SONAR Issue 2
SONAR ISSUE 2 Editorial Welcome to another issue of Solent SU’s SONAR magazine! We hope all you newbies had a great Freshers’ Fortnight and have been settling in nicely to both work and play. For a roundup of all that went down during Freshers, head to page 3. This month’s mag brings you the latest selection of articles from Solent’s multi-talented students, with a student showcase detailing the latest exciting news from our very own BA Digital Music student Chris Ward and his music project Tropics, an article on Mary Jennings’ recent travels to India and Kat Romero’s experiences as an intern in London over the summer. All this plus an important piece from NUS on the upcoming National Demo set for November 10th, the usual dosage of news and reviews of the latest releases, and a stunning fashion shoot shot in the nearby New Forest! We hope you all enjoyed the recent Freshers’ Block Party and remember to get your tickets for the ever-nearing Grad Ball featuring the likes of Example, Greg James and Beat-a-Maxx! So get stuck in, a bit of lunchtime reading for you all. Enjoy! Laura J. Smith // SONAR editor & VP Communications Email // firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter // @SolentComms Facebook // solentvpcomms Creative Director and Designer // Samuel Davies
Freshers Round Up
An Indian Summer
T H E T I D E T H A T TURNED
H A R a day in V A R D the life of R E F E R intern E N C I N G an
WOODLAND CREATURE 25
D U M D U M GIRLS
S h o w LIVING c a s e C h r i s T H E W a r d DREam 27
RE VIE WS
FRESHERS ROUND UP It’s a been good month here at SSU camp. Why?! Well, only because all you lovely new Freshers’ arrived, followed by returners, and suddenly the place is full again! We had a great (if not tiring!) week and we hope you all did too. Here’s some of the things we got up to:
Moving In Weekend First of all, we need to extend our warmest thanks to all the wonderful Angels who signed up for this year’s volunteering positions. You guys made everyone else’s life a whole lot easier, especially when it came to the big Move-In! We’ve had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from tearful parents and Freshers’ alike after all the help that was provided during the weekend. For anyone who’s ever had to move into halls as their first time away from home you’ll know how much of an impact a helping hand (or twenty) can have. BIG NIGHT OUT Following this was our famous BIG NIGHT OUT, on the Wednesday and Thursday nights of Freshers’ Week. After being out in the SSU minibus giving slightly tipsy people some well-needed water, we saw how much of a chaotic and fun time you had...here’s to another great two-nighter next year! Before any of these things happened, we helped welcome in the new students studying at Warsash, our Maritime Academy campus. Many of these guys joined us on the BIG NIGHT OUT and at the Freshers’ Block Party.
Freshers’ Fair and Sports and Societies Fair The Sports Hall was packed to the brim with eager Freshers’ and Returners cramming as much free stuff into (free) bags as they physically could. The highlight was probably Dominos in the SU car-park giving away free pizza! The Sports and Societies Fair was also very popular this year, we had so many
of you signing up to one or more of the various societies we have on offer, and for those looking for something they couldn’t find, we had so many more suggestions and requests for starting up even more new and diverse societies. If you’re interested in finding out more about societies, if it’s to join or start up something new altogether, come to the Sabbatical office opposite the SU shop and ask our VP Student Development for more details! If she’s not available, drop her an email at: email@example.com. SONAR magazine recruited lots of new contributors for the mag and blog, and many of you have since been getting stuck in to writing some brilliant articles and taking some beautiful photographs for us! Thank you all for getting involved and having a good time in the process, and for those of you who haven’t gotten involved yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? Come to the SU to find out all about the multitude of ways you can make your university experience even more fun and exciting! Thanks guys, Solent SU Team
05 Join the national movement to fund our future... Students and staff will be bringing our communities together in November for a national demonstration to defend ourselves against cuts and fees, and to protect our future. Help make our voices heard by joining us. You can barely have escaped discussion of government funding cuts to our education sector. There’s a real risk that a cuts agenda will send our economy and society backwards. These savage cuts will affect us all, and we now face an urgent need to build a counter-consensus in favour of investment. We can only do so by coming together. This month, the government will outline where the next round of funding cuts will hit and a review of fees and funding will be published. Sadly, we do not have to wait until then to know that the cuts will be both savage and deeply painful – with course closures, staff redundancies and less money available for student support. Meanwhile, university vice chancellors are calling for a further hike in tuition fees. Students therefore face a major increase in the cost of studying for a degree at the same time as universities prepare to be hit with the worst cuts to their budgets since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is at during these times that investment in education is particularly crucial. It would be sensible to have as many people as possible in education and training, so that we are able to come out of the recession with a highly-skilled and innovative workforce, rather than one that has had all aspiration sapped out of it whilst sitting on the dole-queue. A mixture of government spending cuts and a rise in tuition fees would spell disaster - both for the students who end up paying more for less, and for the young people denied the opportunity of a university or college education. It is time for us to stand up together and be counted. NUS are planning, together with the lecturer’s trade union UCU, to hold a national demonstration against cuts to the further and higher education sectors on Wednesday 10 November 2010, in central London. Staff and students are bringing their communities together to build an unprecedented coalition to fight against the cuts that have been imposed upon us. It is time to make our voices heard. And we need as many of you as possible to be with us on the day. Together we will demonstrate our strength and give the politicians no alternative but to listen and act. Please go to Solent Students’ Union for more information or to sign up for a place on one of the free coaches that will be transporting students to the demo. For regular updates on the demonstration and our work fighting the funding cuts, please visit www.nus.org.uk.
AN INDIAN SUMMER Words // Mary Jennings On the 16th of July 2010 like hundreds of other Southampton Solent Students I awaited my degree results with baited breath. For me, however just getting these results would not be easy, and as I sat on a log with the field satellite phone in my hands I wondered just how I’d got to the middle of India on a 200k trek, whereas a mere month ago I’d been proudly presenting my final photography exhibition to my friends and family. Like many of my friends and probably most students in the UK, I was not looking forward to the prospect of finishing university and trying to find a job. The graduate employment rate had been making me feel quite panicky for a while, as I wondered what I could actually do when June was over and ‘real’ life began. So, I decided maybe it was time to escape the county for while, work out a strategy for making someone
employ me and see a little bit more of the world. I’ve always loved travelling, and have spent most of my summers since I was 16 spending whatever wages I had on an adventure to somewhere new. When I was 17, I started integrating charity work into my travelling and I can honestly say I haven’t found a better way to see a new country, meet new people and immerse yourself in a totally different culture. So to cut a long story short this is what led to me being dirty, tired and completely muddy, sitting on a log in a forest in India waiting to hear my results (which incidentally I’d be the fourth person to hear as there was nothing direct about the communication out there!) Two weeks earlier I’d flown out to Bangalore in Southern India with the Youth Development Charity Raleigh International to spend ten weeks in three
09 different projects that I was pretty sure would change my life. The application process had been refreshingly simple, Raleigh offer a Graduate Bursary to support new graduates to improve their C.V by taking part in one of their overseas projects. The country choices where India, Costa Rica and Borneo and a long love of India and its culture made it my first choice. After a short application form and a phone interview I was on the trip with ÂŁ1000 to raise before I left. In Raleigh speak, being selected and then fundraising where the first two challenges, the third being the actual trip and the fourth using what you have learnt on your return. The projects work on a three week
cycle, and over the ten weeks you will complete a phase in Environment, Community and Challenge, with an ever changing group of people and place. My first phase was Challenge: A 200k trek round and (very much up!) the Western Ghats of Kerala, a gruelling start in the peak of monsoon season made for lots of mud and tears but ultimately a hugely rewarding experience with the most breathtaking views and amazing people. Secondly came the Environment Phase in sunny Karnataka where are task of completing 500m of Solar Powered Electric fenced elephant trench had
already been started by the first group. The aim of the fence was to drastically decrease Human-Elephant conflict which in this small village of Huskerhadi is becoming an ever bigger problem. We slept in hammocks, digging in the mornings with afternoons spent swimming in the lake and chatting with the mountains stretching out behind us until the stars came out. Lastly came Community, and a cosy tent pretty much in the middle of a tribal village, right next to the school room we where building. I can now confidently say I know more about roof tiles and plastering then I ever thought I would and the village children have a school that will give them a place to learn for many years to come. For most of the children, this will provide their first
experience of education and the building will also be used by the local community as a whole bringing together the tribal people and the villagers to work and live together in harmony. So did it change my life, yes, and even though that sounds like a cliché its true. In 10 weeks I learnt more about myself and others than I ever thought possible, and I will never forget the places I have seen or the people I met on the way. So if you’re looking for a summer opportunity whilst at university or a way to start life when it’s all over, all I’ll say is you won’t regret it! For more information please visit Raleigh International online @ www.raleighinternational.org
THE TIDE THAT TURNED
Words: Robin Pailler Illustration: Henry Clark
The French New-Wave of the 1960s is seen as having a vast impact on both the cinema of its era and all that followed it. Robin Pailler looks at the origins of the movement itself, and itâ€™s biggest catalysts, French film journal, Cahiers du Cinema and the inception of the auteur theory.
12 French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, is notably important in terms of the New Wave in France, particularly in terms of the vital role it played in the development of the auteur theory. Established in 1951 by Andre Bazin, Cahiers was seen to greatly challenge the traditional adaptation movies that represented French Cinema at the time, films which placed the director as a mere interpreter between the page and the screen, and nothing more. French critic and filmmaker Francois Truffaut played a pivotal role in the influence of auteur theory and heavily criticised such traditions of pre-existing French cinema. He strongly felt directors ought to have the freedom to express their individual personality through films, be it through the mise-en-scene or through how the characters behaved and socialised on screen. Cahiers critics raised the ‘cultural status of the cinema’ and, as theorist Buscombe describes, did so by defining “cinema [as] an art form like painting or poetry, offering the individual the freedom of personal expression”. Bazin describes a film auteur as being “a subject to himself…he always tells the same story…has the same attitude and passes the same moral judgements on the action and on the characters.” American critic Andrew Sarris develops this theory further, stating that in order for a filmmaker to achieve auteur status, he must “exhibit certain recurring characteristics of style, which serve as his signature.” When looking at the work of renowned French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, such theories of authorship certainly apply. Comparing his first feature A Bout de Souffle (1960) with his later film, Pierrot le Fou (1965), it is clear that his personal
“Looking at Godard’s work, one could quite easily question the use of genre and the way his films are essentially simple re-tellings of American tales translated for French Cinema.” stylistics, recurring visuals and thematic style shine through. Both films deal with rebellious young lovers desperate to escape their mundane existence within society and feature similar themes of transitory characters, awkward love and evading capture for murder. In both Breathless and Pierrot, the characters’ love for one another is vague and somewhat momentary. Instances of euphoric affection quickly transform into awkwardness and isolation, adding to the recurring theme of incompatibility between the sexes. Continuing similarities can be found in the female’s betrayal of the male in the films finales. Both films pushed the boundaries of cinema; the clunky jump-cutting technique appears throughout (a Godardian trademark). In A bout de soufflé, jump cuts are used to move scenes along quicker, focusing primarily on moments of importance; whereas the technique is excessive in Pierrot, leading to almost whole scenes being skipped in favour of progressing
13 the narrative rapidly. The use of characters addressing the audience directly – a common trait in Godard’s work - adds to Sarris’ theory of an auteur employing “recurring characteristics of style”. In an article on Pierrot in Sight & Sound magazine, David Thomson acknowledges Godard’s real life divorce to female lead Anna Karina in December 1964 before filming had begun. He describes Pierrot as “an account of the breakdown of a love affair, but played out by two people – Karina and Godard – who had already lived the story in reality” – a fine example of the autographical nature of French New-Wave cinema and its accompanying auteur theory. Theorist MacCabe adds to this notion, explaining how Godard’s sister Rachel was left terrified after viewing Pierrot: “She always saw each film as a personal message from the brother who was her twin spirit, and for her the clear message of Pierrot was suicide.”
Looking at Godard’s work, one could quite easily question the use of genre and the way his films are essentially simple re-tellings of American tales translated for French Cinema. A Bout de Soufflé and Pierrot le Fou both follow a narrative arguably influenced by many of America’s earlier B-movies, such as Gun Crazy (1950), which follows young lovers on the run. Belmondo’s character also spends a great deal of time in A Bout de Souffle trying to imitate the look of Humphrey Bogart, further highlighting this ode to American cinema and revealing how Godard was intrinsically trapped within the genre and craft of the culture he so aspired to.
HARVARD REFERENCING Possibly not the most riveting of reads, but we here at SSU and SONAR promise you it’s going to come in handy over the coming year. There is a lot of accessible content available online that will help you with every little different rule and regulation of the Harvard System (a quick google will sort you right out), but in the meantime, here are some crucial points to help you on your way.
Referencing after quotes in the main body of your work // So that’s the author’s surname(s), year of publication, and page number in brackets after each quote.
i.e. Crucially though, the most prevalent discovery in recent sleep research has been that ‘learning while sleeping is possible’ (Arnold & Vogel, 2007, 21).
Writing up a bibliography // When you’re writing a bibliography you need to have an alphabetical list of references. For referencing books, you need to write:
i.e. Arnold, K. & Vogel, K., (2007). ‘Introduction’. In: Monem, N. K. (ed.,) (2007). Sleeping and Dreaming. London: Black Dog Publishing.
Author’s Surname, Author’s initials., (year of publication). ‘Name of essay/article’. In: Editor’s Surname, Editor’s Initials., ed. (year of publication). Name of book, in italics. Country of publication: Publisher’s name.
Websites // Author’s Surname, Author’s initials., (Year of publication). Title of Webpage. [Online]. Available at: insert web address/url link here. [Accessed: date you accessed the website].
i.e. Swinton, T., (2006). A Letter To a Boy From His Mother. [Online]. Available at: http://www.vertigomagazine.co.uk// showarticle.php?sel=&siz=0&id=590. [Accessed: 18th October 2009].
For more details on other aspects of Harvard Referencing, head to the library and pick up a copy of their booklet!
A Day in the Life of an Intern Words: // Kat Romero Last summer I was a relative newbie to the work experience world and like many plucky young workies before me, I was thrown into a routine of monotonous office duties that included filing, fazing and the ever engaging and gratifying task of tea making. Though these duties lacked in any real journalistic skill or experience, they were the dues that needed to be paid in order to gain vital contacts and move forward in the journalism world. The key point that many aspiring journalists should note is that no one gets to the top in one swift step. Everybody working in the journalism world started at the bottom of the scrap heap; as a young work experience, catering to the every needs and wants of an editorial team. Therefore, don’t misjudge your worth. Even if you feel that endless photocopying or fetching lunch for the picture desk is beneath you, taking on these tasks with an enthusiastic attitude will stand you in good stead and you will soon see the fruits of your labour. Rest assured that rolling your eyes at the mere mention of a coffee run or claiming that you “just don’t do phones” is the nail in the coffin of your journalism career. People in the industry talk; so steer clear of black listing yourself before you’ve even begun. At the beginning of this summer, I was armed with a whole host of new skills, a clearer focus and a series of past experience to draw back on. Thanks to that experience, I was no longer just a simple work experience, but now a fully-fledged intern. I started my internship at a new online publication called The Collective Review. I was seated at my own desk and given my own email address and extension number. I almost spat out my cereal when a young work experience asked me how I took my coffee.The skinny, tall cappuccino with a generous sprinkling of sugar and vanilla never tasted sweeter. Taking on the role as features editor, I was able to have editorial control over the sites content and was able to pick and choose what features I wanted to write. When the website’s editor took a two week holiday, I was left holding the metaphorical baby and all of a sudden was chiefly responsible for the sites
Image // Collective Review
maintenance. Aside from the other daily duties, I had to get my technophobic head around Google analytics and monitoring key site traffic. Quite a substantial step forward for someone who has yet to master the USB stick. By the time the internship had ended, I had such a clear focus for my future goals and what I wanted to aim towards, not to mention a new series of great contact. Apologies for reiterating a point that many students will have had drilled into them countless times but work experience really is such an essential. There is not excuse for not having any at the end of your degree. A summer job may seem like it blocks any possibility for a summer of work experience but if you’re really determined, you’ll find a way to combine both. Spending my summer working 50-hour weeks was no doubt tough but it’s made next year’s graduation seem less daunting and the journey towards becoming a journalist more achievable. Now all that lies ahead of me is the stress and strife of third year. Aces.
W00DLAND CREATURE Photography // Matt Kerr Styling // Emma Bigg Hair and make-up // Charlotte Bradbury Model // Lisa Stone
Peach shirt-dress, H&M, £14.99 Black lace tights, Dorothy Perkins, £5 Necklace, Dorothy Perkins, £9
Corset top Miss Selfridge, £30 Black Maxi Skirt, Miss Selfridge, £16 Bootsmodel’s own
Taupe lace body, Primark, £8 Necklace, New Look, £5 Boots model’s own
TROPIC THUNDER Words // Laura Smith
After an interesting year that’s seen him gain recognition from prestigious music sites like Pitchfork and XLR8R, twenty-two year old Chris Ward (currently studying for a BA in Digital Music at Solent) has found underground fame through his impressive remixes of Little Dragon and Bear in Heaven tracks. Writing and remixing under the moniker Tropics, he has recently been signed to Planet Mu Records, who released his EP, Soft Vision, earlier this month. Passionately excited over whispers of another Solent student’s success, SONAR caught up with Chris to hear the good news straight from the horse’s mouth. “I had a Myspace page for Tropics where I was uploading my demos pretty regularly, and some artists who were signed to the label complimented me on the tracks and ended up putting me in contact with Mike Paradinas, the label manager. One thing led to another and after a pretty long phone call we came to a decision that I'd sign with them for an album. This was actually almost a year ago now, I spent a lot
of time being undescisive about what tracks I wanted to be released. I had a lot of demos and didn't want to make any rash decisions; the tracks on the Soft Vision EP I produced back in the Spring and were my favourite. I wanted to develop my music further rather than releasing my older demos as an album, so over the Summer I got more instrumental in the studio, and started singing over tracks getting it all ready for an album.” Ward explains that, like many, the desire to create music is just in his roots. “I’ve always been making some kind of music since I began recording myself on the drums at the age of 11. I started Tropics as a sort-of bedroom project in my foundation year at Portsmouth uni, it’s lucky I’ve had the chance to let it evolve. The course at Solent has helped me to understand more of a technical theory behind the production of music. But I found it a little close minded when I started two years ago; it was a new course and very focused on ‘beatmaking’ and DJing, but it’s really good to see how much it’s developed since
then. I’ve got a lot of knowledge now about sound engineering which is amazing to be able to have on my side.” So where does the magic happen? Like all good contemporary artists, Ward spends much of his time in a D.I.Y home studio: “It was an empty dressing room next to my bedroom when I moved in, it seemed a perfect place to set up camp and make my album.” And, in true British style, a cuppa takes precedence in the creative process of writing tracks. “I usually start out by sitting down with a cup of tea, and playing around with chords on my keyboard or guitar. Some people who make similar music have said to me they start out with technical stuff, like drum beats, but I find that for me, this takes up a lot of creative energy and then my concentration goes. I find it good to get my ideas down into some sort of melody or hook, then take it from there. I try to rewrite the lyrics when playing back the song.” Yet it is not solely music that sparks creativity in Ward’s mind. “I get inspiration from other aesthetics, pho-
tography is very inspirational, as is film – they both bring an energy that allows me to get creative. To name names, I’d have to say the movie Fix as I’ve recently re-watched it. I love those kinds of trans-American dramas, they can be quite culturally educational in some sense.” His hopes for the coming year? “Mostly I'm looking forward to finishing my album. Ive just been taken on by Elastic Artists which is an agency providing festivals and gigs for Animal Collective, Joy Orbision, Neon Indian, Nosaj Thing and many others. So once my bandmate and I have put together our performance we're looking forward to the adventure of gigs! Ward’s EP is available now in Roughtrade, HMV, and on Amazon. Listen to him online here: http:// soundcloud.com/tropics/tropics-softvision
Living the dream? Words // Dan Brett
In an age where the media spotlight shines directly on the world’s sporting personalities, it remains to be seen whether said individuals have a ‘private life’. The ideology of such a life is that you have a set amount of time to yourself, a right given to any human being... Seemingly unless you play professional sport. Recently we’ve seen the likes of Wayne Rooney and John Terry caught in affair scandals, and Andrew Flintoff pursuing alcohol-induced dreams of driving a pedalo all scrutinised by the national press, for acts that rightly or wrongly they shouldn’t be doing. However, with such intense coverage it seems that representing club or country comes with more baggage than just performing well and winning matches. Sports stars are widely
known as ‘role models’ among not just their own community, but in several other communities worldwide, but it begs the question: If the constant press barrage into what essentially is a human being’s ‘free time’ didn’t exist – how would the children of today be affected differently? Of course, young children can be very impressionable and look up to those sports personalities that populate their supported sides, sometimes emulating the things they wear, say or do. Such a big burden for one person to carry, with the weight of expectation sometimes causing them to do things which they otherwise wouldn’t dream of doing. The recent affairs concerning Ricky Hatton’s drug abuse sent shock waves throughout the world of boxing, with
Image // footballpictures.net
popular impression being that young, aspiring boxers would take the same road as their idol. Hatton’s distress, for me, is something that he and his family should receive the utmost privacy over, in a very tough time for the individual and those around him. Whereas the reality remains, newspapers will do anything to sell copies. Moreover, the News of the World will seemingly go to any depths to get the ‘next big story’, which has resulted in the highlighting of Hatton’s misdemeanour. This ‘in depth’ journalism not only brings the issue to a head, but could be damaging for the star – especially if they get it wrong. Hatton checked himself into a rehabilitation centre days after the incident arose, after a long discussion with his loved ones about
the problem’s he’s been having with alcohol and drug abuse since defeats to Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao. The decision to check himself into the centre, rather than spiral further out of control, spoke volumes about Hatton’s state, but also showed the character needed to overcome such events – a story that many mainstream news organisations have failed to report. Although it’s the job of a journalist to report on ‘the truth’, ironically with me writing this as an aspiring sport journalist, it seems to me that some boundaries need to be clarified about what can and cannot be published, in regards to damning stories that can damage an individuals image, career or even family life.
Dee Dee Dum Dum (Girls) Words // Zoe Whitfield
I arrived at Bournemouth Academy at the same time Dee Dee Penny and her band, Bambi, Jules and Sandy Vu, (bass, guitar and drums respectively) were unloading their van ahead of a support slot for Brooklyn daydreamers MGMT. I perch myself on a green padded chair as Sub Pop’s prettiest signing spoke of sound, style and The Smiths. Lead singer and guitarist Dee Dee, real name Kirsten Gundred, originally set up Dum Dum Girls as a solo recording project “which turned into having the opportunity to put out the full-length with Sub Pop, which, in my mind meant it was about time I start a band, then we could take it on tour.” Cue Bambi, Jules and original drummer Frankie Rose joining and debut I Will Be being released back in April (the same
month MGMT put out their sophomore album Congratulations). “I feel like the first record basically was everything I could do on my own with a bit of extra help. I had all my friends join the band, I taught them everything and we’ve been on tour since the record came out, pretty non-stop.” A listen to I Will Be immediately tells of Dee Dee’s influences, with songs such as Jail La La and Catholicked a concoction of sixties girl groups and nineties grunge mixed with the spirit of Riot Grrrl and topped off with some noughties cool. “Musically I grew up really inspired by any female performer that stuck out. I was a huge Tina Turner fan, Grace Slick, Patti Smith, Diana Ross, Nico, all the quintessential performers. When I got a little bit older, I started to learn more about indie bands, so a lot
Image // tyson wirtsfeld
of British and American eighties and nineties underground bands became important. Right into college the concept of Riot Grrrl and all those groups became, at least inspiring in the sense that that was something I was always really intrigued by. It just took me many, many years to start writing my own songs and then orchestrate my version of that.” Like every female songwriter I can think of, boys are top of the list when it comes to lyrics but so says Miss Penny, “I’ve always been a writer and I’ve never been able to fabricate something out of nothing so there’s something in every song, an experience I’ve had or that someone close to me has had. Growing up, music was definitely a source of solace for me; I was a weird misfit of a teenager and The Smiths probably
most tormented and kept me alive. So I mean love and loss and growing up, things getting fucked up, making mistakes, being angry, being jealous, all those very common experiences that I think most people can relate to, I guess I assume that the majority of people like to hear.” This is an extract of an interview with Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny, to read the rest go to: http://sonarmag.tumblr.com/
Image // Sub Pop
28 No Age // Everything In Between Words // Toni Caroline
Experimental punk band No Age released their third album last month – Everything In Between. With more excitement and energy than the duo have ever delivered before, this adventurous new album is a pleasant surprise. Eased in effortlessly to the steady beat of drums from the introduction of the song Life Prowler, the album opens with atmosphere and elegance, preparing us for the exhilarating journey ahead. Starting with somewhat slower songs with what could be described as an almost folky feel to them, the song Fever Dreaming kicks the album up a notch, feeding us a dosage of punk with an air of violence and rebellion created through loud, fast-paced instruments and messy yet enjoyable vocals. Littered here and there with instrumental songs such as Katerpiller, the interesting variation of styles used throughout is subtly broken up. This creates a more pleasant and easy-listening experience and also allows their experimental side to shine through, making it clear that they’ve been working hard since the release of their last album back in 2008. As a whole, the album is a mix of charm, emotion and aggression – a unique combination that No Age have executed to perfection. The song Glitter combines the harsh sounds of punk with striking vocals and lyrics creating an overall powerful and emotional three minutes and forty eight seconds for the listener; definitely the highlight of the album.
Deerhunter // Halycon Digest Words // Steph Powell
So it’s been two years since the notable, compelling double –header Microcastle and Weird Era Cont. and surely the possibility of living up to the incredibly high standards set would intimidate any artist after such a break. However, Deerhunter’s fourth release suggests nothing of the sort. With Halcyon Digest, the band have produced a record that feels more mature and less urgent than previous offerings in terms of both writing and musicianship. The record is chiefly made up of two sorts of track. The raw, atmospheric, emotive ones, thick with dirty distortion guitars and reminiscent of Goo-era Sonic Youth, exhibited on Don’t Cry; alongside those pleasing pop classics, laden with bass hooks for your toes to tap too, which Memory Boy does so effortlessly, with its memorable melody and charismatic chorus. The lead single Revival really showcases what Deerhunter is capable of doing; as a hybrid of old and new come together teaming a sixties-styled guitar with futuristic electronica to produce an infectious twominute masterpiece.The innovative use of sampling on experimental Helicopter, and riffs throughout the record particularly on Desire Lines from guitarist Lockett Pundt show Deerhunter to be much more than another Bradford Cox solo project. Although not groundbreaking in big stadium sound, Halcyon Digest is another fabulous album that taken as a whole is surely their finest work to date. The old Deerhunter sound has had an overhaul, but there is still that familiar underbelly of experimentation that leaves listeners with recommendations on their tongues.
Image // shockya
Machete // Words // Reese Howard Machete, inspired by one of Rodriguez’s fake trailers for his previous project with Tarantino, Grindhouse, is balls-out, completely out... of control. Featuring a purposely corny acting style from the more than capable cast (except Lindsay Lohan who surprise surprise actually can’t act) the bad B-Movie style is integral to everything about the film, from the cheesy dialogue to the cheap-look stunts. But, if you look past the charade of atrocity, Machete actually holds some genuinely high production value, shown off especially in the final manic medley of the movie’s climax. The narrative is fairly well written, featuring some pleasant twists and turns and even some light political weight concerning attitudes to immigration, but mostly utilised (effectively) as a catalyst for the violent theatrics. Machete will offend many demographics with its irresponsible character choices, particularly Cheech Marin’s merciless Catholic priest. Many have accused the film of trying too hard.Yet, the pure enjoyment factor is enough to overshadow the bad, and the ridiculous context of the film should really be enough to allow offended viewers to take it with a substantial amount of salt. Over the top in every way, Machete shows off Rodriguez’s talent for deliberate shameless exploitation (which could further piss people off). But whilst watching, keep in mind that this was always advertised as being a ridiculous, exploitative B-Movie, and nothing more. But in fact Machete does deliver much more. The subtext satire and relentless gratuitous nature of Machete doesn’t allow you for a second to take it seriously, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy this raw sexy ultra violent star-studded Mexican bonanza.
Image // Alliance Films
Defendor // Words // Dan Wheeler Defendor is the superhero movie you deserve, but not the one that cinema has supplied for the past few years. In a Hollywood landscape dominated by remakes and comic book adaptations, this directorial debut by Peter Stebbings didn’t manage to secure a nationwide release in the States, despite featuring the acting talents of Woody Harrelson (ZombieLand) and Kat Dennings of Nick and Norah fame. Okay, so this isn’t The Dark Knight or Kick-Ass, but it isn’t trying to be. The story itself has enough depth and originality to challenge the best writers in the business today.The plot follows delusional Arthur (Harrelson) and his confused outlook of the world as a good vs. evil utopia, in which he attempts to correct the imbalance alone. The streetwise, ‘druggie’ Kat (Dennings) who he runs into on his adventures, doesn’t exactly make matters easier for Arthur, providing a harsh reality check about the real world. Perhaps at first Defendor might seem like your average ‘unlikely hero against the world’ scenario, but delve deeper and this is really a tale of self-discovery and redemption. Harrelson’s performance as the self-proclaimed hero under psychiatric care is one of his best and has been argued award-worthy by several critics. So give Defendor a go. It offers something different in a genre that has become overcrowded with tried and tested ideas. Kudos to Stebbings, look out for his work in the future.
Image // BTTF.net
Back To The Future (1985) // Words // Reese Howard To celebrate its 25-year anniversary, and for a limited time only, a digitally remastered version of Back to the Future is screening in cinemas nationwide. But how will a new generation respond to an old concept? We have all of course, enjoyed the countless airings on terrestrial television each year, but this revamped theatrical release is exciting none the less, a chance for a younger generation to catch it on the big screen, as it was originally intended. If you are seeing Back to the Future for the first time this month, where have you been for the past 25 years?! The time travel concept of erasing yourself is by now all-too familiar. Countless postmodern references homaging this film are scattered through our commercial medias. Perhaps a new generation of viewers will not be able to appreciate in full the films’ hugely original concept, because unlike 80’s audiences, we’ve heard it all before. Nevertheless, BTTF will never get old.Watching the feel-good sci-fi again, with the 80’s techno overture and Christopher Lloyd’s wonderfully extravagant Doc Emmett is frankly delightful, the familiar characters more involving than ever when the experience is shared in a darkened cinema with likeminded fans. A well crafted original story played out with heart, not only in its performances, but through its attentive set design, costumes, time travel props (oh my, that DeLorean), and even more so through the timely editing, beautiful soundtrack and cinematography. When Marty, Jennifer and the Doc fly off in the final scene of this timeless piece, the nostalgia hits hard. Queue applause.
CALL 0F DUTY:
BLACK 0PS Words // Dave Merritt
Just like an EA sports franchise, every year sees a new update to the ever popular Call of Duty (COD) series. Probably the most influential first person shooter (FPS) of the modern era, the COD series has broken records, caused widespread controversy and even had its own ‘red carpet’ launch. The latest edition of the franchise sees Treyarch back in the developer seat, as per the usual yearly swap with Infinity Ward, this will be Treyarch’s third COD game in the series and is the successor to their previous outing with World at War with the new game putting you in the cold war era. The brand new Campaign mode has promised to be more than just a mindless run ‘n’ gun affair as Treyarch head Mark Lamia told Edge magazine “It’s so immersive; the story is so tied to
everything you’re doing.You do play some different characters along the way, but it’s literally... it’s going to challenge you to figure out what’s going on and that You won’t be saying: ‘I don’t see how the story and the gameplay are connected’, but you may be saying: ‘how do all the pieces fit together?’”To me that could be interpreted in two ways, the first being that this game has an epic campaign that is going to be exhilarating and full of plot twists, or that it’s going to be terribly mismatched and make zero sense whatsoever. Of course COD’s superior domination of the gaming world hasn’t been in its single player campaign, it has been it’s addictive multiplayer. So what’s new in Black Op’s? Well too much to fit in this article really, but here’s a flavour of some of the new features; killstreaks are back, but there
are new additions, including a remote control RC car bomb. New weapons that feature are ballistic knife and crossbow and more. The new maps are interactive, with switches and player triggered events, for example one new map entitled ‘launch’ has a rocket in it, which upon trigger blasts off, killing any opponents under it as well as opening new areas and thus extending the battlefield. Finally there are plenty of new modes to get to grips with some very exciting free-for-all match types that will utilise Black Op’s new ‘COD Points’ currency system (a new idea that sees you being able to play wagers on matches as well as buy new upgrades), including a very promising ‘One in the Chamber’ mode where each player has a handgun with just one bullet, miss and you’re down to your knife, kill and you can collect that bullet from your victim, sounds tense. Add to this
as 2 player split screen online play and there is going to be plenty to get your teeth in to. With Treyarch driving this one it was inevitable that their simply brilliant ‘Zombies’ mode would return, and it has been confirmed by Mr Lamia himself; “Zombies have been such a hit with our community that we were committed to bringing brand new zombie experiences to Black Ops.” Black Ops viral website, GKNOVA 6 has a few interesting clips of some of the new zombies that will be appearing. So far only the 4 original COD: WAW maps have been confirmed; however these are only initially available with the hardened and prestige editions of the game. Black Ops is released here in the UK on the 9th of November
DRUGGED UP Words // James Whatley
The ongoing presence of recreational drug use in (youth) culture is something that many speak out against. James Whatley delves deeper into the theories surrounding the treatment of illegal drug use. The medical models of drug addiction are based on the premise that drug abuse and addiction are diseases that can be cured by medical treatment methods. The medical theory of toxicology stresses the effects of drug use on brain function, personality change and damages to organs. As toxicology theory suggests that the effects of drug use are physical, it is believed they can be treated physically by utilising alternative drugs to replace the effects, or making the effects of the drugs a negative reinforcement. The use of prescribed drugs as a replacement for illegal ones was aimed to also reduce the need to resort to criminal activities to obtain such drugs. The socio-medical model uses multi-causal explanation that looks at both individual factors and social structures and conditions, defining drug use as a sign of individual and social failure. The socio-medical model has its base in various forms of psychoanalytic theories that explain drug dependences in terms of early childhood experiences. Durkheimâ€™s control theory argues that humans have needs and desires that are natural, but are restrained through socialisation. It is clear that most individuals do not take drugs and commit crimes as they are restrained through socialisation but it is those who have not been socialised that do. Hirschi states that a delinquent is more likely to offend if his or her bonds or attachments to wider society are either weak or broken.This idea is supported by a study conducted by Pearson et al who found that areas with high concentrations of drug use frequently exhibited high rates of unemployment, single-parent families, limited mobility and other indices
of social disadvantage. It is this social disadvantage that weakens the attachment the individual has to society, as a result making them more likely to take drugs. Despite being a legal drug, alcohol is often thought to be a major contributor to social problems, particularly in terms of aggressive or violent crimes but trying to find a causal relationship between the two is difficult to substantiate. Alcohol is a big part of society and its image is strongly influenced by the media and advertising. It seems that alcohol is more tolerated in Britain than illegal drug use because it is legal and does not have the same stigma attached to it that illegal drugs do. It is a widely used drug and for the majority of ‘users’ it does not adversely affect them. Only when alcohol is associated with crime does an apparent problem emerge. Recent policy initiatives show that Britain is moving towards an increased treatment approach to drug users. The 2008 Drug Strategy’s overall aim is the consolidation of legislation and policy in order to encourage drug-using offenders into treatment. It aims to do so by protecting communities through tackling drug supply, drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour and increasing community cohesion. This legislative change shows not only an increased emphasis on treatment but also an increase in the punitive measures for those not willing to participate in or abide by, the treatment options. It is clear that our society still views drug use/abuse as a medical problem that can be fixed through treatment and still uses punitive treatment on those who resist it, but there is little policy that sees drug use as a social norm despite almost 11,500,000 people aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales having used illicit drugs. How can theories such as marginalisation be expected to be believed when a third of Britain’s population is in the apparent margin of society? If drug use is this prevalent it does seem to question the validity of the legal framework which could potentially criminalise a third of Britain’s citizens.