NO.7 Andrea Galvani Shauna Richardson Kate MccGwire Nick Lepard Anselmo Swan RafaĂŤl Rozendaal
Joon&Jung Avi Buffalo Inlets Lali Puna Xavier Brisoux Clare Tough
front and back cover image : Andrea Galvani ÂŠ 2005 Death of an image #1,(details) C-print on aluminium dibond, 100x133 cm. PrivateCollection, Berlin. Edition of 5. Courtesy Artericambi, Italy.
editor in chief/creative director Catherine Bui
associate editor Christopher Nguyen
writers Jeanne Le Krystal Miranda Callie Rice Garrett Yim Michelle Nguyen Alex Rajabi Scott D. Mackie Kari Elam Emily Hsiao Jack Dolan Derrick Taruc Stephanie Hernandez Raciel Cuevas
contributing photographers John-Paul Bland Tessa Angus Francis Ware Gerald von Foris Mathieu Drouet Jem Mitchell JĂśrg Koopmann Shane Oâ€™Brien Ken Mayer Kristianna Smith Sandra Flores Scene Photography
contact email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com P.O. Box 27434 Anaheim, CA 92809-7434 www.titlemagazine.net
one year anniversary issue! art/design 9 17 25 31 39 46 53
features Shauna Richardson RafaĂŤl Rozendaal Joon&Jung Nick Lepard Kate MccGwire Andrea Galvani Anselmo Swan
61 Gallery Alex Goss Duarte Netto Maximilian Haidacher Tigre Escobar
music features 73 Inlets 75 Avi Buffalo 77 Lali Puna 80 Album Reviews
fashion features 87 xavierxbrisoux 93 Clare Tough
ART/ DESIGN MUSIC FASHION
SHAUNA RICHARDSON by Michelle Nguyen images by Scene Photography
Shauna Richardson creates her eight foot bear with the finest materials she can find: mohair, glass eyes and reproduction jaws. She then mounts them on walnut bases that are carefully crafted by cabinet makers. A little less than conventional, Shauna has been working over three years to make creatures that range from foxes, rabbits, bears, and an upcoming set of thirty-foot lions with all parts and proportions crocheted to realistic perfection — of what she calls Crochetdermy. Growing up on the outskirts of Leicester, England, Shauna learned how to crochet in junior school where it just remained in the background where the practice was far removed from her art practices in conceptual art; as far as she can remember, Shauna describes her experience growing up in the Midlands of England as “ a run of the mill, out of proportion, agony and ecstasy experience,” a life full of extremes--extreme adventures and extreme boredom. Although her creative path did not begin until she entered into formal art education in University in Leicester as a mature student, school was where she started her obsessive search for the answer that almost all creative minds seek — What is art? After spending an extensive amount of time hunting down the definition and pushing that definition to it’s boundaries, in one hand, Shauna believed that to push the boundaries of the definition of ‘art,’ she would have to walk out of University and never discuss art again, but on the other hand, she attached herself to the theory that “Anything can be art;” which is the theory that has produced a rich bank of wide ranging work including audio pieces, text, and actions and began to explore and question “…if anything can be art, why not traditional craft? Realism? The artist’s hand? [or] Highly accessible themes such as animals?” She has been creating Crochetdermy pieces for over three years, and even after all these years of meticulously creating her own animal structures, her inquisitive nature still continues to fuel her inspiration. Crochetdermy pieces can take up to months to produce; and lately, Shauna has been embarking on the largest scaled pieces up to date--three enormous lions that are going to be displayed runners for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is currently planning a collection that she is highly excited about and is preparing for the time it will take to create, as well as searching for a matchless gallery to host her works. “There is an utterly selfish creative bit in me that demands satisfaction.”
RAFAﾃ記 ROZENDAAL by Jeanne Le
Rafaël Rozendaal descended from, I suppose you could say, a “president” of Brazil in the 1960’s, while others argue Humberto Castelo Branco was a dictator. But to settle this, Rafaël’s great-grandfather was a mild man who only drank juice rather than alcohol and happened to have his face imprinted on Brazilian coins. As a strict military-concentrated family, Rafaël’s mother moved to Europe to pursue architecture. And there, she fell in love and married a Dutch painter whom also broke away from his traditional Calvinist family. It is no surprise that Rafaël turned out the way he is, an artist with a sense of humor, quirk, and creating nonconforming genius works of art. Rafaël Rozendaal is an artist unlike any other, from his family history, to his artworks, and to his lifestyle. Like an artistic vagabond—hungry and pushing for inspiration constantly, Rafaël’s goal is to have as many exhibitions as possible. Spending his time in different hotels for about three weeks out of each month for exhibitions, many would complain or be completely homesick. But for Rafaël, he enjoys the atmosphere of hotels, telling me he would not mind purchasing different hotel rooms across the world, swimming in their different pools, and taking advantage of the wondrous room services. Rafaël always had a fascination for the internet, but it wasn’t until he took a flash workshop in school that he found his passion. From then, “My life is geared toward finding ideas all the time. I do whatever that does the trick [for inspiration and ideas] because it is very addictive.” His inspirations come to life when he is bored, but in this technological age, being bored is hardly ever evident with the mass entertainment available. Though, when he is bored or watching movies and old cartoons, ideas begin to spur up in his mind. Rafaël then brainstorms on the idea for a couple of weeks, sketch, elaborate on illustrator and flash. When the concept is ready, he talks to his programmer who brings Rafaël’s artworks to life through technical HTML codes. The website works of Rafaël are distinctly art, although one could mistakenly confuse him as an “artsy web designer.” “Art, art, art. Has nothing to do with design, “ Rafaël answered. He continues on and explains, “I call them websites. They are websites as art objects, unique sellable pieces.” Rafaël’s artwork are humorous, addicting, and smart. Humorous, well simply because he focuses on everyday things that can cause a person to chuckle with delight, such as his earlier works of mrnicehands.com and pleasetouchme.com that feature hands being funny, if you can believe that (yes, hands can actually be very entertaining). Other works of his feature geometric shapes, patterns, and clever effects. His websites such as jellotime.com and biglongnow.com attracts the viewer to keep on playing with the site over and over endlessly and never tiring. “I want to be rich without compromising my work. I see myself living in hotels swimming laps in the pool and eating fruit salads around the world,” Rafaël said. With about 60 domain names, and continually growing, “For me, the more I make, the better. Always trying to find more and better, always pushing on,” he says. Already with an iphone app out called ‘Clouds’, 3 more will also be coming on their way as part of the McSweeny’s iPhone Magazine. Keep an eye on Rafaël Rozendaal’s blog.
We asked RafaĂŤl one question per website...hereâ€™s what he had to say....
First off, do you like the color cyan? It shows up quite often in your work...we used cyan in this layout just for you! RR: I never thought about it, but there IS a lot of cyan in my work. Colors are very important to me, the brighter the better.
This reminds us of the work of Piet Mondrian. What inspired you to create this? RR: Yes, I love his work and I always look at his paintings whenever I can. It gives me courage to continue.
Are you afraid of spiders? RR: Not really of the ones you find in Europe. But the big venomous spiders are scary for sure.
jellotime.com is one of our favorites. Whatâ€™s your favorite? RR: I dont really have a favorite. Art, to me, is about the life of an artist, moving along through time and pausing moments in different pieces, some better than others, but all together, that is what is most interesting.
Nothing on this site reminds us of meat or carnivores. Why did you name it beefchickenpork.com? RR: Itâ€™s a secret that only you can answer.
This could be planets or marbles..or neither. But if you were given a chance to go to space, would you go? RR: I want to really bad! I love sitting in moving vehicles and looking out the window.
JOON&JUNG by Jeanne Le photos by Studio Joon&Jung
Joons and Jungyou, a conceptual couple that make up “Studio Joon&Jung – Designteller,” a design studio based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Joons and Jungyou both moved away from South Korea and relocated in the Netherlands where they met each other at the Design Academy Eindhoven. The school has been deemed as “the best design academy in the world,” producing well known alumnus such as Droog Design. “We were getting thirsty about creativity and totally thinking about the future,” Joons said. With this, they both slowly transitioned away from the Korean way of thinking and stepped into the Dutch design world. Jungyou described that the first impression of Dutch design seemed harsh and direct, but it prominently shaped the way of Joon&Jung’s approach to designing — separating themselves from other designers. As a little boy, Joons was always fascinated with computer programming for games while Jungyou on the other hand always toyed with the idea of designing. As they grew up, Joons majored in industrial design and Jungyou majored in interaction design. Though they come from different backgrounds of product designing, they have the same focal point of production and contribute to each other as a team. “In a work contribution way, we don’t have anything in common. Ironically, that is our strong point,” Joons continued on to say, “I practically support with the technical knowledge, and she takes care of the sense of tactile expression.” There is something culturally subtle and aesthetically luxurious to the way Dutch designers mold their objects after. The Dutch is bold with their design, texture, and quality while maintaining a “not-too-over-the-top” feel. Jungyou focuses on the regarded simplistic effort of Dutch designers rather than the “over-the-top” English dandyism. It seems to tell a story of the designer’s intention or expression: “We want to tell how a beautiful and precious life you have and we express it through the form of design and concept,” Joons described. They produce elegant and simplistic looking products with a whimsical narrative. “We look for stories all around us, trying to translate an object to have a function,” Jungyou described. Many of the inspirations for their designs come from stories of their neighbor, nature, space, and art. They capture their environmental inspirations into an object, “We are learning from an environment, and designing the essential of the era,” Joons explained. Joons and Jungyou are a witty couple creating objects after a childlike story they have created. The purpose is to unify and connect the society, whether through environmental friendly mediums, as they have used, or expressing culture and inspiring stories. Products such as “Rocking on the Beach” rocking chair, is a story illustrated from the nostalgic feeling of the beach. This rocking chair is designed with pipes and spouts where sand can be poured in, as one would rock their chair, the ambient sound mimics the ocean tide. Other clever prototypes include a lamp in a form of the dozen of eggs in an egg carton and a handmade melting cup. The handmade melting cup literally breaks the mold for the norm of cups; Joon and Jung creates each cup with individuality and a story that fits its lines and melts. They also note that there will be three more objects to come, so keep an eye on this couple.
NICK LEPARD by Kari Elam
“My goal is to reflect people in the modern world, but not the modern world itself;” meet Nick Lepard, a 22-year-old artist by way of Vancouver. As the product of a media immersed society, Lepard’s artwork represents the human in the midst — not necessarily at the whim, or in complete control—of a world that is constantly changing, and “here one minute, gone the next.” His portraits capture the essence of the person: layered, multi-faceted, rich, deep, integrated, contemporary, classic, and complete in the face of fragmentation. Lepard attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design where he honed his natural creativity with formal technique and perspective. His artwork echoes the blend of the academic and the innate, and the partnership of the two, as opposed to the polarity: “I don’t think academia and the real world need to be considered opposites. There can be common ground: art that is informed by an education and the real world; art that is intuitive and raw but also considered.” Beyond the fusion of classroom and real-world experience, Lepard’s paintings reflect the merger of a wide-range of inspirations. His work is the product of a true artist: it reflects the mentality of the man behind the masterpiece. Nick channels his influences —from concrete paintings like Kristin Moran’s Profane Love and Tai-Shan Shierenberg’s The Storyteller to more abstract concepts like the influx of media and information on the human being – onto the canvas. He produces pieces that reflect the process more so than a planned product: “I find my art never really turns out the way I plan, which I chalk up to the fact that there are a lot of things influencing me that I am either unaware of, or that I don’t want to give credit to.” The organic process is one that is integral to his signature style. Lepard’s work founded upon flow and progression: “I want my paintings to be an evolution of painting- something grown from the act of painting, not from the act of thinking about painting.” His art is thought-provoking, but result of thought conveyed through
physical expression: “It’s a challenge to turn a private idea stuck in your head into something tangible and physical for someone else to see or experience. It’s difficult in the physical sense, using materials etc, but you also have to try and understand and manage the complex world of communication and symbolic language.” It is that challenge that propels his artistic passion. Lepard’s motivation lies in the mystery of his chosen medium: “Painting is like trying to solve a mystery. The mystery for me is how to create a painting that will capture the audience’s attention and keep it for as long as possible.” There is a confusion behind his creations; but it conveys his signature style through muting the modern world’s constant motion within a frame: “Right now, images are not something we spend much time with. We look at something, then quickly move onto the next thing. To keep someone looking, to have them paused on a single stationary image for an extended period of time, seems almost subversive.” That sense of timelessness is apparent in his thorough technique, and resonates strongly throughout his work and stands at the core of his art: “Things move very quickly now. It is hard to know what to invest in. Something is here one minute and gone the next. Painting - portraiture specifically- is something I feel, based on its resume, that you can count on to persevere through all this growth and change.” Portraiture is unique in that it reflects the artist, as much as it does the subject; in this modern world of people being products of a hyperinformed, hypermediated environment, the subject is as much an individual as it is a reflection of the world around them. While the world may be “here one minute gone the next,” it is reassuring to find an artist like Nick Lepard who captures his audience’s identity and attention for more than a moment: “For nearly as long as people have been around, and I assume as long as people will be around, they will be representing themselves. So hopefully my work can become part of a very old and long story.”
KATE MCCGWIRE by Callie Rice photos by John-Paul Bland, Tessa Angus, Francis Ware and Kate MccGwire
“I studied at the Royal College of Art in London as a mature student and my MA installation ‘Brood’ was installed at the Saatchi Gallery in 2004. In 2006 I was resident at the ShengHua residency in China and the Art Omi residency in New York in 2008. Later that year, I won the Heart of Glass competition in London culminating in a solo show in May 2010. In 2009 my work was exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society, The New London School Berlin, Tunnel 228 with Punch Drunk and The Age of the Marvelous with All Visual Arts. I will be making a large-scale installation for the Museum of Art and Design, New York in April 2010.” MccGwire is well versed on the art of reinvention. Her latest pieces are products of donations from members of pigeon racing clubs. “The birds molt in spring and autumn so I receive a large quantity during those periods. The feathers have to be cleaned and sorted into types; and only when I have enough of a particular type can I consider making a piece with them.” These complex avian-inspired works are her latest but only a small selection of the span of her creativity. MccGwire’s interest in collections of eclectic pieces began at a young age. “I have 300 pewter teapots dating from c 1700 – 1940. I am drawn to materials that cannot be bought. The collaboration with others to engage them with my work and particular project to acquire materials has become an integral part of the process.” Her title stretches beyond the feathered features; to photographer, sculptor, and recycler at large. She deems herself Installation artist. Regardless of the medium, all pieces are composed in a “studio is on a 20m Dutch barge on the river Thames in London. It is a beautifully light and airy space which is quiet and peaceful. Being by the river is very calming.” In addition to her studio, inspiration lives at home as well. “I tend to have smaller mock-ups and drawings at home, which I use as an extension of my studio. I can constantly muse over what/how I can progress the work.” Like many artists, MccGwire is consistently striving for creative perfection, “The quantity of feathers used, the understanding I have of these materials and the level of craftsmanship employed
in their application… My inspiration is gleaned from multiple sources - definitely bodily, animal and human. I work on the Thames and my daily exposure to the changing weather conditions constantly affecting the river is a huge influence. The water, sometimes calm and so clear that you can see fishes at other times turbulent, black rushing and treacherous.” MccGwire seeks a specific reaction from her audience which she describes as “visceral” and “immediate.” Kate MccGwire is incredibly impassioned by the works she creates,“When we view the world we see the outside of things and try to imagine what might be on the inside. I try to tap into this delicate balancing act, but its important that the illusion be a parallel world and consist with reality to somehow be believable. It needs to be an honest interpretation of itself and have a metaphorical relevance to our world. The truthful lie, so to speak, that implies mythological narrative, while containing common truths.” There’s more to MccGwire than initially meets the eye. She works as a philanthropist in her choir group and even toured regions of Africa. She seeks to raise healthy and happy children; along with the eyebrows of art enthusiasts. Her work is available through All Visual Arts in London. Currently the pieces are on display in the beautiful John Soane Church, One Marylebone, Osnaburgh Terrace, London, NW1 4GD. “As an installation piece I think ‘SLUICE’ is most successful but I also like ‘GAG’ my first piece made from Crow feathers. I love the inky blue/black of the strong and ominous feathers.” If you would like to see more of Kate MccGwire, “The Tatton Park Biennial in Cheshire opens on May 7th 2010. I have made a large-scale installation in the beautiful 300-year-old kitchen of the stately home. Using feathers of the birds that will have been cooked in the oven over the history of the kitchen this work is a beautiful eruption of pheasant, woodcock, pigeon, peacock, and goose among others.” Or visit “Dead or Alive’, a group show, at the Museum of Art and Design opens in New York on April 27th curated by David Revere McFadden.”
ANDREA GALVANI by Derrick Taruc
Mystery is so much a part of art. Whether in the meaning of a work or the process that led to the creation of a work. Mystery, in part, is what moves a viewer into engaging with a work. Questions are as important an aspect of the exchange as answers and may be, in some cases, the entire point of a piece. Andrea Galvani’s work invites just that sort of engagement. His photographs often invite one to ask, “What the fuck is going on here?” With images at a different level of insight constantly changing, explaining his work in a couple of phrases would be difficult. Galvani’s work becomes even more alluring the more mystery it attains and the more questions it illicits. Galvani’s photographs asks not only about the reality (or surreality) of the work itself but about the (sur)reality of our own waking lives. But Galvani insists that his work is grounded in more secular terms and not in mystery, but the uncovering of mystery. “My work is really connected with science,” he says. “Every work has some interest in a phenomenon or something that I have around. Science is the only way to try to understand better. It really is the first process, and I think that it is inside my work.” And like a scientist, his work involves time, knowledge, and meticulous planning. “All my pictures are the result of days and days of work,” Galvani says. “Moving technologies, objects, people, or live animals often in really wild locations, doing real action—a kind of performance, temporary installations. The shot is the last part of a long process.” Referring to the photo with the group of cats Galvani explains, “This particular shot was selected from about 700 images, taken among cat colonies living in isolated, dark, and abandoned places, using a powerful flash. It’s a real incredible magic instant.” In addition, he once faced a nearing sandstorm after traveling 2500 km collecting tires off the road to construct what he calls an “incredible temporary geometry,” evidence of the observant and precise scientist within him. One such phenomenon that he has tried to evoke is that of sublimation. Sublimation, if you remember from chemistry, is, as Galvani explains it, “the change from a material, a solid thing, to something like gas without any liquid shape.” Like an ice cube instantly turning into steam while skipping the whole melting-intowater bit. Or like a parent transforming into thick black smoke. This is exactly what happens in “L’intelligenza del male #5” (2007). Galvani’s father, dressed in a suit, stands in the center of
a glacier holding two ignited smoke bombs. The father becomes obscured by the heavy smoke and evokes sublimation made eerily manifest. “Smoke represents a process,” Galvani says but quickly corrects himself. “Not ‘represent’, but is a process. It is speaking about the disappearing of an object.” Is it a coincidence then that the “object” disappearing is his father, and that this disappearance is occurring on a glacier, one of the most coldest and loneliest places imaginable? Is his father—in many ways, a future version of himself—a stand in for Galvani? Which leads one to ask if Galvani’s work is about death and its impending arrival? But just like any work of art, one has to pay close attention to the title. “The title of that work is ‘The Intelligence of Evil,’” Galvani says. “Everything is connected with evil. Evil is something that we can’t touch, but sometimes you can touch really, really, really close. But it is difficult to describe what is evil. Evil is like smoke. It is something that can happen suddenly and also can disappear in a few seconds.” In other pictures from that series the viewer is put at a much further distance. In these, the father has totally sublimated; all that is left is the thick black smoke. It blots the pristine white landscape, staining the purity it evokes. Humanity has returned to original sin once again. Even if Galvani had continued taking photographs until the smoke had fully dissipated, the landscape is still stained by the memory of what has taken place. “In the middle of an incredible, quiet landscape, something has happened really fast. Black is so strong...” Galvani says. For now, Galvani has left that quiet landscape for somewhere much busier and noisier, New York City, where he is finishing up a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency. His work keeps him very busy and literally takes him to the ends of the Earth. He recently participated in an International special research Studio Program trip that traveled to the North Pole. This resulted in a new work, “Higg’s Ocean,” which positioned him as a finalist for the Pulse Prize at the Pulse Contemporary Fair in Miami. Which is no surprise since Galvani’s body of work represents the best kind of art: One that constantly forces the viewer to question the nature of life and art. For the only way to arrive at answers is to begin with questions. And isn’t that what life is really about?
pg.46: Andrea Galvani © 2007, Intelligence of evil, C-print on aluminium dibond, 130 x 122 cm, Private Collection, London. Edition of 5. Courtesy Galleria Artericambi, Verona, Italy
this page & pg.51 top; Andrea Galvani © 2009, Higgs Ocean #6 and #7, C-print on aluminium d-bond, 65 x 105 cm, Private Collection, Chicago. Edition of 5. Courtesy Galleria Artericambi, Verona, Italy
pg. 48; top: Andrea Galvani © 2009, Higgs Ocean #1, C-print on aluminium d-bond, 100 x 122 cm, Private Collection, Milan.Edition of 5. Courtesy Galleria Artericambi, Verona, Italy
pg. 51 bottom; Andrea Galvani © 2007, N-1#1, C-print on aluminium d-bond, 138 x 188 cm, Private Collection, Tokyo. Edition of 5. Courtesy Galleria Artericambi, Verona, Italy
pg. 48; bottom: Andrea Galvani © 2009, Higgs Ocean #5, C-print on aluminium d-bond, 112 x 133 cm, Private Collection, Milan. Edition of 5. Courtesy Galleria Artericambi, Verona, Italy
ANSELMO SWAN by Alex Rajabi photos by Shane Oâ€™Brien and Ken Mayer
Picasso once said “Good artists copy, great artists steal,” and being an avid admirer of the artist, Anselmo did just that. What you are looking at is not a photograph. These paintings usually start off on a blank wood panel with some enthusiasm and ends in a spectacle. Okay, it’s a little more advanced than that. Whether it is a candy wrapper or the candy itself, there is a lot of studying done to the still life object before anything touches the canvas. “It’s simply about painting what I see in a way that is creatively fulfilling.” What fulfills Anselmo Swan is his sweet tooth for Picasso’s Guernica, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, and chocolate. The last addiction is notable in his paintings, but the others may need some explanation. Growing up on Canada’s west side, Anselmo, the youngest of five children, was constantly exposed to nature and it’s beauty. Family was another big part of his life. Every year Anselmo visited his family in Mexico, where he was constantly reminded of the polarizing cultures. As a kid, Anselmo’s older brother treated him to movies, where his tastes grew from action and sci-fi to anime and foreign films by the time he started college. His family might be the reason he is an artist today. “My older brother always made sure I had a constant supply of paper and drawing materials,” on which he remembers losing himself while drawing scenes from Star Wars. As he entered his teenage years, Anselmo’s tastes swayed towards Frank Miller’s Daredevil and other comics of the early 80’s, but it was his high school teacher that exposed him to west coast Canadian artists like Gordon Smith and Jack Shadbolt. Inspired by these new names, he decided to enroll in Arts Umbrella, a local art school. There, Anselmo’s dream of becoming the best artist started taking form, after all, he has been encouraging himself since elementary school. Today, the artist strictly sticks to oil paint and soft nylon brushes to execute his pieces. Even though brush strokes aren’t evident in most of his pieces, “there is a lot of fast and intense brush work that goes into recreating a large swirl of icing.” But the one thing Anselmo might love more than drawing his tasty treats is treating his taste buds to the real thing. His sweet tooth has driven him to create some of the most realistic paintings ever created, giving each one a surreal touch, though he prefers to call it “our consumer culture’s quotidian world of objects... I think of the images I create in my art as a way to contrast the physical enjoyment of candy and confections with the contemplation of them as objects.” It’s obvious Anselmo goes through a great deal of thinking before creating a delicious masterpiece, even if he contemplates about something as ordinary as a discarded candy wrapper. “When it comes to making art, I think it is best to avoid making what you think looks good and to focus instead on making things that you know are true. “
by Catherine Bui
ALEX GOSS 18; Texas, USA What is your favorite camera? I used to only shoot 6x6 and was pretty fixed on that but I’m more open minded these days. I picked up a Mamiya 7 this fall. I really like the 6x7 format. It’s a beautiful ratio. As I got used to shooting with a rangefinder I found how uninhibited my photographs became. I could take exactly what I wanted without fooling around with a darkslide and metering. So my images are growing more documentary in nature as a result. Who or what got you into photography? My sister introduced me to a lot of art and music when we were growing up. My brother, Benjamin, is a photographer living in Sweden and I always have looked up to him. He would bring photos home and mail us lots of his prints. I’ve been taking pictures for about four years now, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided I wanted to really do something with photography. Do you always carry a camera with you at all times? I don’t like keeping the 7 in my car, but I keep a T2 in the glovebox. No excuses for not taking a frame anymore. There’s always something fantastic everyday. There’s this feeling of youth and adventure in your photos, is this something you look for before taking a photo? Or does it just naturally come to you? My friends and I go to the country a lot. I love watching as we change from city-slickers into wild and free spirits as we run around the woods and fields. There is a lot of adventure when we are there. I would say that there is a lot of adventure in my pictures, I think that it exists even if I’m not in the country though.
You have this thing going on where you take a photo and the only thing in focus would be the diagonal object (string, rope....etc), these are lovely! Does simplicity appeal to you often? Thank you! You’re one of the few people who has said anything about those. I think I put a lot of geometry in the frame even if I don’t consciously mean to. The first of these diagonals was a kite string at the beach this past summer. I didn’t think too much about it when I took it. This kite was really important to me and I wasn’t sure how to remember it. I wanted to remember the wind too. Every once in awhile a diagonal just pulls me in. On a normal Saturday, what would Alex Goss be doing? I wake up and usually make a pot of tea and then walk my dog Penny. My girlfriend and I like to hike in this one park in Houston. We really like the trees there. You can easily forget you’re in the city inside those trees. Saturday nights usually involve food—cooking or just eating with my friends. Just sitting and talking and goofing around. Good food is pretty central to everything we do. Saturdays are usually pretty unproductive. Which is good. Relaxing is important. What’s the best thing to do in Texas? Shoot guns. If you could anywhere to take photos, where would you go? I’d like to drive to California and spend some time in the redwood forest. What do you want to do before you die? Go on a hot-air balloon ride over the Hudson. That sounds really nice.
DUARTE NETTO 34; Lisbon, Portugal What is your favorite camera? I don´t feel like I have a favorite camera. I use cameras as a way to achieve a certain result. Sometimes I feel the lenses and film are more determinant than the camera itself. But in the end it comes to a choice of the only two I have, a Linhof Technika 4x5 and a Mamiya 7, both with some lenses. I also have a small digital point and shoot camera and a Polaroid 355. In fact, this is probably my favorite camera right now because it’s the one I’ve been using the most for the last three years. In your 1999 - (on going) series, there are a lot of emotions being show. What would you say the reoccurring element in the series is? Every image has it’s own direction and I wouldn’t call this group of images a series because they are thought independently and don’t exactly relate to each other in a sequential logic. Of course, there is a sense of unity among them and the approach of many is similar. Maybe most of them have to do with a mental state where the key character perceives or acknowledges something. This is just a generalization, I rather think of them as singular ideas that relate with each other in a subliminal way. Most of the photos are taken inside homes. Whose homes are these? They’re from family, friends and rented places. I have a preference for the private and domestic.
Are these scenes staged? All of them are, in the sense that you have to direct the characters, usually friends or family, sometimes myself, and ask to hold still for the exposure. So there is always this awareness of the camera, which means the reactions and attitudes differ from their natural state, and the person being photographed is representing something other than themselves. All of the images result from a previous study of the place and people, so besides directing I also add and take some elements out of the frame to compose. They’re staged to achieve the experience or idea before the image, but the intention is that they don’t look overly theatrical. Favorite place to hang out at in Lisbon? That would have to be Bica and Cais do Sodré at night, and the gardens (Estrela and Necessidades) near my house during the day. But every time I can I escape to Sintra and the Praia Grande area, which is only 30 minutes away from Lisbon. If you could go anywhere to take photos, where would it be? I’ve always had a fascination with Portugal’s antipodes, so it probably would be Australia and particularly New Zealand. But for my work I’m fine where I am.
MAXIMILIAN HAIDACHER 27; Linz, Austria What is your favorite camera? There are many cameras I love working with; they are all medium or large format film cameras. I still prefer analog technology. Were you already into photography as a child? As a child, I had two main interests: music (guitar, bass, piano) and photography. Later, photography turned out to be more promising and became the thing I decided to focus on. Music remains a hobby. Your photos give off this refreshing appeal to them. How would you describe your work? Calm, clean, distanced. Certainly in a tradition of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1920s, that was picked up later by Bernd & Hilla Becher and influenced the Düsseldorfer Schule in the 1980s and 1990s. Most of your photos are in the nature. What about the outdoors appeals to you? First of all, I love being outside on my own with a camera. Secondly, I often dislike how nature is depicted: Stereotyped and romanticised. I want to make a different approach: More direct, more honest, but not less appealing.
Some of the places captured in your photos seem ethereal and not even real. Out of all the places you’ve been to. Where has been your favorite? The most impressive places were the ski resorts in the french alps, where I shot the Vallées du Soleil series. I liked the off-season ghost town atmosphere in combination with the monumental architecture of post-war modernity, a style that fascinates me. None of your photos include humans. Why are you attracted to the absence of them? I find it interesting to depict man-altered landscapes without showing humans: Things built for use without their users. I liked that idea. If you could go anywhere to take photos, where would it be? I think it’s not really about going somewhere far away. There are so many great places around here that I could reach within a couple of hours. The problem is rather that I can’t afford more trips and longer stays. Everything needs to be planned exactly and done very quickly. What do you want to do before you die? To me, more important than doing one special thing is being able to finish all those projects I have in mind the way I’d like to.
TIGRE ESCOBAR ?; Paris, France What is your favorite camera? Leica M9… What do you feel is needed for a good fashion photo? The alignments of the planets must be correct. A good fashion photograph seriously needs strong collective work, and if everyone is doing his or her best job, I just have to pull the trigger. Why only women? To me the creative process of shooting fashion implies a certain type of sensuality and voyeurism between the model and me. I guess it simply comes as the way you spend looking at someone through the lens for hours. There is a certain connection with women that I don’t have with guys. I guess it comes from the incredible amount of time that I spend as a teen-ager thinking and fantasizing about girls. Do you have any fashion designers whom you look forward to working with? My first choice without a doubt would have being McQueen. But unfortunately he passed away just last week. No one dreamt fashion like he did. But of course on my list, I can’t wait to work for Marc Jacobs. One day...
Where do you get inspiration from? Difficult to say, I guess it comes from everywhere. Photographs are a result to our experiences; to the way we understand places, colors, and stories. They are the visual manifestation of what we do, how we feel, or what we want. Inspiration is there all the time; you just need to want to shoot it. Your personal and fashion photography are quite different in style. Which style would you say you prefer more? None. They are simply two different ways of communicating. I think I have different qualities and weaknesses for both of them; they come depending on the time and space when I work with them. It is so difficult to blend both types of work, they have no fusion point to me; I am sure that’s why they come out as being so different. If you could go anywhere for a photoshoot, where would it be? The office of the Pope? Disneyland? The Pyramids of Giza? The Amboseli park in Kenya? The International Space Station? The town where Garcia Marquez grew up in, Aracataca (better known as Macondo), in Colombia? In one of the sets of the new movie of Alice in Wonderland with all it’s cast?
ART/DESIGN MUSIC FASHION
by Raciel Cuevas photo by Kristianna Smith
Have you noticed that metal bands are big on nautical themes as of late? Moby Dick, motion of tides, imaginary oceanic continents, or just the ocean itself are often cited as if something about being at sea channels a stoic vibe perfect for churning out prog sludge ballads in 9/8ths time. I made the same assumption with Inlets, the self described “chamber-folk” project of New York, by way of Wisconsin resident Sebastian Krueger. “That’s funny - metal?” asks Krueger when he hears my irrelevant associations to his moniker, “I suppose if I’ve ever had worries about it, it’s that Inlets seems like too emo a name. I like it for its simplicity and its physical and symbolic associations....But of course, after a while a name just is. You stop thinking about it and just answer to it.” It didn’t exactly help either that his upcoming April 20th release is titled Inter Arbiter, further distancing itself into some sort of soul searching transcendental tech death experience. But much to the dismay of the folks at Relapse about to pack a bowl and stare at Alex Grey artwork, Inlets couldn’t be further away from my illconceived presuppositions. Inlets trace their history back to 2006 with a self-released EP titled Vestibule, a relatively successful “trial run” circulated around blogs by word of mouth. Devoted followers will connect the Inlets front man to a variety of acts such as My Brightest Diamond, DM Smith, and Feist. But Krueger’s musical background is much more extensive, he elaborates, “I got started playing music when I began piano lessons at age 5, and I took up choir at age seven. These helped music to become familiar to me, but I was never disciplined enough to become actually good at any one thing. I played clarinet starting in middle school band through high school. I took up guitar at 14 and got the most serious about that one and tried to pretend I could play jazz.” Though no prodigy, his concentrated efforts helped to develop an understanding and passion for music reflected on his forthcoming work. Don’t be fooled, however, this wasn’t an overnight process. Following the release of Vestibule, Krueger took his time to perfect his craft rather than lock himself in a subterranean bunker, spew out a plethora of commercially viable songs, and milk them ‘til
they bleed. “[I had] life obligations, existential crises, loud neighbors who like dance music, failed romance, using Windows Vista, barking dogs,” he explains in regards to the problems plaguing him over the four years between releases. Inter Arbiter takes Inlets into uncharted territory, exploring an affinity for chamber vocals intertwined with swooning harmonies in dramatic form. “...I wanted to do something grander than Vestibule, but I found it really unproductive to make demands like that,” Krueger explains, “Waiting for myself to produce some kind of ‘masterwork’ was having the effect of totally squelching me.... So I focused on discrete things: I find this guitar progression to be compelling. Keep that. I like the effect of adding winds here. Keep that. This vocal melody compliments this mood. Keep that. I built up the record through tiny choices rather than having some holistic vision.” The result is a seamless blend of string, wind, key, and brass arrangements, solely composed by Krueger himself, coupled with vocal harmonies and jangly guitars that explore a wide range of emotions. Well, technically himself, but the chamber folk bard pulled a Ringo and had a little help from his famous friends – Zach Condon and Angel Deradooria, of Beirut and Dirty Projectors fame respectively, to be specific. “Aside from being someone I love, Angel used to be a member of Inlets and she still sits in when time permits. So securing her participation was natural….She’s always been unwaiveringly supportive,” concedes Kreuger. “As for Zach, we became friends in Paris a few years ago….We both had a real mutual affection for each other’s music and as a brass-capable friend who had generously offered his services, I turned to his help when the songs called for it.” Though still relatively unknown, Krueger and company hope to pick up momentum along 2010 with a performance at SXSW, their first North American tour, and an album with the potential to be everyone’s hit sleeper of the year. On the possibility of universal acclaim, Kreuger comments, “If we find this year to prove successful for us, then I look forward to the rewards of surrealism, and bigger-ing britches.”
AVI BUFFALO by Derrick Taruc photo by Sandra Flores
Once in a while, lyrics are written that perfectly capture a generation’s particular frustration: Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” The Who’s “My Generation,” or The Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen.” For this generation of lovelorn slackers, they’ve got 19-year-old Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, better known as Avi Buffalo. “What’s in it for someone with nothing to do/ What’s in it for me?” sings Zahner-Isenberg on his band’s (called Avi Buffalo as well) debut 7-inch single for Sub Pop. But put into context, it’s hard to take those words at face value (like Mick Jagger’s double negative of “I can’t get no girl reaction”) when Avi Buffalo and crew are much busier than most of their peers—or most people, for that matter. Their self-titled debut album, a collection of 70’s-tinged folkish rock psychedelia, doesn’t come out until late April, but already they’re on a month-long tour across the US, half with rockers Rogue Wave and the other with guitar punkpopsters Japandroids. Along the way, the Long Beach, California band is stopping at South by Southwest to be part of the Sub Pop showcase. All this while their drummer, Sheridan Riley, is still in high school. But it’s not fair to harp about age when Zahner-Isenberg, softspoken even in the midst of a pretty loud sound check, displays a seasoned wisdom about his music and its place in the world. “Whatever songs come to me and I write them, if they end up being deemed as pop, then that’s what they are—but it’s just music,” he says. He’s dismissive, but the intention is there and it’s well thought out. “I had something in mind in the beginning, of it being tasteful and wanting to keep it tasteful and universal in some way. That is, in a sense, an intention of making pop music.” He relates all this with a calmness that’s a bit startling. I feel as if I’m more excited than he is about tonight’s show opening up for Best Coast, The Smith Westerns, and Cold Cave. Anyone else would kill to be on such a heavy bill, but it’s all just part of being in Avi Buffalo for Zahner-Isenberg. And so is this interview.
Twice, he interrupted the interview to literally run off and take care of some band-related issue or two: A coy apology followed by a flurry of loud steps down the wooden stairs and a flurry right back up to resume our talk as if nothing had happened. It seems as if very few things could faze this young man—a short list that includes a call from Seattle indie-label, Sub Pop Records. Half way into recording their debut album “people from Seattle and Sub Pop called us up and were like, ‘Hey, what’s up guys? You need any help with this?’ and we were freaked out and totally went nuts for a few months,” Zahner-Isenberg says. He makes a call from one of the biggest indie-labels sound so casual. Just like when they met Aaron Embry, the LA music veteran who recorded their album. “The first time we met Aaron was at Pehrspace in February of 2007 or something.” A meeting that lead to subsequent recording sessions at Embry’s home studio, Hunter’s Hallow. “It was exciting to hear the sonic differences working with Aaron Embry because there’s much more open space to get whatever sound you can think of, but it was hard to get used to at first,” Zahner-Isenberg says. He’s much more comfortable with “simple programs” like Garage Band or “simple ways to record” with tape recorders or mini-discs, methods that are quick and easy and, decidedly, lo-fi. As a result, he has some misgivings about their debut record: “It’s a very all-over-the-place record,” he says. “I would even deem it a little bit overproduced for my tastes.” What? I think. “It’s just part of the battle,” he continues. “Next time, [we’ll] keep finding what’s right.” I’m startled yet again. For someone with a record deal, a national tour, and whose band is being touted in some circles as the next big thing, I had expected more bluster. Instead, I get honest reflection from an honest artist. And like a true artist, he’s already eager to start on new material even before the album has come out. What else is there to do for someone with “nothing to do?”
LALI PUNA by Jack Dolan photo by Gerald von Foris and Jörg Koopmann
In the middle of the ‘naughties,’ as they were dubiously named, a craze took hold of the world. It was a blink and you miss it thing. By the end of the decade, just as quick as it had come, it disappeared back into the ether. It had blown up as the result of the meeting of two very different musical worlds; Electronica and Indie. A combination that reflected a new ability to discover and get to know a wide range of music and appreciate each on their own terms. All right, the history lesson may be tiresome. If you’re old enough to read, chances are you remember it, but this particular movement encapsulated the moment more than others. Sadly, in a lot of cases it became the watered down version of both genres and then quickly lost it’s appeal. Lali Puna’s 2004 album Faking the Books showed they were something more than part of the trend, at the very time the trend was at it’s peak. Their new sound was far more guitar driven and managed to separate them from the scene. “We always try not to be too much of a pop act, but to work against the pop song with our sounds” Valerie explains. Now after six years they have returned with an album, more reminiscent of the old “Indietronica” sound. A brave move considering the movement seems to be largely dead and gone. “I’m not totally fond of the term Indietronica because it seems to be from yesterday. But, Lali Puna has always combined electronic and pop and even singer/songwriter influences. So what can I do?” Indeed Lali Puna are one of the few acts who manage to do it and create something really fresh. “We want Lali Puna to sound 2010 in our terms. But in the end, people say what people say” Valerie seems to be very instinctive in her approach to the music, which is perhaps why it works so well. The turn she has taken, back to more electronic sounds is, if you like, just as coincidental
as the fact they moved away from it in the first place. “We wanted to move away from the guitar-orientated sound we had on Faking The Books. So my first idea was to try to do a dance-album” Valerie admits. “But we didn’t get along very well with that, so we reduced it to the idea that it should be strictly electronic. It just felt right. I had the idea of old electronic sounds combined with vocals inspired from the sixties. As I was listening to a lot of sixties-stuff like Margo Guryan and Free Design.” Even more strange is that the group wasn’t really into any electronic music at the time. When pressured Valerie gives us a few names, Thom York (one of the few other accomplished Indie/Electronica cross-overs) and more interestingly Kelpe, an underrated Electronica producer from the UK. “We tried to listen to lots of electronic stuff, but to be honest, other than that, we didn’t find too much that we really liked. We listened to a lot of Grizzly Bear in terms of more modern folk stuff and The Ruby Suns were very important to me too.” Way before all of this, back in the late nineties Lali Puna was already creating forward thinking electronic sounds. So it isn’t a case of copycatting but more that Valerie in particular is an electronic artist in her own right. She started Lali Puna with just herself and a four track. Then she met Markus Archer (of the Notwist and Tied and Tickled Trio) and then later the other two were roped in, initially just so they could do live shows. Even now, as a four piece band it seems Valerie retains the most creative control. “I start out with a sample or a drumbeat and keyboards or sometimes Markus starts with the guitar part. Then I do the basic structure and bring it to the studio and we work on it together. But for this record the recording process changed a lot: Christian recorded everything in his Portmanteau-studio and programmed a
lot and also worked on sounds.” Christian Heiß is the latest member; he joined back in ’03 but seems to have come into his own on this album. “He had a much bigger part on it than on Faking the Books. We had a new producer too: Oliver Zülch. and he also joined a lot of ideas in the mixing.” The new album also sees Valerie moving away from the more political lyrical content, found on Faking the Books but she maintains this was simply a reflection of the times. “When Faking The Books was recorded, it demanded more direct political themes. Bush had led America and the whole world into horrible conditions. The times now are somehow different. I think the lyrics of the new record deal a lot with the fact that you can’t change the big stuff. You know, how people behave. I think, on the other hand, Obama has changed things a lot, but still this “me, me, me“ ideology will never disappear in politics. Now, we are just in a bit of a lighter moment” There is certainly a more upbeat optimistic vibe to the new album. Something that harks back to the early days of Lali Puna in a similar way to the music. This could of course be to do with Valerie and Markus settling down together and having a baby, which also explains the long break since the last album. “To be honest, having a baby has sufficed for a while, it takes all of your time.
When our daughter became bigger I started to do music again. I made two songs with the Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi from the Yellow Magic Orchestra. And then we set to work on a new Lali Puna album.” It’s a pretty good excuse to take a break from music but we all knew Lali Puna would come back eventually in some form. Their clear passion for music was never going to disappear. “I sing all day,” Valerie tells us “the oddest songs with my daughter, you know about frogs and dogs and pigs. For me there is no separation between free time and work anyway. Its all one and the same.” It seems that Lali Puna will always be doing their thing in some form or other. Regardless of whether they are at the very height of cool or the complete opposite, they will always be genuine, innovative musicians. This is thanks largely to their unique attitude. “Of course we want to make music that is somehow unique. I think in the first place I do music for myself. Then I really like to work it out with the band. And then I’m grateful that some people like it.” With Lali Puna, you get the sense that they have chosen to ignore the trends. It seems that they are just joyfully oblivious. Their influences come from within their own lives and they know what they want to create, whether everyone else is doing it or no one is.
ALBUM REVIEWS by Jack Dolan, Emily Hsiao, Stephanie Hernandez and Raciel Cuevas
Autechre: Oversteps Warp; 2010 Electronica pioneers, Autechre release their 10th album Oversteps on Warp records. Anyone familiar with the duo knew it would be superb, the speculation was what style would they come with next. The first track “R ess” rolls in on a moody almost techno lilt but this is a bit of a red herring. On the whole the beats on the album are pretty new school Autechre (massive and erratic), laced with more old school shimmering melodies reminiscent of albums like Tri Repetae and Amber. Quite a few tracks don’t even have any beats and just build around beautiful melodic soundscapes. Autechre’s sound is so original and unique that they seem to exist in a world of their own, free from any genres or trends but still able to reference and play with different styles along the way. With this album Autechre have created one of their most diverse albums yet, which is a real treat. And still the album retains a strong sense of consistency. “Treale” see’s them playing around with an infectuos hip-hop groove, “Known 1” is colossal trademark Autechre and “See on see” brims with melodic genius. Also if you get a chance to catch their live show, they killed it at Bloc Weekender last week like they always do. - Jack
Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday Sub Pop; 2010 Most people would agree that the adolescent years are the most awkward in life. Your body goes through weird changes, you feel all hormonal and particularly interested in the opposite sex, you are self-loathing and convinced nobody understands you, and, more often than not, you are a total dick to your mom. It’s a testy time, being a teenager. Three-piece garage-pop outfit Happy Birthday manages to capture this maddening youthfulness in its self titled debut release. Listening to the album is akin to taking a trip through adolescence—through its trials, its puppy love, and most familiarly, its pointless angst. They do it in a manner that is relatively lighthearted; their sound is an off-kilter, shambling fuzz-pop with sinister undertones. Boy/girl harmonies and hooky melodies make the music sunny all right, but their sunshine leaves a nice little melanoma patch on your skin. This is pop with an edge. Happy Birthday starts off with “Girls FM,” the catchiest track on the album. The song introduces the album’s “I like girls” theme early on—singer Kyle Thomas coos that he’s “always on the same frequency: Girls FM Girls FM.” Thomas’s smug vocal swagger is reminiscent of Nobunny’s, and much of the record channels that raw, garage-y aesthetic. The songs can be lyrically clever, but for the most part they are pretty straightforward—a couple even sound like they are lifted straight from the pages of an embarrassing high school diary. The loud angst-anthem “Zit” is the most explicitly rebellious Happy Birthday ever sounds: “Now I wanna break shit, don’t wanna make shit, just wanna waste it.” Though musically upbeat, album closer “Fun” is a real pity party. It laments on various personal shortcomings and vocalizes the universal teenage thought: “Everyone says I’m the one who needs to loosen up; all I really need is love.” Though adolescence is a period that probably should not be revisited, Happy Birthday’s debut makes it bearable, and even a bit fun. - Emily
Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me Drag City; 2010 It’s hard to describe this album without evoking a slight cringe response. However Have One On Me, like most of Joanna Newsom’s work somehow manages to be truly gorgeous, overflowing with melody and melancholy, without falling into the realm of cheesy or over the top. Not only are all the tracks just as intricately detailed and masterfully arranged as those on 2006’s Ys, but this time there are eighteen of them, most of which are well over five minutes long! Sold as a three CD album, (six tracks on each) it more than makes up for the lack of output the last few years. Granted, this album is not for everyone. Some critics lament the earlier days and the simpler structured Joanna heard on 2004’s The Milk-Eyed Mender. Some might even find the retrospective, hippy sentimentality hard to swallow, but that is really missing the point. Newsom’s talent (not only as a singer but a harpist, pianist and songwriter) is incontestable. Personally I find it hard to find fault with this album. I had three great new albums to review this month and It’s proven pretty difficult to stop listening to this one over and over. The title track is the most mesmeric, “’81” is also a gem, and “Autumn”. All of it is top-drawer stuff basically. - Jack
José James: BlackMagic Brownswood Recordings; 2010 José James’ first album The Dreamer reminded us of the good old days. It was as if he had been transported from jazz and soul’s respective heydays, arriving safely in 2006, carrying all the enthusiasm and clarity. But as much as the album went down like a charm, to continue down this path, James ran the risk of becoming just another token retrospective artist. With the new album, BlackMagic, James has opted to look to the future instead of the past for inspiration. The song-writing and, of course, the voice are still very much reminiscent of the old greats, but the album’s production and arrangements are pure 2010. After working with LA Beat Producer Flying Lotus on the track “Visions of Violets” a couple of years ago, James has started embracing some far more futuristic sounds. The new album see’s him enlisting the Lotus once more, plus Moodyman and DJ Mitsu. Unfortunately he has varying success. “Warrior”, the reworking of Benga’s classic dubstep tune “Emotions” is lightyears ahead of the original and the album’s standout. The title track is a great meeting of old and new, but tracks like “The Greater Good”, despite being really good, feel like they should be on the old album, not the new one. - Jack Liars: Sisterworld Mute; 2010 When I was thirteen years old my younger brother and I set sail for Cancun, a popular tourist destination in Mexico. We were aboard a small boat with about a dozen other people on a trip that should have taken no more than a day. Unfortunately for us, we became victims of engine failure and a subsequent stranding at sea. Without a radio or an abundance of supplies, all we could do was wait for another commercial ship to pass by in hopes of being rescued. Fifteen days go by without sighting of another ship, food and water are a commodity we can only imagine, and sanity is all but lost staring out into a vast and uninviting sea. My brother, naive and stubborn as he is, ignores reason and drinks the sea water only to fall into an almost instant bout of life threatening dehydration. A choice had to be made: let him die naturally or cannibalize him to save ourselves. It was decided that we would wait another day before consuming his flesh and blood to preserve our own. Cue the uplifting music because right when I thought I was going to become an incestuous cannibal we’re saved by a fishing boat and returned to civilization. Things haven’t been quite the same since... Liars, one of the better bands of the past decade, had a similar experience recoding their fifth album. The trio relocated from Berlin to Los Angeles, severing all ties to make a record that was truly their own. “[The album] is Liars’ own space, completely devoid of influence, somewhere remote from the false promises and discarded dreams amassed in LA. In it Liars explore the underground support systems created to deal with loss of self to society,” says the band in a press release. The end result is exactly what you’ve come to expect from Liars: something completely unexpected. Enter Sisterworld: a 42 minute voyage of profound disaster survival. Whether your catastrophe involves a shipwreck, car crash, plane hijacking, or the day to day drudgery of living in modern society, it ends with a miraculous rescue by the globetrotting, genre bending group. Just as you were about to sink your jaws into your companions’ flesh, Liars burst in with a much needed nourishing dose of sonic relief. The premier track and single “Scissor” tastes eerily familiar, consisting of a lone cello with ethereal vocal harmonies akin to those on Drum’s Not Dead. But your voracious appetite is not sufficed - it’s been three years since you’ve last had a feast like this - and the blood dribbling off your chin only triggers your instincts into wanting more. A minute in and out of nowhere senses are bombarded with a jolt of visceral noise rock reminiscent of Liars. Yes! this is the sound you’ve come to know and love, though comforting as it may be it’s nothing groundbreaking. You dig deeper, sinking claws into flesh along with bone snapping mandible action stumbling into “No Barrier Fun”, easily one of the best tracks ever performed by Liars: a combination of half muttered vocals, infectious bass grooves, eerie piano hooks, and yet again a seemingly misplaced cello to grab your attention. However, it’s these out of place arrangements are actually what make the album such a cohesive effort. Remember that this is a band that does not care about alienating their audience; they went from dance punk to witch hunt concept albums in two years to the disgust of most fans. But after all this is a detached nihilist recapturing of a vacuous place devoid of any meaning or significance, and this album captures that perfectly. A little too perfect at times where the record feels too distant for its own good. Is this their most accessible record? Perhaps, but it’s such a departure from anything they’ve done, and a near flawless melding of styles that culminate into tense arrangements in unnerving fashion. Listeners well versed in Liars may actually find this as their most bold. Likewise for newcomers this may be the best starting point since it doesn’t overwhelm them with niche heavy partitions. It will take a few listens to seep into the deepest crevices of your brain- most of their albums do- but Sisterworld is a a natural progression for Liars, and a great one at that. - Raciel
She and Him: Volume II Merge; 2010 Sweet music-making duo, She & Him, consisting of Zooey Deschanel and guitarist, M.Ward have released their sophomore album, Volume ll , released via Merge Records. Much like their debut album-Volume l, She & Him present a delicate and beautifully embellished sound. Full of 60’s inspired guitar riffs, upbeat drumming, and lastly joined by a powerful, yet delicate voice, this new album will capture the hearts of many. M.Ward is at his best with his guitar skills, meanwhile Zooey wonderfully uses her blues-sun kissed-girly voice. In general, the record speaks of love, self-empowerments, and heartbreak. Their first single, “In the Sun,” is a great overall presentation of the album’s upbeat, summery, and simply pretty sound. With both talents, this album will surely be at the top of the charts. - Stephanie
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists: The Brutalist Bricks Matador; 2010 I have never doubted the timelessness of Ted Leo’s music; the outspoken Leo has always found some issue to emphatically shake his falsetto fist at, no matter which knucklehead is in office. Nor have I ever doubted Leo’s songwriting ability—Leo is a musically and lyrically tight musician, capable of packing a history lesson into a hooky verse without sounding too verbose. What I have (perhaps unfairly) doubted for the greater half of the decade, however, is if any of Leo’s albums would ever match his 2001 release, The Tyranny of Distance. My 8th grade self loved that album unwaveringly, and to this day I still consider it to be one of my all-time favorites. Over the years, though, I’ve accepted that nothing he does will ever meet those standards. I absorbed that album at an extremely formative time in my life and coupled with the experiences and memories I’ve attached to those songs, The Tyranny of Distance remains untouchable. His latest album The Brutalist Bricks is no exception. That’s not to say that it is not a good album, because it is. The Brutalist Bricks finds Leo and his Pharmacists back after their mediocre 2007 release sounding more energized and focused. Ever-present is Leo’s trademark big and rousing punk-influenced sound--best exemplified on opener “The Mighty Sparrow” and “The Stick”—but there are also tracks that remind me of his work circa the Tyranny era. “Bottled in Cork” has a sweet guitar breakdown mid-song that reminds me of the epic one in Tyranny’s “Timorous Me,” and “Bartolomeo and the Buzzing of Bees” is a catchy number that sounds like it could be off of Hearts of Oak. Other songs, however, are less impressive: “One Polaroid a Day” and “Tuberculoids Arrive in Hop” are particularly forgettable, and several other tracks are just okay. While I realize that an album coming close to The Tyranny of Distance is as likely as getting another chance to talk to him on a half-pipe at a seedy Lightning Bolt warehouse show (absolutely true story—one of the most badass nights in my entire life), I like the direction he and the Pharmacists gang are headed. The Brutalist Bricks is a solid record. Sure, it has its share of filler, but as always with Ted Leo, it is still more than enough killer. - Emily W-H-I-T-E: Sunna Aagoo; 2010 White Horses in Technicolor Everywhere, or W-H-I-T-E, is a fellow by the name of Cory Hanson: tinkerer of sound, creator of moody electronic soundscapes, possessor of warmly weird vocals, master of terrifying expanded acronyms. His album Sunna is unsettling, but in a good way—it is at the same time both fresh but familiar, eerie but inviting, jubilant but pensive. There is melody in noise, noise in melody, commotion, calm, and above it all, really enjoyable music. Amid its loud washes of dreamy organ, barrage of impatient synthetic beats, and intermittent jarring noise, “Witches Vibrate” evokes both the fantastical dream world Mickey Mouse entered into in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (where he had full control over natural forces in the palm of his four-fingered hand) and the overwhelming sense of “Oh….FUCK” urgency he must have felt when he awoke to a dizzying amount of water and magic brooms. The ethereal “Go On with the Gong” is understatedly catchy (it should go on forever) and the playfully fuzzy “Particle Nightmare” conjures a dream state one wouldn’t mind being trapped in. Sunna harnesses the power of infinite horses and compacts it into complex, yet easily digestible aural offering. It is a gripping and otherworldly listening experience, one of the best of 2010 thus far. - Emily
ART/DESIGN MUSIC FASHION
by Krystal Miranda photos by Mathieu Drouet
In Xavier Brisoux’s mind, clothing is more than just a scrap of pretty fabric; each piece is a word, translating our emotions and expressing each and every one of us through its own eloquent language. The articulate effort he puts into his works proves that Brisoux is all too familiar with this tongue. Creating what he likes to call “poetry on the body,” Xavier’s tells a story of complexity hidden beneath simplicity, a rhyme of complication that can’t be read through the minimalistic grey and white knitwear. Not exactly captivated by fashion as a child, Xavier’s interests were consumed by tales of Greek mythology, captivated by its “poetic explanation of the world.” He recalls reading his book on Greek myths over and over, as well as typically having his nose stuck in an American comic, a hobby he can thank for helping him learn English. Carrying these influences along with him, he began to realize he could turn his passion for design into something more, and launched his fashion studies at the age of 21. In pursuit of his dream, Xavier began classes at Central Saint Martins, later earning his MA through what he describes as a weird experience. “I was petrified of failing as it was an old dream to attend this mythic school. But at the same time I had trouble achieving what I wanted to do. I was in a sort of apathetic state. But I guess that was part of the process of building yourself up from scratch.” The lessons he learned through his studies, he says, helped achieve a solid foundation in his profession, and taught him the most important thing of all: “move forward fast because you are expected to deliver.” Now, at the matured age of 31, Xavier Brisoux has put out a solid collection, proving to the industry that less really can be more. The release of his Spring/Summer 2010 collection, entitled Absens, was a paradox that Xavier hoped would be noticed by his
viewers with a more watchful eye. Literally meant to be a play on the word “absence,” he hoped to make sense of the tangible becoming intangible, of things unseen somehow making sense in the human mind. “What I wanted to talk about through this collection was the fact that humans always realize the value of things when they are lost. A paradise becomes a paradise when it’s lost,” A prime example would be his use of transparent knitwear; automatically assuming we will find a tank top underneath, we’re surprised when we realize there isn’t actually anything there. Not knowing entirely where his inspiration comes from (although it always seems to strike him at night), his Autumn/Winter collection has a clear storyline coinciding with its creation. Xavier looked to the tapestry that Penelope embroidered daily while awaiting the mythical Ulysses, only to undo her work at the end of the day. He appreciated the effort of the whole make/undo/remake process, and felt it would translate perfectly with his forte of knitwear. “The shapes happened through a deconstruction of pieces, as if knits had been remade from an existing garment made, undone, remade.” He shares that the next collection will be another play on words, considering the title “Peinelope,” after the French word meaning sorrow. Always working on a fresh project, Xavier Brisoux prefers to savor, rather than waste away, every passing moment of his life, a philosophy he intends to use in future designs. Whether venturing out into the Loire valley of his home country, attending his weekly yoga class, or nibbling on a piece of chocolate (which he says he has to bite into at least three times a day), Brisoux enjoys the little things of life; but of course, akin to his designs, he never fails to value the wonderful complexities that lie underneath it all.
CLARE TOUGH by Callie Rice photos by Jem Mitchell
Introducing Clare Tough. If you are looking for luxe leather details, sexy sheers and the most fabulous knits you can imagine — take Alison Clare Louise Tough’s apparel to heart. The brand is sold by the finest merchants in Europe, along with shipments sent around the world. Spread across the pages of Elle, Vogue, and The London Paper; you can find lanky models in high-quality fabrics and varied styles. Clare Tough’s unique and chic looks have not only caught the eyes of models, celebrities and the press, but also the designer herself as she does not make anything she would not wear. We feel that this keeps the looks up to date and fresh with her signatures; “There is always a leather element in the collection, also jersey and some wovens. However I always try to incorporate some kind of knit or hand detail into the other catagories as to connect them back to the knitwear,” explains the London native. See it all come together in her well-acclaimed and innovative Spring 2010 line. Cozy up to Clare Tough… Is Clare, tough?
CT: Clare Tough
Which season do you like to design for best, why? CT: Winter, the yarns and fabrics are more interesting, however I like the challenge of designing knitwear for summer. What do you want your customers to “get out of” your line? CT: Quality garments that they enjoy wearing and feel confident in. Where do draw your inspiration for your latest line? CT: My work tends to be a continual evolution around certain ideas. I am influenced by all sorts of things, I travel a lot for work which I think helps keeps me well informed about what people are wearing in other contries as well. Describe your own person fashion faux pas. CT: Oh, there has been too many in the past. These days I try to keep things simple.
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to collaborate with? CT: Alber Elbaz, I love his approach to fashion
What is the greatest compliment you have ever received? CT: The greatest compliment for me is just seeing how happy a wearer gets.
What lines do you predict for the upcoming season? Colors? CT: Last summer I worked a lot with transparency and chunky knits. I will be working on another evolution of this.
What is one of your “guilty pleasures?” CT: I am addicted to bubble baths, cream soaps….I take two hot baths a day!
Do you wear your own pieces? CT: Yes everyday.
Are you involved with any philanthropy? CT: I recently supported a charity called Kids Company in Lond-
on, by donating some pieces to their charity fashion sale. What is playing on your iPod? CT: Prince, The Smiths , Dolly Parton…umm…Shakira and Michael Buble...maybe these should be my guilty pleasures! What would you classify as your hobbies? CT: Computer games and karaoke. What would you like to do before you die? CT: See the world. What are you best and worst habits? CT: I like to make a lot of lists which I think is a good habit as it keeps me organized. But probably my worst habit is that I hate to throw anything away. What did you want to be when you were younger? CT: I always wanted to do something creative that involved making things. What does your closet look like? CT: Full. Which period of history’s fashion do you most enjoy? CT: My early collections referenced a lot of 80’s, 90’s fashion. But I think that had a lot to do with that being the era I grew up in. Where do you shop? CT: I wear mainly only my own collection, so I only end up shopping for basics; jeans and shoes.
What did you find most difficult about “getting in” the fashion industry? CT: It’s really difficult to balance creativity with running bussiness. What has been the most rewarding event in your career? CT: My graduate show at Central Saint Martins was amazing. I never would have predicted the reactions I got from the press and buyers. It was so new and exciting at that time. Aside from the art of fashion, do you have any other creative endeavors? CT: I am really interested in graphics. I think if I had not gone into fashion I would have worked in graphic design. If you find yourself running low on inspiration, what do you do? CT: Books, I have loads of reference books that are so inspiring and always gets me going. What is your favorite word? CT: I don’t know….but I like swearing in Italian…it just sounds better! Do you have any other endeavors beyond fashion? CT: I would like to continue to broaden my education in some way; to study again. I didn’t appreciate it enough when I was at school .
index Avi Buffalo www.avibuffalomusic.com Tigre Escobar www.tigre-escobar.com Andrea Galvani www.andreagalvani.com Alex Goss www.jalexgoss.com Maximilian Haidacher www.mxdesigns.de Inlets www.inletsmusic.com Joon&Jung www.joonjung.com Lali Puna www.lalipuna.de Nick Lepard www.nicklepard.com Kate MccGwire www.katemccgwire.com Duarte Netto www.duartenetto.com Shauna Richardson www.shaunarichardson.com Rafael Rozendaal www.newrafael.com Anselmo Swan n/a Clare Tough www.claretough.co.uk/fashion xavierxbrisoux www.xavierxbrisoux.com