NO.3 the dj mehdi tribute issue
editor in chief / CREATIVE DIRECTOR SORAAN LATIF
DANIEL LEE HARVEY
PETER DAVIS ROBERT JONES ELLIOT BENTLEY ANONYMOUS MOUKOUO SORAAN LATIF MARCUS KUZVINZWA
CONTACT email@example.com facebook.com/7sobm tumblr.com/7sobm
DJ MEHDI FOR ALL THE GREAT
MUSIC OVER THE YEARS
SARAH TALLEY / MIKE LAWLEY /
OLLANSKI FOR ALL YOUR TIME
SPENT ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS
contents ART & DESIGN 006
MOUNT KIMBIE INTERVIEW
DANIEL WANG INTERVIEW
DJ MEHDI TRIBUTE
REMEMBERING DJ MEHDI - DAVE 1
WHY THE BEST TEND TO SELF DISTRUCT
KEITH DAVIS INTERVIEW
STIKE COMMANDO REVIEW
OLLIANSKI interviewed by Elliot Bentley
How would you describe your own style?
In everything I do, whether it's drawing, painting,
You studied biomedicine up to PhD level, what
have everything else put in second and third
caused you to leave academia and pursue
place in order to achieve results and in order to
not get mobbed by the others. The point when I finally realized that I could not continue working
crafting or digital design work, I'm very precise and neat in both the process of designing and
I really, really loved studying Biomedicine and
like that was when I was rude at my friends just
in the execution. So I would describe my style
I'm still really interested in science in general but
because I was unhappy about my work situation
as being very clean and accurate as well as
the problem is that studying science is one thing
and the prospect of having to be in that narrow
illustrative and commercial, but I like being
and working in science is another. Biomedical
minded science world for years to come. Also,
science is a VERY competitive and it is expected
the salaries are bad. So from one day to the other
of you to commit yourself fully to your work and
I quit my position and decided that what I wanted
to do is sit at home, listen to music and draw. So
Yes. Absolutely. I think that my scientific
have never actually met before. Alternatively I
I made a portfolio and sent it out to all kinds of
background influences ALL aspects of my
start with a photo as reference but improvise on
potential clients and two weeks later I had my
thinking and thus my life, but I like that.
details and customize it freely. Sometimes, for
first jobs for FHM France and VICE Germany. I
some projects, I use real models or my fantasy.
really turned my work life around 180 degrees
Your illustrations tend to be highly detailed and
That doesn't happen that often anymore which is
within 2 weeks.
realistic, do you use reference photos and how
a pity because I do like free work more.... About
long do you spend on an individual image?
the duration, that really depends of course, but the front cover drawing for this issue for instance
Do you think your scientific background influences your work?
Yes, I do use reference photos for the most part, especially when I'm doing portraits of people I
took me about 2 days full time work.
As well as traditional illustration, youâ€™re known
magazine asked me if I could do an illustration for
Looking back at the pictures now after 2 years
for your paper craft models, when did you start
a summer festival article and I said yes before I
they were really not very good because I only
got the actual brief which basically said that I had
had less than 24 hours but people liked it. It was
until the next day to fill two big newspaper-sized
really creative and it was the start of many paper
Ever since I can remember I have been
pages. Of course I could have never managed
crafting projects. But you know, I really want to do
papercrafting. My mum used to joke that she
to draw pictures of that size in my style until the
more papercrafting projects and there is some
should marry a man with a paper factory, but I
next day. So I decided to build a festival island
pretty great stuff in the pipeline!
never did it "professionally" until two years ago.
out of paper and felt, with stages, toilets, tents,
I'm really bad at saying "No" to commission
trees, everything. Eventually taking photos of it
Khoi Vinh has recently written about the lack of
requests so one day the art director of a Swedish
and creating illustrations out of these photos.
illustrations in many digital magazines and blogs
(click here to read) - do you think thereâ€™s enough
on the internet is that everything is for free and
I'm friends with Benny and Shu, the founders
illustration on the web outside of art and graphic
ever changing. So if one sees illustrations on
and editors-in-chief of Be Street and they asked
different blogs and magazines OUTSIDE of these
me one day if I'd like to blog for them and I said
communities you mentioned it's not often as
yes. I would like to update my blog every day but
Hm, good question. Well after thinking about this
good as the better paid, or let's say "rewarded",
I don't find the time to do so which is a shame
for two minutes now I would say: there actually
illustrations produced for print.
because I really like the blog and the readers like
IS a lack of good illustrations OUTSIDE of these
it and there are some other great people on the
communities. I'm not really surprised that this is
How did you get into writing a blog for Be Street
website blogging for Be Street (like photographer
the case because good illustrations cost money
Shu Pan or illustrator McBess, who I love ) so I
or SHOULD cost money and the general notion
should really try and update it more often. Hehe.
about. I'm going to be doing a pattern-making
now. I've always been doing so many different
course, you know for clothes, and I really wanna
things in my live so I don't know what's going
I'm planning an exhibition for January 2012
take a pottery class. Oh and of course I'm gonna
to happen in 2021. I ONLY hope that I won't
together with some friends here in Berlin where
be doing my many magazine illustrations every
get cynical and will continue to follow my
i'm gonna be showing original drawings but
month. So there is a lot to do. Woop Woop.
intuition. Cause if I do that I know I'll always
What are your upcoming projects?
also big models of paper cities and character
be doing great!
design toys I made. I seriously wanna learn
Finally, what do you see yourself doing in ten
a new language. I'm going to start illustrating
scientific texts next week so it feels a little like going back to science which I'm really excited
I have no idea and it doesn't matter to me right
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aeroplane interviewed by daniel lee harvey photography by Serge Leblon
In the year 2007, Stephen Fasano and Vito Deluca both from Italian Heritage formed a duo. Both who were influenced from the integral sounds of disco and Moroder’s appeal began to create music. The duo then landed a recording deput on Eskimo records with the 2007 single ‘‘Aeroplane’’and later again that year with ‘‘Pacific Air Race.’’ Stephen and Vito continued their influential path through remixes, some of the most notable being ‘‘Friendly Fires Paris,’’ and ‘‘Sebastian Tellier’s Kilometer.’’ However, in the fullness of time, the duo dispersed, Stephen proceeded to infuse his energy into a solo career as a DJ and Vito continued formidably into fomenting the future for Aeroplane. In 2010, Aeroplane made its full-length album ‘‘We Can’t Fly.’’ I was lucky enough speak to the man himself and find out the origins to one of the biggest marvels in the down-tempo dance scene.
So where are you at right now?
mixed with early electronic stuff like italo disco
Your latest release ‘‘We Can’t Fly’’ which came out
or early house music.
in late 2010 is a true gem to the electronic scene.
On a plane from Brussels to Helsinki.
It’s different to what we usually see peak up from I’ve read in previous interviews that your Italian
duos like Justice. It has a minimalistic strum to
When did you start to get an interest in DJ’ing
heritage impacts your musical overview, could
it yet it manages to keep all the key attributes of
you elaborate more on this?
what a good electronic track should be. I cannot help but think 80’s rock ballads when listening to
I started getting into music at around 7 or 8. My
My family came from Italy in the 70's and they
Superstar and Fish in the Sky; did you explore
uncle was a DJ. That's around the same period
were all into music but Italian music. So at home
deeper into the decade when shaping the album
that my mother bought me my first keyboard, a
there will always be an Italian artist playing on the
Casio that I shouldn't have thrown away. Then
turntable. Italian artists like really dramatic and
around the age of 11 or 12, I started to learn
nostalgic melodies. This is how it influenced me,
The album was I think some kind of statement
music. Making tracks started at around 16.
I starting loving this type of melodic construction.
that I wanted to make by recording like my idols
Also in the mid 80's a lot of the italo disco pioneers
did, everything, live and analog. I went really
How would you describe the Aeroplane sound
started producing pop singers, and as my mother
far into exploring those genres, at the frontier of
and what are your inspirations?
was listening to all of that, I guess that was my
good and bad taste, but again I like cheesy stuff
first experience with electronic music; electronic,
so it's not a real problem for me. Now that this
I don't know how to describe the sound; it's more
because it was made with synths and drum
is out of my system I can embrace technology
a journalist discipline. My inspiration is mainly
and make a new album that will reflect this era.
pop music from the past. 60's 70's and 80's
Use my influence in a more subtle way. When
you have an "influence" it's supposed to perfectly
A new track is a blank page. A remix is not. You
Moon. These two records equally influenced me.
merge with something new, what I did wasn't
have to deal with what is already there. That's
really influenced, it was trying to make the same
more or less the only difference, but it's quite
I heard that you are an accomplished piano
music as back then.
a big one.
player, does this act like a catalyst when it comes to producing?
Youâ€™re very well known for your remixes particularly
Have you ever thought about doing movie scores
Friendly Fires â€“ Paris which has a massive
like Moroder did for Scarface and Conti for Rocky?
Well, it helps a lot when it comes to composing but my ears are so trained to the theory that
following amongst clubs and around the internet, how do your remixes fluctuate from your own
That is my childhood dream. Rocky soundtrack is
sometimes it's a problem. When I try to get out
for me as big as The Pink Floyd - Dark Side of The
of it or do something abstract it's difficult for me
as I have to un-learn a lot.
What have you been listening to lately?
Mixing the set is easy. But it takes a month to
Hollis on the vocals. This is basically what I want
find 10 or 12 good tracks to put in. And I actually
music to sound. All the time.
mainly do it while touring in the plane or my hotel room.
A lot of new music and new artists that I was choosing for my compilation out in October.
else we should know about? If you could perform with any artist fom the past or present, who would it be and why?
A mixed compilation called In Flight Entertainment made of 100% exclusive tracks. There's not much
I see on Soundcloud you release a DJ set each month, where do you find the time when touring?
Do you have any upcoming projects or anything
David Gilmour on the guitar, Bernard Edwards
else to know about me besides music really.
on the bass, Prince on the Linn Drum and Marc
mount kimbie Interviewed by robert jones
photography by Charlloette wales
litchy and Minimal are terms thrown around to describe tracks which, at there best, could be produced by many anti-social teenagers on their Macs, after a naive listen to the likes of James Blake or Jamie XX. Thankfully, 7 Shades of Black decided against interviewing one of these socially awkward imposters and instead set up a questionnaire with one of the finest purveyors of hypnosis inducing electronics. Mount Kimbie have been prowling the scene for some time now, bubbling away beneath the surface and allowing their influence to steadily filter through to an expanding crowd. Now gaining higher billing at festivals, TV appearances and nods from the industry, Mount Kimbie are on the cusp of sharing what they do with a very large audience indeed. We put it to them to explain what their blend of loops, samples and beats should actually mean to us.
The latest EP offering “Carbonated” has just been
with a lot of positive press coverage and we also
Klaus, Jamie XX, Joy Orbison, Ramadanman,
released on Hot Flush Recordings, what does it
have a strong core of fans.
Addison Groove, Scuba etc. These are people that we have a lot of respect for and are pleased
offer to newcomers? Do you feel that your opinions within the music
to be making vaguely similar sound with.
It has three excellent remixes on it by Klaus,
industry are sought after more often, now you
Peter Van Hoesen and Airhead. Carbonated
have established yourselves as proven recording
It is now festival season around the world, what
is the final single from the album Crooks and
artists over several years?
has been your favourite live performance so far
Lovers and there are two other tracks on there
on this tour?
that didn’t make the final cut for the album but
I couldn’t say really, I guess neither of us feel
we felt needed a release.
the need to comment on other music, and if we
We had an excellent show at Conne Island in
like an artist or band, we like them. We do get a
Leipzig on a German tour we did lately. We were
lot more promo’s through on the e-mail though!
there with ‘Cloud Boat’ and the venue is amazing,
“Sketch On Glass” EP has become a staple of
in the middle of lots of trees and greenery, with a
my DJ set, despite it being released back in 2009. Since then, who or what has played a key role in
At the most basic level, minimalistic soundscapes
skate park and BBQ. The crowds were brilliant;
where your music stands now?
similar to what you create have been in vogue
it was certainly one of my favourites from this
for a while now. Who do you believe are your
Our managers have been crucial in getting our
music where it is today, making us take what we
I hear subtle nods to woozy Drone and Reich
do seriously and make the correct calls in testing
There are a few artists that we have been close
styled syncopation, are there any genres you can
times. I feel that we have been very fortunate
to either as friends or musically, James Blake,
never see being part of your creative process?
Not really, we seem to get referenced with
What can we expect Mount Kimbie to be setting
anything from pop to jazz. We would never ever
out to achieve in the next year?
bring in Gabba or Psy-trance into the mix though. A record that blows Crooks and Lovers out of Who at the moment is on your mixtape while en
the water, perhaps a new direction, more live
route to the next gig?
shows, maybe a few remixes, more merchandise, less tweeting.
Hmm, let’s see, for me (Dominic), Shabazz Palaces, The Fall, Mellowhype, Suzanne Kraft,
Finally, we’ve decided in the spur of the moment
High Places, Wild Beasts, Waters, Wu Lyf,
to visit the zoo, which animal are we heading to
Do you function at your best onstage before an
Start off light with some gibbons or owls.
audience or recording alone together in a studio? Mount Kimbie’s facebook page I don’t recall how I function at home in the studio, all we know at the moment is being onstage and we are OK at it!
tokimonsta interviewed by peter davis Illustrations by ollanski
Jennifer Lee born and raised in the South Bay area of Los Angeles is a deviant when it comes creating textual soundscapes. Her music is a thick mixture of digital manipulation, dusty percussion and vintage samples which she manages to fuse together with other instrumental elements. She has been highly praised by others in avant-garde media due to her unique approach of formulating tracks. Through her recognition, she was signed on to the BRAINFEEDER label which is steered by producer Flying Lotus. She is also a fearless performer, her and the crowd counteract with each other like a ripple on water. One of our writers Marcus Kuzvinwa (Languid) got the chance to speak to her about it. Readers, this is TOKIMONSTA.
First of all, tell us about yourself?
rock at a young age. All have made a significant
It seems as if your field of music isnâ€™t in one fixed
impact on my approach to music.
genre, why do you think this is and how would
I'm just a person who enjoys creating.
you describe your sound? What kind of music are you really into at the
What kind of music were you exposed to as a
I think that fixating to a genre leads to the possibility of becoming married to this classification with
child and how has that influenced the music you I've been listening to a lot of music from other
little room to go outside of what you are expected
artists in Brainfeeder. Asides from that, a lot of
of creating. My sound is a mixture of all my
As a small child, I was mostly exposed to classical
other indie artists and a lot of older music--60s
influences, but I suppose heavily rooted in soul,
music, but I introduced myself to hip hop and
prog/psych rock, 80s boogie, early 90s hip hop.
hip hop, and electronic music.
Out of all the equipment you use, which one is
What is your process with your beats? How does
How do you view the music in the US compared
your favourite and for what reason(s)?
it differ from your process of making remixes (i.e
to the UK?
your remix of Shlohmo’s “Hot Boxing The Cockpit”) My Rhodes piano is my favorite. You can play
I feel as the UK is more open to new music, as
anything on it and it will have a feeling of depth
With my music, I have no approach. I may start
a population. It may take the same percentage
with a melody, chord progression, or drums. For
of people in the US to catch on quite longer.
remixes, I always try to create a mood different
However, I feel as the UK is not married to sounds
How do you go about putting live sets together
from the original. If the song is soft, I will try to
and will move on quite quickly to something else,
or mixes? (Like your recent mix for okini “Love
go for a more aggressive remix, if it's aggressive,
while many in the US build a relationship with
a softer remix, etc.
the music they listen to.
Live sets are built around a skeleton of my own
Will we be excepting any collaborations anytime
Lastly do have any advice for aspiring producer/
music. I am constantly changing the way my
laptop musician in your demography?
wanted the entire mix to have a specific mood,
I am actively working on my project with Suzi
I say all these aspiring producers should try their
this being an eerie romantic sound. I chose my
Analogue, called "Analogue Monsta." It's an
very best to maintain a sense of individuality. In
songs and found a way to mix them in a way that
extremely fun project that I think will be a bit
a world where music is so easy to create, the
made sense. The musical selection is always
last thing you want to do is make something that
set is linked together. With the OKI-NI mix, I
the most important when I put together mixes.
already exists. Tokimonsta's facebook page
munk interviewed by Daniel lee Harvey
photography by Zelinda Zatichelli and Laurent Grino
Munk to me can only be described as one of the masters in the German disco scene. Munk has released several albums, Aperitivo in 2005, Cloudbuster in 2008 and his newest one to date, the ever so mighty, The Bird and the Beat in early 2011. The new album oozes out futuristic tones through a sugar-coated blend of house music. I got the chance to speak to him about the process he undertook when making it, his drink alter-ego and how he managed to find a assembly of bond-girl worthy women for the video shoot of ‘‘Keep My Secret.’’
Firstly Bird and the Beat, your newest album to
There is no favourite as everybody is very
into a 1960’s James Bond picture, so many
date, has endlessly catchy tunes, what was your
different. Pollyester is a real musician that has
beautiful ladies, where did you find them?
creative process when making it?
been playing in my old Munk band for years. Clara Cometti is a singer and fashion designer
Haha…It’s all party girls from Munich and Berlin;
I recorded it in different countries and the idea
(a.p.c.) that lives in a different world than, for
friends of the 2 guys who directed the video (Kil
was to include singers, actresses, and a lot of
example, Joyce Muniz, the crazy house dj’s
the Tills) and myself.
female voices from different countries.
from Sao Paolo. So that makes it interesting with
So I did the record at friends’ studios in Rome,
every single girl, the differences in personality
Marseille, Paris, London, Berlin and other cities.
and ideas and background.
Process: I am a musician; I play piano, drums,
Who directs your music videos?
Different friends, some are young upcoming
and other instruments. So I play a lot of stuff live
Imbedded into most of your tracks is a bass line,
artists that are NOT professional video directors
and then resample and re edit it in the studio,
a synth and a drum line, do you play all these
(Kill the Tills for ‘Keep My Secret’, Paze for new
i then carry work on overdubs and reworking.
instruments in the recordings or do you jam with
video ‘Mis Labios’). Others are super professional
Then I sing my melodies and the girls copy my
directors like Doublezero for the FOR RUE DE
ROME video. Ninety percent I play myself. On two tunes
On this album you have collaborated with a
there is a guest drummer and guitarist (from San
Are you working on any new projects at the
number of different girls, from Munich’s Pollyester
Francisco Stones throw label)
You, in the ‘Keep My Secret’ video, it’s like looking
Yes, two albums, the new Munk album, to be
to Lou from London’s New York Pony Club, who has been your favourite to work with and why?
released in early 2012. The tracks are finished.
My partner, Jonas Imbery, AKA the Telonius,
What has been your most enjoyable, and worst,
I am recording vocals in August and September
and I started Gomma around 2000 because
in Berlin. Another instrumental jazz album, for
we had some disco infected tracks made that
the end of 2012.
we wanted to release. But no other labels were
Too many, but playing in Mexico three weeks
interested in disco aesthetics in this time. So, we
ago was amazing; five cities full of Gomma fans,
You run a label under the name of Gomma
had to start the label ourselves. The first releases
singing along to Munk songs, and all the mescal,
Records, when you first started, what were your
were immediately picked up by some influential
tequila and great food.... loved it.
goals and ambitions? Do you feel that now as a
London people, like Jaques Lu, Cont (Adonna
record company; you have fore printed yourself as
producer), James Lavelle, Aheley Beedle, A.O.
Down in L.A is one of the best records I have
one of the innovators of the house music scene?
They asked for more. So, we went professional.
ever purchased and to this day it still flirts with
my speakers. What was your inspiration behind
Where did the name Munk come from and what
is the basis of your studio, in terms of equipment?
for listening. On Gomma in a few weeks.
And lastly If you could personify yourself as a haha.... great. Thanks. I will tell you a mystery.
Nobody can remember anything from those first
The lyrics had been stolen from a 70â€™s love song.
Gomma years.Different studios - different gear.
I changed the essential words. It became
One brain - same brain.
this song about a Germany girl going to Los Angeles and living a Californian summer, high
Amaro Siciliano, a sweet but hard, dark but sunny...and funky.
Any upcoming artists we should look out for?
on pharmaceutical drugs.... The original song is a catholic love to god song.
drink, what would it be and why?
Munk's facebook page ESPERANZA, a new Italian band, slow, sweet,
interviewed by peter davis
t takes me back to 04’ when I first heard “Like Some Dream I Can’t Stop Dreaming” on a Tramp! podcast. Listening to Daniel Wang for the first time. Even though that song was first released in 93’ it sounded (and still does) so new. Who knew that after 8 years from first discovering that gem I would be interviewing one of the most respected and unique produces from the past 20 years. If you don’t know who Daniel Wang is then you should look into his label Balihu which has released some amazing records. Famed for his passion for the records he loves and just as famed for his opinions on the music he doesn’t like. Ask any producer now, especially those involved in the surge of nu disco and modern house and they will give you one name. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Daniel Wang...
Hey Daniel, thank you so much for taking the
ago my father, her eldest son, died from cancer
I really don’t know what happened in the music
time out to do this. Where are you now and what
and it left an empty spot in her life. She always
world in 2011. I don’t have MTV or internet at
are you up to?
defended my being gay and even supported
home in Berlin. In just the past 3 days in the
Obama in US elections. I try to come here twice
USA, I finally heard Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”.
I happen to be in a suburb of San Francisco,
a year, visit her, my brother, and his two kids. It's
It was as awful as I expected. I found Justin
California this entire week, staying in a sunny,
the most non-DJ aspect of my life; no gay bars,
Bieber disappointingly mediocre. I think Amy
newly built old person’s apartment building with
no Berlin this week, just family time...
Winehouse had great talent. I watched her fall
my grandma. She is 94 now, physically weak
off the stage in eastern Europe somewhere. The
but mentally still strong. At age 80, she used
We're halfway through 2011. Has it been a good
new J. Lopez song ripping off Kaoma/Lambada
her savings to travel the entire world. Two years
year for music? Any specific highlights?
is dreadful!, So over-ground; not very thrilling.
Underground, I’ve lost track. I don’t mean to
Piccadilly Records at home, but I can’t remember
We recently lost the talented Gil Scott Heron.
sound cynical, there just isn’t much truly thrilling
where it is or what it looks like! You know, the
Where there any particular favourites of yours?
traveling, sometimes it's all a blur. Sorry, the
Is there anyone right now that you are really
hungry wolf only remembers the taste of bloody
Yes Gil Scott Heron.. I didn’t know his whole
flesh, but not the forest in which it was hunted.
discography very well. But I met him in person at a festival for five minutes just last year, even
liking, that our readers should go and check out? Speaking of record shops, are there any that
took a photo with him and put it on my Facebook
Anything new to check out? My theremin
you just have to visit when you are in different
page! He struck me as incredibly conscientious
professor, Ms. Pamelia Kurstin, just released
countries and cities?
but tragic, he was totally exhausted and high on
an album with percussionist Sebastian Rochford.
weed. I think years of thinking about racism and
I saw this on the internet today, haven’t heard it.
Must-visit record shops? I guess A1 in NYC
injustice can destroy a sensitive person. I found
But even the BBC gave it a good review. I'll bet
is the one I know best. I remember visiting
the death of Michael Jackson overrated though.
it's really interesting!
a huge warehouse in Detroit years ago, but I
The songs and production of Quincy Jones and
forgot its name. Ten years ago, CoverMusic on
Rod Temperton made him; people confuse the
Being a guy from the north west of England, I
Kurfuerstendamm in west Berlin still had good bins;
consumable product with the person himself.
love to pop into Piccadilly Records as often as I
today the disco gems are long gone. Chez Youri,
Otherwise I’m not keeping track of who died
can. Do you have any memories or stories about
in Paris, also closed. Honestly, I’ve gotten my best
lately. When you record music, you immortalize
records mostly from Ebay, Youtube, and nameless
the essence of a person anyway.
flea markets lately! Good or bad, that’s the truth! I think I even have two plastic shopping bags from
You have been doing this for a while now so you
I am ashamed to give same reply as the past five
get the acoustics right if they want to play good
must have had some pretty memorable parties
years: I’ve been too busy travelling. I hope to
in your time. Which ones stick out to you?
finish renovating my new flat and home studio this year, and then I will start fulfilling dreams, Playing
Finally, if there is one record that you own that
Most memorable parties in the past twenty
live percussion, theremin, and singing myself.
you take everywhere and just listen to no matter
months: Hove, Norway, Helsinki, Finland,
Strangely I sound a bit like a 50’s crooner, Johnny
what the mood or situation, what is it?
everyone singing along to Heatwave, dancing
Mathis and such. Or maybe like D.C. LaRue?
to classic instrumentals. Horse Meat Disco in
One record I can listen to forever? Can I name
Berlin, London, Lisbon. A few years ago I’d say
three? Soul disco: Heatwave, Candles LP. But
Tokyo, or London too, but it depends on lots
Are there any parties that are coming up that you
at home I always play bossa nova: Jobim, Stone
of factors beside the music. If people have to
will be attending or playing at in the future that
Flower LP. It was produced by Eumir Deodato,
pay twentt pounds to hear me, it doesn’t feel
our readers should try and go along to?
lots of Fender Rhodes piano. And the Bill Evans
intimate. I think the best parties now are often outside the big cities.
70s Rhodes album called From Left to Right. Parties I recommend? Well, if you’re in Berlin,
bossa+jazz, electric+acoustic. These albums
I recommend this club called ABOUT BLANK
make me feel like I’m floating on a cloud.
Is there anything exciting happening in the not
at Ostkreuz.. Nice sound, nice garden! But my
too distant future for Daniel Wang? Any releases
favourite is SOJU Bar in Kreuzberg, crystal clear
or projects coming up?
sound, great neons. The big techno club in Berlin, I will not name any, almost all sound bad.
Anything exciting coming from me?
I like the raw spirit of raves but people have to
Daniel Wang's facebook page/
confess that I canâ€™t really put a finger on how Dj Mehdi was seen on the international music scene, nor the impact he had on the electronic scene. Apart from the shear love and homage his work and soul received from peers and fans, doubled with the fact that he managed to slowly successfully evolve from a pioneer French hip hop producer to the product of his musical journey he was when he left us; obviously unique but more importantly still in evolution.
Out of curiosity, and I guess to refresh my memory
of the late. All acknowledging his work from
You need to have a grasp of where he’s coming
as if I was already scared to forget, I randomly
Signatune and I am somebody, with the majority
from as a man and artist to understand the how
browsed the web for videos, pictures, read what
ignoring the “Hip Hop” part of their introduction
and why of his evolution and sound.
was said on him, and his music.
sentence when it came to his history. His encounter with music came early, no further
Besides the general facts expected from
It’s easy to understand why, his new found and
than home, from listening to radio, the Arabic
Wikipedia, most of the tributes kind of started
more global audience outside of the French
music ever present by cultural rights, his uncles
by “The electro producer…”, “The electro/Hip Hop
hexagon discovered him via the electro scene.
and dad who had a huge collection of discs in
producer…” or “The Hip Hop dance producer…”
His life and sound before that does not seem to
which he found himself playing with the home
followed by the sad news and a short history
be that relevant to most. The thing is, it really is!
decks between the age of twelve and thirteen.
The fact that the first disc he bought was Public
mother American hip hop culture at the time.
the audience at the very edge of themselves
Enemy is not trivial. A career as one of the most
Hip hop in France was not just a mirror image
emotionally. It was incredibly mature, the guy
talented Hip Hop producer was to follow, in
of the mother, it shared the same struggle at the
producing these gems just could not be my age,
the characteristically edgy atmosphere of the
same time, but it had it's own sound.
I couldn’t picture it then, it didn’t even cross my
then French Hip Hop scene; reflection of the
mind, that sound was too big, too good not to
state of mind of the youth living in the French
A sound that Dj Mehdi, part of one of the most
come from the mighty states. Wrong, it was from
estates. The social context of that time (the
influential and controversial hip hop group and
Paris and it was amazing, still is.
90's) (which has not improved much really) was
crew in France with few other producers shaped.
similar to the ever present projects situation in
His sound was deep, sensitive, often dark, but
I did use the word “pioneer” early on, remember?
the states, glamorized or condemned by the
always powerful. Always taking the mc's and
I can hear some of you thinking, come on now!
The French touch sound is known all over the
anytime. The electro scene was and always is
he was, he just evolved, his sound was coming
world when it comes to electro, we can definitely
about good vibes, having fun and so on. When
from a different place, a different perspective.
give him credit there, but how pioneer can a
he brought his new sound, many were surprised,
That new journey of his just started.
French hip-hop producer be in Hip Hop. He was
many didn’t understand.
Gone too soon.
so brightly with his friends and peers gave to
Basically, many didn’t understand, that he might
Hip Hop it’s way into the French youth culture.
have want to have fun for a change, all these
There was a time where Dj Mehdi and the electro
years of expressing fight, pain and struggle gives
scene couldn’t be on the same flyer, Hip Hop
you a real sense of appreciation for simple things
nights were unpredictable, could turn nasty at
I guess. Being as talented and open minded as
obviously one in France, and carrying the torch
DJ Mehdi pushed boundaries by twisting the
remixed acts such as Cassius, Koma and Joakim
this period the nights continued, DJ Mehdi grew
unexpected. A lot of people are use to having
Lone Octet and composition soundtracks for
more and more into the role of entertaining a
electro and hip hop sold separately however
French and international films. This was the
crowd, his style fractured almost, something that
both are in fact very similar when it comes to
beginning of a passage and Busy P soon took
sounded unique to new ears, he is an individual
the flow of drum and synth patterns. DJ Mehdi
DJ Mehdi under the battalions of the Ed Banger
who doesnâ€™t keep to a set playlist, even if itâ€™s
understood this and implemented both genres
crew after acknowledging his passion for music
a slight incision, he will always try to make it
together and the outcome was a sound that was
and it showed within his infectious persona.
different from other sets.
The two of them together hosted a party series
DJ Mehdi was asked by Busy P to create his own
at the legendary underground club Pulp. Over
music for the label; with an already extensive
so fresh and innovative.
During the early stage of his career, DJ Mehdi
background in the inner circles of hip hop, I
I discovered the album during a search on
Dave 1 sings it overshadows the rhythm of the
knew from the start, it was going to be decent.
YouTube and the drums in my ears melted away,
other instruments. It keeps in your head and for a
I first heard the album Lucky Boy back in 2006,
it was the opening track that made me stick to the
song that has both funk and hip hop components
just a few months after its release. I was thirteen
very end. The entire compilation is an evolution
is a difficult thing to do.
years old and in high school and my number 1
of his sound, take track two I am Somebody
downfall was digging for music. I always had a
which features Chromeo.
fascination with it and if I wasnâ€™t working, I found
The variation also keeps things interesting, like Saharian Break and Love Bombing. Both have
the nearest computer to me and plugged in a
You can hear the early funk influences, like Zapp
this streak of 80â€™s hip hop and then you have the
pair of headphones and just sat there until it
& Roger & Rick James. The song focuses upon
melodic tones of Fafi on Lucky Boy. DJ Mehdi
was time to leave.
the subject of gaining recognition and the way
bought out another addition of this compilation
Lucky Boy At Night in 2007 which features the
unreleased treasures. It’s a sanctuary of artists,
two of them toured in the summer months of
track ‘‘Lucky Girl.’’ This has a whole new trait
ranging from Sebastian Tellier, New Young Pony
2010, visiting all major capitals in Europe and
to it, the beat is raw and dirtier, Fafi vocal style
Club and Santigold. I like how DJ Mehdi keeps
North America with four turntables, one mixer
changes also and it works well with the b-boy
the originality of the songs either it be the riff,
and a Roland TR-909 for company.
concept on the cover.
the vocal, anything that is key. He will lock it in
Following on from his full-length release; DJ Mehdi
as that is the fragment we remember in the track
I think I can happily say this man made a huge
before it’s been remolded.
and eclectic imprint on the music industry and
wraps up a prelude (Black, Black & Black) for
it’s so sad for me to be speaking about him in the
the album (Red, Black & Blue) which features
He latterly paired up with British grandmaster
past tense when he had the likelihood to continue
a mixture of reworks as well as a couple of
Riton to form house group Carte Blanche. The
his craft for many years to come. He had an
unbelievable gift and I can say whole-heartedly
they create, but with DJ Mehdi, itâ€™s all him. He
he was one of the best producers and djs to
was music and still is music, it never grows old.
have ever existed in France and in the world.
He will always be remembered and for me, he is a role model and someone who carved a desire
He had a capability to influence all who listened
in me at the age of 16 to start mixing with the 1
to his music and a character to match. I have
and 2s myself. I am forever thankful for that.
looked up pictures, people responses to gigs and all they keep on exclaiming about is his smile. Youâ€™ll see djs today who hide themselves under alter egos and simulate barriers through the beats
Daniel Lee Harvey
Remembering DJ Mehdi by David Macklovitch ( Dave 1 ) I wrote this text on the plane back from Paris a couple of days ago. I first intended it to be a series of personal notes: an attempt to retrace the chronology of our friendship with Mehdi. Then I figured I’d share it. It’s long and perhaps too full of factoids. But that’s how Mehdi, ever the raconteur, like his stories: starting “ab ovo” (from the very beginning, the origins) and rife with trivia. So here it is, my own personal Mehdipedia entry…
HOW WE GOT TO KNOW MEHDI PRELUDE
MEETING IN PARIS
I first met Mehdi over 11 years ago, in the
One day, I got a call from our Fat Beats label rep
After graduating from college in 2000, I got
summer of 2000, but to properly explain how
(and worldwide crate-digging authority) Amir,
a scholarship to study for the summer at a
this improbable encounter even took place, I
saying something to the effect of: “My man from
French Literature institute in the southern town
must rewind to a year or so before. As some
France wants some beats from you. He loves
of Avignon. Olivier invited me to come up to Paris
of you may know, in the mid to late 90s, way
Obscure Disorder.” The gentleman in question
for a weekend, crash at his place and get to know
before Chromeo, I was a hip hop producer in
goes by the name of Olivier Rosset. He owned
his group of friends. I’ll never forget getting off the
my hometown of Montreal. Along with my little
the indie distributor Chronowax, the Fat Beats of
metro at Place de la République and scrambling
brother A-Trak (whom I’ll refer to as Alain in this
France, so to speak. In our first conversation, he
to find the Chronowax warehouse. When I finally
text), I owned a small indie label called Audio
asked me if I had heard of DJ Mehdi. I had no
got there and met Olivier in person, we clicked
Research, which was distributed by Fat Beats:
idea who that was. He said that Mehdi was one
instantly. (Here’s a fun fact: as the office was
arguably the greatest institution in independent
of France’s foremost hip hop producers, that he
getting ready to close for the weekend, a bunch
hip hop culture (the Fat Beats flagship NY store
loved “2004” and that they wanted to get beats
of people were crowded around a turntable,
closed a year ago, I hope you got a change to
from me for a project they were working on. (Keep
listening to a test pressing. Olivier was like: “This
visit it). In 1999, Audio Research released its
in mind that I had never made beats for anyone
is going to be huge.” I barely knew anything
most successful 12”: “2004” by Obscure Disorder
outside of Montreal before, so I was thrilled.) I
about house or electronic music at the time, but
(a group composed of three of our high school
was going to spend a few months in the south
thought to myself: “Cool, a house beat with the
friends rapping, Alain on scratches and myself
of France that summer; we agreed to meet then.
‘Rapper’s Delight’ bass line over it.” Years later,
on beats), featuring Ill Bill and Goretex of Non
I realized that the test press was Alan Braxe’s
Olivier was anxious for me to meet Mehdi, whom
the point that I was able to quote them back to
Here’s the video for the first single, directed by
he called his brother. We all went to dinner that
my brother two days ago! Yesterday, in Paris,
none other than Romain-Gavras, who wasn’t
night. Mehdi and I talked about sampling. I had
I got a chance to look at that EP again, for the
even 20 at the time.
used Arabic music on “2004” (a record I stole
first time in years. What a trip, or should I say,
from Pee’s parents’ collection, incidentally) and
what an honor – names on the track listing that
By then, I was starting to stray away from
so had he on 113’s hit “Tonton Du Bled”.
I was barely familiar with at the time (Zdar, Boom
producing hip hop. Without really knowing what
Bass, Feadz) have since become our friends
kind of music we were going to make, Pee and I
and colleagues. All thanks to Mehdi.
signed a deal with the Montreal-based electronic
We talked about chopping drums. He was a hip hop nerd, just like myself. But he was way more accomplished: only one year older than me, and
music label Turbo. I played some of our early
STAYING IN TOUCH
he had made beats for just about all of France’s
demos for Olivier during that Rocé trip and he didn’t quite get them (probably because they
major rappers. I clearly remember us debating
So what was this project that Olivier wanted me
weren’t quite good.) But as always, we kept in
who’s doper, Jadakiss or Styles P (Mehdi said
involved with? Well, Chronowax had just signed
touch. In the summer of 2002, Pee and I finally
Jada but I was like: “Nah man, the streets are
a young French rapper by the name of Rocé.
had a band name and a handful of songs. Turbo
feeling Styles.”) Later that night, Olivier proudly
Both he and and Mehdi were affiliated with the
was getting ready to release our first single. I
played me a bunch of DJ Mehdi productions,
crew Mafia K’1Fry. Eventually, Olivier offered me
sent Olivier more demos, including “Needy Girl.”
including a compilation entitled “Espion”, which
a sort of executive producer role on Rocé’s debut
He called me back and told me how much he
they were releasing together. As the record spun,
album. They came to Montreal in the summer of
loved that track, then passed the phone over
I read all of Memed’s articulate liner notes. I
2001 and I oversaw the mix, producing a track
to Mehdi who said it was cool that I producing
don’t know why some of those stuck with me to
on the record as well. Mehdi had done two.
other stuff than hip hop, as he was doing the
same. In 2002, he released his major label solo
McLean remix of “Me & My Man,” which was on
a whole network of early supporters of our music,
album, “(The Story of) Espion.”
our first single through that label! (Olivier also
including his best friend and close collaborator
released a compilation of original songs sampled
Pedro Winter, who is now like family to us.
Olivier was sending me press clips where Mehdi
by Dr Dre, for which Mehdi wrote the liner notes.
charted our songs without us even having an
I really encourage you to read them if you can.
album out. And sure enough, as Chronowax
He has such a sincere and knowledgeable
worked out a merger with the now defunct mini-
eloquence, a truly unique prose later exemplified
Right around that time, Pedro formed Ed Banger
major V2, Olivier offered us a record deal for
by his Cool Cats blog posts.) Around the release
records. When Mehdi would swing by NY, we’d
Europe. I couldn’t believe it when, just a couple
of our first album, we were taking a lot of trips to
grab a bite, have a drink or go record shopping.
of months ago at Le Bain, Mehdi played the Juan
France, where Mehdi introduced Pee and me to
In the summer of 2005, he came with his girlfriend
I AM SOMEBODY
Fabienne, who was pregnant with their son.
although it took a while to figure out a definitive
leather Members Only jackets, so I wore one to
I recall that afternoon as being particularly
edit; hence the “Montreal” and “Paris” versions
the shoot and he got the nod, or “dédicace,” right
happy and carefree, with Memed showing me
on the single. Meanwhile, Pee and I were working
away.) Here’s the clip, directed by So-Me; both
his recently completed Lucky Boy tattoo. That
on our own sophomore LP.
he and the aforementioned Romain have now
was going to be the title of his upcoming album
become two of the most acclaimed directors of
for Ed Banger. That same summer, he asked
With almost half of the album done, I moved to
our generation. Mehdi also asked us to perform
me if we would remix the first single. Instead,
Paris for a year in the fall of 2006 on a French
at the “Lucky Boy” release party.
we wrote a song to it and recorded the vocals
Literature scholarship. A few days after my arrival,
in a Los Angeles motel room during the fall of
Memed asked me to make a cameo in the “I
That’s when I saw him DJ for the first time. Behind
2005. It became the main version of the track,
Am Somebody” video. (I knew he was a fan of
the decks, the friend whom I had thus far only
known as a producer absolutely blew my mind.
up in the freezing cold and taking him to my
record label in music. Justice were getting ready
Not only with the impeccable tastefulness and
brother’s house. The second they started talking,
to unleash their debut album, and Pee and
precision of his mixes, but also with his posture
it was as if I no longer was in the room. Before
I also had to complete ours. I would update
and aura. His inimitable dance, his concentrated
my eyes, one of the most beautiful friendships I
Mehdi regularly and get his feedback throughout
and contagious smile. Surely many of you are
have ever witnessed was born. That night, along
the entire process. One night, he came to
familiar with what I can barely find the words to
with Pee and some other friends, Memed came
my apartment to hear the last songs we had
describe here. In the following months, Mehdi
over to my parents’ house for New Year’s Eve
completed. I remember his exact words after
invited me to do a few tag team DJ sets with him
dinner. He stole the show, and not only because
“Bonafied” came on: “Ok c’est bon les gars,
and each time, as I was watching him go, all I
of the pink sweater he was wearing! During our
vous avez vraiment poussé, là vous êtes prêts”
could think of was: “I can’t wait until Alain sees
animated family discussions, he jokingly refuted
(“ok guys, you really gave it the extra push, now
this.” (Ten days ago, at the Fool’s Gold Labor
every single point I was trying to make, charming
you’re good to go”). His favorite track on the LP
Day party in New York, as I stood onstage while
everyone with his customary poise. My parents
was “Waiting 4 U.” He asked to remix it early
Mehdi did an impromptu set, I thought the exact
were smiling. “Finally, someone comes along
on and I’m not sure it was ever really finished
same thing: “Alain stop socializing and get over
and challenges that know-it-all, smart aleck son
by the time it was released. I like it because it
here so you can see him killing it!”)
of ours,” they probably thought. Together, we
showcases his distinctive drum programming.
ushered in the year that Mehdi wanted to get tattooed on his arm: 2007.
AROUND THE WORLD
their New Year’s Eve party. I immediately
When I came back to Paris, the city was buzzing.
From 2007 on, we all became full-time touring
recommended Mehdi. I remember picking him
Ed Banger had become the most important
musicians. We saw Mehdi more than ever, but
While I was still in Paris, friends from Montreal asked me to suggest someone to book for
that’s when things become a blur: there are too
at Madison Square Garden (he knocked over
remember this?!” But that was Mehdi, always
many memories to recount. Every few hours
one of our guitars and broke it – probably while
paying scrupulous attention to details, making
during the last couple of days, another dinner,
doing his signature dance – though I’m not sure
you feel special in the most unexpected ways.
another joint gig, another chance meeting has
he ever admitted it). I remember him DJing at
This was also the period where Alain and
come to my mind. Another muddy European
our biggest headline show that year: Shepherd’s
Mehdi’s friendship blossomed. They went on
festival, another Winter Music Conference in
Bush Empire in London. He had worked “No
tour together, played countless back to back
Miami. I can’t keep track. I remember all of us
Favors” by Temper into his set: a completely
DJ sets, even traded apartments for a couple of
together at Coachella 2008, one of the biggest
random rarity from a mix CD of ours. He was like:
months. Memed was no longer just my homie:
moments in our careers. I remember Memed
“That’s my joint, I love that song you guys put on
he was another older brother for my younger
DJing before us when we opened for Justice
there.” Pee and I were baffled: “How do you even
brother. Alain would go on vacation with him
and his family. They took such amazing care
with Carte Blanche, his latest project with Riton.
of him, and never missed an opportunity to tell him to put his phone down (anyone familiar with
a generous friend, such a beautiful man. Mehdi,
LUCKY BOY FOREVER
my brother knows that he can’t). Some of my
you’ll always be the Lucky Boy, but we’re the fortunate ones to have known you.
Mom’s favorite pictures of Alain in recent years
As you can see, DJ Mehdi was a fundamental
are from his vacations with Mehdi and Fafi, some
part of my musical apprenticeship. For Pee and
of the only moments when he’s enjoyed actual
me, he was more than a kindred spirit and a close
downtime. There is no possible way to express
friend: he was someone we admired. Someone
how grateful we are for this.
who would come up in our daily conversations. Someone we never thought it would be possible
Through Mehdi, we became part of a social
have ever met. Such a talented musician, such
to live without.
circle (“l’équipe,” as he called it) which now includes some of our dearest friends. Trips
Memed, we’re going to miss your smile and
to Paris without a dinner at his place were an
unabashed embraces. We’re going to miss your
anomaly. Pee and I used to refer to him and Alain
greeting us with a “T’es beau” (along with a
as the honorary members of our band. Our Billy
comment on my heeled boots, your latest joke).
Prestons. Naturally, when it came time to mix
We’re going to miss your cooking and your
down our third album in Paris, Mehdi was the
long-winded stories. Your thoughtful messages,
first one we invited to the studio. He loved “Don’t
your expressive notes. You, the social glue, the
Turn The Lights On” and we asked him to remix it
nucleus of the crew, the most loved person we
Dave One - September 15, 2011.
WHY THE BEST TEND TO SELF DESTRUCT WRITTEN BY MOUKOUO PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANS THIJS
Something always happens every time Marvin
Hendrix’s guitar, D’Angelo, Nina Simone, Amy
art speak and touch you in places where
Gaye comes out of my speakers, something
Winehouse, Van Gogh, Donny Hathaway,
sometimes the ones you’ve known all your life
different EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s like discovering
Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Basquiat, Stevie
can’t manage to see a glimpse of; a glimpse of
feelings and emotions I forgot ever existed. And
Wonder, Van Hunt, Pollock, Etta James, and
who and what you are or trying to be.
it goes beyond vocal performances, even though
so many known, unknown, past, present, dead
his voice and what he does with it are not to be
or alive performers across the channels of self
Why is that during those few minutes of pure
questioned, I know we’ll agree on that.
magic that artist seems to be so close to whatever you (the real you) are going through,
The same, in thousands different shades of
Where does that come from, that extreme
and yet you only know what they show you and
emotions, happens with Otis, Freddie Mercury,
sensitivity that they have, that makes their
that seems to be enough.
How does that work? I mean… that intrigues/
definitely how their environment perceived and
put some light on, being an artist myself,
fascinates me. That “over” sensitivity towards
dealt with them in these regards.
and having touched my mental bottom self, it
the world, that unique connection they have
became a must to have a good think about it.
with their own soul that led more than we all
It’s not an easy one, as we need to have way
wish it did, to the self-destruction tendencies
more information than we have in regards
that most of them seem to have.
to what made them the human beings they
The ways in which a piece of art can have an
became. It could take two or three lifetimes to
effect on you are varied. Let’s take music as
The key to that, as far as my understanding
understand one’s mind, let alone a troubled
a playground for this. A song does it with the
goes has to be in the way these chosen ones
artistic mind, but we can start trying. It kind
performer, lyrics, production, interpretation,
did/do deal with it on a daily basis. And most
of became one of those things I still need to
intention, the context, time and place it
Who knows what one can find.
connects with you and so on. Sometimes one
putting myself through right now. Etta James’s
me on this but B’s rendering of the same song
of these parameters is enough to make it an
“I’d rather go blind” cover by the queen of the
is really has no flaws, with more layers than the
universal classic, most of the time, a random
self-proclaimed royal couple. There is no doubt
original, basically she nails it but it curiously
mix of them does it, and when it does connect,
that in terms of performance very few can test
doesn’t reach that place. It’s my opinion of
there is no way back; if there is, believe me it is
Beyonce, vocally or on stage, and if emotions
course but come on listen again, there is just
not what is says it is on the tin.
responded to the tremolos and notes she hits,
no match James is all around you, inside and
no brain could have withstood it. The thing is, it
out of you during these three minutes, smoothly
Take a look at the sheer number of covers you
doesn’t work like that does it? Etta James gives
and without fuss.
come across these days, one of them actually
me a story I have no choice but to believe, and
kick-started all this mental gymnastic I’m
it’s like new every-time. A lot will disagree with
While Beyonce is in front of you like the latest
flat screen TV full option with ten million colours
that Beyonce is singing someone else’s song,
be convinced that a pair of shades and being a
but can not stop you from falling asleep
it’s not her story. MJ wasn’t ten years old and
good singer, in a time where an amazing singer
still makes people cry with songs that Smokey
can be found in two minutes on Youtube, is
Robinson wrote for him talking about things he
enough to become an icon, and I guess some
was evidently too young to fully grasp.
of them are in their village, but I’m sorry even
“I try to choose the songs that really are basically coming from my heart. I think that
more so than before being unique is a much
through the songs that I select, people know
Yes I know, you will tell me that it’s not a good
more difficult, you can disappear as quick as
what’s going on in my life.” Diana Ross gives
example, I’m comparing the incomparable, but
you came with all the talent in the world in your
a very valuable point here to illustrate what I
I’ll stick with it for the simple reason that for
just said. And in regard to that, you can tell me
most of the aspiring artists nowadays seem to
You need to have a connection of some sort
it. Greatness often seem to appear in balance
with your soul and the universe (sounds crazy
to artist’s felt intensity of fear or love in equal
isn’t it?), for you and your art to be sensitive
measure, gifted ones of course. Driving some
enough to approach greatness, on top of
of the most sensitive ones to loose themselves
whatever talent you may have. Unfortunately,
in the process.
that connection seems to come with a price to pay, a price bearable to some and by a mile
Of course, there is a substantial amount of very
less to others.
talented artists that will tell you a different story, but it could be one of many answers to why the
Consider a mentally fit adult that remained
best tend self-destruct.
amazed and touched throughout his life by the very same things that use to move him in his
”I wish you could understand… please believe
childhood, with the simple difference that he’s
me… please care…please love…fuck it…let
not a child anymore. He doesn’t perceive the
me be ” are the words screaming at the back of
world as the world says he should, in result the
my head when the best confess their struggles
world doesn’t see him in the way he thinks he
and joys through MY speakers.
And you?… What do you hear ?
There is a strong probability for that individual to deeply struggle to fit in, feeling lonely even when surrounded by loved ones. Constantly on the edge emotionally, prone to produce greatness or to freefall into depression, paranoia or other traps of the mind, looking for answers to ever changing questions in their art. It could be that the best material we’ve experienced so far, somehow came to life in the midst of that inner struggle, on that emotional edge, falling from it, being on it staring down at darkness or pulling away from
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Keith young interviewed by anonymous
Letâ€™s start with the clichĂ¨, what spurred your
or is there another reason all together you stick
interest in photography and design, particularly
with the analog?
in pursuing it as a means of living? I prefer analog for aesthetic reasons and the I have always been involved in some form of
way it captures light. I've shot digitally and it's
creative process in one medium or another. At
just not my personal preference. The photos I
a young age, I grew up drawing and playing
choose to share are all analog, there's something
music. After college, I started taking photos as
about film that I think digital just can't visually
another creative outlet. For quite some time now,
replicate and capture.
I have found both design and photography to be my prominent focuses day-in and day-out.
What are your thoughts on digital manipulation
Although I'm still inspired by all forms of art and
life, these days I tend to devote most of my time. I have chosen to make my career in something
I'm personally not a fan of it. In some forms
that I have always been into.
of commercial photography I'm sure it has its home. The type of photography I choose to
After browsing through your Flickr account Iâ€™ve
be influenced by and pursue is usually film
noticed you have a fondness for film as far as
unscathed and unmanipulated photography.
photography goes. In your opinion, is there something about film that is better than digital,
Is there any single artist, photography or designer
As a photographer, would you consider yourself
What kinds of design assignments attract you
who has greatly influenced your work?
technical or experimental?
A lot of my friends in Austin who are designers
I see myself as more of an experimental type of
I'm drawn to projects and clients that have a lot
and/or photographers influence my work.
photographer and challenge myself artistically.
of heart and love for what they do in their work
Currently, I have been following the photo work
It's helpful to know your gear but it's also way
and craft. I am attracted to independent projects
of Alec Soth, Tim Barber, and Ken Heyman.
important to challenge yourself creatively and
of all different types but I think it is important as
There are just too many designers and artists
know your medium in that regard.
a free lancer to be selective.
for me to specifically name.
How would you describe your photographic/
What is the most common reaction to your
Photography for me is heavily influenced by
A common reaction I receive from people is the
early Americana, the same with design to some
"mood" and "air" the photos create. The majority
extent. Design pulls inspiration from photography
of my photos have this deadpan emptiness
and thousands of years of art. Influences of
about them and a weird sense of humour and
photography come from a much smaller window
feeling. The photo captures real tÂŹhings that
of time. Both mediums seem to pull a lot of
many overlook or do not see.
influence from the post modern aesthetic.
Keith Young's website
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KATIE ELEA NOR
atie has a formidable talent, the talent to create other worlds. By gazing into her portfolio; you will begin to feel a depth for my description. Katie uses photography to document her thoughts and conceptions. She has an ambitious mind and a curiosity for sampling innovative ideas. She captures these dream-like ventures in ancient forests, haunted manor houses and straw meadows, anywhere that will allow her stories to become animated in a euphoric energy.
When I stare into these photographs, my
locations, rocking horse and coloured smoke
a novice but a diamond within her craft.
mind begins to unravel. I feel like Iâ€™ve been
are all spell-bindingly beautiful and itâ€™s her
She has been credited in various culture
taken on a nostalgic journey through time.
eye that gives these elements an inhalation
magazines as well having the opportunity
I love how some of the photographs have
to exhibit some work down Missouri, Herne
a double exposure to emphasise this and
Bay and the Rag Factory in London.
to show that the subject within has some
Itâ€™s amazing to see pictures taken like this,
integral relationship with the location. The
untouched from artificial pollutants, just
tones are musty and the focus of the aperture
natural. I feel this is something incredibly
sharpens specifically on areas that give
controversial today and could be either
us viewers an impact. The models, the
done well or badly. Katie however is not
Katie Eleanor's website
ow we all know about the great jungle action films
Strike Commando is a piece of over the top
like Rambo and Predator. We all love war films
jungle action cheese from 1987 directed by
like Full Metal Jacket Apocalypse Now. Today
Bruno Mattei. Before I start I will sum up Bruno
we are not going to review anything like that, we
Mattei in one word, genius! Those film snobs out
are going to review the best jungle action film
there will be waving their fists at that remark but
that you will probably never watch!
Mattei for me did what a director should to do. He made films that are entertaining, interesting and watchable. I could probably go on and on about my love for Bruno Mattei but I have to tell you about this film!
OK so normal reviewers would give you plot
For those in the know about this side of cinema,
Mattei is in full force with this film. With blatant
point after polite point but I'm not going to do
you see the names Mattei and Brown (who the
rip offs from films like Rambo and the overuse
that. No it's not because there is no story. No, it's
hell is Martin Scorsese and what on Earth is
of stock footage (which appears in most of his
not because the story is bad. This is a film that
a Robert de Niro!?) you will either collapse in
other films) this will have you laughing at every
I want you to discover for yourself, rally up your
agony or hold your head up high, eyes wide
cliche' and pretty much every shot. However, it
troops, get some supplies and seek this film out
open, that smile beaming. The combination of
would be unfair to say this film doesn't have it's
because you seriously have not seen anything
Mattei's signature directing style mixed with the
good moments and the story is pretty basic but
like this. What could be so awesome you ask?
sheer brilliance of Brown's acting is something
I've seen bigger budgets create worse stories.
Well, let Uncle Peter tell you!
to witness with a few beers, friends and all your
This is a well directed action flick that even the
brains left splattered in a pile at the door. Bruno
movie snobs can appreciate.
The real charm of this film is Reb Brown. God I
Brown screaming and firing in to the distance
One of the many jungle action flicks that are out
love Reb Brown. Look on Youtube and you will
for no reason. You couldn't be manlier even if
there for you to discover. Personally, I think this
find compilation video after compilation video of
you tried. We also see and this really touches the
film is a masterpiece and anyone who again,
Reb Brown shouting. It's what he does best and
heart see Reb Brown cry. Yep. Even the biggest
likes films of the same vain as Rambo should
he is in full swing in this outing! Hit him in the face,
cry and oh boy, the scene where Reb Brown is
definitely seek this one out. A mixture of non
he'll shout. Give him bad news, he'll shout. Have
talking about Disneyland to a dying childâ€Ś you
stop action, lots of shooting and shouting, Reb
a conversation with him, he'll shout. He shouts
will never be the same again, that scene alone
Brown facing off with a bald Russian in an oh so
at just about everything thing and it makes me
is worth finding tis film.
humorous fashion, funny dialogueâ€Ś. this is that
laugh each time. To be fair, he is decent at acting but there is nothing better than a full force Reb
film your friend is so proud to have discovered This is one of those "so bad it's good" movies.
and shared with you. This is that film that is
played at parties. This is that film that all those
the shady quality of the images and truthfully,
adds to the charm of this film. Hopefully one day
online geek film critics love. On the other hand,
there will probably never be a release. The only
a company like Arrow or Shameless will pick this
it's actually a well directed and acted film for the
legitimate release as far as I know is the Japanese
one up and give it the release it deserves.
most part, got a good pumping soundtrack that
VHS which is quite hard to come by as this is a
has probably been lifted from other films and I
film with high cult status. Look out for bootlegs
do feel there is some artistic merit to this. Like I
because that's the only way most of you are
said, Mattei made films for people to enjoy and
going to see it. You can find pretty much all the
this is Bruno Mattei in fine form.
film and the infmaous parts on Youtube, so give it a go. The copy I have is ripped from the VHS
Sadly, there is no DVD release of this film hence
and has Japanese subtitles which for me, just
Published on Oct 3, 2011
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