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Volume 03 — Issue 03

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

Do not throw on the public domain.

Neighbourhood Patent pending Life Formula for fame Style Insanely talented Design What inspires? Culture Sci fi comix + The Music Special



The editor's letter

Publisher Nicholas Lewis Editor-in-chief Hettie Judah Design facetofacedesign + pleaseletmedesign Writers Marcus Barnes Sabine Clappaert Alex Deforce Hettie Judah Nicholas Lewis Timothy Palma Tania Mara Rabesandratana Karen Rubins Sarah Thorowgood Yves Van Kerkhove Randa Wazen

We’ve always had a kind of low-hype, anti celebrity thing going on with The Word – we’ve preferred to give priority to the quality of the contributions, instead of relying on big names or buzz. We like to feel that we tread our own path, picking up on the stuff that we find interesting, rather than following trends or responding to publicity campaigns. Breakthrough for us was always going to be a difficult theme – there are plenty of other magazines out there panting to tell you about the next big things and the hot breakthrough artist, but that’s not really what we’re about – it seemed logical to take a step back and ask what breakthrough meant outside the rich oxygen of the media world. We tracked down people who have set out to change lives in their own, discreet ways through faith, science, justice and education. We looked at how yesterday’s breakthrough inventions become tomorrow’s junk, examine the hype machine and ask whether it’s better to be a glorious, superficial flash-in-the-pan than cling onto fame for all you’re worth?

Photography/Illustration Ulrike Biets Sébastien Bonin Benoit Bannisse Marcel Ceuppens Sarah Eechaut Bertus Gerssen Merel’t Hart La Villa Hermosa KKGB Emanuele Marcuccio Bruce Tsai Guy Van Laere Virassamy Charlotte May Wales

It’s not all filthy cynicism, mind you: we’ve embraced some breakthrough fashion talent in our explosive style story, and spoken with some of Europe’s most independent-minded designers about where they find their inspiration. We also welcome a four-page comic strip – Headnet - onto our pages from one of the UK's breakthrough pencils. On a personal note – after working on The Word since its inception, this is the moment when I say goodbye. It’s been a wild ride, I’m really proud of what we’ve all achieved, and have really enjoyed working with so many talented people and watching their style develop on our pages over the years.

Interns Angélique Berhault Timothy Palma (editorial) Melika Ngombe (photography)

Hettie Judah

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On this cover The next big thing

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Model Bruno Mintona

The Word is published five times a year by JamPublishing, 107 Rue Général Henry Straat 1040 Brussels Belgium. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without prior permission is strictly prohibited. All information is correct up to the time of going to press. The publishers cannot be held liable for any changes in this respect after this date.



The contents


01 02 04 05 06 07 08 09

The cover The Breakthrough issue A word from our advertisers Giorgio Armani The editor’s letter Volume 3 – n° 03 A word from our advertisers Filippa K The contents You’re looking at it A word from our advertisers Burberry Sport The contributors It’s a Word’s world A word from our advertisers Swatch * Neighbourhood

* Life

28 The institution

76 The moment

The moodboard

11 13 14 15 16 17 18 21

The diary Belgium A word from our advertisers Levis The diary Belgium + United Kingdom The diary United Kingdom The diary Holland + France A word from our advertisers Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen The diary Gigs to catch & Give aways A word from our advertisers Brussels Philharmonic

20 The papers

The Breakthrough papers

25 26

A word from our advertisers Maasmechelen Village The exhibition Skin, the exhibition

On our corner


30 The Word on * Culture

10 The diary

* Design

80 82

Seeing the light

The shelf The broken book club The pencil Headnet

86 The eye * Style

34 38 42 47 48

The other Word on Love will tear us apart The showstoppers Absolutely smashing The profile Hey pretty baby, going to make you a star A word from our advertisers Balthazar The fashion Word

There's a riot going on 58 A word from our advertisers Café d’Egmont * The Music Special

59 60 61 62 63 64 70 72

The cover The Music Special The music papers Nü-Post-... + Beautiful losers The music papers Bands and brands The music papers Mr Incongruity socks it to us The music papers To conduct and entertain The bandwave The last few outlaws ride the waves The context Bad vibrations The special showstoppers At the back of the bus

We made your world

93 A word from our advertisers The Word Magazine *

94 95 96

The stockist And others we love A word from our advertisers Wiels The advertisers Round up

98 Before we leave you 99 A word from our advertisers Ristorante Bocconi 100 A word from our advertisers Delvaux


The contributors

It’s a Word’s world

KKGB Photographer

Kiss Kiss Gang Bang may sound like the lost porn tape of Sergio Leone, but it’s actually a local collective of international creative dudes and gals that just like to meet together around a few Belgian beers and build some wild editorial shoots. For this issue they mined the archetypes of popular culture and created an anatomy of hype for our breakthrough fame feature. Pages n° 42 — 46

Tania Mara Rabesandratana Writer

Charlotte May Wales

This Paris-born polyglot globetrotter got in touch with us just as we started brainstorming for content. Did we want some science stories for our breakthrough issue? Damn right we did. We talked Large Hadron Colliders, the human genome project and astronomical observatories and ended up with pieces on lightspeed travel and grid computing. To infinity and beyond!


Charlotte discovered the world of publishing whilst studying fine art at Central Saint Martins where she produced her own magazine. On graduating two years ago Charlotte dove head first in the world of photography. Since then has been assisting and producing for some of London’s top photographers and shooting for The Word in her (very limited) free time. For this issue she’s tracked down some of London’s best pirate radio DJs.

Page n° 21

Pages n° 22, 65

Bertus Gerssen Photographer

Erratum Two minor errors inserted themselves in our March-April edition which we’d like to rectify. The illustration on page 24 was wrongfully credited to Virassamy. It should have been credited to Val Gallardo. The name Patrice Thuilier was misspelled on page 68. An all-important ‘h’ was missing. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Bertus Gerssen won us over with the honest humanity and painterly composition of his investigative photography. He recently completed a series on rural squatters in the Netherlands, and a social portrait of The Hague. When we needed someone to track down the last pirate radio stations broadcasting in The Netherlands, he seemed a perfect choice. Pages n° 64 — 69


The moodboard Events   Arts   Music 

Some of the items on the board this month: an inside joke t-shirt our interns made (and which leaves us puzzled), the flyer to the French Horn Rebellion gig we went to (David and Robert are lovely, read about them on, some archive imagery we stumbled upon of civil unrest in the UK and Japan, the flyer to our photography exhibition, the cover of Dazed and Confused’s April edition featuring the XX (2009's breakthrough band photographed by breakthrough talent and one-time Word contributor, Pierre Debusschere), some broken egg shells, a Belgian flag (are the powers that be going to break through the political deadlock, or break the country up once and for all?) and a thinly-veiled reference to an incredible recent addition to the family.



Belgium  ( 01 10 )

* The festival to camp out at Les Ardentes @ Liege/Luik, from 8th until 11th July 2010 – Playing the major-indie balance to its advantage, Les Ardentes brings a roster of artists not unlike our current in-house playlist: Pavement, Wave Machines, Sharon Jones and Midnight Juggerknauts to name but a few.



Looks like the work of a master

When you’re a gallery owner, you can allow yourself certain indulgences. In the case of Roger Szmulewicz, owner of Antwerp’s Fifty One gallery which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, that means putting on a show dedicated to Serge Gainsbourg. Known for his cinematographic inclinations (he directed all of four movies), Gainsbourg also had somewhat of a photographic instinct, giving as much attention to composition and focal lenses in his movies as he did to casting decisions. With this (very personal) exhibition, Fifty One draws on the works of Helmut Newton, William Klein and Patrick de Spiegelaere to reveal a hidden side to Gainsbourg’s artistic aspirations.

Fifty One celebrates 10 years with Serge Gainsbourg (1928 – 1991)  From 5th June to 31st July 2010 ☞ Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp 

Board games

Professional skateboarder Ed Templeton stays busy. He takes photographs, paints, draws and sculpts, although his skateboarding passion really is what fuels his art. For this mid-career retrospective, Templeton brings his usual language of cacophonic imagery – paintings paired to photographs, with anecdotes contextualising the lot on a backdrop of paint dribbles – together with his customary dose of documentary insight. Don’t expect the mere autobiographical, my-life-is-so-great pretentious ramblings though. Templeton’s work goes beyond that, with clear social and societal connotations underpinning it.


© Jan Vercruysse



Frank photography

In the space of three years, Belgian documentary photographer Cedric Gerbehaye visited the Democratic Republic of Congo seven times, spending most of it in the country’s eastern province. The scene of the most heinous crimes against humanity following the region’s most damaging civil war (in which four million Congolese died and one million were displaced), Gerbehaye’s most recent series shines some (much-needed) light on the desolate and destitute region, the aim being to bring its inhabitants’ often overlooked plight to the fore. Photography from the heart, Gerbehaye foregoes any sugarcoating of his imagery, with all the pain that it implies.

© Tony Frank

Ed Templeton – The cemetery of reason  Until 13th June 2010 ☞ Smak, Ghent 


Cédric Gerbehaye – Congo in limbo  From 10th June to 8th August 2010 ☞ Botanique, Brussels 

* The show you can’t miss

© Ed Templeton

Jan Vercruysse  From 5th June to 17th July 2010 ☞ Xavier Hufkens, Brussels 



Patrick Guns ‘Wassup Strangers’ @ Elaine Levy Project (Brussels), until 5th June 2010 – Belgian artists Patrick Guns’ art, visual and expressive, combines sensitivities for typeface and composition to reveal a body of work which comes from the guts.


© Cédric Gerbehaye

01. Place control Belgian artist Jan Vercruysse’s work is serious-minded, high-browed stuff. Although minimal in its resulting nature, the very essence of his body of work is dosed in complex contemplation. One to see spaces where others would draw blanks, Vercruysse’s installations – in this most recent series, pared down piles of neatly arranged wine crates, pallets and billiard cues – evoke places of memory. Think timid concentrates of meaning, all painted in white and green bronze. Intense yet quietly so, a strong, if not slightly stern, discourse runs throughout his oeuvre, proving that Vercruysse doesn’t make art simply for art’s sake.



The diary


Objects as images

Belgian sculptor and installation artist Valérie Mannaerts seems to use art as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. Her sculptures are the product of intense meditation on materiality and the autonomy of forms. Steeped in this minute and complex approach, she creates a world of contrasting tendencies, congregating them into fragile new shapes and intriguing constellations. Hinting at something very basic, nearly unspoken of, Mannaerts’ work exists on the fringes, pleasantly primitive yet evocative of someone who has something to say. This exhibition marks the artist’s largest solo show to date.

© Aaron van Erp & Hoet Bekaert Gallery

© Valérie Mannaerts

Valérie Mannaerts – Blood flow  Until 11th July 2010 ☞ Extracity, Antwerp 


© Auguste Orts




Aaron van Erp - The truth about tables, mattresses and fried dog  Until 27th June 2010 ☞ Hoet Bekaert Gallery, Ghent 

* The auction ` to go to

© Catherine Faux

Qui dit mieux? @ Flagey (Brussels), from 27th to 29th May 2010 – Fifty emerging artists and fashion designers show their work in the hope of auctioning it off to the highest bidder. A chance to get a feel for what creativity is cooking in its studios and support young talent.

To whom it may concern

Auguste Orts is a production and distribution platform made up of four artists (Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Manon de Boer and Anouk Declercq) primarily active in the fields of film and video. Although production and logistics is what brought the band of four together, they quickly found themselves sharing sensitivities within the broader context of audiovisual productions, leading to many collaborations. One of which, the premise of this first solo show at M HKA, is loosely based on the theme of dialogue, taking as starting point letters the artists wrote to each other discussing their practice.

Auguste Orts: Correspondances  Until 22nd August 2010 ☞ M HKA, Antwerp 

* The festival to camp out at

Missing link

The cult of personality is wellentrenched in western civilization. Indeed, even the tyrants and villains of the past (Napoleon, Julius Cesar) are given centrestage on canvas, in all their brash, muscular and arrogant glory. History, it seems, paints its leaders in the light they wished to be remembered in. Not if Aaron van Erp has anything to do with it though. Turning the concept of cult figure into a mockery, he ridicules stalwarts of cult leaderships, leaving out their body parts and dissolving their beings into shades of nothingness. The point van Erp makes is simple: what is there actually to be seen? Indeed.



Lokerse Feesten @ Ghent, from 30 th July to 8th August 2010 – You best believe that a festival that opens with the Wu and closes with Roxy Music will have the entire Word team reaching for its press card. Some of the other acts include The Dandy Warhols, Dizzee Rascal and The Horrors. Essential.



Back in the days

French designer Agnès B’s commitment to the arts is unquestioned. She has her own foundation and regularly puts on shows in her many shops around the world. But it didn’t all start that way. When she opened her first store in Les Halles (Paris), she witnessed a cultural whirlwind: the birth of Cold Wave. Incepted by remnants of the punk movement, Cold Wave billed itself as an ultra-creative front, wholesome in its acceptance of every artistic form: music, painting, video and writing. Drawing on a wide range of materials (photographs, album covers, concert posters) the exhibition gives the movement (which is undergoing somewhat of a revival) the props it deserves.

Des jeunes gens modernes  Until 20th June 2010 ☞ Espace Art22, Brussels 

FASHION FOR WALLS b y Le v i s A m b i a n c e


The diary

United Kingdom  09.

The unseen 11. To the great despair of privacy advocates, the UK is today the most surveyed country in the world, with probably just as many CCTV cameras as there are rats on the London Underground. This culture of surveillance has created a fascination with voyeurism, be it at the amateur, professional or artistic level. With over 250 photographs on show, Tate Modern’s exhibition reveals just how deep this fascination runs, with everything from an infamous Marilyn photograph taken by Weegee to a shot of Paris Hilton on her way to prison, as well as a worrying amount of material from everyday peeping toms. Not the most reassuring of exhibitions, but timely nonetheless.

© Jacky Lecouturier

09. Tons of friends When you are given the opportunity to show not at one, not at two, but at three venues concurrently (Antwerp’s Foto Museum, Marchin’s cultural centre and Liege/Luik’s Les Brasseurs) the least you could do is bring some of your artist friends along. And this is exactly what Belgian photographer Jacky Lecouturier has done. Aptly titled ‘Polaroid/Friends’, the show presents Lecouturier’s poetic visual narrative, which begins where Andrei Tarkovsky left off: soft, suggestive and timid. Some of the other photographers on display include Olivier Cornil (one-time Word contributor) as well as Hugues de Wurstemberger.

( 11  16 )


Jacky Lecouturier – Des Polaroids / Des Amis  Until 19th June 2010 ☞ Les Brasseurs, Liege 

Exposed – Voyeurism, surveillance and the camera  From 28th May to 3rd October 2010 ☞ Tate Modern, London 

* The show you can’t miss



Sometimes the work of two artists is so resolutely different in their respective approach that bringing them together creates a new understanding of their work. With its summer exhibition, London’s Serpentine Gallery spurs an unlikely dialogue between English sculptor Barlow and German artist Baghramian. Whilst Barlow’s work has a sense of urgency to it which lends it a certain scruffiness, Baghramian’s is more composed, more calculated. Seen together, their work adds legitimacy to one another’s, in somewhat of a cacophonous expression of shared thoughts and interests.

Spic clean 10. Hygiene is nothing else than a protective system guarding our body against unwanted bacteria. Its application is intrinsically bound to national identity, with certain countries having a darker history than others in the field - the Germany of the 1930s, for example, transformed its Hygiene Institutes into centers for the safeguard and valorisation of the Aryan race. Indeed, to understand our modern fascination with hygiene, one must look to the past, or the arts. In this exhibition, it is done through the collages of Karl Waldmann, the dramatic paintings of Anton Solomoukha or even the toned-down sculptures of Ricard Aymar. Hygiene and (national) identity  Until 26th June 2010 ☞ Galerie Pascal Polar, Brussels 


© Georges Dudognon



Nairy Baghramian and Phyllida Barlow  Until 13th June 2010 ☞ Serpentine Gallery, London 

* The show you can’t miss Martin Wilner ‘Making history: UK’

© Baghramian & Barlow

@ Meessen de Clerq, until 29th May 2010 – Sculptures, videos, installations and collages are some of the many medias used by Roach to construct a bewildering, immersive and engaging world of perceptions and interpretations.

© Karl Waldmann

Damien Roach ‘Thought forms’

@ Hales Gallery (London), until 29th May 2010 – New Yorker Milner shows a series of 12 ink, pen and graphite drawings each depicting a month in the year (2009 in this case). Rugged and rough, Milner’s mostly monochromed work affords a crafted sensibility, soft yet poignant.



Grace Kelly’s spectacular wardrobe was the topic of much discussion throughout her career. From the clothes she wore in her movies, to the dresses she chose for the red carpet and those she grew into as Princess Grace of Monaco, never had a public figure’s fashion sense been so intensely scrutinised. In fact, she inspired such adulation that fashion designers fell over each other to create the most lavish gowns exclusively for their princess. In an exhibition sectioned into three parts (the actress, the bride and the princess), the V&A explores her style’s many evolutions, cementing Grace, once and for all, as the de-facto public muse of the century. Grace Kelly: Style icon  Until 26th September 2010 ☞ Victoria and Albert Museum, London 

16. * The festival to camp out at Lovebox @Victoria Park (London), from 16th to 18th July 2010 – A firm staple on London’s summer festival circuit, this year’s edition sees everyone from Roxy Music and Yeasayer to current Word playlist heavy rotator Toro Y Moi.




Same difference

Upon first inspection, you’d be forgiven for thinking Nina Abney’s paintings are the works of talented yet disturbed children. Look a little closer though, and an intricate and intense altered reality reveals itself. Exploring notions of race interchangeability and gender mix, Abney plays around with body parts, stretching the boundaries of what is politically-acceptable. A powerful storyteller, Abney’s world is full of mystery, satire and fantasy, made all the more intriguing with her vivid choice of colours and angular brush strokes.


The magic of form

Ernesto Neto: The edges of the world  From 19th June to 5th September 2010 ☞ Hayward Gallery, London 

Nina Chanel Abneyn  Until 20th June 2010 ☞ Fred (London) ltd, London 

© Everett Collection / Rex features

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto sees things lifesized, if not even over-sized. Renowned for his monumental installations of, in most cases, stretched lycra, Neto creates flowing shapes and forms, the likes of which a nutty biologist would be proud of. Organic and sensuous, his work highlights the influence space and continuity has on the internal psyche, to the point of appeasement - imagine Alice in Wonderland for grownups. At the Hayward gallery, he transforms the interior of the upper galleries through a series of mind-boggling installations, as well as shows new large-scale sculptures made out of steel.

* The concert to catch 16.

Stone Temple Pilots @ Brixton Academy (London), on 16th June 2010 – Together with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, The Stone Temple Pilots embody the 1990s grunge movement’s flirtation with hard rock, with heavier, although more melodic compositions. A gig the forgotten kids of the naughties won’t want to miss.


© Nina Chanel Abney


A princess’ wardrobe

© Roger Wooldridge Courtesy White Cube

Marc Quinn  Until 26th June 2010 ☞ White Cube Hoxton Square, London 


©Ernesto Neto

13. Stone cold Marc Quinn studies the body and, more specifically, its mutability. Working dual paradoxes that define human life (surface and depth, cerebral and sexual) and developing them into figurative forms, Quinn uses a wide range of material (he has worked with everything from marble and glass to ice and blood) to construct his powerful, impeccably sculpted and poetic narrative. For this exhibition, Quinn presents a new body of work: sculptures made of bronze, marble and silver depicting people who have undergone extreme levels of plastic and transformative surgery. More often than not, these people are household names, making the show all the more interesting.



The diary

Holland   ( 17 18 )

Ukraine – In search of an identity  Until 13th June 2010 ☞ Noorderlicht Photography, Groningen 

* The concert to catch

( 19  20 )

19. Role playing Bettina Rheims is looking for Rose, her fictional sister. This is the starting point of an intimate journey through Paris, the pretext the German photographer together with her closest confidante the writer Serge Bramly use to create one long serial story which captures an intimate side of Paris. A total of 100 photographs are presented, showing the heroine wandering in the city, innocently and unrestrictedly, in a variety of scenes that alternate between painting and cinema. With over 100 unknown and famous models contributing to the project, the sheer ambition of the approach is in itself reason enough to catch the show.

© Rafael Milach


18. © Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

17. Searching for an identity The plight of Ukraine’s postSoviet identity crisis has fuelled many an academic debate, but has never been the subject of a visual exploration. What does it mean to be Ukranian? Does the country’s future lie to the east (Russia) or the West (Europe)? Seeking to give sense to these questions, nine East-European photographers have been asked to shoot documentaries capturing the challenges of creating a national identity for oneself in a country with such a deeply divided soul. The resulting photographs, though exposing the remaining traces of Soviet domination, present an optimistic picture of the country, with its contrasts, variety and vibrancy in full view.


Rose, c’est Paris – Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly  Until 11th July 2010 ☞ National Library of France, Paris 

* The festival to camp out at


Sleigh Bells

Giles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival

@ Paradiso (Amsterdam), on 1st June 2010 – When youthful energy (and packs of it) goes unused and somehow ends up in the studio, it sounds a little like Sleigh Bells. Signed to M.I.A’s NEET imprint, think the Ting Tings’ playfulness together with the Fly Girlz’s exuberance.

@ Sète, from 8th until 11th July 2010 – Set in the idyllic port town of Sète in Southern France, Giles Peterson’s Worldwide festival attracts the musician’s musicians: Gil ScottHeron, The Gaslamp Killer, Josh Wink and Norman Jay being just some of the names on the bill. At the time of going to press, cosmo killer Flying Lotus had also just been confirmed.


Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty much everything  From 25th June to 15th September 2010 ☞ Foam, Amsterdam 


© Beat Takeshi Kitano

Full circle 18. Having left Amsterdam in 1985 to open a studio in New York, the most famous couple in fashion photography – Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinood Matadin – comes back to the city where it all started for a long-awaited retrospective at Foam. Despite having shot campaigns for everyone from YSL to Balmain and Chloé, the duo has adeptly crossed the boundaries between fashion and art, doing just as much as Helmut Newton or Nick Knight to bring the media into the realm of fine art. Showing over 300 photographs, the show mixes art, fashion and portraits to highlight the pair’s invaluable contribution to fine art fashion photography.

© Bettina Rheims


Son of a painter 20. Beat Takeshi Kitano, emblematic figure of Japanese cinema, doesn’t take himself too seriously. His work is characterised by a joyful, humouristic and self-effacing nature, rudimentary yet pleasant, the kind to instantly bring a smile to your face. Making a mockery of contemporary art’s penchant for snobbery and high-mindedness, his work revels in breaking down clichés, often exploiting his fascination of and nostalgia for childhood to further taunt his critics in the art world (he has many). His choice of colours is vibrant and refreshing, but it really is his paintings’ inherent innocence which leaves a lasting impression. Beat Takeshi Kitano – Gosse de peintre  Until 12th September 2010 ☞ Fondation Cartier, Paris 


Symfonie Orkest


Palais des Beaux-Arts.

Seikyo Kim. © Eisuke Miyoshi

DISCOVER the Flanders Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-2011 season with his new chief conductor SEIKYO KIM.

For more INFORMATION have a look at Order your programme leaflet for our concerts in Brussels at


The diary

Gigs to catch Jonsi

Au Revoir Simone

29 th May 2010 @ L’Ancienne Belgique (Brussels)

5th June 2010 @ Petrol (Antwerp)

— Jón “Jonsi” Þór Birgisson, emblematic front man of Icelandic post-folk outfit Sigur Ros, has just recently branched out on his own with his first solo LP, Go. As rich and complex as his band’s sound is, Jonsi’s solo work proves rather more personal, and enjoyably so.

— If Sofia Coppola hadn’t entrusted Air to pen the soundtracks to her two first movies, this soft-spoken trio’s innocent, dreamy and incestuously girly sound would have surely fit the part.

Plays London (London Forum) on 26th May 2010

Play London (Scala) on 10 th June 2010

Plays Koln (Live Music Hall) on 31st May 2010

Play Pukkelpop on 21st August 2010

Play Paris (Cité de la Musique) on 1st June 2010

Plays Amsterdam (Paradiso) on 2nd June 2010

The Acorn & Xiu Xiu 5 June 2010 @ Botanique (Brussels) th

Mondo Generator

Willie Nelson

Hepcat radio

15th June 2010 @Charlatan (Ghent)

24th June 2010 @ L’Ancienne Belgique (Brussels)

24th June 2010 @ Petrol (Antwerp)

— Iconic figure of country music, Willie Nelson has done it all, from collaborations with Norah Jones to a Booker T-produced album. His emotional blend of ‘campfire’ songwriting has inspired everyone from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor to Johnny Cash.

— As its website suggests, Hepcat Radio is a radio ‘with its feet in the past, its heart in the now and its ears to the future’. Its weekly broadcast reveals a broad-minded and very contemporary pallet of taste, dosed in 21st century soul. For this night at Petrol, the show brings along Hudson Mohawke, Rustie and Dorian Concept.

— Canadian indie-folksters The Acorn make the kind of songs that poets write prose to, such is the emotive discourse which underpins the band’s composition. Backed by Xiu Xiu, who present their most radio-friendly LP to date, Dear God I Hate Myself. (Really). Play London (Hoxton Bar & Kitchen) on 3rd June 2010

— Although he played bass with Josh Homme in Kyuss and The Queens of the Stone Age, it is really with his own band, Mondo Generator, that Nick Oliveri’s talent fully shines through. Play Koln (Underground) on 16th June 2010 Play Rotterdam (Tunifeest) on 17th June 2010 Play Paris (Glazart) on 22nd June 2010

Play Paris (La Flèche d’Or) on 4th June 2010

Plays Amsterdam (Melkweg) on 18th June 2010 Plays Paris (Olympia) on 26th June 2010

Play Amsterdam (Bitterzoet) on 7th June 2010

Plays Paris (Bataclan) on 7th June 2010

Plays London (Hammersmith Apollo) on 11th June 2010

Give aways

Four 70cl bottles of

Two pairs of tickets to

Absolut Vodka’s Limited edition Art of Sharing collection, designed by Stephen Powers and Chiho Aoshima

The Acorn & Xiu Xiu on 5th June 2010 @ Botanique (Brussels)

Ten recordings of

Two pairs of tickets to

THE Brussels Philharmonic – Het Vlaams Radio Orkest (Edward Elgar by Martyn Brabbins)

Willie Nelson on 24th June 2010 @ L’ Ancienne Belgique (Brussels)

What you need to do. Send an email to, either ‘Absolut Vodka Art of Sharing’, ‘Brussels Philharmonic’ or the name of the concert you wish to go to in the subject line. The first readers to do so will each win either a bottle of vodka, a CD or a pair of tickets to the concert of their choice. Conditions. Only one pair of tickets permitted per reader. Tickets not for resale. Until tickets last. Applies to Belgium only. Normal conditions apply.

Brussels Philharmonic – het Vlaams Radio Orkest

SCHUMANN 4 Michel Tabachnik, conductor – with Wendy Sutter, cello & Vlaams Radio Koor 21/06/2010: BRUSSELS (BOZAR)

Claude Debussy – Nocturnes Philip Glass – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Robert Schumann – Symphony no 4 NEW SEASON NOW AVAILABLE! Request your personal copy of our new season’s programme,

and receive one of our magnificent buttons! Send your name & address to


Email info@ D R E A D E R E V E N b T to get invite fo d to a Word -exclusive ni r your chance Philharmoni ght c – day 21 st June het Vlaams Radio O with Brussels rkest on Mo at Bozar (Bru nnibbles, cock ssels). On th e ta Michel Taba ils and a conversation programme: with conduc chnik. tor

Brussels Philharmonic – het Vlaams Radio Orkest is een instelling van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap.

Vlaams Omroeporkest en Kamerkoor vzw | Eugène Flageyplein 18 B-1050 Brussel | T +32 2 627 11 60 |


The papers  Water cooler   Technology   We love   Consume   Lifestyle 

— We could have filled these pages 100 times over with overheated hype about the next big thing – but we decided to leave the over-excited publicrelations guff to the other magazines. We’d rather take a look at the mechanisms behind the whole publicity machine, and check out some of the people trying to subvert the system – independent publishers, garden shed inventors, digital trend spotters. We’ll leave the breakthrough activities to the big brain computers and rocket scientists – next stop: Alpha Centauri! Writers Sarah Thorowgood, Sabine Clappaert, Alex Deforce, Tania Mara Rabesandratana



Imagine connecting all PCs in the world into a supercomputer that could store big amounts of data and perform strenuous jobs. This breakthrough is called Grid computing, and it’s happening already. Bob Jones is project director of EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) at CERN in Geneva. The world’s largest grid infrastructure connects about 150,000 computers 24/7, offering millions of gigabytes of storage space to thousands of data-crunching scientists. EGEE links up existing machines and develops software to make the supercomputer a functional reality. From analysing global climate data to reconstructing the sound of long-lost musical instruments, through to processing phenomenally large data sets from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, Grid computing should enable major scientific breakthroughs. “Not only are we doing stuff much faster, we are also doing things we couldn’t do before,” Jones notes. Businesses use a similar technology called Cloud computing. For example, when you upload photos on Flickr, the data is managed by software located, not on your computer, but elsewhere in the “Cloud”. Contrary to Cloud

© Virassamy

Plug me in

computing, The Grid is free, collaborative and open, though not everyone can use it yet. Science users “get a passport delivered by special authorities, just like a normal passport. We know who they are,” Jones explains. “In some ‘countries’, users also need a visa to do certain things on the Grid, such as modifying files.”

The World Wide Web was initially developed at CERN for the scientific community, before being extended to the whole planet. Eventually, the same should happen for The Grid – but you may not even notice it. (TR)

Hence, breakthrough hopefuls dream of propellant-free propulsion. This means no less than freeing spacecrafts from gravity. Marc studies hypothetic "space drives", a conceptual form of propulsion that uses the properties not of the spacecraft itself, but of the space around it to propel the ship. “The history of science and technology is

replete with examples of such breakthroughs,” Marc says. “We are trying to reach something outrageous,” he admits, but “the photocopier wasn’t invented by those who were still trying to improve carbon paper.” (TR) —

Marc G. Millis is a retired rocket scientist. After 31 years at NASA, he now leads Tau Zero – a nonprofit foundation that hopes to make interstellar travel a reality, not just a Star Trek fantasy. At NASA, Marc headed the 1.6-milliondollar Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. From 1996 to 2002, he searched for ways for make spacecrafts travel faster than light. Marc believes that dramatic advances in physics could make it possible, and that we shouldn’t wait idly for such breakthroughs to happen. “There are well-funded efforts to do the obvious next research steps, but looking that far beyond is absent,” he deplores. NASA dropped the project, but Marc keeps looking and “gets a kick out of it”. Interstellar flight is tough because space is huge. If we travelled at the speed of light, we would need 4.2 years to reach Alpha Centauri, the nearest star we know of. Even the Voyager spacecraft would take 80,000 years to make the trip. Plus, there are no gas stations along the way: even with top-notch nuclear engines, rockets would need XXL supertankers to get there – and back.

© Virassamy

Go go G force ! —


The papers

ˆ “ ‘To Hell with publishing’, slurred one of them, and they realised that maybe they had a point… ”

© Charlotte May Wales


Pictured from left to right novelist Grant Gillespie, publisher Laurence Johns and editor Lucy Owen

Those damned first novelists It’s turning out to be a busy year for our breakthrough publishing company To Hell With Publishing. As well as launching a bold new literary fiction imprint called To Hell with First Novels and a series of reprinted rare books, the company has also set up a literary prize for unpublished writers (£5,000 is up for grabs on the evening which will see readings from the likes of Hanif Kureshi, DBC Pierre and Andrew O’Hagen), published the latest volume in its series of literary journals (A-Z) and has opened what is certainly now one of our favourite London bookshops (yes, it’s called To Hell with Books). So where do we start? Well, let’s begin with the name. Like many a brave idea, To Hell With… was conjured up out of equal measures of frustration and booze at 4 o’clock in the morning. Rare book dealer Laurence Johns (the company’s founder) and author Michael Smith, ‘tired’ after a well lubricated evening spent packing up a limited edition of his book The Giro Playboy, were discussing

how to navigate their way through the murky waters of the corporate book publishing and selling world – a world full of dubious 3-for-2 book deals, unfeasible retail discounts and vast author advances. ‘To Hell with publishing’, slurred one of them, and they realised that maybe they had a point… maybe there was a way to tackle the mighty competition – tackle it head on. And so to To Hell with First Novels, a neat publishing move borne out of budgetary constraints (you try bidding for a hot new author without the financial backing of, say, Penguin or Random House) that makes a virtue out of the necessity of only being able to afford unknown, first-time authors. This May sees the publication of the first in the series, The Cuckoo Boy by Grant Gillespie, which Lucy Owen, commissioning editor of the series, describes as having the well-observed, thoughtful precision and succinctness of Henry James and the humorous, suburban darkness of Mike Leigh. It’s the first of what they hope will be a long and illustrious line of new writing talent to come from the THW stable, and, having read an early draft of Gillespie’s impressive debut, we’ll be keeping a close eye on them from now on. Laurence Johns wants to take publishing back to the glorious small press days of the early

20th century – but there’s something deliciously young, new and rebellious about the ideas behind THW, and their shop in Bloomsbury’s Woburn Walk reflects this old/new world admirably. On the shelves you’ll find a singular collection of rare works and first editions, one-off limited editions from THW and newly published fiction. There’s no back list here, Lucy explained, because it got too upsetting working out what to order and what they would have to turn down, so they are only stocking the shop with new fiction that they like and that has been published since the shop opened in December last year. With a generous wooden table in the middle of the shop and what looks suspiciously like a cocktail bar for a cash desk, we can’t wait to investigate further. (ST)



ˆ “ The third sentence is mind blowing, considering it was written in 1974, long before technologies such as mobile phones, hands-free and voice recognition were ever invented.”

© Sarah Eechaut


Enter the inventor Forty-two year old Guy Marcoux meets us outside the imposing buildings of Belgium’s deepest mine: the Beringen coal mine just outside his home town, Beringen. Officially, Guy is a graphic designer who owns a signage company. But he is also a qualified glass blower and his work can be found as far afield as Italy and Australia. And apart from that he’s also a proud amateur geologist whose collection of stone artefacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic stone ages has been certified authentic by Beringen’s archaeology museum. Some people call him a walking encyclopaedia. Asked what he calls himself, Guy stares dreamily into the distance: “An artist. An artist who is also an inventor.” Sitting in the museum’s café Guy gently unfolds a piece of faded green paper on which he, as a seven-year-old boy, wrote down his first inventions. “Look at the handwriting”, he smiles nostalgically, “I kept swapping between longhand and printed letters…I still do that today, you know.”

The paper contains a list of three short sentences and a rudimentary drawing of a headset with what looks like a built-in microphone: “A throw-away cardboard comb for hairdressers (for hygiene),” reads the first sentence in a young boy’s spidery handwriting. “An LP with the sound of the sea… So people can relax,” notes the second. The third sentence is mind blowing, considering it was written in 1974, long before technologies such as mobile phones, hands-free and voice recognition were ever invented. “A telephone headset that can store 50 numbers. The headset recognizes your voice and dials the number automatically.” More than 30 years have passed since Guy first wrote those dreamy thoughts on paper, yet his eyes still burn with the same unbridled boyish enthusiasm. “I’m forever thinking “what if, what if…”, says Guy, “I’m not an engineer, so I don’t sit down and try to devise an answer to a specific problem in a structured, analytical way. Thoughts simply pop into my head and before I know it I have a new way of doing something.” Guy races through his words, thoughts clearly flashing faster than his vocal cords can accommodate: “For instance, I designed the ‘mirror glove’ – a glove with a small mirrored ball on the back of the hand that reflects the surroundings

from all angles and acts like an extra rear-view mirror. This is particularly useful to skiers or construction workers who don’t always have the time to see what’s happening behind them.” “I’m always looking at how I can improve things,” says Marcoux, adding: “There is a saying that goes ‘A clever plumber will always earn more than a dumb plumber’. So I look at existing items and try to make them better. For instance: Why doesn’t Senseo have a pad holder in the shape of a teabag? Or why don’t we have a perfume that is water resistant? Why has no one thought of bubble-wrap in specific shapes that help denote the content, like bubble-wrap in the shape of skulls to notify airport customs agents that the parcel contains hazardous material, or themed bubble-wrap in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s Day, for instance? And why isn’t there a gps-system that can be mounted on motorbikes to send a sonar signal to the gps-systems of surrounding cars to let them know that a motorbike is approaching? And why do cars have such big reverse brake lights compared to the size of the car, and yet trucks, which cause the majority of accidents, still have such tiny brake lights! Why has no-one solved these questions?” frowns Marceaux as he lights another cigarette, takes a sip of his dark frothy beer and squints dreamily into the late afternoon sun. (SC)


The papers

ˆ “I’ve gotten my hands on these sneakers with a pigeon design, one day you'll cry over these and try to kill me! ”

© la villa hermosa


Watching the trendwatchers Before talking about the noble art of trend watching, go to Wikipedia and search the topic. The system replies: ‘did you mean train watching?’ Trend watching is not rocket science; one can only watch, observe and spot. When one is really good at it, however, the spotted trend will get translated (‘trendslated’) and marketed, only to conquer the world, and reach many followers. How does this process happen? Surely there must be some mechanisms behind it, if only to trigger things and maybe eventually manipulate the Zeitgeist? Trend watching is not cool hunting, it’s bigger than that, but the cool kids will undoubtedly trigger certain trends. Although they are a product of trend evolution, rather than the force behind it, tracking the so-called 'early adopters' is one of the most popular ways of watching trends. Whether it's fashion, technology or culture, society has early birds

walking around who will happily take on an evangelical role. They’re the enthusiasts who were once walking alone mumbling: “Dubstep is going to be big one day, mark my words!”, or “I’ve gotten my hands on these sneakers with a pigeon design, one day you'll cry over these and try to kill me!” By now, all of these people have proven right, and they’re carefully watched (aka Street Combed) by the cool hunters walking down the streets. More than anything it’s social factors that push things into the mainstream. There’s a big difference between the so-called micro and macro trends. When carefully analysed, these help to define any generation's soft spots. For the current generation, the trend watchers have coined expressions such as: ‘online oxygen’, ‘connectivity’, ‘glocal’ (global + local). In some cases, these trends will be extrapolated into different plausible and not-so-plausible future scenarios. The best trend watchers are daydreamers, not unlike children. Ten years from now, what is today called ‘technology’ might simply be called 'life'. Kids growing up now don‘t look at the Internet or their mobile phone as ‘a way to connect’, it’s simply what they live by. Current discussions

about transparency and privacy will soon be irrelevant, when we arrive at a generation that’s grown up without even the slightest notion of it. We live in the era of the geeks, whether you like it or not. Even if you’re not into technology, if you’re anything close to fashionable, you’ll probably have your geeky accessories matching your weekend outfit anyhow. And the geeks… they love it, but they can’t help it, so they continue doing what they do best, living at the cutting edge of what new technology is about to offer us. It is also important to zoom out. According to futurologist James Cridland, Australia is the place to watch nowadays: “Australia wasn’t really affected by the financial crisis, because of that you see all kinds of interesting initiatives over there.” Don’t put all your faith in trend watching; if we left things up to the watchers, there would be dozens of new trends every day. In the times ahead, keep your eyes and ears open for ‘networked objects’, ‘social shopping’, ‘cloud services’, ‘augmented reality’ and all things ‘real time’ and ‘3.0’ if you wish. As for fashion, mini-skirts are once again completely in style, combined with a t-shirt, tank top or a classic blouse. Oh yeah, and green is the new black. (AD)

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The exhibition  Arts   Play  Talent Photography

— Photography is a subject close to Word hearts. Having worked it A4 for the better part of our short-lived existence, we couldn’t wait to blow things up a little, giving long-awaited physical relevance to some of the talent that has graced the magazine’s pages. After close to three months of blood, sweat and many, many tears, the show finally opened on Friday 23rd April, to (wait for it), rave reviews. We had rooms (and a courtyard) full of laughter, the customary Absolut cocktails as well as crowds of cool-cookie creatives and local artsy intellectuals. The lucky few even got invited to an afterparty we threw at Area 42. Photography Melika Ngombe




The institution  We love   Lifestyle  Classic

On our corner — A Brussels landmark as soon as its doors opened eight years ago, the iconic Café Belga has become the social hub that transformed a neighbourhood. Photography Merel’t Hart

Located on Place Flagey, right beneath the cultural centre Le Flagey, its huge corner windowed façade and even bigger terrace have made the café impossible to miss. Calling it a local institution would be an understatement, and few would dispute the idea that Café Belga singlehandedly managed to put the Flagey district back on the map. “There was clearly a political and communal will to renovate the area and its urban space. So I guess it seemed like the perfect timing to invest in it,” explains François, who’s been managing the café for the past seven years. Created by Frédéric Nicolay (who else?), it bears the characteristic attention to detail familiar from other favourites like Tavernier, the Zebra or the Walvis; warm wooden interior with a carefully studied ancient/authentic feel, stylish design, counter service, pleasant tunes, free gigs, healthy snacks, and outdoor seating.

Writer Randa Wazen

Undoubtedly the biggest and busiest, the Belga’s terrace located on the Place SainteCroix / Heilig Kruisplein and facing one of the Ixelles ponds is ideal to enjoy some rare UV rays while people watching. Regulars will pack onto the terrace at any cost, even if it means venturing out in nearly polar temperatures or sitting on the floor when all the chairs are occupied. Who ever said having a drink was meant to be relaxing? During peak hours, it’s a battle. Get ready to queue and fight for a table; if you manage to make it, the sense of victory will be a reward in itself. Fortunately, the staff is very helpful, with more barmen than there are bar women . “Being a huge and busy place, the work gets physically intense. I’d love to have more women on the staff, but it’s hard finding girls who are able to keep up.” Open from 8am, Café Belga take on multiple identities over the course of the day. Early

birds flock in for a quick coffee before work, others chose to begin the day with a satisfying breakfast or attempt to cure a hangover with one of the heavenly fresh juices. Come lunchtime, you can bring yourself up to date with the day’s newspapers while eating one of the salads served in a trademark glass. Catch up with a friend over a cup of tea in the early afternoon before hitting that first beer during the afterwork slot, when the place gets flooded with students, creatives working in the area (global advertising agency Publicis has its offices above) and Schuman’s Eurocrats. Depending on the day of the week, you can discover a great jazz band, dance the night away during wild DJ sets or even be lucky enough to catch the exclusive showcase of some special guest: in 2008, Moby performed a 45-minute acoustic gig for free and at his own request, the



only condition being that there would be no publicity. Brussels word of mouth was efficient enough to deliver an insane crowd squeezed into the café, rapidly filled beyond capacity, and spilling on to the square and streets of the area. During the summer, the terrace morphs into an open-air theatre, screening movies within the Brussels Film Festival programme. At closing time, generally around 2 or 3am, the peckish ones, knackered on Belga cocktails of vodka, Canada Dry and violet syrup crawl to the square’s legendary fritkot (an institution in itself) conveniently located right across the street.

ˆ Moby performed a 45minute acoustic gig for free … the only condition being that there would be no publicity ˇ From a Belgian perspective, it’s a miracle that a place with no indoor smoking or table service has thrived so long after its novelty factor has worn off. The smoking ban has not had a negative effect on the business, thanks to the heated terrace and provision of blankets: if anything the café has managed to attract a wider and more family-friendly clientele as a result. As for the counter service, it was first initiated at Nicolay’s Saint-Géry cafés, and shook the clients’ habits. Although widely accepted now, the concept is still not the most popular, but François remains convinced it is a necessity. “People may not be very pleased about standing at the bar to order, but considering the size of the place, they’d have to wait five times longer if we were to bring drinks and food to their table. The situation would become unmanageable and prices would inevitably rise.” However, some still find it hard to stomach, the main argument being “why should I pay twice as much for a beer as I would in a supermarket if I have to get it myself anyways?” Fair enough. But at the end of the day, you’re not paying for your actual drink. You’re forking out to gorge on the café’s atmosphere, watch the people, and be part of the institution. Opened on June 18th in 2002, Café Belga was a revolution in the quiet Place Flagey / Flageyplein. A few decades back this was a lively neighbourhood with local businesses, activities and a village-like intimacy. The central esplanade was home to a weekly street market, the annual Bouglione circus, a Portuguese party, parades, and neighbourhood parties. However it all died out, thanks, among other things, to intrusive and apparently endless road works. “I was extremely excited and immediately drawn to the place,” reminisces Elleni, who has been living on the square for the past 25 years. “It   was magnificent and very new. The café offered a lot of concerts, jam sessions, but also attracted a very bobo and fauxhemian crowd.

It doesn’t really bother me per se, but has truly changed the atmosphere and the identity of the neighbourhood. It feels weird thinking I live somewhere that’s now become hip.” Besides upping Flagey’s cool factor and directly contributing to its considerable property boom, Café Belga has catalysed a boom of trendy bars like Bar du Marché, Nexx, Le Tigre, Irish pub De Valera’s, or artsy Café Murmure. One has to hand it to Mr Nicolay. The man has always been a visionary with an unmatched talent for revamping the city’s neglected and seedy areas with his bars and restaurants. Just look at his latest ventures like the Bar du Matin, opened less than two years ago on Place Albert / Albertplein in Forest / Vorst, or the Café Modèle, bordering the canal in Molenbeek. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict that these distressed areas are well on their way to become the capital’s next hot spots.

Café Belga Place Eugène Flageyplein 1050 Brussels Tel: +32 (0) 2 640 35 08 Everyday from 8am to 2am except Fridays & Saturdays from 8am to 3am Kitchen open from 9am to 4pm

 Visit onourcorner for more pictures of the place where everyone knows your name.


The Word on  We love   Exclusive   Photography 

Seeing the light — For some people, experiencing revelation and breakthrough is all part of the job. Photography Sarah Eechaut

Writer Yves Van Kerkhove

The track Alain Remue is the head of the Belgian missing persons bureau. This police unit was created in the aftermath of the infamous Dutroux case. Every day, four people disappear in Belgium. Nine out of 10 are found, be it alive or dead. ‘Never say never’ is Remue’s golden rule. The police detective does not think in terms of ‘whodunit?’ -‘where are they?’ is his first and only question. Most of his breakthroughs pass unnoticed, yet some of the cases are heavily mediatised.


The knowledge The story of the mobile school began in 1996, when Arnoud Raskin started the last year of his studies in industrial design. Instead of chosing a typical dissertation project on innovative versions of a hand blender, he developed his mobile school: a box on wheels that can be extended to a big educational game board to be pulled by the street workers through the slums of Guatemala, Nairobi or Manila. The essence of the street work with the mobile school is focused on raising the self-esteem of the street kids.


The Word on


The light Father David is one of the youngest Carmelite monks in his monastery. He grew up in a liberal-catholic, rather new-age family, where he developed a sense for mysticism. The turning point in his life was a heavy pneumonia that kept him in a hospital bed. There, his longing for true love well surpassed the abundance of presents. After a brief period of philosophy studies, he surrendered to his vocation and entered the Carmelite monastery.



The formula Molecular biologist Marc Van Montagu is an internationally renowned pioneer in genetics. He discovered the mechanism of gene transfer, which is vital for the genetic modification of plants. Van Montagu is not the kind of mad professor developing monster tomatoes or Frankenstein food, but he’s the one constructing transgenic crops with a self-defence mechanism against insect pests and thus eradicating the use of chemical pesticides.

The other Word on


 Consume   Watercooler   Play   Fashion 

Love will tear us apart — Worn, torn, patched up and torn again, our heart-wrenching wardrobe love stories keep on getting battered with every year that goes by. What do we think ? The bigger the tear, the bigger the pain. Photography Sébastien Bonin

Jeans from Levi’s

Assistant Melika Ngombe


Skirt from Zara



The other Word on

Shirt from A.P.C

Jeans from A.P.C


Sweater from Donna Karan

Stockings from La Perla



The showstoppers  Consume   We love   Lifestyle  Classic Fashion Technology

Absolutely smashing

— Life at the cutting edge can get pretty exhausting – kept awake at night by genius ideas, burning through the shoe leather as you sprint your way too and from the patent office, wrestling frustration as things fail to fall into place just so – we thought we’d help out with a little selection of bits and pieces to ease the life of all you bright sparks hanging in there for the next great breakthrough. Photography Benoît Banisse Art direction and styling facetofacedesign



01. The holy grail

Just when we thought it was high time we stopped going to client meetings in beat down high tops and, instead, start making our billion dollar pitches in more adultlooking shoes, we stumble upon new brand on the block Jojo. Designed in Belgium, the fresh-faced sneaker distinguishes itself from the rest through its wrap-around shoe lace as well as its playful colour pairings. With strong environmental sensitivities underpinning the brand (for each pair of Jojo bought, one tree gets replanted in Niger, or one year’s supply of drinking water is secured for a person in Sierra Leone), there’s not a lot Jojo can do wrong in Word HQ at the moment. Jojo (¤79) Available in Brussels from Prive Joke and Reservoir Shop


There you are, supervising the trial of an experimental gamma bomb for the US Defence Department one minute, and the next you find yourself transformed into a thick-skulled, mood-triggered mutant. Darn it, you’d think a genius scientist would be able to carry out his breakthrough research into nuclear weapons technology in peace without having to turn into a Marvel comic book icon every time he got a little too excited. Remind yourself not to get ANGRY with this T – it even glows in the dark for that alluring hint of radioactivity. Hulk T-Shirt (¤59.95) Marvel Vs. Hilfiger Denim

The showstoppers


03. The birth of cool

We’re far from being experts in watch wizardry, although we know good design when we see it. Perfectly proportioned and carved out to please, Swatch’s classic watch has recently been given an artistic makeover in the shape of its 60+1_2 (pictured on the right). Designed by David Benedek as part of the company’s Colour Code Collection, the cool, composed and confident wrist wear – complete with lo-fi demeanour and engaging colour palette - ticks all the right boxes. From left: Swatch’s Purple-And-White (¤38) and 60+1_2 (¤43)

04. The ultimate breakthrough tool

When considering sheer force and the word “stiletto” (not to mention the onset of acute pain), one would probably think about footwear before hardware. The Stiletto TBII 15’s combination of low weight titanium material and leverage both increases the strike force and allows for less user fatigue: it’s the kind of tool that will last forever. If the TBII 15 is the Prada stiletto of hammers, then Vaughan Manufacturing’s V5 is the new pair of Doc Martens. While less chic, it is more durable (the Stiletto can only be used for wood framing, the Vaughan can be used in any situation) and more affordable. Top to bottom: Stiletto TBII 15 (¤255) Available from Vaughan V5 (¤61) Available from

05. Future’s so bright

Founded early last year as a Euro-centric variant on the American original, Wired has quickly laid claim to our magazine stack's top spot. For most magazines, breakthrough content is all to do with style – format, delivery, image, graphics, interactivity. For Wired, breakthrough content involves finding out about the future before it happens. Which kind of leaves the rest of us choking on its dust. Wired UK (¤7,90)



06. Rep that Rap

We totally fell in love with design studio Unfold’s self-Replicating Rapid prototyper (RepRap) when it was on show at Z33’s ace Design by Performance exhibition. Their version was tinkered to print in porcelain, and hooked up to a nifty computer program that allowed visitors to throw virtual pots that were then built layer on layer by the RepRap over the duration of the exhibition. Created according to an open-source plan developed by Dr Adrian Bowyer, the RepRap is a financially accessible 3-D printer that can be replicated using parts that it can manufacture itself, coupled on to locally available components. This one was built at Sint-Lukas University College in Brussels from a kit bought online. Darwin RepRap kit (¤940)

See page 94 for full product information.


The profile  Underground   Music   Arts   Play   Lifestyle

Hey pretty baby, going to make you a star — What does it take these days to hype yourself through to breakthrough point? We ask four industry insiders to give us the skinny on making it in music, politics, art and the tabloid press. Photography KKGB

Behind most hot new stars there’s a breakthrough story – a discovery myth packed with coincidence, lucky breaks and raw talent. The juicy waitress, whose polyester-clad charms catch the eye of a Hollywood producer as she passes cherry pie across the counter. The uncompromising band that storm into the office of the label head with their demo tapes and get signed on the spot for sheer audacity. The publicity-shy artist, discovered near starvation in his garret, who has his entire portfolio snapped up by a major collector. The fearless politician prepared to risk his party career for a cause he truly believes in. There are few things that keep the celebrityloving public dreaming more effectively than the notion that you can miraculously become famous and successful without needing to do anything so undignified as try. In part, it’s because we all get to share in the myth – every waitress can dream of being spotted, every pub band hold onto the belief that one day, they too will be rewarded for staying true to their roots. The breakthrough myth allows us to ignore the machinery that keeps us so well fed with next big things and makes sure that we’re always ready for more. Magazines from Grazia to Time depend on a steady stream of new stories - be that the latest young designer, an artfully concocted piece of celebrity gossip or a political scoop – to fill their pages every week. Journalists, scouts and talent hunters are on a constant heat-seeking mission, ears cocked for a tell-tale buzz that will lead them to the next breakthrough. Catch them when they’re tired, cynical, and fatigued insiders from every industry will disclose the well-trodden path that will carry someone from struggling obscurity to next-big-thingitude. The common line is that no-one knows anything – whether in the art world or the music industry, it seems that an astonishing number of the supposed front-line taste makers are guided by herd instinct rather than taste or intelligence. One music industry correspondent scathingly described the entire A & R world as a flock of sheep, incapable of independent opinions and always ready to

Writer Hettie Judah + Anonymous

stampede towards whatever new act the herd had managed to hype up within its ranks. Looking and acting the part is the first step to breakthrough, whether that means airing your stroppy good looks in the right Berlin bars to send shivers round the art world, or rolling up your shirt sleeves and growing your hair long enough to be anointed a crusading political maverick. The perfect embodiment of style over substance is the now familiar breed of indeterminate female celebrities that keep the popular press so well supplied with fleshy front-page snaps. Qualifications for this kind of breakthrough include the ability to get photographed falling out of doll-sized clothes, the willingness to undergo major surgery in order to stay on the front pages, and a ruthlessness about your personal life that can translate the most intimate encounters into headline news.

ˆ Whether in the art world or the music industry, it seems that an astonishing number of the supposed front-line taste makers are guided by herd instinct rather than taste or intelligence ˇ Celebrity is infectious, and grows exponentially with every connection – whether you’re a young designer of questionable talent who becomes best friends forever with the top model of the moment, an aspiring TV presenter who buys herself credibility and column inches dating the singer of an indie band, or an ageing pin-up who boosts her recording career by marrying a high profile politician. Hanging out with famous people is one of the easiest ways to generate buzz

for your breakthrough. Being admitted into the circle of fame acts as an endorsement: if the famous people think that you’re good enough to be famous, well, who are the rest of us to argue? For all our desire for discovery myths, part of us knows that we’re being sold to, and our enthusiasm for novelty can quickly become tainted by suspicion. We purify ourselves through our tendency to yank new stars off their pedestals as fast as we put them up there. Breakthrough may be easy, but to stay hot you need people to like you – the ruthless aggression, arrogant posturing and flexible morals that propelled you to fame are not necessarily well suited to maintaining your position in the public affection. The alternatives are to genuinely become that thing that you’re pretending to be – a talented artist, a real actress, a musician who can write - or to have such control over the relevant sectors of the press that you can effectively manufacture and maintain an entirely fictional public persona. For a musician, model or artist it helps to start dating the editor of a magazine, in politics you can control the flow of information to selected journalists (unless you’re in Italian politics, in which case you can buy the newspaper and threaten any journalist who steps out of line with actual bodily harm.) For an illustration of how fragile fame is after a successful breakthrough, try leafing through a few out-of-date magazines and see how many names stay the course. It makes you think, really, whether it might not be more noble to dream of being a flash in the pan or a one-hit wonder than to put all the tiresome effort into actually making it for real. Better a speedy breakthrough and even speedier retreat, perhaps, than hanging around to remind everyone that you’re yesterday’s news. KKGB is

Photographer Gabriele Trapani Art direction Nam Simonis Stylists Amarande Angel / Brunel Mintona Hair & make up Orla McKeating at C’est Chic



Samuel: All clothes Model's own. Nathalie: T-Shirt Petit Bateau, jewellery Véritas. Vincent: blazer Brunel Mintona. Timothy: All clothes Model's own.

The hot new band

To make a buzz band you need to look the part: emaciated to the point of collapse in jeans as skinny as drinking straws, your hair weighs more than your head and is so directional in cut that you must become accustomed to viewing the world through one eye. On the feet - Converse or beaten up brogues. Over the t-shirt - a leather jacket held together by ambition alone. One member must be of semi-aristocratic heritage with a monthly allowance to fund your start up (and pay for your drugs). You’ll also need a manager (to pay for your drugs when the monthly allowance dries up), and a handful of hazy long-haired Bambi-limbed girls to follow you everywhere, have sex with occasionally (and pay for your drugs).

Lurk around Shoreditch on a daily and nightly basis creating a ‘scene’. (‘Scenes’ are what A&R men care about. None of them would know a half decent band if it stood up in their pint). Creating a scene couldn’t be easier. Affiliate yourself with another band: perhaps you could share a drummer or a bass player: as long as there is a skein of a recognisable sonic hook to your output then voila, you have your scene. Next, make a record on an obscure label and coerce the next Gavin Turk or Jake Chapman to make a video that will cost twice as much as was budgeted for, take light years to edit, you will hate and no one will ever see. And now we come to our nirvana - the launch

party. Cultivate some contacts in the world of fashion. The Holy Grail in this world is Alexa Chung. Get someone who knows someone who is a friend of her make-up artists to invite her to your launch party. If she, oh hallelujah, actually turns up, manoeuvre her near the sound system and get her to press a button and then you can say that Alexa Chung DJ’d at your launch party and honey, you have arrived. (“Lady Parker”)

The profile

Model Matti at Dominique Models


Suit tie and shirt Café Costume

The celebrity politician

“If you are not on television or radio” the head of a big research group said to me the other day, “you are dead.” Nowhere is this stomach-churning bullshit more true than in the political world. At party conferences old school friends have begged me to put them on the television, offering to say or do pretty much anything so they can to get 15 seconds of face time on the magic lantern. The media you need to deal with are of course changing fast; the two biggest recent hits from the Palace of Nonentities - the European Parliament - were YouTube sensations; both of them Europhobes. Dan Hannan and Nigel Farage delivered speeches and soundbites perfectly suited to a three minute attention span.

Being media savvy and media friendly is however a necessary but not sufficient condition for political success. It really does help if you are clever. Not too clever. Too smart and you quickly receive the kiss-of-death label ‘wonkish’ or ‘nerdy’ (see: British Foreign Secretary David Milliband, oh-so-yesterday’s man). But to get to the top you need to know the basics of contemporary history, politics and economics. Nobody else does, but some smart-alec journalist will catch you out pretty fast if you don’t (see: Sarah Palin). Finally, to make it – and here we are talking about the big time, not about time-serving in the Assemblee Nationale or getting a peachy number

in the Food Standards Agency - you need to be mad. Not so much that people are concerned for their safety when you are around, but mad so that you are ready to sacrifice everything, everything – your family, your health, every last scrap of dignity – in pursuit of high office. In 1993 Nicolas Sarkozy, then mayor of a prosperous suburb of Paris, walked into a school where an explosives laden lunatic had taken a bunch of children hostage and negotiated the releases of the boys and girls. That’s the kind of madness you should aspire to. So, ask yourself, as you step up to the base of the greasy pole, do you feel lucky, punk? (“Deep Vote”)


Model Brunel Mintona With thanks to Jamila


The Artist

There’s a scene in Basquiat (1996), Julian Schnabel’s brilliantly cornball biopic, where the doomed artist asks his slacker pal how long it takes to get famous. “Four years,” is the reply. Nowadays, particularly if you want the short, meteoric career, you can do it in two. First, get noticed: be tall, good-looking (artworld people are, on average, 68 percent prettier than anywhere outside of fashion, not that all of them are outside of fashion), and have a weird, striking name (hello, Tris Vonna-Michell) and exotically mixed heritage. If possible, be an exmodel (Matthew Barney, Rosson Crow). Make your art comfortingly retro, yet complicatedly so, e.g. paintings that recall Paris in

1919 crossed with New York in 1958, or films that look like ‘60s documentaries but don’t make any sense. If you haven’t been tapped by a hot, youth-obsessed gallery like New York’s Team or London’s Herald Street at your MA degree show (oops!), forget sending jpegs and begging letters. Instead, move to Berlin – it’s losing its edge, but you’ll probably discover which low-rent enclave artists are decamping to next – and hug the bar in Keyser Soze until loudmouth bragging about your radically dematerialised aesthetic strategy and/or willingness to stand drinks for anyone who resembles a curator (thick square glasses or, if you’re curatorial kingpin Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mekon

forehead) puts you in a biennale and gets you written about in frieze or Kaleidoscope. Then, keep making the same artwork over and over. Be the fill-in-the-blank guy/girl; defend your corner. Hire young, hungry assistants, who’ll not only make your work but have the ideas too. (You’ll have stolen your first, famecreating idea from someone smarter but uglier.) Finally, when you feel your moment fading, announce you’re making a feature film with your new pals James Franco and Courtney Love. Two years? At most. (“Gaston de Latour”)

The profile

Model Marie-Cecile at Wantedd. With thanks to Delphine de Kinder at Hotel Amigo, Pauline and Tom


Bracelet H&M, necklace, ring and watch Guess.

The tabloid princess

There are two options for cheap celebrity. First, apply for the biggest and most famous reality TV show in existence – and perhaps the Netherlands’ most successful international export – Big Brother. This show, which started out as a social experiment, is now a one-way street to cheap fame. The scourge of 'real' celebrities and criticised by newspaper journalists (the same hacks who use them to fill their newspapers), Big Brother contestants have become a tabloid paradox. However, regardless of how they are viewed by the tabloid media, in the end they become famous, earn huge sums from magazine deals and can easily carve full-time careers out of their time in the infamous house.

(This can also apply to the X Factor and Star Academy). Second, if BB isn't your bag then you might want to consider getting yourself a famous boyfriend. To join the ranks of wives and girlfriends (aka WAGs) you should alter your appearance to become the epitome of fakeness – nails, hair, boobs, fake tan, everything – until you become Barbie personified. Hang out in the VIP lounge at football stadiums, training fields and, of course, the trendy clubs where footballers go to let their hair down and guzzle copious amounts of expensive champagne (VIP Room in Paris, Funky Buddha, China

White, Jet Black, Movida in London, Buddha Sugar in Manchester, and so on…) anywhere that you're bound to find a footballer, soap star or any kind of equivalent male celeb. Use these clubs as hunting grounds, but make sure sure that you're pictured leaving them on the arm of somebody famous. Getting a reputation as a star f**ker is a simple way to put your name and face out there for potential suitors. Once you've bagged one celeb boyfriend, a kiss and tell when you split is a perfect way to get in there with the tabloids and, again, advertise your wares to other celebs. (“Red Top”)

men + women

Neighbourhood life and global style Balthazar Downtown Rue MarchĂŠ aux fromages 22 Kaasmarkt 1000 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 514 23 96

Balthazar Uptown Avenue Louise 294 Louizalaan 1050 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 647 77 37


The fashion Word  Fashion   Consume   Photography   We love 

— A fine line exists between the genius and the lunatic – sometimes, don’t you just ache to break through to the other side ? Photography Alex Salinas

Styling Pholoso Selebogo


Jeff: Scarf H&M, Jacket Hugo By Hugo Boss, T-shirt Fred Perry, Belt Damir Doma, Trousers Juun J, Shoes Model’s Own


Dorien: Salmon orange jacket Dries Van Noten, Denim Jacket Kokon To Zai, Silver top Maria Francesca Pepe,

Leather pants El Delgado Buil, Shirt (wrapped around leg) Anntian, Sneakers Model’s Own

Jurgen: Scarves Damir Doma, Coat Peter Jensen, Blue belt Cos, T-shirt Fillipa K,

Shorts Tillman Lauterbach, Shoes Model’s Own

Niels: Denim shirt Levi’s, Dress Gareth Pugh, trousers Pam, Mask Guiseppe Virgone

Tess: Necklace Uncommon Matters, Leather jacket Jeremy Scott, Blouse Gemma Degara, Cape blouse Martin Lamothe, Skirt Charles Anastase, Leggings American Apparel, Shoes Model’s Own

Stephanie: Biarritz hat Stephen Jones, Tights Gareth Pugh, Trousers Superfine, Sweater Slow And Steady Wins The Race, Blue Cape Bruno Pieters, Shoes Model’s Own


The fashion Word


Photographer Alex Salinas Photographer’s assistants Koen Verminnen and Jeff Jacobs Stylist Pholoso Selebogo @Touch by Dominique Models Stylist’s assistant Michael Smit Make-up Sigrid Volders with Chanel and Bumble & Bumble With special thanks to Ra Antwerp Hunting and Collecting for lending their collections.

Peter: Top Complex Geometry, Vest Damir Doma, Scarf Damir Doma, Top shorts Band Of Outsiders, Bottom shorts Band Of Outsiders, Shoes Models’ Own Koen: Hat Smith Esq, Top Damir Doma, Trousers Patrick Erwell


 

        

Hilton Brussels Blvd de Waterloo 38 1000 Brussels T: 02 504 1333 This offer is valid until 31 August 2010.

The You CANNOT make friends with the rock stars. That's what's important. If you're a rock journalist – first, you will never get paid much. But you will get free records from the record company. And they'll buy you drinks, you'll meet girls, they'll try to fly you places for free,

Music offer you drugs‌

I know. It sounds great. But they are not your friends. These are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of the rock stars, and they will ruin rock and roll and strangle everything we love about it.

Lester Bangs, Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2001)




The music papers  Disruptive   Talent   We love   Consume   Classic 

With every new musical style comes the attempt to define its sound and find the perfect term to pigeonhole it. Whether these labels come from revered critics or geeky bloggers, no artist or band can hope to escape their constant stapling. Psychobilly, epic doom, cowpunk, freak folk, lowercase, nintendocore or pornogrind exist at the more creative end of such christenings. Other labels are just plain annoying, like the obsessive slapping of the prefix nu- nu rave, nu gaze, nu metal. And don’t even get us started on the –cores. Deathcore, nerdcore, breakcore, slowcore, mathcore,… Yes. We get it. That sound will blow your ears. Derisive descriptions sometimes transcend into full-on genres, such as Shoegaze, initially named after the posture of apathetic musicians who just stared at their feet during gigs. Pigfuck,

© Bruce Tsai


a term originally spat by critic Robert Christgau when describing Sonic Youth’s early material was soon applied to all pre-grunge noisy rock bands. Then you’ve got the inside jokes, like C86, a mix tape released by NME in 1986, which became a genre of its own. One appellation that is still widely dismissed by most artists it targets is IDM (for Intelligent Dance Music), based on the presumption that all other dance

music is stupid. Chillwave made it big, taking over the world in the summer of 2009, and Exogazing (music to listen to “while looking at the stars”) is all the rage this year. But for every genre we remember there’s a dozen more, such as grindie, skweee, folktronica, moan-wave, crabcore, ghettotech and wonky, that were never fortunate enough to make it onto record shop classification stickers. (RW)

do not fail as entertainment, and behind the tension and cacophony lies a complex yet raw structure, undeniable passion and the inspiring rage of youth. It may not be the wheel but it’s a fascinating experience we can only recommend. But wait, could compromise be in the air? As we go to press, the band’s MySpace has been updated and they just created their Facebook

fan page, writing the following: “You win.” Oh dear, how long until we start reading about what they had for dinner on Twitter? (RW)

Forget bands that are so new they don’t even know they’ve been formed yet, how about a band so doomed you probably won’t ever hear them on record? Victims of their own era, the London based Stavin’ Chains are doing everything wrong and God bless them for it. These 19 year olds barely rehearse, resent the cybersphere, have a knack of attracting physical violence and cause havoc wherever they go. Sonically somewhere between no wave, experimental and industrial music, they are notable for captivatingly chaotic shows that usually see half the crowd run away within the first three minutes. “I like to think of us as a giant sieve”; quips James, the sarcastic front man and saxophonist. His tendency to engage with a jaded and impassive audience by throwing himself aggressively into the public probably doesn’t help, but he insists it’s not a staged gimmick. “It’s simply the expression of sheer frustration because no one is listening. I guess that’s the way people have been conditioned these days. They see music as entertainment.” That said, Stavin’ Chains energetic live gigs certainly

© Bruce Tsai

Beautiful losers



© la villa hermosa

the Music

Bands and brands Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand but the relationship between these two worlds has been tightly reinforced these past years. Blame it on Hedi Slimane and his obsession with the British indie scene that emerged during the noughties or on the decline of the record industry, various partnerships and synergies are flourishing everywhere. Bands turn to fashion for lucrative deals and brands view these emerging artists as a new way of attracting young customers and revamping their image. Burberry suffered a serious brand image downfall in the nineties, but pulled itself back up thanks to Christopher Bailey’s arrival. Scoring top British names alongside hot new talent and heavily drawing from the nation’s promising musical scene for its advertising campaigns was an instant success and has become a trademark. The clip for their new perfume, aptly named The Beat, had Agyness Deyn dancing and jerking to “Got Ma Nuts From A Hippy” by the Fratellis. The Scottish band had managed pretty well so far, but performing in front of the fashion world’s crème de la crème in London at

the 2007 launch of the new scent surely didn’t hurt in terms of exposure and popularity. A while later, a surprisingly similar looking version of Jon Fratelli, although younger and prettier, could be seen in The Beat for Men’s campaign. 20-year-old George Craig had been featured in Burberry’s previous and current ads, and is now the brand’s new it-boy. He’s walked the show in Milan, recorded a voiceover segment for the TV clip, even picked up the Menswear trophy on behalf of Burberry’s creative chief officer Christopher Bailey at the 2008 British Fashion Awards. Guess what… He’s got his own band, called One Night Only. Bailey found them online and apparently really liked George’s look. Their music is heavily featured on Burberry’s website and they performed at the Burberry day extravaganza held in New York last year. Whether in the music industry or modelling business, this simple kid from north Yorkshire is now worth solid gold. The band’s endorsement may be cringe-worthy (they are now practically a walking billboard for the brand) but it has offered them the kind of publicity their record label never could. Collaborations and the exploitation of the band’s image can take various other forms. Franz Ferdinand recently recorded an exclusive song for the latest campaign of Dior’s Lady Rouge bag, with vocals from current face

Marion Cotillard, yet they do not appear in its promotional video clip. The Glaswegian band’s involvement with that particular French house is not that surprising considering its bond with Slimane, the former creative director of Dior Homme. He confessed Alex Kapranos figures amongst his favourite persons to dress, and for a while all of his models looked like clones of the Franz Ferdinand front man, channelling both the band and the brand’s angular, sharp and skinny aesthetics. Hilfiger Denim teamed with hipster darlings The Virgins in an attempt to reinforce its New York street cred, shooting the band “playing” in front of the Brooklyn Bridge for last years Spring campaign. The same brand had Mark Ronson, then a young rising DJ in the Big Apple, posing in a recording studio for one of their ads a decade ago. He can now be seen playing his guitar and cuddling his chérie Joséphine de la Baume in black and white shots for the latest Zadig & Voltaire campaign. The Parisian brand has always positioned itself at the crossroads of fashion and music. Now it has launched it’s own music label, set to promote young artists. How long until the rest of the fashion land jumps on that bandwagon? (RW)  Visit bandsandbrands for our pick of best bands and brands pairings.

The music papers

© Ulrike Biets


Mr Incongruity socks it to us If you close your eyes while listening to Owen Pallet’s music, you are somewhere else. It’s not the kind of pop music that reminds listeners of the present time or place. You might be soaring above medieval countryside, racing through an anarchistic 23rd century city, or escaping the lethal claws of a cockatrice. As are his recorded tracks, Owen’s performances are enchanting. With a loop pedal, he records and layers live violin strings, creating and singing along with his one-man orchestra. The crowd is wooed. And if, for just a moment, you are able to remove yourself from the otherworldly trance in which his music places you, you might remark upon something else: Owen Pallett (pictured above) performs in his socks. Until recently, Owen recorded as Final Fantasy (yes, like the video game). Heightened legal liability, however, is one of fame’s negative attributes, and so he released his newest album, Heartland, under his real name. He hails from Toronto, where eight years ago he stepped into its vibrant independent music

scene straight out of university. With him, he brought his violin, his two decades of classical training, and a degree in composition. He played in several bands, and quickly became the go-to-guy for string arrangements among Eastern Canadian musicians. Owen eventually began composing for, and touring with, The Arcade Fire. And just as they rose to international repute, so did Owen. He has done so humbly, of course. “My first album, I made for my boyfriend. The second for my friends in Toronto and for myself.” Only with Heartland has a sense of universality taken form; it is the first that Owen has made for people outside his circle of comfort, for a grand public. “It is music for strangers,” for all types of people, in all types of places, for “sailors in Turkey.” Although he assured us that there is no song written particularly for his Turkish sailor, this illustrates an awareness of his ever-expanding broadcast. There are two main ingredients in the genius of Owen’s work. The first—his musical talent—is immediately clear, either live or on his records. The second is his incongruity. The many contrasts within his creation are what set him apart: there is the sentimental and the humorous, the classical and the popular, the acoustic and the electronic. And his ability

to balance these dichotomies and to create from them such solid tracks is just as fascinating and at times nerve-racking as his technical endeavors. He screams, he whispers. His violin shrieks, squeaks, and cries. Listening to his work, you find yourself there with him, balancing somewhere between the traditional and the zany, often honored to be experiencing the work of such an unconventional and unprecedented artist. In 2005, Carl Wilson wrote an article about Owen for the The New York Times entitled “The World’s Most Popular Gay Postmodern Harpsichord Player.” While he is still popular, gay, postmodern and a player of the harpsichord, Owen’s notoriety is no longer niche-dependant. But, as the quantity of his completed work augments, the scope of his fame expands and he is compelled to reconsider his motivation (and his name), it is hard to imagine the essence of Owen Pallett changing. Maybe he’ll sell out a stadium, but he’ll still be playing in his socks. (TWP)



© Melika Ngombe

the Music

To conduct and entertain Symphony orchestra conductors occupy somewhat of an intriguing place in the collective psyche of the uninitiated. Seen as the towering and commandeering figures passionately gesticulating to a loyal band of string, brass, woodwind and percussion followers, conductors (more so than the superstar soloists they often invite) have come to embody contemporary music in all its complexity: stern, cerebral and detached. Steeped in its own world of high-cultured righteousness, an orchestra’s de-facto ambassador, its conductor, is often perceived as the ultimate intellectual, preferring, it is assumed, solo sessions in his study endlessly listening to repeats of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, rather than having to explain his art and talent to a bunch of novices like us. So it came as a little surprise to find that Michel Tabachnik (pictured above), charismatic conductor and musical director of the Brussels Philharmonic – het Vlaams Radio Orkest, didn’t exactly fit the bill as far as conductors go. Yes, he is fierce-looking, intense and stern in the same manner a high court judge might be, although his absorbing and firing personality

makes him the perfect contender to ensure his philharmonic remains relevant with today’s short attention spanned audiences. To somewhat paraphrase one of our current fetish sentences, Tabachnik’s heart is in the past, his feet in the now and his mind firmly geared to the future. “We have to play normal repertoire (similar to the Cinematek playing the classics), we have to play new creations or commissions and we have to initiate collaborations (pairing, for example, a dance company together with the orchestra),” says Tabachnik when asked how a year’s program is devised. Although a single theme might be used to underpin an entire season’s program and helps lend it some consistency, he is deeply conscious of the need to mix the old, the new and the original: “Every season, we have to find a way to reinvent ourselves and raise the level of excitement. Local competition being so fierce (there is at least one, if not two, concerts every night), we need quality, imagination and an interesting selection of guest artists to attract the public.” So the conductor doesn’t merely conduct then. He envisions, invites, calculates, champions, programs and educates too.

But how does one become a conductor? Is there a graduate course in wand-wielding wizardry? Is it a calling, or a talent anyone can pick up? “Bernstein used to say that you are born a conductor,” says Tabachnik somewhat approvingly, although the reality of climbing the echelons to being a conductor is a far less abstract affair. You first go to the conservatory, learning an instrument (Tabachnik took up the piano) then go to master classes with a conductor (Tabachnik did three years with French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, going on to become his assistant). “You cannot simply decide to be a conductor,” he states, affirming that “to communicate sound through gesture is a special gift.” Indeed it is… as is the art of understanding what the heck is happening on that front pedestal. How does the uninitiated take his first concert in then? “You need to think broadly in terms of civilization, and the specificities of ours. People have to come to our concerts with a good knowledge of music, and an urge to be inspired.” (NL) Check our ‘What we’re giving away’ section on page 18 for your chance to win 10 Brussels Philharmonic – het Vlaams Radio Orkest recordings.


The bandwave  Cuture   We love   Underground   Play 

The last few outlaws ride the waves — They provided the soundtrack to our teenage years and introduced us to sounds overlooked by the mainstream, but is there still a role for pirate radio stations in the podcast era ? Writer Marcus Barnes

Photography Charlotte May Wales & Bertus Gerssen


the Music



In 1994 we fell in love with a new sound that we had never heard before, it was Jungle music and we couldn't get enough. After hearing a few tunes on the TV we were hooked and we needed to hear more ... it was almost instinctive when we turned the radio on and searched the FM band for some more Jungle. And we found it straight away. At the time the two biggest stations were Rush FM and Kool FM - we would have arguments at school about which was the best station. Without those stations we never would have known about all the different tunes, DJs, MCs and producers of that era - they opened our eyes up to a whole new world. In 2010 some of these stations are still on the airwaves, but what does the future hold with the likes of live streaming on the internet, podcasts and advances in technology that now allow almost anyone with a computer to be a DJ/broadcaster ?

ˆ The whole thing was very much a closed market, a specialised area where being in the know was pretty much the only way to have access to the scene

In the mid to late 80s, the burgeoning house music scene was growing fast and its exponents needed an outlet to play their new music - mainstream stations weren't providing it, and so, inspired by the famous Radio Caroline, they set about finding a way to set up their own stations and play what they wanted to hear. Preceeded by stations like Transmission One, based in Ladbroke Grove, which played early Hip-Hop (the real, early UK stuff), these DJs and MCs took inspiration from a radio station on a boat and took to the rooftops of London's tower blocks to get their music out there to the followers. Accused of being funded by drug money, blamed for interfering with the radio frequencies of the emergency services ...and of course for playing what was referred to as 'devil music' by some, the early pioneers of pirate radio faced a huge struggle to establish themselves. Kool FM is considered to be THE premier pirate radio station. Broadcasting for over 18 years, they have not only established themselves as London's leading pirate station, with a name that is now known all over the globe but they have also helped to establish some of the Jungle/ Drum 'n' Bass scene's best known DJs and MCs.

© Charlotte May Wales



DJ Chef has been playing on the station for the last few years, getting his big break in 2004, when he appeared in a guest slot. The East Londoner sees a direct link between the early 'soundboys', the owners of reggae soundsystems, and the evolution of illegal broadcasters. With a distinct lack of underground Caribbean music being played on commercial stations, Chef explains that the soundboys needed a way to play the music they wanted to hear, and so the legendary Station FM was born. One of the very early pirates, Station played host to a variety of Caribbean music -Roots - that was a far cry from the pop-style reggae that was being played on the mainstream stations.

DJ Chef explained that, in this day and age, it's possible for anyone to become a DJ and, thanks to the Internet, anyone can broadcast their music to a global audience without much effort. But, in the early days of pirate in London you had to know somebody who was already involved in the scene to even be able to get behind a set of decks. The technology was very hard to come by and expensive - Chef was only able to have access to a pair of Technics 1210s because he had a friend who was the first in the area to pick some up. The whole thing was very much a closed market, a specialised area where being in the know was pretty much the only way to have access to the scene.


The bandwave

To be able to get onto a pirate radio station took a hell of a lot of leg work, not just meeting people but working hard to establish your name, to let people know you could play a credible set, you had the skills and knowledge to be able to hold your own on one of the top stations. All this helped to create a strong, thriving movement - a close family of broadcasters, DJs, MCs, producers, promoters and a highly appreciative, dedicated audience. If you were a fan of Jungle, Hardcore, Acid House, Techno, Rave and everything else in between then the only way to get your fix of what was happening within these underground music genres was to tune into a pirate station. Kool FM and Rush FM were initial rivals however, proving just how close the community was, they broadcast from the same tower block, in rooms next to each other.

ˆ The demand to play in pirate radio is still there, and will not dissipate until there is a legitimate replacement for it 03.

ˇ Chef tells us that Kool's godfather, the legendary Eastman, says the station is all about community – built up over nearly two decades on the airwaves. It's the 'Underground Heartbeat' of the scene and always will be. So much so, that he says if Kool FM was offered a legal licence, he would accept it, but still maintain a pirate separately. Citing Kiss FM as a prime example of a pirate that has gone legal and been watered down, Chef sees the difficulty of maintaining a legal station (financial costs, advertising, bowing down to major labels and so on) as detrimental to the station's original ethos. Stations like Kool FM and Rinse FM have helped some of their scenes' biggest stars on the road to success DJ Brockie, MC Dett, Ragga Twins, Navigator, Mampi Swift, Trace, Ryme Time, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah and many others first found fame through pirate radio and are now at the top of their game. Creating the foundation of a music community that is so particular to illegal radio in the UK. Chef himself not only DJs in clubs and on radio, but he also works with young people in Newham, East London to teach DJ skills and producing. He recently established a radio station at the Newham Academy, so a new generation of people are gathering the skills to be able to broadcast. 04.

the Music





The bandwave

This is all done with the aid of UStream, a relatively new internet concept which allows users to broadcast live audio and video from their PC, Mac or iPhone. And this is where it gets interesting; the website is almost like a multimedia version of Twitter - you sign up and you can deliver a live DJ set to your followers from your bedroom, or even from the club you're playing at. Which Chef often does. Not only that, but you can connect to other social networking sites, like Facebook, Bebo, Myspace and Twitter, and update your status to tell all of your friends/acquaintances that you're broadcasting. On top of this, every live stream can be archived and watched over and over by the people who subscribe to your channel.

ˆ … a DJ from Austria who came to London … found some pirate stations … and was so inspired he went back home, bought some equipment and set up his own station in the mountains …


ˇ If anything signals a move away from pirate and into a whole new world of individual broadcast via the internet, then UStream appears to be the beginning of something new and exciting, if utilised in the right way. Still relatively new and untapped, UStream offers the kind of possibilities that were unheard of just five or 10 years ago. Imagine taking a mobile phone with you to a club, and being able to broadcast your entire set via that phone ... and of course, away from the live club aspect, it offers the chance to be able to DJ from your bedroom and broadcast across the globe. But Chef reminds us that the established stations will still hold a certain resonance and respect, and up-and-coming DJs will yearn to play for them. Even now he gets multiple requests from DJs for a chance to play on Kool FM because it offers the kind of prestige that money and new technology just can't buy. The demand to play on pirate radio is still there, and will not dissipate until there is a legitimate replacement for it. On top of this, having so much at the tip of your fingers creates a kind of laziness, an apathy that didn’t exist when technology was harder to come by. With so much at their disposal,

youngsters can dip into whatever they want, try it for a while and, if they don't like it, move on to the next thing. Grime music being a prime example - the genre exploded in the early 2000s, everyone was an MC or a DJ and kids were producing music on their Playstations. It created a few stars, some of whom are still around today, but just as quickly as it appeared and all the free space on the FM dial was full of Grime stations, it dropped off. The youngsters becoming bored of it, or finding something else to do. Chef believes pirate radio will continue to exist, despite the speed at which technology is growing and allowing anyone to become a broadcaster. It has been passed down through generations, a London culture which has never really translated to other cities or countries around the world, thanks to London’s very special mix of migrants and indigenous people. A city that has created Jungle/Drum ’n’ Bass, Dubstep and is unrivalled in its diehard mentality towards its specific cultural movements. Across the water, pirate radio may not have had the impact that it did in London, but it has still had its role to play. Chef mentioned a brilliant story about a DJ from Austria who came to London at the height of the Jungle explosion

- found some pirate stations during his time here and was so inspired he went back home, bought some equipment and set up his own station in the mountains, broadcasting tapes he’d made. France once had a large pirate presence, with socialist-run stations running for several decades before they were legalised. Most Pirate radio stations in The Netherlands are based in the countryside and play a kind of Dutch folk music that has a niche audience; although rural, rather than urban, just as in London, these stations are born out of a need to play music that the mainstream just doesn’t cater for. Pirate radio station Radio Tonka provides political commentary and has a roster of dedicated and loyal DJs, playing a varied mix of Jazz, Punk, 80s New Wave, Flamenco, and Hip Hop. Founded15 years ago, Tonka initially broadcast every night between midnight and four am. They started out in various places including the Hague, but moved into a more legal realm five years ago. They are now broadcasting on the wavelength of another local (funded) radiostation, Denhaag FM, six days a week. Back in London, the Flex FM Team were also on hand to fill us in on London's pirate scene, they see pirates on the FM frequency

the Music


as provoking a kind of nostalgia amongst its listeners - that familiar ’snap, crackle and pop’ instills a kind of warm feeling unlike the synthetic sounds of a live internet stream. Losing reception is all part of the fun. Over the last few years the rave scene has seem something of a comeback, with illegal warehouse parties way out in Essex becoming an almost regular occurance, and of course, with this, plenty of old school radio listeners have got back into it, picking up where they left off and searching the FM band for a bit of old Hardcore or Jungle. Where else can you find it but pirate radio? The team behind Flex FM believe that the airwaves should not be owned, Government control oppresses the freedom of music - legal stations have very little room to really play what they want at any time of the day. Pirates allow artists who may be overlooked by the mainstream to get their music out to the people who matter. There’s an almost diehard mentality amongst the Flex FM Team, an acknowledgement that their scene needs to continue to stay alive - the thrill of the chase comes into it too. Working undercover to evade capture from




the DTI, getting your aerial up, finding a good location or pulling up to a car that's actually tuned into their station is all part of the excitement of pirate radio. No amount of technology can replace that. So, will the Internet take over? Pirates are already on the wane, but as long as there is an active audience and a willing amount of participants, illegal FM stations will always be in existence. The internet has its plus points and no doubt offers a whole new world of possibilities, but the grassroots and the foundations will, hopefully, always be in the pirate movement.  Visit thelastfewoutlawsridethewaves for your fix of pirate radio dials.


Radio Tonka, Den Haag


Flex Radio DJs, London


Barricaded door, Radio Patapoe, Amsterdam


Radio Tonka, Den Haag


Casper Beaumont Radio Tonka, Den Haag


Radio Tonka, Den Haag


Deva, Radio Patapoe, Amsterdam


Deva and Krul, Radio Patapoe, Amsterdam


The context  Disruptive   Water cooler   Underground 

Bad vibrations

Let the bodies hit the floor

— Music has the ability to move us emotionally and effect us physically, to boost spirits and make a crowd move as one – but this power can have unforeseen, and even unpleasant consequences. Illustrations Marcel Ceuppens

War is heavy metal

George Gittoes’ documentary Soundtrack to War explores the profound integration of music into the daily lives of Americans serving in Iraq. The iPod has allowed music to become omnipresent, and servicemen and women have become ingenious in wiring up tanks and other vehicles to speaker systems that play music from their MP3 players. Gittoes’ interviewees explained how they used metal and rap music to psych themselves up to enter an environment in which - they felt - it was more than likely someone was going to try to kill them. Many of Gittoes interviewees also composed and performed music while in Iraq, as a form of catharsis or self-expression. Servicemen performing freestyle for the camera noted wryly that the ‘tough guy’ street scenarios and gunplay described in commercial rap music were nothing compared to the horror of their own experiences of combat. One young soldier explained that he had begun composing gore metal songs shortly after having to remove the badly damaged body of a friend from a vehicle that had gone over an IED. While they distinguished between the ‘fantasy’ aspect of the music they listened to, and the hard reality of their service experience, the power of the music seemed, if anything, enhanced by its proximity to actual violence. Complementary ground is covered by musicologist Jonathan Pieslak in his recent book Sound Targets, for which he interviewed army personnel about their relationship with music. Sergeant First Class C J Grisham explains the transforming power that music had on him: “War is so ugly and disgusting…. It’s an inhuman thing. It’s unnatural for people to kill people. It’s something that no one should ever have to do, unfortunately someone does. And we happen to be that someone sometimes. And so listening to music would artificially make you aggressive

Writer Hettie Judah

when you needed to be aggressive.” While Gittoes’ documentary looks at music as a form of escapism and self-expression, Pieslak goes further in exploring the root of certain forms of music’s association with violence and warfare. He traces, in particular, the way that heavy metal became first the genre of choice for action sequences in movies, then in video games – (“It’s just great music to game to. Especially if you’re pounding someone’s flesh in or crashing someone’s car, nothing beats heavy metal,” notes Steve Schnur, of EA Worldwide video games), eventually becoming the soundtrack of choice to American army recruitment ads. Music used in this way allows the listener to psych him or herself into a ‘role’ – in creating a soundtrack to actual action it feeds into

ˆ Bolting speakers onto the outside of the Humvees’ gun turrets and pounding out loud, relentless music to disorientate and exhaust the Iraqis ˇ the fantasy persona, allowing both a sense of personal power and an edge of unreality. The power of fantasy can become very specific. C J Grisham describes blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from his truck during one attack in Baghdad, specifically evoking the famous helicopter attack from Apocalypse Now to simultaneously psych up his own soldiers and intimidate the Iraqi forces.

According to Pieslak, metal’s appeal functions on a number of levels. Its fanbase in America corresponds to a significant social demographic that the army recruits from – young white working and lower middle class males. Because of its use in the entertainment industry, it has associations with power, excitement and chaotic force. He also analyses the timbre and rhythms of some of the tracks most popular with the soldiers, and notes that they have a literally warlike sound. Examining the structure of Slayer’s Angel of Death he notes; “because these rhythms are articulated in ways that resemble gunfire, soldiers may feel empowered by the music that, for them, evokes the sounds of combat.” The empowerment experienced by soldiers while listening to heavy metal and rap music has also been turned outward, transforming the aggressive power of the music into a literal weapon. This took place notably at Fallujah in 2004, when military strategy for retaking control of the city involved bolting speakers onto the outside of the Humvees’ gun turrets and pounding out loud, relentless music to disorientate and exhaust the Iraqis as the soldiers surrounded the city. Since the music was being used as aggressive noise, the choice of the tracks used was left up to the soldiers on the ground and included AC/DC, Eminem and Guns n’Roses. “Soldiers experiences have shown the transformative effect of music in combat preparation, and timbre has the power to bolster confidence and motivate listeners outside of themselves.” Pieslak concludes. “Paradoxically, the sound can irritate, frustrate, and psychologically break people down. It appears that metal, and to a slightly lesser degree rap, have the dubious distinction of being capable of both psychological effects,” Listen for new weapons

In Sonic Warfare, Steve Goodman describes how a related strategy was used in the so called Urban Funk Campaign in the early 1970s during the Vietnam war, using helicopter mounted devices known as sound curdler systems. The curdler emitted high-decibel sound, rather than music specifically, and was also used in a strategy called Wandering Soul in which the voices of ‘ghosts’ of Vietnamese ancestors were broadcast above the treetops at night, to psychologically disconcerting effect. Goodman also suggests that the British Ministry of Defence used “a device called the Squawk Box… during the troubles in Northern Ireland for crowd control.” The box, mounted on a Land Rover, would produce ultrasonic frequencies that when combined were “intolerable to the

the Music



human ear, producing giddiness, nausea, or fainting or merely a “spooky” psychological effect.” Goodman (better known as Dubstep artist Kode9) assumes a direct link between sound as a form of entertainment and sound as a form of oppression, regularly making reference to the “military entertainment complex”, but away from the deep theory and philosophy of academia, the connection between the two seems more like furiously dark irony than sinister cahoots. Lost in music

While working on their album Heligoland, Massive Attack approached a number of artists whose work they admired to create short films to accompany an album track of their choice. Among these were Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg whose photographic work over the last decade has often examined the complex position of the photographer in depicting human suffering. Having recently completed projects in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the duo initially proposed using the track Saturday Come Slow for a film about US Drones (remotely piloted planes). Massive Attack put them in touch with the human rights charity Reprieve that is currently running a campaign called ZeroDB to end the use of music in torture. The CIA run facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Morocco and at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba use extremely loud music to break down detainees. Those who have been through it explain that the relentless barrage has horrific psychological effects – they literally felt that they were losing their sanity. “Massive Attack are very committed to ending capital punishment,” explains Ollie. “They started talking to us about the use of music in torture, they introduced us to Ruhal and it went from there.” Ruhal Ahmed is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was submitted to interrogation techniques using high volume music – in the film Saturday Come Slow he describes being short-shackled and blasted with cold air for up to two and a half days at a stretch with the constant sound of heavy metal music being interspersed with episodes of physical violence and intimidation. Whereas metal had been used by the US soldiers for its supposed power as intolerable even diabolical – foreign music, this is clearly not the root of the devastating effect that it had in this instance. “Ruhal is an English kid; that music wasn’t a cultural barrage,” explains Ollie. “It was familiar – eventually that music becomes something completely abstracted. Tracks used in this kind of interrogation have included music by Aerosmith, Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC, Metallica, Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Britney Spears, Drowning Pool and even tunes from childrens’

shows Sesame Street and Barney. Ollie explains that Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of Reprieve was unable to get the American military to admit to using music in torture so filed a copyright infringement lawsuit to make them pay for the use of Eminem. The Cambridge University professor interviewed in Saturday Come Slow explains that the nature of the music used in torture is less a factor than the volume and quality of the sound – distortion from cheap speakers used at top volume was likely to be more of an irritant than the music itself, and continued exposure to noise at high volumes can cause permanent damage to the ear. The film specifically focuses on the effects of sound and vibration on the human ear, but Ollie still finds it hard to divorce the notion of music as noise from music as something created and expressive. “Music is something that we all associate with joy or pleasure,” he explains. “That transformation is so horrifying – that the beautiful thing becomes something intolerable.”

Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War (2009) by Jonathan Pieslak Indiana University Press Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear (2010) by Steve Goodman MIT Press Soundtrack to War (2007) by director George Gittoes Revelation Films (Olivier Chanarin and Adam Broomberg)


The special showstoppers  Consume   We love   Lifestyle   Fetish 

At the back of the bus

— The nomadic lifestyle of the band on the summer festival circuit is both a blessing and a curse. While such movement adds exponentially to both industry cred and the rock ‘n’ roll allure, the effects on both sanity and hygiene can be much less desirable. Whether struck by stress, boredom, the sense of imprisonment, or a severe and unexpected upset stomach (after all, fast bands sometimes need fast food), our music special showstoppers will help to ease tour bus pain. Photography Ulrike Biets

Thanks to Rolo Tomassi for letting The Word invade the little free time and space they had as they rolled on through Europe.

the Music



01. Production, pocket-sized

The ever-growing portability of music production and performance is clear. Many musicians--especially DJ’s--can throw the majority of what they’ll need for an upcoming show in a bag, jump on an Easyjet flight from Berlin to wherever, and entertain eager listeners by the hundreds. The Play Station Portable—or PSP—helped to revolutionise portable entertainment, combining into one tiny object the services previously offered by both gameboys and home entertainment systems. And now, PSP and Rockstar games (and hip-hop producer Timbaland) have united to create the new program Beaterator. It is not just a video game, but a musical tool, a means to produce tracks electronically, professionally and portably. It’s a pocket studio. Sony PSP (¤ 169,99) Beaterator (¤ 12)

02. Hard-as

Berlin-based Uslu Airlines’ nail varnish appeals to us on so many levels – every shade is named for an airport code – LAS (Las Vegas, USA) is a chunky blue glitter, WWI (WoodieWoodie, Australia) is cerise, while KNO (Knokke, Belgium) is appropriately old gold – the colours are ace, and they produce special varnish for DJs. So far they’ve collaborated with Headman (ZRH, pale blue), Ed Banger (PSG, lime green), Rollerboys (JMK, lilac) and Fetisch (THF, metallic steel – named in loving memory of Berlin’s Tempelhof). It seems almost a waste to lavish such care on fingers in an era when they’re more likely to be tapping the keys of their computers during a set than touching actual vinyl, but we must admit that we’re dead jealous. USLU Airlines nailvarnish, (¤ 21) available at Princess Blue (Antwerp) and Colette (Paris).


The special showstoppers

03. You were saying ?

It seems ironic that a career in music can do such damage to the very organ that allows you to hear, but take it from us – the downside to heavy gigging in your 20s is damaged hearing in your 30s. Made-to-measure earplugs can cut out ambient noise when you listen to your iPod, or let you sleep on the tourbus. They block hazardous noise, but allow you enough hearing to have a conversation, and are (apparently) comfortable enough to wear all the time. Molded from rapid-setting silicone, the earplugs are produced and tested in just one 20 minute session, ensuring that your ears don’t go the way of Pete Townsend’s. Hello? Hello! Sonomax bespoke headphones (¤ 95+VAT) including fitting and testing.

04. Freak Out Requiem (I-IV)

There’s pretty much nothing that we can say about Krautrock that wouldn’t get some nit picking obsessive chasing after us with an arm-length list of corrections (the suggestion that Krautrock attracts nit-picking obsessives is probably enough to get the antagonistic ball rolling). So we’ll keep it brief. This is a book about late 1960s-70s West German experimental music, coming out of the commune movement, influenced by radical electronic composer Stockhausen, free jazz and general futuristic craziness. Not a genre so much as a diverse movement (the British press came up with the Krautrock tag), championed in the UK by DJ John Peel. Proponents may or may not include Faust, Can, Amon Düül I, Popol Vuh and Neu!. This looks at Kraturock’s roots and influence, with great visuals and contributions from muso bods including that unbelievably cool chick from Add (N to (X)), which, frankly, does it for us. Krautrock, Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy (2009) by Ed Nikolaos Kotsopoulos – Black Dog Publishing

the Music



05. Teen dream hygiene

The sanitary fixtures of the summer festival circuit are enough to reduce the toughest of bands to squeaking hysteria – and frankly, who among us hasn’t been psychologically scarred by the sight of mountains of ick rising above the level of the toilet seats, and the total absence of loo paper and washing facilities? No tour bus should be without ample supplies of bog roll, and a stack of Imodium to make sure that you don’t cut through your supplies too fast. Lack of washing facilities can (kind of, just) be made up for with wetwipes and antibacterial wash – tourbus etiquette also demands we mention that your FEET also need to be washed. And your socks changed. No, really. They do. Wetwipes, handgel, lavatory paper and Imodium available in all good pharmacies.

06. We don’t recommend doing this

As every classy barkeeper knows, the correct vessel in which to serve a Vodka Red Bull is a disposable plastic glass. No straw, no ice, no umbrella. Classy barkeepers, to be honest, are pretty snotty about Vodka Red Bull – usually it’s easier to purchase to the two fluids separately then mix them yourself – but we’ve discovered that it does have a name (‘Birch’, apparently, although ‘Heart Attack’ was cited as an alternative), which makes it a proper cocktail, no? Definitely not big, or cool, or clever. But for the purposes of documentary accuracy, we felt compelled to include it in our tourbus lineup. Absolut Vodka and Red Bull, both available in nightshops across Europe. Prices may vary.

 Visit theshelf for more tour bus antics and products purchase links. See page 94 for full product information.


The moment  Disruptive   Water cooler   Talent 

Eureka !

— We always like to imagine that brilliant ideas will come to us in a flash of inspiration – like the little lightbulb that you see in kids’ cartoons – and it seems to be true for a lot of inventive designers that bright ideas do just come to them. Of course, what follows is a whole lot of slog to turn the bright ideas into reality. We talk to three bright sparks about what lights their bulb, and what comes after. Writer Hettie Judah

Photography Emanuele Marcuccio


Sleigh of hand: Paul Cocksedge

Paul Cocksedge’s designs provoke a double take – from the vase that turns into a lamp as you place a cut flower into it, to rain repelling orbs to hang over a footbridge – his work injects the spice of magic into the everyday. The young British designer has an omnivorous approach to the world around him – he reckons that he takes around 1,000 photos a month on his iPhone of things that inspire or intrigue him. When we met up in Milan, he showed us a picture of a stream of light that he took at three am that morning which shows a beam of light turned into a kind of tornado by a metal grille. “Sometimes I’ll just see something, and that will be the beginning,” he explains. “It can get quite tiring. Other projects I do are more research led – I love research. I’m not interested in what it will become – I rarely think about the final objects. It makes my process a lot longer than other people’s, but

otherwise it doesn’t fulfil me. I’m not that scared about the research not leading to anything; all the impulsive experiments I do always make sense eventually in a project.

ˆ When I show something to my mum it’s important to me that she enjoys it on an impulsive level ˇ I have a space set up for that – there are tools and electricity and I can get things started there. If I need to pull in more specialised equipment, it’s all part of the process. For the rain repeller, for example we had to get a bigger electrostatic generator in.


The real breakthrough moment for me is when an idea begins to make sense completely – certain things need to happen in an object for me. It’s not too stuffy or specialist – I like ideas that can be enjoyed by people who aren’t design people. When I show something to my mum it’s important to me that she enjoys it on an impulsive level. There’s always an instinct to go one step too far with things – but things don’t need to be that big, you filter it down. With the skin light, it was always about creating the most minimal opening possible, but the object started getting out of control – it was never meant to light up a room – I love that moment when an object lets you know what to do. I don’t want to be ‘in’ the work too much – to have a Paul Cocksedge style – because that will date. You can do anything, but it’s not about that, it’s about doing something that deserves to exist.”


The moment

Music of chance: Bertjan Pot

Bertjan Pot’s designs have a playfulness that belies the meticulous research that goes into their formation. A true perfectionist, who prefers his work to speak for itself – he refuses to have his image used to promote his work and is dogmatic about factual accuracy – Bertjan is never the less open to happy accidents in his design work. His Random Light – a best seller for the Dutch producer Moooi – was originally made by hand in the Philippines. When Moooi decided that the transportation costs were prohibitive and created a machine to produce it in the Netherlands, it was initially impossible to program it to produce random patterns – this led to a new version – the Non Random Light – being produced alongside the old version. This year he presented a seamless, felt-covered chair for Established & Sons and a monumental lamp for Moooi in which

the metallic spirals that form the shade turn gently under the heat of the halogen bulbs. “This lamp was originally made for a restaurant. I was asked to do a light for a restaurant that was meant to be getting its third Michelin star. It would have been the first restaurant with 3 Michelin stars and no table linen: you can’t hang a chandelier in a place like that. In the old days a chandelier used to be candles floating over a table in a metal ring – the glass beads sparkled and allowed you to use less candles, so I thought I should create something sparkling for a restaurant where you don’t know how to start a conversation or what to look at. They’re going to ban halogens – but they’re the only full spectrum light that you can get – I wanted to use the heat of the halogens to create extra beauty – the lightbulb heating up makes the air circulate. I thought it would be nice to create something that wasn’t defined by an outline – something moving would fit into that – it’s about the light itself,

not about the shape of the light. Developing a design for me is normally just a chain reaction of happy moments and sad moments, but there is usually a time when you think you’re onto something. It’s always a lot of things coming together that grows into something. Every project has so much research and leads to new products – I’m still a small studio, I don’t have to support a lot of assistants, I know that this is the best way for me to make products – if one sells better it allows me to work for the next year. After having an idea you then have to solve problems – the beauty of the idea is simple: and it stays nice as the long as the research gives more joy and more beauty to the idea. During the development process you get more and more failures. My studio is very big and filled with failures – I just hardly ever call them failures, they’re experiments.”


Through the eyes of a child: Matali Crasset

Matali Crasset’s vision normally addresses a whole life scenario – readdressing living practices and norms through the creation of a total habitat, rather than individual objects. In Milan this year she changed tack momentarily to present Volte Face, an exercise in creating the maximum functionality and symbolic significance in an object through the absolute minimum design gesture. “I do a lot of workshops to sensitise people to what designing can be. I do workshops with small children and in a hospital with young adults with mental illnesses. Usually they invite artists, bat I was invited as a designer, so I tried to do something very simple to give them an access into design and what I do. A cut in a piece of paper turns it from two dimensions into a three-dimensional object that takes on a function. “Volte Face started with this idea of a

sheet of paper and the idea of creating an inside and an outside. You take out all the superficial elements – there is an aesthetic aspect, but it’s made with nothing. I like this idea of clean shapes – it’s a shape that everybody can understand – everyone does this kind of fold. There’s a double aspect to the object – I always want to enlarge the function – so you can also use it as a symbolic object for rituals. That’s why the pieces look like masks. I don’t like to work with aesthetics – here the aesthetic is given by holes and cuts. I wanted the cuts and holes to give a shape – it’s like a kid who finds a shell – depending on the scale they imagine it as a house or as an object to make things with – this was a question of creating a three dimensional shape and finding what it could be. There was an idea of not having one object for one function; you have different layers of meaning with an object – when you look at the objects coming from a village in Africa you feel the objects have a soul – they


add different layers on an object – I don’t want to create archetypes, I prefer new typologies and new ways of doing things – to have different layers of significance and bring them together. This uses minimal materials and simple techniques – it’s low tech, not like stereolithoraphy. With a lot of objects right now you can see that designers try to use new types of material and complex production processes – I never do that – if you do that you are just doing an exercise. I don’t think that people are so interested in living with an exercise. You must first have an intention and you choose the material for its ability to fulfil the concept. Before I wanted to do everything myself, but more and more I do a lot of collaborations. I’m feeling more free. Now I don’t want all the pieces to be the same – the craftsman has the liberty to finish the projects – I don’t mind if they are slightly different.”


The shelf  Arts   Consume   We love 

The broken book club — From papercrafted creations to an elevated urban artery, ingenuity, innovation and intrigue take centre stage in this month’s book selection. Photography Guy Van Laere

Writer Nicholas Lewis

Cult street wear (2010) by Josh Sims

The front room (2009) by Michael McMillan

Laurence King

Black Dog Publishing

If you’re anything like us, the term ‘street’ conjures up feelings of corporate bigwigs thinking they’re ‘with it’ because they’ve heard about Banksy and wear Carhartt on weekends. Indeed, never since the word ‘luxury’ was slapped on everything from tour operator holidays to health insurance has a term been so blatantly misappropriated - heck, nowadays, even Sprite is said to be ‘street’. In Cult Street Wear, Josh Sims does his best to dig through the rubble to distinguish the ‘true originals’ from the ‘wannabees’. He profiles the ’true’ (A Bathing Ape, The Hundreds), points to the original (Zoo York, Triple Five Soul), touches upon the obvious (Obey, Stussy) but definitely could have left out the majors (Nike, Puma, Lacoste).

The front room, especially to newly-arrived migrants, was and remains an important part of creating a respectable home environment in a new country. The window to the world for many a newly-established family, front rooms quickly came to embody success (or lack thereof), similarly to the message a new BMW might send to neighbours. The one room in the house where family pride is readily put on display (think graduation portraits and ornamental souvenirs), the front room defines a family, from the settee and glass cabinet to the record player and paper on the wall. A warm and intimate book, full of visual references.

Objectivity (2010) by David Usborne


Thames & Hudson

Everyone has a father or uncle who spends more time in his garden shed than in the house, endlessly attending to a raft of tools only he holds the secret to. The kind of father or uncle to have a tool for every situation life throws at him. This book, Objectivity, is that garden shed. Presenting a bewildering array of tools of the trade (vanished ones in most cases), the book is divided in nine useful chapters (hitting, cutting, gripping, holding, rubbing, shielding, molding, spreading and testing) and brings about some astonishing unknowns, chosen for their intriguing functions (a glass cucumber forcer) and their elegant forms (the chest exerciser). A design geek’s guide to heaven.

Art + science now (2010) by Stephen Wilson Thames & Hudson

This book rests on one key premise: most of today’s cutting-edge contemporary art is made not in the studio, but in the laboratory. From computer-controlled video performances to sensorial evolving paintings, Art + science now provides a dazzling array of cases (over 250) where technology meets the arts to create a new, contemporary artistic narrative. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you sure as hell need to know about this stuff. Papercraft (2009) by Robert Klanten Gestalten

Walking the high line (2010) by Joel Sternfeld

New York’s High Line (an elevated cargo railway line that runs down Manhattan’s West side) is the stuff of urban legend. A logistic lifeline to the city from the 1930s to the 1960s, its use declined in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to total neglect. The High Line is today a wild and dense strip of jungle fever (grass and wildflower seeds were carried by the wind, insects and birds to form a new soil and, gradually, a wild new elevated landscape) that snakes through the city. Since the beginning of 2000, Joel Sternfeld has been capturing its many evolutions throughout the seasons, creating quiet and graceful imagery that allow a view of New York from behind.

From character and graphic design to urban and fine art, paper has gained in popularity in the last decade, a direct result of the era’s fascination with all things DIY. Its malleability, suppleness and differences in texture allow for an amazing range of different applications. Paper can be crumpled, torn, folded, cut, glued, painted, layered and shredded. It can even be mashed up then spat out, and still look amazing. Papercraft takes its hat off to some of the most innovative artists, designers and set designers in the field with this extensive survey of the insatiable trend for paper in the creative industries. Léopold Rabus (2010) Hatje Cantz

We only just recently discovered Rabus’ disjointed, dysfunctional and dystopian world. Playful and somewhat absurd, his work often depicts ill-fated, gruesome and idiotic men having fallen from grace. A fall Rabus is only too eager to interpret with his cartoon-like, heavy-handed and brash brush stroke.


 From top to bottom

The Front Room (Black dog publishing), Cult Street Wear (Laurence King), Léopold Rabus (Hatje Cantz), Walking the High Line (Steidl), Objectivity (Thames & Hudson), Art + Science Now (Thames & Hudson), Papercraft (Gestalten).

 Visit for more photographs of the books as well as Amazon purchase links.



The pencil  Arts   Arts  Play   Play  Technology   Exclusive   Talent   Talent 




The pencil


The eye  Arts   Photography   Technology 

— Many of the objects that we overlook or take for granted have had an extraordinary role to play in human history. From concrete to the cathode ray tube: yesterday’s breakthrough discovery often becomes tomorrow’s trash. Photography Guy Van Laere

Additional research Hettie Judah


“It was around 1000 BC that the Mayan civilisation began to chew and smoke the leaves of the tobacco plant, as well as mix the leaves together with herbs and plants and administer the mixture to the wounds of the sick. Columbus was probably the first European to see tobacco leaves although he did not smoke them himself. A fellow explorer, Rodrigo de Jerez, shortly after landed in Cuba and observed some of the inhabitants smoking the tobacco leaves. On his return to Spain, laden with heaps of tobacco, Jerez startled his fellow

countrymen by smoking in front of them. Never in their lives had they seen a man with smoke coming out of his mouth and nose. People thought that he was possessed by the devil and members of the Spanish Inquisition imprisoned him for several years. During his imprisonment, smoking actually became quite popular in Spain. Pipe smoking and snuff became popular in London during the 17th Century but it wasn’t until the mid 1800's that the cigarette as we know it was manufactured. At the beginning of WWII, American


President Théodore Roosevelt made tobacco a protected crop. There were shortages of tobacco in America and England, as packets and packets of cigarettes were sent to the troops fighting in the war. During both World Wars smoking cigarettes became immensely popular. After the war the soldiers went back home and introduced cigarettes to their families, thereby strengthening the trend.” ©


“A Russian historian, Znachko-Iavorskii, tells a surprising story about concrete and cement. Too many historians of concrete have studied only written documents. That’s not where the story is. The concrete itself survives from Roman times right down through the ages. Znachko-Iavorskii has looked at old concrete all over the world and found that it’s remarkably variable. But chiefly he’s found so much very good cement and concrete that's been passed over and forgotten. He finds highly water-resistant plasters from the 4th century BC. He finds that

The eye

egg whites, Cheshire cheese, and sour camel cream were all used in the Middle Ages to make cements water-resistant. He finds a great deal of medieval, and even Roman, concrete that would easily pass today’s standards. He tells us something historians of technology have learned the hard way and only during the last 50 years. The scribes of kings and emperors didn’t write down the means used by craftsmen out behind the castle. Documentation of ancient technology is very minimal. The word technology itself is a modern concept. It

literally means the study or lore of technique. Engineering textbooks – that written lore – are really very new. Consequently, an art that is as base, and yet as fundamentally important, as mixing concrete was learned and forgotten 100 times.” © John H Lienhard, University of Houston, voice and author of the Engines of our Ingenuity




“For over one billion people in the developing world, glasses are a distant dream. Access to eyecare is almost non-existent in subSaharan Africa, and highly restricted in other parts of the developing world. It is beyond the reach of hundreds of millions of the world's growing urban poor. A lack of proper eyesight has direct effects for those affected by it; a reduction in productivity at work, a closing-off of new opportunities, a reduction in quality of life, a possible deterioration in general health and


possibly preventable blindness. The greatest barrier to effective treatment is a lack of trained optometrists - many developing nations have as few as one optometrist for every million people. A lack of dedicated facilities and equipment also limits access to eyecare. Compounding this issue, the cost of traditional eyewear is prohibitive for the many people surviving on less than a dollar per day. Global Vision 2020 aims to tackle the vast issue of vision correction globally

through the dissemination of self-adjustable eyeglasses through the use of existing aid/ development organisation distribution networks throughout the developing world.” ©


“It all depends on how you define important, of course. But to my mind the most important invention is telecommunications technology: the telegraph, the telephone, and now things like the Internet. Until about 150 years ago, it was impossible to communicate with someone in real time unless they were in the same room. Today, in the developed world at least, we think nothing of talking with people on the other side of the world. During the course of a normal working day, many people spend more time dealing with people remotely than

The eye

they do face-to-face. The ubiquity of telecommunications technology has become deeply embedded in our culture. Of course, life has sped up as a result. But we watch TV and use telephones, fax machines and, increasingly, the Internet, almost unthinkingly. If the mark of an advanced technology is that it is indistinguishable from magic, then the mark of an important one is that it becomes invisible — that we fail to notice when we are using it. That makes the significance of telecommunications technology very easy to overlook, and underestimate.”

© Tom Standage, Science Correspondent of The Economist First published on


“In my view, questions of "importance" cannot be answered without first specifying "criteria of importance," of "important with respect to what." Thus, I would give the following answer to your question: "One criterion for "most important" is that which has most profoundly altered patterns of human mating. Changes in mating can affect the subsequent evolutionary course of the entire species, with cascading consequences for virtually every aspect of human

life. Although many inventions have altered human mating over the past 2,000 years, television must rank among the most important. Television has changed status and prestige criteria, created instant celebrities, hastened the downfall of leaders, increased the importance of physical appearance, and accelerated the intensity of intrasexual mate competition — all of which have acutely transformed the nature of sexuality and mating and perhaps forever altered the evolutionary course of our species.”


© David Buss, Professor of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin First published on


“As nearly as we can tell from archaeological evidence, the wheel was invented somewhere in present-day Iraq or Iran around 3500 BC. That in itself is surprising, because it's so late in human history. The other odd thing about the wheel is that it stayed within Europe and Asia as long as it did. Wheels were hardly seen in the American hemisphere until they were brought into regular use by European settlers in the 17th century. There's evidence that 11th-century Mexicans had the concept, but no evidence of its general use. Of course, we've lived since birth with a hundred thousand different forms of the

The eye

wheel. It's hard for us to imagine what a difficult concept it represents. But look at it, if you can, from the standpoint of someone who's never seen one. You understand movement in a straight line, and you understand the idea of turning things around. But can you make a connection between the two? Can you conceive of making a vehicle go forward by turning something around? We've all played the children's game of patting our head and rubbing our stomach at the same time. It's very hard to do, because it's hard to conceptualise these two very different kinds of motion at the same time.

Most of the important ancient inventions seem to have been made over and over -- at different times and in different places. Not so the wheel. It seems to have originated in one place and diffused to other peoples and other cultures from there. It was very likely the product of an isolated act of human ingenuity.� Š John H Lienhard, University of Houston, voice and author of the Engines of our Ingenuity

volume 01 02 1 — issue 0


Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

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volume 02 — issue 06

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The stockists  Consume   We love 

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Hugo Boss Brussels Black Dog Publishing

Café Costume Brussels

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The advertisers  Consume   We love 

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men + women

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/FJHICPVSIPPEMJGFBOEHMPCBMTUZMF Balthazar Downtown Rue MarchĂŠ aux fromages 22 Kaasmarkt 1000 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 514 23 96

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Hilton Brussels Blvd de Waterloo 38 1000 Brussels T: 02 504 1333

Balthazar Uptown Avenue Louise 294 Louizalaan 1050 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 647 77 37

This offer is valid until 31 August 2010.



pages 93

page 95

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Wiels Contemporary Art Centre presents large-scale exhibitions accompanied by a complementary program of conferences, screenings, performances,â&#x20AC;Ś alongside an international artist-in-residency platform of nine studios and an education and off-site program.



Leonor Antunes, Alexandra Leykauf, David Maljkovic, Manfred Pernice, Falke Pisano, Tobias Putrih, Pia RĂśnicke, Oscar Tuazon, Armando Tudela, Up



Francis AlĂżs A Story of Deception

The Word


page 99

page 100


6:40:56 PM

Dining in style

Ristorante italiano , part of The Rocco Forte Collection â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hotel Amigoâ&#x20AC;? Rue de l'Amigo 1, 1000 BRUXELLES | Tel. : 02.547.47.15 | Fax : 02.547.47.67 |

Ristorante Bocconi


Kasper Akhoj Lorna McIntyre Evelyne Axell

Van Volxemlaan 354 1190 Brussel T +32 (0) 2 340 00 50



Wangechi Mutu


Before we leave you…  Play   The team 

© Melika Ngombe


Dining in style

Ristorante italiano , part of The Rocco Forte Collection â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hotel Amigoâ&#x20AC;? Rue de l'Amigo 1, 1000 BRUXELLES | Tel. : 02.547.47.15 | Fax : 02.547.47.67 |

The Breakthrough Issue  

Neighbourhood: Patent pending — Life: Formula for fame — Style: Insanely talented — Design: What inspires? — Culture: Sci fi comix — The Mus...

The Breakthrough Issue  

Neighbourhood: Patent pending — Life: Formula for fame — Style: Insanely talented — Design: What inspires? — Culture: Sci fi comix — The Mus...