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NO.3 the dj mehdi tribute issue

























contents ART & DESIGN 006


























FILM 138



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

illustration full-time?

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, you’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

making these?

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 there’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

design communities??

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

years' time?

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

Ollanski's portfolio

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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

and producing?

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?

You’re very well known for your remixes particularly

Have you ever thought about doing movie scores

Friendly Fires – 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

Aeroplane’s facebook

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


see first?

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 isn’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.

create now?

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

and warmth.

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

With Sound”)

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

from you?

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

more uplifting.

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

different musicians?

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

touring experiences?

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

this track?

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 70’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,

daniel wang


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?

contemporary music.

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

that place?

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

music seriously.

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 can’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 doesn’t keep to a set playlist, even if it’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 wasn’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 80’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, it’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. You’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…



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


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


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.


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,


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.


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

watching it.

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

vocal chords.

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.

should be.

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

Give your ears a break from the music of today with our Daily Classic posts on our facebook page. Just click anywhere on the page and be inspired by the past..

Keith young interviewed by anonymous

Let’s start with the clichè, 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

in photography?

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 I’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?

the most?

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

design style?


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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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 I’ve been

are all spell-bindingly beautiful and it’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

of life.

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

It’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 child‌ 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 dialogue‌. 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

Seven Shades of Black - Three  

The tribute issue to the late DJ Mehdi, exclusive permission from Chromeo to use their intimate accounts of Mehdi. Interviews with Mount Kim...