULLETIN


From top: VOLCOM Simply Solid one-piece swimsuit volcom.co.uk BODY GLOVE Bombshell Holly one-piece swimsuit bodyglove.com PROTEST Peppercorn surf bikini protest.eu TIDE + SEEK Aqua Marble one-piece swimsuit tideandseek.com


I know what you wore last summer Probably something a bit like you see here, considering the Met Office declared summer 2018 the UK’s joint hottest on record (tied with 2006, 2003 and 1976). Don’t get caught unprepared this time around – go for this scorchio-ready swimwear. THE RED BULLETIN 




Where’s your head at? MET Parachute MCR

The human cranium is a masterful but fragile piece of organic engineering. This bike helmet is just as ingeniously crafted, but tougher. The chinbar is magnetically attached – twist the releases and it pops off, turning a full-face enduro and downhill helmet into an open-face for better ventilation on long rides. Not that it’s lacking airflow, with 21 vents front and rear. Inside is a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) that reduces deadly rotational forces during impact, and a Boa Fit System with dials to snugly lock the headgear in place. The adjustable visor fits goggles underneath and is flexible for added shock absorption. Designed by brainiacs to protect your brains. met-helmets.com 82  




Augment your eyes


Focals by North smartglasses We’ve long been promised spectacles with a digital display, but early efforts have proven less practical than pulling out your phone – and they lack the style of regular specs. These frames are smart in every sense and deliver messages, notifications and map directions to the holographic lenses via your phone’s Bluetooth. Control comes from a button-and-joystick ring worn on the finger, or by asking Alexa. But take note: getting a pair involves a bespoke sizing at one of North’s two showrooms (Brooklyn or Toronto), then a final fitting eight weeks later. bynorth.com







The credit card reinvented The titanium Apple Card


The credit card is so embedded in our psyche, we barely question its design, but that’s what Apple did for the physical counterpart to its new digital payment service. Ditching the forge-able signature and CVV on the rear, and numbers on the front, it features only what’s needed for swipe or contactless payment – chip, magnetic strip, owner’s name – and withdrawals at an ATM. Not currently available outside the US, the card is meant only as a flashy substitute for the app. Cut from a single piece of titanium, it is nonetheless a thing of beauty. apple.com/apple-card THE RED BULLETIN 



Front: 1. Apple logo 2. Symmetrical ‘six-pill’ chip 3. With no card number, each payment generates a one-off virtual number Rear: 4. Card issuer’s logo 5. Magnetic strip 6. Titanium is tougher, more flexible and 40 per cent lighter than plastic Left: 7. A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) cutting tool carves out space for the chip 8. Apple’s logo is laseretched twice to create a V-shaped groove that reflects light





BEYOND THE ORDINARY The next issue is out on Tuesday 13th August with London Evening Standard. Also available across the UK at airports, gyms, hotels, universities and selected retail stores. Read more at theredbulletin.com DENIS KLERO / RED BULL CONTENT POOL

guide Get it. Do it. See it.

HEADING THE FIELD If fitness gains are your goal, says farm gym pioneer Tom Kemp, you reap what you sow


How new AR spin-off game Minecraft Earth will change the way we view our environment





Our pick of this month’s essential gigs, shows and sporting events



There’s only one way to get the perfect close-up of Kenya’s cheetahs, lions and other mighty beasts. A photo-safari veteran puts us in the picture… PAGE 86




Do it

The photographer and his crew get into position beneath an acacia tree for the next dream shot


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Gazelles giving birth, an epic elephant parade, lions peeing on you – on a photo safari, you can experience all this and more. Wildlife snapper Graeme Purdy takes us there…


can barely breathe. A male lion has just run past our car on the opposite side to where I’m standing, and only now is the realisation starting to kick in. It’s pitch black and we’re 75m from camp on the edge of the Maasai Mara, using the headlights to view


a pack of shrieking hyenas devour a dead wildebeest… at least until the lion arrives to spoil their feast. When my shaking has subsided, I lift my camera, but through the bluster of the wind I hear the thud of paws. Thrump… thrump… There’s no roar or warning growl

Purdy has 16 years’ experience of safari photography in Kenya





Before you pack your camera, here are a few things you should know about one of Kenya’s largest game reserves…

Cheetah mothers and their cubs are welcome guests on Purdy’s excursions

Kenya Nairobi Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara covers around 1,510km2 and forms the northern quarter of the Serengeti ecosystem. It is home to many endangered species, including the African elephant, African lion and black rhino.

All vehicles are open-sided, so there’s nothing between the snappers and the animals




PAY as another male thunders by – down my side of the car this time. He’s just 2m from me and I feel the breeze as he runs past. “Don’t worry,” I say to the person next to me. “They’re only interested in the kill, they’re not interested in you.” In my 16 years of safari in Kenya, I’ve learnt that for the most part, the big cats – of which the Maasai Mara has just about the highest density on the planet – aren’t a danger to humans. It’s the buffalo (notoriously grumpy) and elephants (unpredictable) you need to be careful around. But the whole point of being here is to get up close and personal with these animals. I’ve been a professional wildlife photographer


Once, a lion walked up and sprayed pee over us. He showed us who was boss for decades, and in the past I’ve taken guests on photo safaris. Now, I’m opening them up to the public, teaching people how to take pictures of wild animals in a high-energy environment. I run two week-long trips in November, at the start of the rainy season. Not only does this provide dramatic, stormy skies, but also the animals are more active when

KENYAN SHILLING 1 shilling = 100 cents £1 = 128 shillings

Naona chui I see a leopard Hebu Let’s search tutafute tembo for elephants Wapi mtoto Where’s the wa simba? baby lion?

KNOW 1. The Maasai Mara is near the equator, so it receives around 12 hours of daylight 2. It sits at an altitude of more than 1,500m above sea level. 3. The first part of its name comes from its inhabitants – the Maasai people – and Mara means ‘spotted’ (as in ‘spotted land’) in Maa, the Maasai language 4. Wildebeest are the dominant inhabitants of the area. Their numbers are in the millions



Do it




Purdy shares professional tips and wisdom from his many years of shooting wild animals in the Maasai Mara


3. “Bring twice as many memory cards as you think you’ll need. I’ve never met anyone who has gone on a first-time safari and brought too many memory cards. On my first safari I took 12,000 photos. Now I know what to look for, I take a lot less.”

Purdy says there are no pre-requisites for safari participants: “Enthusiasm is all you need”

REMEMBER 1. VULTURES EAT QUICKLY “A flock of 70 vultures can completely strip an animal carcass in just 90 minutes. If the animal has died of natural causes, the only way in for a vulture is through the eye or the bum.” 2. BABY ELEPHANTS ARE CLUMSY “There are more muscles in an elephant’s trunk than in our entire body. But babies less than a few months old can’t control their trunk, so it wobbles and shakes when they run. 3. HIPPOS NEED SPACE “The hippo was once regarded as the most dangerous animal in Africa, because people used waterways for transport, but generally one won’t attack you. Just don’t get in its way.”


Kenya’s glorious sunsets provide ample opportunities for that once-in-a-lifetime shot

it’s a bit cooler. Groups of guests from all over the world make the 45-minute flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to the Maasai Mara, and we start shooting as soon as they land. Our camp has no fence around it, so animals are free to come and go as they please. You’re always walked to and from the tent by a guide, and there’s usually someone lurking with a spear, just in case. Each morning, we’re out in the Land Rover 40 minutes before sunrise. All the vehicles have been customised for photography and are completely open with the sides and roof cut away. There’s nothing between you and the animals, and you never know how they’ll react. Once, a male lion walked straight up to the car and sprayed pee over us. He showed us who was boss. Just 10 minutes before the sun comes up, a great wall of 20 elephants suddenly appears through the fine morning mist. All is completely still as they wade silently through the grass like something out of Jurassic Park. The pre-dawn light makes for an epic photo, but we have only seconds to capture it. Things change fast here, so you need to react quickly.

About an hour before sunset, when the light is best, we find a cheetah hunting Thomson’s gazelles. It doesn’t matter how many nature documentaries you see, it’s just unworldly to see a cheetah run at full pace in real life. We’re all rooting for her, right up until she makes the kill. Everyone in the car wells up. Nature isn’t Disney; everyone is just trying to survive. When we head over the hill, metres from where the cheetah has just cut the gazelle population, we see that a new addition has been born. The gazelles are grazing with some impala, and this tiny baby wobbles over to a huge male and looks at him as if to say, “Are you my mummy?” The impala drops its head and nudges the young gazelle so that it faces its mother. It’s just priceless. Immersing yourself in the wilderness is almost spiritual. After 36 hours in the Mara, you won’t know what day it is. I’m always supercharged with optimism when I awake, knowing so much will have happened during the night, and my eyes will be falling out of my head with excitement about what I might find. To join Purdy on safari, go to purdy. photography/photographic-safaris



2. “You can actually do a pretty good job with nothing more than an iPhone camera. I use Moment clip-on lenses that transform the view

into wide-angle, telephoto or anamorphic video.”


1. “I use a Canon EOS 5DSR with a range of lenses. My favourite is a 300mm lens, because the wide angle suits my photographic style.”


Do it



WORK OUT ANYWHERE Had enough of sweating it out in the weights room? Fitness farmer Tom Kemp tells us how you can easily turn your garden into a gym WEIGHTS Anything you can lay your hands on will do, whether it’s a sandbag, a six-pack of water bottles or just a heavily laden rucksack. Be creative! EXERCISES Raise the weight from the floor to above your head five times. Next, walk 25m forwards and then back to where you started while carrying the weight in your arms. Do this 30 times and then end with 10 burpees.

Tractor Tom: Kemp is convinced of the benefits of the farm workout. “Anyone willing to burn up energy outdoors can give it that extra 10 per cent,” he says



ne’s origins and the recipe for success rarely coincide as they have for Tom Kemp. The personal trainer was raised on a 2.43km2 farm in Stansted, Essex. “My life played out almost entirely in the open air. There was always something going on,” he says. Exercising at the gym didn’t appeal to Kemp while growing up, which is how he came to create his own form of circuit training on his parents’ farm – there was plenty of heavy equipment, after all. Much of the stuff in a farmyard is ideally suited to Kemp’s hybrid of strongman, bodybuilding, calisthenics and cardio. He launched Farm Fitness in 2016.


Within only a year, the concept was being feted by fitness experts as one of the world’s best gym workouts. Professionals including Olympic canoeing gold-medallist Joe Clarke and rugby league champions Wigan Warriors have trained at Kemp’s farm, lifting sacks of grain, pushing and pulling huge tractor tyres from A to B, and rattling long metal chains. “You don’t need highly complex equipment or intricate training plans to be fit,” explains Kemp, 26. Back to basics is his motto; simple exercises to reap maximum yield. But you must slog until you can slog no more. farm-fitness.co.uk

Tom Kemp, founder of Farm Fitness


Brought up on a farm, Briton Tom Kemp came up with a barnstorming idea for a new workout regime

“You don’t need a whole load of complicated equipment to burn up a whole load of energy”

Tyring work: Kemp leads daily bootcamp sessions at his farm




REPS Perform as many sets as you can manage in 15 minutes, and also squeeze in a 100m sprint between sets.


Do it


molecular visualisation software can’t – you can fly around the molecules. I ran biochemistry tutorials hosted within a Minecraft server.”

Minecraft Earth lets players collaborate on tasks using AR


BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE Minecraft may only look like a simple game with Lego-style graphics, but it’s a powerful tool capable of creating a better reality




MINECRAFT EDUCATOR A biochemist, writer and Professor of Science Communication at the University of Hull, Lorch has used Minecraft in his teaching to build models of molecules. He has consulted with Microsoft to create a permanent mod that adds chemistry to the game.


t may seem surprising that Minecraft is the world’s bestselling game, but, having shifted more than 176 million copies, its pixelated graphics and vague, roaming gameplay – chopping trees, building houses and hitting zombies – clearly dig deep into the human psyche. Now, the augmentedreality smartphone version, Minecraft Earth, has brought that blocky world into our own. In truth, it merged with our reality long ago. The game’s free-form building-block mechanics have been used to mine cryptocurrencies, and in 2013 Google created a mod called qCraft that introduced quantum physics with “blocks that exhibit superposition, quantum entanglement and observer dependency”. Its potential is limitless, says Minecraft expert Professor Mark Lorch. minecraft.net/earth

BUILD A BETTER WORLD A great example of how Minecraft is able to democratise complex projects is the Block by Block Foundation (blockbyblock.org). This UN-backed project holds workshops for residents, where they use Minecraftmodelled neighbourhood streets to design their own improvements – from children lighting their walk home, to locals creating Kosovo’s first skate park. “If you build a very accessible 3D Minecraft simulation,

people can dive in and start to work together,” says Lorch. “It removes the technological and knowledge barrier, and all potential risks.” GO MICROSCOPIC Lorch has used the game to create MolCraft – a virtual museum of biochemistry, housing 3D models of molecules. “One of the great things about Minecraft is that it’s easily modded and a good way of visualising 3D structures,” he says. “It can do things that other

Other people’s digital work on Minecraft Earth can be seen through your smartphone screen

DIG DEEPER You may think you’ve made it in the game when you build your first elevator-equipped pyramid, but such projects pale beside the British Geological Society’s topographical Minecraft map of Great Britain. “They created all of the strata beneath the map, too,” says Lorch. “You can go to any point and burrow down through the topsoil to see the limestone or whatever is there. This opens up high-level survey data to a whole group of people.” TRAIN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE “Microsoft has Project Malmo, a platform for AI experimentation that bolts onto Minecraft,” says Lorch. Building a robot and sending it out into the real world, only for it to tumble into the first pond it comes across, is an expensive way to train its brain. Minecraft provides an off-the-shelf, easily customised simulation in which to set an AI goals. “The AIs can observe what you do and learn the rules about how to do that themselves – it’s close to a real-world problem.” CRAFT REAL OBJECTS Minecraft is a versatile open-world sandbox, but it can reach out of the virtual. “Minecraft can spit stuff back into the real world,” says Lorch. “There are mods in Minecraft that allow you to save your constructs in formats that 3D printers can read. So you can design in Minecraft and then print it. There’s also a CAD [Computer-Aided Design] program that talks to Minecraft so you can design stuff and then drop it into the game.”



7 Do it

to 8 September Wheels and Fins Joss Bay in Kent offers some fine surfing. The only thing that could make the vibe any more enjoyable is wrapping a two-day festival around the coastline and filling it with live music stages, an international film showcase, a skateboarding championship, and paddleboarding and yoga sessions at the beach. Possibly the most chilled festival you’ll ever sunbathe, swim, surf and skate at. Broadstairs, Kent; wheelsandfins.co.uk


to 15 September

RED BULL HARDLINE Dinas Mawddwy, Gwynedd, Wales; redbull.com/hardline

5 92  

September Being Human This permanent exhibition explores what it means to be a Homo sapiens living today. Divided into four distinct themes – genetics, minds and bodies, infection, and environmental breakdown – it features creations from worldwide artists, alongside a gene-splicing kit, and works from wheelchair design activism campaign The Accessible Icon Project. Wellcome Collection, London; wellcomecollection.org


to 15 September Africa Utopia This festival celebrates the amazing influence the culture of this great continent has had on every facet of society – from music, art and fashion, to sexuality, society and gender. Live performances, exhibits, workshops, speakers, black cinema, a marketplace and even a fashion show are among the fun, powerful and thought-provoking events filling this weekend. Southbank Centre, London; southbankcentre.co.uk


August Jewel of the Empire Always fancied a trip on the Orient Express, but could never afford it? Here’s a close second: an immersive experience aboard a fictional train where a murder may occur. What is certain to happen is a four-course meal created by 2018 MasterChef: The Professionals champion Laurence Henry. Catch the train before it departs for good. Pedley St Station, London; funicularproductions.com



One of the toughest downhill MTB races just doubled down on its roughneck reputation, running for two days in a row for the first time in its six-year history. The brain-and-brawnchild of (possibly sadistic) pro rider Dan Atheron, this woodland course in the Welsh hills features gargantuan jumps, drops and a signature 16m road-gap leap. For last year’s event, eventually won by his younger brother Gee (also a first), Dan dug out even longer leaps. Find out what fiendish plans he’s formulated this time around.

August / September

20 RED BULL MUSIC FESTIVAL August to 14 September

22 August In Conversation with Spice

28 August Object Blue: Figure Beside Me

The Jamaican dancehall star, aka Grace Hamilton, earned her stripes in the early noughties, but took off after featuring on Vybz Kartel’s explicit single Romping Shop. Last year, she joined VH1’s TV series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and released her mixtape Captured, which went top of the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Sian Anderson, she’ll discuss reality TV, sexism in the music industry, and how Grace Hamilton differs from her bigger, bolder Spice persona. Subterania, London

The Tokyo-born, Beijing-raised, neoLondoner’s music sounds as if it was made to be played at The Snake Pit, the fictional nightclub in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Her tunes are futuristic and primal at the same time, containing elements of techno, avant-garde and videogame sound design. To transform her experimental club music into a one-off, 360° live performance for the ears and the eyes, Blue teams up with visual artist Natalia Podgorska. Saint James Hatcham Church, London

Visionary: Object Blue will bring her music to life

6 September Coded Language As the writer William S Burroughs famously said, “Language is a virus from outer space,” constantly spreading, morphing, and at times uncontrollable. A prime example is Multicultural London English (MLE), one of its most vibrant forms, born from creativity and migration, and influenced by the city. Alongside live music and DJs, artists such as grime icon Wretch 32, producer Steel Banglez and poet Bridget Minamore debate how language constitutes our identity. The British Library, London

10 September Normal Not Novelty: Hyperdub 15 Take Over Fifteen years ago, Steve Goodman, aka Kode9, turned his music blog Hyperdub into a record label. Instrumental in the evolution of dubstep, the label gave the music world one of its most celebrated producers, Burial. Hyperdub has also excelled as a home to innovative young female artists. Here, label veteran Cooly G, new signing Loraine James and rapper Lady Lykez lead free workshops for femaleidentifying music-makers. Red Bull Studios, London

14 September Aphex Twin One of the most influential techno musicians of the ’90s, Richard D James, aka Aphex Twin, stepped back from the spotlight in the early noughties, only to return in 2014 with the album Syro. For his first London show in two years, he performs on a custom-built stage featuring lasers and 306 LED panels with visuals from longterm Aphex collaborators Weirdcore. The only catch? The show sold out in minutes. But it will be live-streamed on redbull.com. Printworks, London Caribbean queen: dancehall star Spice has plenty to say


For more details on Red Bull Music Festival London, go to redbull.com



See it


For high-octane off-road motor-racing In Wisconsin, mountain-biking heroics in the Appalachians and championship rallying through German vineyards, make a date with Red Bull TV this month…

August / September


American off-road ace Bryce Menzies is a veteran at Crandon

September   LIVE 


Nestled in the woodlands of Wisconsin, Crandon International Off-Road Raceway is the ‘holy grail’ of motorsport venues. This purpose-built facility is the best in the world and has long attracted large crowds to its short-course off-road races. Experience all the excitement of the fourth annual World Cup event on Red Bull TV.




Red Bull TV is a global digital entertainment destination featuring programming that is beyond the ordinary and is available anytime, anywhere. Go online at redbull.tv, download the app, or connect via your Smart TV. To find out more, visit redbull.tv


Snowshoe in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia makes its MTB World Cup debut as the 2019 championship comes to a close. Find out who makes the winners’ podium and who misses out.


to 25 August   LIVE 


Witness high-adrenalin action through the vineyards of Germany’s Mosel region. As the first real tarmac rally of the season, the Rallye Deutschland involves major set-up changes for the cars. Can Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja make it three wins in a row?



to 8 September   LIVE 

Do it

Red Bull Soapbox

The four Red Bull Soapbox judges (including Patrick Ladbury, pictured far right)


Racers pass through the Great Northern Rail train track



On July 7, some of the craziest, coolest and (on occasion) most well-crafted motorless racers ever seen hurtled down the Red Bull Soapbox track at London’s Alexandra Palace. Here, one of the prestigious judges, Patrick Ladbury of Great Northern Rail, the official travel partner of this year’s race, lists his pick of the crop

APOLLO 50 “Having taken part in six Red Bull Soapbox races, you’d think that this team would know the secret to winning, but their rocket broke in two before it had even left the start ramp. It was a launch-pad disaster that nonetheless impressed all four judges, even though the team didn’t finish. ‘Houston, they had a problem!’”





“The winners! Apparently these guys make gas masks for a living – hence the name – but I can’t help wondering if they should quit and make soapboxes full-time. They get extra points for their zombie attack theme, too. As they neared the finish, they must have smelt victory! Oh wait, no, they couldn’t.”

“Drinking champagne from your racing boot – it’s an Aussie thing according to Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo. Unfortunately, Team Shuey didn’t get the pleasure of that victory celebration, as they were pretty slow. Still, they finished in one piece, so you could say it wasn’t completely sole-destroying (sorry, I had to).”

“I certainly won’t be booking flights with this airline any time soon. This was the best crash of the day: a complete nose dive, a flip, and complete and utter destruction of their aircraft. But luckily there were no injuries, apart from the pilots’ moustaches falling off. More Wrong than Wright brothers.”

“The youth of today probably didn’t get the vintage Hanna-Barbera cartoon reference, but I remember watching Top Cat as a boy as I ate my Weetabix in front of the TV on a Saturday morning. I was impressed by this team’s speed, and I have to give them full marks for driving almost blind in those huge masks.”

Watch highlights from the race on Dave (dave.uktv.co.uk) and from September 7 on Red Bull TV; soapboxrace.redbull.com




The Red Bulletin is published in seven countries. This is the cover of September’s French edition, featuring American flat-track rider Shayna Texter… For more stories beyond the ordinary, go to: redbulletin.com

The Red Bulletin UK. ABC certified distribution 154,346 (Jan-Dec 2018)


Editor-in-Chief Alexander Macheck Deputy Editor-in-Chief Andreas Rottenschlager Creative Director Erik Turek Art Directors Kasimir Reimann (deputy CD), Miles English, Tara Thompson Head of Photo Fritz Schuster Deputy Head of Photo Marion Batty Photo Director Rudi Übelhör Production Editor Marion Lukas-Wildmann Managing Editor Ulrich Corazza Editors Jakob Hübner, Werner Jessner, Alex Lisetz, Stefan Wagner Design Marion Bernert-Thomann, Martina de CarvalhoHutter, Kevin Goll, Carita Najewitz Photo Editors Susie Forman, Ellen Haas, Eva Kerschbaum, Tahira Mirza Head of Commercial & Publishing Management Stefan Ebner Publishing Management Sara Varming (manager), Ivona Glibusic, Bernhard Schmied, Melissa Stutz, Mia Wienerberger B2B Marketing & Communication Katrin Sigl (manager), Agnes Hager, Teresa Kronreif Head of Creative Markus Kietreiber Co-Publishing Elisabeth Staber, Susanne Degn-Pfleger (manager), Mathias Blaha, Vanessa Elwitschger, Raffael Fritz, Marlene Hinterleitner, Valentina Pierer, Mariella Reithoffer, Verena Schörkhuber, Julia Zmek, Edith Zöchling-Marchart Commercial Design Peter Knehtl (manager), Sasha Bunch, Simone Fischer, Martina Maier, Florian Solly Advertising Placement Manuela Brandstätter, Monika Spitaler Head of Production Veronika Felder Production Walter O. Sádaba, Friedrich Indich, Sabine Wessig Repro Clemens Ragotzky (manager), Claudia Heis, Nenad Isailovi c,̀ Sandra Maiko Krutz, Josef Mühlbacher Operations Michael Thaler (MIT), Alexander Peham, Yvonne Tremmel (Office Management) Subscriptions and Distribution Peter Schiffer (manager), Klaus Pleninger (distribution), Nicole Glaser (distribution), Yoldaş Yarar (subscriptions) Global Editorial Office Heinrich-Collin-Straße 1, A-1140 Vienna Tel: +43 1 90221 28800, Fax: +43 1 90221 28809 redbulletin.com Red Bull Media House GmbH Oberst-Lepperdinger-Straße 11-15, A-5071 Wals bei Salzburg, FN 297115i, Landesgericht Salzburg, ATU63611700 General Manager and Publisher Andreas Kornhofer Directors Dietrich Mateschitz, Gerrit Meier, Dietmar Otti, Christopher Reindl

THE RED BULLETIN United Kingdom, ISSN 2308-5894 Acting Editor Tom Guise Associate Editor Lou Boyd Music Editor Florian Obkircher Chief Sub-Editor Davydd Chong Sub-Editor Nick Mee Publishing Manager Ollie Stretton Editor (on leave) Ruth Morgan Advertising Sales Mark Bishop, mark.bishop@redbull.com Fabienne Peters, fabienne.peters@redbull.com Printed by Prinovis GmbH & Co KG, Printing Company Nuremberg, 90471 Nuremberg, Germany UK Office Seven Dials Warehouse, 42-56 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LA Tel: +44 (0) 20 3117 2000 Subscribe getredbulletin.com Enquiries or orders to: subs@uk. redbulletin.com. Back issues available to purchase at: getredbulletin.com. Basic subscription rate is £20.00 per year. International rates are available. The Red Bulletin is published 10 times a year. Please allow a maximum of four weeks for delivery of the first issue Customer Service +44 (0)1227 277248, subs@uk.redbulletin.com

THE RED BULLETIN Austria, ISSN 1995-8838 Editor Christian Eberle-Abasolo Proofreaders Hans Fleißner (manager), Petra Hannert, Monika Hasleder, Billy Kirnbauer-Walek Publishing Management Bernhard Schmied Sales Management Alfred Vrej Minassian (manager), Thomas Hutterer, Stefanie Krallinger anzeigen@at.redbulletin.com

THE RED BULLETIN France, ISSN 2225-4722 Editor Pierre-Henri Camy Country Coordinator Christine Vitel Country Project M ­ anagement Alessandra Ballabeni Contributors, Translators and Proofreaders Étienne Bonamy, Frédéric & Susanne Fortas, Suzanne ­Kříženecký, Claire ­Schieffer, Jean-Pascal Vachon, Gwendolyn de Vries

THE RED BULLETIN Germany, ISSN 2079-4258 Editor David Mayer Proofreaders Hans Fleißner (manager), Petra Hannert, Monika Hasleder, Billy Kirnbauer-Walek Country Project Management Natascha Djodat Advertising Sales Matej Anusic, matej.anusic@redbull.com Thomas Keihl, thomas.keihl@redbull.com

THE RED BULLETIN Mexico, ISSN 2308-5924 Editor Luis Alejandro Serrano Associate Editor Marco Payán Proofreader Alma Rosa Guerrero Country Project Management Giovana Mollona Advertising Sales Alfredo Quinones, alfredo.quinones@redbull.com

THE RED BULLETIN Switzerland, ISSN 2308-5886 Editor Arek Piatek, Nina Treml Proofreaders Hans Fleißner (manager), Petra Hannert, Monika Hasleder, Billy Kirnbauer-Walek Country Project Management Meike Koch Advertising Sales Marcel Bannwart (D-CH), marcel.bannwart@redbull.com Christian Bürgi (W-CH), christian.buergi@redbull.com

THE RED BULLETIN USA, ISSN 2308-586X Editor-in-Chief Peter Flax Deputy Editor Nora O’Donnell Copy Chief David Caplan Director of Publishing Cheryl Angelheart Advertising Sales Todd Peters, todd.peters@redbull.com Dave Szych, dave.szych@redbull.com Tanya Foster, tanya.foster@redbull.com





Take small waves to the next level


he Puddle Jumper HP is a souped-up, slimmed-down and refined surfboard. Quick and playful, it’s easy to paddle and ride, yet still allows for more quick, radical turns than other models in the Puddle Jumper series. Featuring a pulled-in nose with the wide point brought back, and a narrower, pulled-in tail block, it’s easy on the eye and sleek and refined under the arm. Its smooth foiled lines are deceptive, hiding its significant volume and built-in speed to spare. Stand on the tail of this board and simply go to town; up and down, round and round – in small surf, it feels as if you have a motor. “If you’re one of the thousands of surfers who have enjoyed the Puddle Jumper series,” says surfboard shaper Matt Biolos, “the Puddle Jumper HP allows you to take your small-wave surfing to the next level.”


Find out more at www.lib-tech.com


Action highlight

Helicopters are 10-a-penny in the skies of NYC, but even the most stubborn of jaws will have dropped at the sight of aerobatics pilot Aaron Fitzgerald’s practice flips, barrel rolls and nose dives. But don’t try this in just any ’copter – the Red Bull chopper has a hingeless rotor that’s made for the job. See the video at redbull.com

The next issue of THE RED BULLETIN is out on September 10 98  



Blades of glory




Profile for Red Bull Media House

The Red Bulletin UK 09/19