FREE Issue 10
Art, Music, and Golden Tickets
Metronomy Devon Cream
Visionquest Dream Cream
White Lies White Cream
Luke Abbott The Cream Of Norwich
Cloud Nothings Lunice Mike Lythgoe and more...
The Tenth Issue
Photographer: Paul Whitfield www.paulwhitfieldphotography.com Fashion: Marie-Claude Lamb firstname.lastname@example.org Make Up Artist: Maddie Austin www.maddieaustin.co.uk Hair Stylist: Caterina Maiolini email@example.com Model: Veroni @ IMG
For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Stephen Patrick Morrissey Eric Jenkins Jess Hogg Adam Chard Geoff Barrow Matthew Lennon Ed Karney Sian Massey Dimitar Berbatov Andy Murray Brigadier Bounsall Cardiff Claire Holmes Christian Bale Mike Lythgoe Kiran Gill Andy Wells Graeme Swann Nelson Mandela Creative Director / Managing Director Jake Applebee firstname.lastname@example.org Editor / Managing Director Thomas Frost email@example.com Interns Lucinda Bounsall Siobhan Mari Raw
is international. Reaching the furthest corners of this ‘ere planet was the reason why we started a magazine in the first place, so Wales was next logical stop on the worldwide agenda.
Entering Wales, we felt a truly cosmopolitan experience was in store. A national capital, an independent parliament, the oldest record store in the world; we felt Cardiff was a natural home to the culture savvy artisan if ever there was one. This was until we opened up the local rag and read about Craig Bellamy (I’ve heard he’s a controversial chap who kicks a pigs bladder around for a living) having a fight on ‘chippy alley’. Nothing like a good mix of local personality to keep the spice of life vibrant in a capital city. Another significant milestone is this is our tenth issue which, considering the attention span of most popular trends, means we may well be doing something right. In keeping with our total love of gimmicks, we’ve hidden 10 golden tickets in 10 different issues of issue 10. By now, if you are the lucky owner of a golden ticket, you’re probably reading this looking for some kind of clarification to why the fuck you have a shimmering piece of golden material in your magazine.
Well…we’ve actually got this chocolate factory right, just out Somerset way, owned by this mad geezer who wears a hat and likes to show kids round there once in a while… No we haven’t…but what you may have in your hand is the key to a whole load of Crack goodness. Each ticket has a secret code (that you’ll have to e-mail us to confirm you’ve won) entitling you to some quality merch, some quality music and an invitation to ‘cracking night’ the official 10th issue celebration, the details of which we have absolutely no idea of at the moment. “Yes it’s cracking night and the feelings right.”
Fashion Editors Paul Whitfield Marie-Claude Lamb Contributors Mavis Botswinga Christopher Goodfellow Joe Dunkley George Scrivener Emma Rake Tom Botting Dave Frost Nick Frost Rhian Croucher
Hold tight, hold tight.
Illustration Adam Bletchly Crack Magazine N.o 12 Studio 31 Berkeley Square Clifton Bristol BS8 1HP CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd
Crack has been created using:
Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
07747779952 Thanks to: Eleanor Glen, Bertie ‘Mac’ Davidson, Mike Applebee, Louise Trimby, Filip K, Inma and Vincente, Ruined Lou, Lora, Markland, Stanley Donwood, Dave Bain, Turbowolf, Beak>, Appleblim, Lego Castles, Tall Ships, Ben Howard, Taking Tiger Mountain, Laurie Rollitt, Jay and Sophie, Scotty 2 Hotty, Tatty, Jamie Atherton, Kane, Annie Davis, Big Dave Frost, Moussa, Simon Jutton, Johnny De Mearns, Lex, Jack Clemoes, Frost clan, Applebee clan, Jayne Applebee, Rowena Mayhew, Donuts Crew, Jon Payne, Avalaan Boys, Dan 02 Academy, Matt Start The Bus, © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.
Benoit & Sergio - What I’ve Lost Weekend - End Times Hype Williams - The Throning How To Dress Well - Ready For The World Teengirl Fantasy - Cheaters Tall Ships - Bearandblitz Jonquil - I Know I Don’t Know Trophy Wife - Take This Night Newham Generals - Bell Dem Slags Lunice - Solution Luke Abbott - 2nd 5th Heavy Lucky Dragons - We Made Our Own Government El Guincho - Ghetto Facil Washed Out - New Theory Pulp - Do You Remember The First Time? British Sea Power - We Are Sound Velour - Booty Slammer Destiny’s Child - Bills, Bills, Bills Portishead - Silence Cloud Nothings - Can’t Stay Awake Three Trapped Tigers - 6 Charlie Parr - Don’t Send Your Child To War
Woodsman - Beached Crystal Stilts - Shake The Shakles Space Dimension Controller - Transatlantic Landing Bay Hyetal - Pixel Rainbow Sequence Pearson Sound - Hawker The Texas Skin Reserves - Elegy For The Brave Colonel The Walkmen – The Rat Tory Y Moi - Freak Love Baths – Seaside Town Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise The Smiths – Still Ill The Field - Leave It Midnight Magic – Beam Me Up (Jacques Renault Remix) Levon Vincent – Late Night Jam Pantha Du Prince – Walden 2 Carsten Jost – Krokus (Superpitcher Remix) Caribou – Bowls Deerhunter – Little Kids Chad Valley – Anything Male Bonding – Paradise Vendors Blawaan – Fram White Lies – From The Stars
Ricardo Villalobos – Moongomery Madonna – Cherish Julio Bashmore – Everyone Needs A Theme Tune Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Clap Your Hands DJ Zinc feat. Ms Dynamite – Wile Out Indo – Are U Sleeping Burial – Pirates The Rolling Stones – Tumbling Dice Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number Horace Andy - Skylarking Art Department – Without You Do-Re-Mi – Rossington Code WLT – WLT Mix Three J-Kwon – Tipsy Maya Jane Coles - What they Say Joy Formidable - Austere Metronomy - She Wants Danvers - Sleepy Mix Anal Cunt - Pottery Is Gay Para One - Toadstool (Jesse Rose Made To Play Dub) Petre Andre - Natural Warpaint - Billie Holiday
W.t.f (dumbus stuffus) (JUST OPINION, OUR OPINION, MAYBE NOT YOUR OPINION, BUT in some cases DEFINITELY OUR OPINION and in others not opinion at all)
Rooted Records Closing
£2,500 for feeding the pigeons
McDonalds Ban’s Tracksuits
Rooted Records is a Bristol institution. For the music that has made the city famous, for getting loads of kids hooked on vinyl and for recently, being the epicentre of Bristol dubstep and all the brilliant offshoots and hybrids producers from this city have created.
We stumbled across this sign the other day as a deterrent for not feeding pigeons in public. While we’re all for keeping pigeon activity in the West Country to a bare minimum, £2,500 for imitating the bird woman from Mary Poppins seems a tad excessive.
A branch of the McDonald’s chain has recently gone to extreme lengths to restore order to their ‘restaurant’. McDonald’s in Layton, Lancashire banned all under 18’s from wearing tracksuits inside the premises.
Just to put this one in context slightly, here are some fines for other naughty behaviours:
Every musical strand needs a reference point, or a home. For lots of people this is Rooted. The fact it’s shutting is a crying shame for the city’s cultural heritage, for vinyl and for music lovers in Bristol. R.I.P
Driving while on the phone - £70 Possession of cannabis - £80 Cocaine possession - £167 Breaching an ASBO for naked gardening (source: Yorkshire Post) - £500 Failure to stop a vehicle after accident (hit and run) - £1,500 Driving under influence of drugs - £5,000
Now we all love a good old Maccy D’s, and if you’re one of those people who pretends to never have eaten there then give up, we all know your lying. But banning tracksuits? What if your just popping in for sixChicken McNuggets after an under 16’s netball match? And what’s to suppose turning 19 allows the wearer of said garm to quell their overwhelming disruptive tendencies? Face it McDonalds you’re not a restaurant and no matter how many plastic plants and faux wooden floorboards you install you’ll always be a place where you’re embarrassed to be spotted.
Robbie Williams…The Musical
Richard Keys and Andy Gray trying to win LAD points
Oh glorious day, oh what happy, happy times are these? Not only has our generation been fortunate enough to be alive during the time of the great Robbie Williams, some of us are lucky enough to be able to remember the formation of Take That, and we’re all certainly thanking Jesus for being benevolent enough to grant their reunion with Robbie after 15 years apart.
Andy Gray is an over-opinionated, balding, middle-aged man. Richard Keys never played football, isn’t balding but is still middle aged. Between them they’ve both manage to do a cracking impersonation of two teenage Nuts Magazine readers and as a result have both lost their jobs.
Crack first had its suspicions about the guys who worked on our floor soon after they moved in. Describing themselves as a ‘pop brand’ they masqueraded around the floors of Crack Towers like a little gang of Louie Spence impersonators - mainly arguing and bitching.
And now, if you can believe it; Robbie Williams The Musical is in the pipeline! Think Cats, Starlight Express and Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat all rolled into one! Robbie reportedly loves the West End and is over the moon there is to be a musical of his life. Will Williams take to the stage to play himself? We can only dream…sigh.
Second bit of caught on camera banter comes courtesy of Keys discussing one of Jamie Redknapp’s exgirlfriends. After asking Redknapp whether he “smashed it?” ‘it’ being the girl in question, Keys then rhetorically answered his own enquiry with the line: “Mind you that’s a stupid question, if you were anywhere near it. You definitely smashed it. You could have gone round there any night and found Redknapp hanging out the back of it.”
The main catalyst for Gray getting sacked was fhis supposed sexist ‘banter’ with co-presenter Charlotte Jackson. After tucking his microphone in his trousers, Gray asked Miss Jackson if she could; “tuck that down there”. Wray!!!!
Wray, wray!! Footy, footy, birds, birds, banter banter…oh, and no job.
Crack became even more suspicious when we came in on the weekend to find five teenage girls who couldn’t sing for shit auditioning to be in a pop group. Calling themselves Dominion Records, we couldn’t actually find any records they’d released, but we did find a rather hilarious Youtube of their self styled popstar, AJ, miming along to Lady Gaga tunes in the perfume area of a shopping centre. Our web guys politely turned down designing them a website because they couldn’t give them a better description of what they wanted than - “make it poppy”. Bascially these guys have ripped our very lovely landlord off to the tune of £2,000 in rent, promised a load of talentless, impressionable teenage girls success and fame ( in return for money) and during the time here, pissed everyone off in our building off with their vile attitude. You’ve been warned.
d . o . t . h . i . s c r a c k . g i g s
go to youlovecrack.com to download our monthly mixes //
British Sea Power
Wire + Weekend
Ikonika + Pangaea
Thekla Tues 8th Feb
The Fleece Thurs 10th Feb
Start The Bus Fri 11th Feb / Fri 11th March
Blue Mountain Sat 12th Feb
Three Trapped Tigers
Joker + Tomb Crew
Start The Bus Wed 16th Feb
Blue Mountain Fri 18th Feb
St Bonaventures Thurs 17th Feb
The Cooler Fri 18th Feb
Thekla Fri 18th Feb
Thekla Wed 23rd Feb
Bonobo (Dj Set)
Start The Bus Fri 25th Feb
Blue Mountain Fri 4th March
Does It Offend You Yeah
The Colston Hall Thurs 24th Feb
The Colston Hall Sat 19th March
The Fleece Wed 23rd March
Trinity Tues 12th April
There is something reassuring about a band that calls themselves something as Google unfriendly as Weekend, in that garnering attention from the usual internet related channels isn’t a priority for them. They describe themselves as “the ferocity of punk, the drama of shoegaze, the ambition of Springsteen and the textures of noise”. This is by no means far from the truth. It’s a heady mix of sweaty rock drama and aggression that will keep your teeth gritted throughout. Wonderfully intense.
Another Scandinavian band that play fascinating dreamlike indie music with a healthy nod to traditional pop music sensibilities. Their sound is a fragile ode to their homeland, wandering between cold whispers and fragile snowstorms, into full blizzards. There is a real humane nature to their music that comes shining through in the softness of their sound. The strength lies in the clarity of the individual parts from the stunning vocals to the crystal synths. Come and see Harrys Gym play for Crack at Start the Bus on February 11th.
Tune: End Times
Tune: Old Man
Another producer on the Hessle Audio imprint making big waves. Originating from Barnsley, Blawan’s Fram release on the Ramadanman fronted label impressed us massively last year. Serious percussion intermingled with a very cracked production style, Blawan’s sound in Fram is not entirely dissimilar to Burial on a few more uppers, though his other releases show a harder more percussive edge. One to watch in 2011.
Arthouse rock meets rockabilly meets The Beach Boys in Sex Beet’s aggressive and ballsy surfer rock. Having bragged they have spent the last six months travelling round the world playing records, releasing their music for free and meeting fit girls, we thought their music might be a bit on the arrogant and well…shit…side. Not so, as Sex Beet provide a big old arrogant twist on stale rock’n’roll formulas. Like surfing…really aggressively.
Another belter from Crack’s homies in Canterbury – The Longreach Collective. DoRe-Mi is the latest producer to release from this incredibly consistent imprint. His latest track, Rossington Code, has had our collective eardrums dancing with delight in our office for sometime now. A sound not too dissimilar to Mount Kimbie, we predict this uber-talented collective of Kent sound-smiths will break free into all kind of clubs this year and Do-Re-Mi will be heading this charge.
21 year-old Will Wiesenfeld is Baths and has one of the most criminally overlooked albums of 2010 in his debut long player – Cerulean. A total certainty to be grouped in the chillwave genre bracket (see Chad Valley, Washed out, Toro Y Moi), Baths’ music contains depth, emotion and fuzzy synths that move as well as entertain. There is such depth here it’s hard to imagine this is one person in their room. Yet another producer stretching, bending the parameters of what is possible in your bedroom.
Tune: Rossington Code
www.antlersgallery.com email@example.com 07780503180
T HE N O M A DIC G A LL ERY
Uncanny Views 10 - 26 February 2011 11 - 7 Daily 2 - 4 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5HS
ANOUK MERCIER MAX NAYLOR
HELEN JONES RUPERT MORLEY
d . o . t . h . i . s crack.recommends
Southport Weekender Festival Butlins, Minehead Dixon, Theo Parrish, Derrick Carter, Kerri Chandler, Joy Orbision 6th - 8th May £165 - £175 Southport Weekender, one of Europe’s best love indoor festivals, is relocating after an impressive 21 year stint at Pontins in Southport. The festival is this year moving to Butlin’s Holiday Resort in Minehead. It takes place in May and initial tickets were sold out within two weeks of going on general sale. The relocation to Butlins means the event can now hold 6,000 people, so another 1,500 tickets are on sale from 28th January. Some of the DJs confirmed for the event so far are Joy Orbison, Theo Parrish and Dixon. For further information and a more extensive line up check out the website:
Crack Cosmique Start the Bus Optimo (JD Twitch), Marcus Marr 11th March £4 Crack Magazine joins forces with Club Cosmique in March to put on one half of Glaswegian dance music titans – Optimo. Having created a similar kind of buzz to Erol Alkan’s Trash night at their legendary Sub Club night in Glasgow, Optimo’s legendary Sunday night parties have been the forerunners for club culture in Scotland. Having JD Twitch at Start the Bus will guarantee an evening of the most genre bending proportion. House, disco, techno, grooves and fun all served on a professional platter by a true dance music pioneer.
China Mike - Beauty Is The Beast King of Paint 4a Haymarket Walk 11th February – 12th March Free When it comes to graffiti we recommend getting straight down to the row of shops adjacent to the Bear Pit at the bottom of Gloucester Road and investigating new graffiti mecca – King of Paint. An art and graf supplies store for those who indulge in Bristol’s favourite pass time, King of Paint is also a gallery and will feature prominent artist China Mike’s first solo exhibition in March.
Cosima von Bonin Arnolfini Harbourside, Bristol Saturday 19th February - Monday 25th April 11am - 6pm Free Penguin Café plus Portico Quartet - Tuesday 15th February - £15 Interpol - Saturday 19th March - £23 Colston Hall Bristol
Cosmina von Bonin is an artisan in every sense of the word. The prolific German acts as curator, producer and critic, in a role that challenges the art world as much as herself. Her work is concerned with aspects of femininity and culture, and is displayed by way of gigantic stuffed animals, minimalist sculpture and craft. Accompanying the exhibition, there will be a weekend of films shown at the Arnolfini on the subject of ‘the pleasures and the downright hard work of being idle’.
Crack Magazine presents ……. Start The Bus Disclosure, Harry’s Gym, The Fauns 11th February £3 We’re doing it again. Come down to Start the Bus to drink and be merry. Thanks to our friends at Havana, we have free rum to give away, and some hand-picked talent performing for you aural pleasure. Featuring the pop of Harrys Gym, the ethereal dub of Disclosure and the soaring sounds of Bristol’s The Fauns, this one is on in a big way!
February and March at the Colston Hall are promising to be full of musical delights. Firstly, Crack favourites Portico Quartet support the harmonious Penguin Café Orchestra in a gig which we’re sure will be one of the most enchanting of 2011. Secondly, Interpol have been lauded as one of the finest bands to emerge from the US in years since debut album Turn on The Bright Lights and follow up, Antics, received unanimous approval. Their sombre and melancholic sound still wins them legions fans today. Touring in support of their fourth album, Interpol come to Colston Hall for what will surely be one of the gigs of the year.
Bloc. 2011 Butlins, Minehead Line Up: Aphex Twin / Laurent Garnier / Moderat / Four Tet / Visionquest/ Vitalic/ Ben Klock/ Apparat/ Ramadanman/ Matthew Dear + many more 11th – 13th March £140 - £160 In the short five years Bloc has been in existence, it has put itself firmly at the front of the dance music festival scene in the UK and it’s not too tricky to see why. The masterstroke of coupling the best electronic music line-up at any festival in the country with the charm of Butlins holiday camp is a winning combination. Having a festival slightly out of season means Bloc can cherry pick the finest electronic talent to grace its many stages. Hosted by a variety of dance music’s finest imprints such as Mulletover, Resident Advisor and Bristol’s own Subloaded, Bloc gets the finest names in underground dance music to curate their own stage, bringing reliable expertise from the outside to make sure the party goes off without a hitch. All this fun is made one hell of a lot easier by the added bonus of being able to stay in a nice warm bed and have a shower. No tents, no soggy sleeping bags, just pure Butlins luxury. They’ve even got a waterpark!!
Photography Open (2) Royal Western Academy (RWA) 20th February – 5th April Free
Club Cosmique present - Hercules & Love Affair (Live) Metropolis Wednesday 16th March 8pm - 12am £12/£15
This is only the second time the RWA has held this open photography exhibition. This is an exciting opportunity for anybody and everybody to enter their photographs and have a chance to have their work displayed. The work on show will range from students to professionals, and judging by the last Photography Open, the standard of work on show will be impeccable. Bristol is a motivated city when it comes to photography.
Club Cosmique continue their run of brilliant bookings, and are fast becoming one of the standout nights in Bristol. The incredible Hercules and Love Affair are back with a new record called Blue Songs and will be playing the rather dancefriendly Metropolis. Showcasing their new material and playing their groove laden live disco cuts from their previous record, this night is bound to be packed out.
The Unthanks + Trembling Bells 21 Mar £15 Adv Mountain of 4: Including King Midas Sound and Oneohtrix Point Never 7 Apr, 7pm, £12.50 adv Exhibitions Cosima von Bonin 19 Feb – 25 Apr 11am – 6pm Tue – Sun, free
Performance GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN 140 characters (or less) 21 Mar – 21 Apr Twitter performance in Arnolfini café bar Cover-ed 3 Mar -30 Apr Performance, installation and photography performance Plus much more, including the launch of Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary on 18 – 20 Feb. Bookshop and Café Bar
Laura Oldfield Ford 1 – 28 Feb, poster sites around central Bristol Film Back to the Future: Japanese cinema since the mid-90s 18 – 21 Mar Talks Including Clarence B Jones (speech writer for Martin Luther King) plus artists Jaroslaw Flicinski and Laura Oldfield Ford
T: 0117 917 2300 / 01 E: BOXOFFICE@ARNOLFINI.ORG.UK 16 NARROW QUAY, BRISTOL BS1 4QA
Image: Cosima von Bonin. Foreground: TOTAL PRODUCE (MORALITY), 2010. Background: PRIVATO, 2010.
OPEN PHOTOGRAPHY 2
Music Moritz von Oswald Trio + Actress + Demdike Stare 19 Feb, £10 Adv & 18 Feb Dj set
Barry Cawston: Junkyard Kyushu
20 February – 5 April 2011 Exhibitions, workshops and events Royal West of England Academy, Bristol Exhibition open Monday to Saturday 10am-5.30pm Sunday 2-5pm (last entry 30 mins before close) Admission £4 / concessions £2.50 / under 16s free Saturday 12 March free entry
www.rwa.org.uk / 0117 973 5129 @RWABristol
Mavis Botswinga. ©Paul Piebinga
When Crack was having luncheon in its favourite sandwich eatery, we stumbled across Mavis. Two hours later she’d told us how to sort things out with our girlfriends and had given us advice on sex, drugs and how to survive this mean game called life. She sorted us right out. We promptly asked her whether she fancied helping Bristol with it’s crack problems. This is what she's got to say.
I’m 25 and I’ve always been a bit on the edge. I listen to really ‘out there’ music like Magnetic Man and I make soundtracks to my workouts in the gym which are always a hit with the ladies. But I’ve got a problem. Every time I take MDMA with my male friend we always end up having ‘cosy time’. He gets a bit horny, I get a bit horny and we end up at mine naked under a duvet. I’m not gay, because I really like gangsta rap. Should I call a doctor?
I used to rule the road. I passed my driving test a while back and no one has been able to stop me. Even though I drive a Clio, I’ve overtaken a Mercedes C-Class, three Audi TT’s and even a Porsche Carerra... so I must be well fast, right? I jump red-lights because rules are there to be broken and I once drove back from Manchester to the start of the M32 in under an hour and 45 minutes. Now the police have caught me on the phone to my girlfriend whilst driving and if I get caught again in the next six months I’m going to lose my licence. I need my car for work. Can you call some people and get it overturned for me.
I’ve recently quit my university degree and become estranged from my father -the Earl of Yeovilton. This is due in part to my boyfriend who persuaded me to join a co-operative. At first i thought it was a brilliant idea; living with like-minded friends, sharing the bills and helping each other out by trading chutney for organic soap. But unfortunately my dreams have fallen through. I’m now living in a squat in St Werburghs and sharing a mattress with 18 other people. On top of all that my boyfriend has been arrested for staging a dirty protest at the building of a new Tesco. What should I do?
Young’un, AKA The Don of Knowle, 26, Knowle-West
Amelia-Langton-Smythe, 22, St Werburghs
No problem. I’ll make a few calls but I suggest playing some slow jams like Augustus Pablo or Richard Hawley while you are driving to decrease that blood flow and to help you slow down a bit!
This reminds me of a song called Common People by a popular rock’n’roll band I think were called Pulp… Ring Daddy and make the peace by saying you’re involved with some charity volunteering work and as a show of goodwill he’ll be able to give you an advance on the trust-fund you’ve got coming in. Then you can protest, safe in the knowledge you have a bed at night, and as much organic, vegan friendly food you can get your little mitts on. The fact you’ve got money to help the good cause will make you a hit with your crusty chums and your boyfriend. Money talks, gluten free, non diary, organic, additive free chutney doesn’t I’m afraid – it gives you the squits.
Jamie, 25, Fishponds Mavis: Dun know you love the men. Come out from under that duvet with your wild eyes and your gurn face and get your freak on. Man on man love in the name of uppers is your weekend pastime. Also women don’t get turned on by dubstep and weights – men do!!
Dear Mavis I’ve joined this web development company and it’s all got a bit serious. When I first joined, the atmosphere in the office was all jovial and fun. We drunk tea and cracked jokes…almost like a family. But since we got this contract to do a website for this big food company, the vibe has changed. No one talks in our office any more and I’ve caught my boss standing over me in silence watching me coding. We don’t even have a lunch break any more and I was there till midnight last night. The only way I could get out of there was by going to the toilet and doing a runner. What do I do? Dom, 34, St Pauls Mavis: Your boss quite clearly has nothing. And needs to find something.
Dear Mavis In the heat of the night can you make it right? Horace, 37, Bradley Stoke Mavis: This lady still got some fireworks in her bag, but they are reserved for the choice man. If you want you wanna get with this, make sure it’s your duty to please that booty or join the back of the long queue in your case probably the dole queue. Huh!
If you have any problems that need addressing please get in contact and drop our Mavis an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
visionquest // Visionquest is the brainchild of four producers from Detroit, who as a collective and a label, are set to write a whole new chapter in their cityâ€™s rich muscial heritage:
From top left (clockwise): Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss, Seth Troxler ÂŠ Visionquest
It’s commonplace in the life of a young Native American, to undertake a very definite turning point in his life as he approaches puberty.
Ryan: The four of us used to go off on these retreats to make music and share ideas... explore the forest... with animals... and go on a journey both physically and mentally...
dance or club oriented remix will most likely be on the other side, giving the music a chance to reach as many ears as possible. The concept is simple; to push musical boundaries and put out music we love while having as much fun as possible doing it.
In order to define the young man’s spiritual path, a period of fasting and solitary physical and mental exploration will commence. This usually Have there been any Visionquests of late? manifests itself with the young man going into the wilderness for 3-4 Seth: As you have mentioned, for our first four releases on our Visionquest days, often under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. Lee: There have been a few, the most recent, and easily the most label we are bringing in three duos and one female solo artist, all of unexpected was me taking a fall while out hiking, breaking two vertebrae whom are relatively new on the music scene. The debut release, out at Otherwise known as a vision quest, his hedonistic and practical trip into in my back and spending the next week in hospital out of my mind the end of January, will feature Berlin-based production duo Benoit & the unknown heralds a distinct rite of passage for the young adult in on painkillers. Sergio who have previously released on Spectral Sound and have an EP question. The hope is the spiritual direction in life will appear at some out on DFA soon. The second release is from a band called Footprintz point during his vision quest. The sensory deprivation involved and the The multi-faceted nature of the Visionquest staple makes it stand from Montreal whom we are really excited about. Their record is not intensity of the experience, it is hoped, will resonate with the fledgling boy out. Was Visionquest always going to be a label and a collective? exactly straight up dancefloor sounding music, but it will be backed up as he moves into full adulthood. How has the idea progressed in the last year? by an amazing remix from Ewan Pearson. Friends frequently go on vision quests together. Name the finest Seth: We’ve been planning the label for several years now, ever since What can people expect from a Visionquest show, in personnel purveyours of modern music and I bet at some point during their lives we used to throw the ‘Teshno’ parties in Lee’s basement back home in and music? there have been epiphanies (medicated or otherwise) that have informed Detroit. I think we came together on this because we wanted to hear and reinforced their creativity. Shaun: It will be a minimum of three of us but usually four, playing together on four decks and single mixer Four such friends are Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, tagging all night… Shaun Reeves and Lee Curtiss. Having grown up together in techno mecca Detroit, a city of “The four of us used to go off on these retreats to make Seth: … we’ll be having rampant sex with your exceptionally rich musical heritage, they represent ear vaginas… the freshest wave of new producers to emerge from music and share ideas... explore the forest... with animals... this dance music heartland in a decade. Informed Lee: … and later in the year we are planning to by their city’s techno heritage from the likes of Juan introduce a visual element, which will step things up and go on a journey both physically and mentally....” Atkins and Jeff Mills, but influenced by the emotive a notch. house music sounds of Kenny Dixon Jnr and Theo Parrish, they were organising credible parties in Lee’s When was the last time the four of you were basement at an early age. together? What did you get up to? Between the four of them they have released records Seth: It was back at the start of October in Ibiza for on a selection of the world’s biggest techno and house labels, played more music that wasn’t being released. We all have wide tastes as far my birthday. We rented this baller villa in the south of the island for the at some of the world’s biggest clubs and each increased their own as music is concerned and felt it would be nice to have somewhere to week leading up to the DC10 closing party. solo stature with a number of hugely reputable productions. Seth, in showcase those musical ideas that was also a place where we could put particular, holds a legitimate claim to biggest breakthrough DJ in the out our own music without any limitation. Lee: The villa had this amazing grill and Elliot, our agent in Italy, had last year, with a residency at Circo Loco at DC10 in Ibiza and voted the specially flown in all this amazing meat from Umbria where he’s from, third best DJ in the world in the highly credible Resident Advisor poll (one Lee: We have been fortunate enough to have friends making the exact so we had loads of our friends round and indulged our second favourite behind his personal hero Richie Hawtin). music we felt the world was missing. Each release up to this point is past time after music which is grilling. literally coming from close friends of the group, which has really So after these personal journeys of musical discovery, the four have cemented everything as a family affair. For us, it’s less about classifying Is Visionquest a conscious kick against the formulaic nature reunited in 2011 with their new, multifaceted Visionquest project. A four- and categorising music, but more about how we think the music can of dance music? Is it also a kick against an identifiable brand, way DJ collective as well as a label, Visionquest is looking to re-position contribute to broadening perspectives and creating long lasting material whether that is a record label or a DJ as a brand? people’s parameters as regards to the boundaries of electronic music. people will connect to on a deeper level. The label is open format and will feature other material than just strictly Ryan: It’s not a kick against anything. With the music we are releasing, dance floor-orientated music. You guys are firmly representing a new wave of producers the record sleeves and the limited artwork inserts, we’re trying to offer an from Detroit. How has the city informed the music you are aesthetic that isn’t offered from many labels in electronic music today. The first three-track EP release on Visionquest called, Where The Freaks making today? Have No Name, is by Washington DC duo, Benoit and Sergio. Standout Lee: Visionquest is less of a kick against dance music and more of a title track Walk and Talk is a groove laden, hypnotic ode to narcotic Ryan: Detroit is like no other city on earth. Its downtown population celebration of how far it’s come and the endless possibilities of where it haze with the rather standout lines: “My baby does K all day, she doesn’t has pretty much halved in the last 20 years leaving behind this weird can go from here. In the last number of years, dance music has crossed wash her hair, doesn’t wash her clothes. Just sits on the couch watching kind of ghost city, which is surrounded by lots of very suburban satellite over, expanded and shifted into a place that we all think is ready for television shows.” Distinctive, odd, yet hazily beautiful, the record has cities where most of the population of greater metropolitan Detroit our label. already been receiving play after play from a wealth of renouned DJs. actually live. Shaun: It will focus less on releasing strictly club music and more on As a DJ entity, Visionquest is a four-way mesh of all that is exciting in Seth: It’s like Gotham City after Batman has died. being an open format label where we can release anything we find house and techno at the moment. Grooves, soul, the odd-banger and, interesting and forward thinking. I think that as a DJ group, Visionquest most importantly, a journey, form the fabric of their sets. An overused Shaun: While the city has fallen on bad times, it will always have this will remain club oriented but will continue pushing boundaries of dance term, but if you are getting four friends who have enjoyed as rich a unbelievable musical heritage that is impossible not to absorb, both music culture. musical success in the last year as these guys, you would expect to be from the days of Motown and more recently as the birthplace and key taken on some kind of journey…a Visionquest if you will. breeding ground of techno. Can you break down your individual role in Visionquest for us? Lee: I love Detroit. It has been good to all of us and is an amazing place Ryan: We are all involved in the process when it comes to making major Is Visionquest informed by your own experience? Where did the from which to draw inspiration. It’s hard to see it in the shape it’s in now, decisions. For the label we are each are finding new music/artists that four of you have your first Visionquest? but somehow it keeps producing diamonds. interest us and we can present them to the whole group. Music aside, Seth is extremely savvy with design, so he has spearheaded the artwork Seth: Deep in the woods… The first four releases on Visionquest are varied to say the least. for the label. What is the ethos behind the label’s musical policy? Shaun: … we first started using the term ‘Visionquest’, back when Shaun: Ryan and I have been doing a lot of label logistics and artist Ryan’s family used to have this holiday cabin up in the wilds of Ryan: As electronic musicians, the influence and love for dance floor relations to get things to mastering and we are also starting to take a North Michigan. oriented music will always be present. If the A side is pop, indie or folk, a - - - - ->
Seth Troxler © Visionquest
more active role in press functions. Lee is a musical engine room and he is also concocting some amazing video segments and getting more involved in the mix downs for the label. What, in the wider musical spectrum, really pisses you off? Lee: Anything that is hastily written or formulaic. Originality is at a premium these days. Long gone are the likes of Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin.
Seth: London has one of the most involved and open dance music scenes in the world today… Lee: …there are so many cities around the world where you can find magic. For me London always seems to be hungriest to see what is coming next and embraces whatever you throw at them with open arms. There’s always amazing parties and of course, Fabric, where you can play some really forward thinking sets and everyone keeps up with you.
Seth: Ahhh…. Lee: I’m not sure what ‘doing a Seth Troxler’ involves, but it sounds like you’ll need a shower afterward! If your baby was doing K all day. I mean all day every day, would you wash her hair and clothes for her? Ryan: No way! Her ass would be on the curb!
Shaun: Yeah, London and Berlin seem to be the most consistent. Ryan: Concerning the wider musical spectrum, nothing really pisses me off. I could probably spend all day knit picking about this and that, but what for?
Who is individually inspiring you in house and techno today? Seth: Our friends mainly…
As a live dynamic how do you envisage the Visionquest show progressing into 2011? Lee: The live show will become more of an experience than a DJ performance this year, with the addition of some very unique and groundbreaking visuals. We will also be doing more label nights and slowly building on our Visionquest experience nights, where we transform clubs to provide a new and hyper entertaining night from start to finish. Ryan: I don’t feel it’s super complicated, but it takes time to make sure we are all on the same page working as a cohesive unit. Everyone has to feed on each other and be able to improvise in order to have a natural feel and vibe to the set. Seth: Eventually we’d like to incorporate other artists from the label as well, not just have Ryan, Lee, Shaun and I playing. If we could have a serious block of time to work in and out and incorporate Benoit and Sergio for example, or a vocalist as well, it could be something truly special. Where do you personally consider the most vibrant scene in the world to be today? Perhaps the place that would be most receptive to the Visionquest sound?
Lee: I’d just pay Bill Patrick to come over and talk her through his interview with Mayaan Nidam on Slices until she was so bored and depressed, she’d give up the drugs, leave the house immediately and go get a job.
Ryan: … yeah Benoit & Sergio, Tale of Us, Cesar Merveille, Guti and Guy Gerber. All of them have a great musical knowledge but the real secret lies in their attitudes. They are all great people and I think they bring out the best in those around them in any situation. I’ve also been inspired by Matthew Dear as of late. He took a big step with Asa Breed a few years ago and continued to work towards a rock/pop style. He is really starting to nail it. It’s great to see and hear someone continue to push themselves and work hard when maybe they really don’t have to as much as six or seven years ago.
When we get to that light at the end of the tunnel, would we find a Visionquest waiting for us?
Lee: I’m still inspired by non-techno and house music and apply it to my music. I listen to everything from classic country to new jack swing and draw my influence from there rather than listening to other artist’s techno tracks and trying to emulate them.
Benoit & Sergio ‘Where The Freaks Have No Name EP’ on Visionquest is available in record shops now.
Seth: That is the final vision quest, and it’s one journey we’re all going to have to take!
Visionquest will be playing at the BLOC Festival at Butlins in Minehead on Saturday 12th March.
---------Who is about to do a Seth Troxler in 2011? Ryan: Nobody. It’s impossible to ‘do a Seth Troxler’. He’s completely unique and genuine and that’s why he’s been able to do what he’s done in such a short period of time. Shaun: We’ve known since he was 17 or 18 that this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time. We’re very proud of him.
Tune: Benoit & Sergio - Where The Freaks Have No Name
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Luke abbott // for Anyone who likes circuit bending:
ÂŠ Border Community
Luke Abbott is sitting on Crack’s chaise lounge with a cup of tea discussing social ills. After Crack bemoans Britain’s obsession with turning all inner-city space into a leisure area, or another pile of plastic looking Barrett homes with road names like Palm View Lane, Luke steps up. “Housing aside, arts funding for less-privileged areas is probably the best way to cure most social problems.” After a period of contemplative thinking, Crack can’t help concluding it’s the kids with a wholesome passion that end up on the right path. Artistic endeavour is usually a pretty universal expression of positivity and Luke’s statement government funding cuts will take this outlet away from many of those who need it rings true. It leaves us wondering how many of those we have featured would have initially got by in today’s climate? It’s certainly something that helped Abbott progress into becoming one of Britain’s freshest electronica talents. Having cut his teeth in the Norfolk heartland of Norwich, Abbott has allowed artistic pursuit to inform every strand of his being since university. Polite, considered and the total antithesis of the techno pin-up, he has clearly found a kindred spirit in the intelligent and experimental ethos employed by James Holden and his Border Community label.
So I take it this process continued after you finished your degree? After I finished my degree I got a job at the arts school, so I didn’t actually manage to leave. The routine I got myself into meant for a relatively pleasant working environment. I stayed there until very recently and only really left because I needed more time to devote to making music. So did art and music combine in any way for you? At the moment, Norwich has got a very healthy arts community and just as I was leaving university there were lots of very exciting artist initiated projects. So I got involved with those for a little bit. I had a show in a gallery, but then got really into doing gallery music and organising electro-acoustic, gallery-based improvisation. I then decided to do a masters degree at the UEA. Fortunately for me there is a brilliant electroacoustic department on my doorstep, so I did it there.
Drum for James’, so that wasn’t going to stay. On the album, Holkham Drones is the only track that is just a live take in the studio with no editing, because I’d just bought a drum machine and James wanted to know what it was like. So I made him that track and every time he came down and we were compiling the tracklist for the album it was one that kept reappearing. So eventually I had to give it a new title. So…the Holkham beach, which is in north Norfolk, is where I used to go on holiday and the track itself has these droning notes, which is kind of a theme throughout the record. Have you always had an interest in that droning sound that you employ on much of the record? I was much more into that before I got into techno. I listened to noise music, drone-core and all kinds of weird music. Before I got into the idea of making music that works in a club, I was into free improv, electroacoustic and circuit bending stuff. I had actually been to a circuit bending festival with my friend Phil called Bent Festival.
“I almost think Border Community mimics techno. It isn’t
A circuit bending festival. Nice!
Well we managed to blag some arts funding to go and do a performance and find out about a lot of really alternative music that was happening in connection with the lo-fi, hand-made music world. It’s still exploding across the internet, but this kind of thing has its roots in the academic tradition of electroacoustic music that existed long before the whole circuit bending thing. The world of commercially obtuse music was my primary interest at that point. The aesthetics of that are employed in the drone noises you may hear on my album.
really techno, but it’s the closest reference point between
A perfect home for Abbott’s soaring, rurally inspired sound, he is sonically a million miles away from Norfolk, yet you feel he has clearly been inspired by the beautiful countryside and the detachment of a county that stands out as one of the most remote in the UK. Both Abbott and Holden endear themselves to the electronica fan who has tired of repetitive formulae, chart-house and old techno. Both clearly look like they might need a good night’s sleep and both are also shamelessly retiring characters. The swathe of British producers in this mould, from Four Tet, to Ramadanman, have been a wholly necessary antidote to the superstar DJ staple that engulfed electronic music for a period of time not too long ago. There are clearly not enough hours in the day for these type of characters to make their music. They are all night owls. There is no glitzy pretence to Abbott’s work. When he played for Havana Club and Crack’s monthly residency at Start The Bus, it was in a vintage jumper and through thickset glasses. Abbott is a techy going about his work, methodically using his controller. Debut album Holkham Drones encapsulates all the aspects of Abbott’s character. Slightly nerdy sounding and not totally polished, yet fiercely intelligent and, like many of the other releases on Border Community, optimistic, soaring and perception bending.
lots of the stuff on the label.”
As soon as that finished, I got involved with Border Community and stopped making weird, inaccessible, purposefully obtuse, noise-art and started making my own slightly wonky version of techno. It’s definitely true of the artists on the Border Community label that their take on techno is very left of centre? It’s hardly traditional Berlin techno is it? I almost think Border Community mimics techno. It isn’t really techno, but it’s the closest reference point between lots of the stuff on the label. Well the label is ridiculously consistent compared to many other danec music labels? They don’t release enough to be inconsistent. The way the label operates is they will work on one release ‘til that release is ready and then they’ll do the next one. They concentrate on one thing at a time. Which does sometimes mean you can have a record finished and ready, but there is one that has to come out first. Then your record ends up waiting six or eight months. Did this happen with your record?
How long have you been creating music? Quite a long time actually. I got into it very gradually. The whole time I was in school I was playing in rock bands and I’ve always been into music, but I got more productive when I was studying fine art in Norwich. In fact I only studied fine art because I knew it would give me more time to make music. The whole benefit of studying art is you indulge yourself in other artistic ways whilst protected by this mirage of academia that doesn’t exist, so you’re able to express yourself in other mediums. Any kind of educational establishment which is there to indulge people in past times which they could very easily do without, is somewhat encouraging people’s development in time and space. So through indulging my artistic tastes and being in these bands in my spare time, I basically discovered I was fed up with working with other people and really got into electronica.
I’m not complaining [laughs]. When my second EP on Border Community was ready and finished, the artwork for the record above me on the list ended up taking a lot longer than planned because it took them so long to get something they were happy with. So by the time my EP came out it was almost a year since I‘d finished it. I suppose that was quite frustrating because naturally I’m quite an impatient person. At the same time, I think it adds some value to things to allow them to exist for a while. I have now come round to the idea that this might be the best way of doing things. It encourages me to be patient. As long as you are still happy with the product, doing it this way allows you chance to revisit it.
Weren’t you going to do a drone themed room two at the Border Community night at Corsica Studios in London late last year? I was really looking forward to it, but I stupidly double booked myself so I didn’t end up playing it. I played this festival in Barcelona instead. I just got the dates wrong. I turned up really pissed off I wasn’t at the Border Community party because they are always really good. But I ended up playing in front of this crowd of 4,000 people at this big outdoor festival. Goldfrapp were playing on this other stage and then it closed, so the whole crowd came over to watch me. I was like -“ah!” Typically, at things like a big festival, it’s a case of getting driven in, you play, and then you get taken back to your hotel. So even though I played in front of all these people I’d only spoken to about three! Was James Holden an ever-present while you were making the album or did he just let you get on with it? We are in constant contact. Me, James (Holden), Nathan (Fake), and a couple of other people connected with the label. Because we are all in isolation, each in our own studios, to be able to talk to people doing the same thing is really constructive. You end up sending each other tracks. The whole idea of doing an album came out really naturally through this process. It wasn’t written intentionally, it’s mostly just stuff I made that was sitting there or I might throw away. Brazil, for example, was probably the track on the album for which I get the most positive feedback. I gave that to my mate John to tuck away on a little DIY CD he was doing, but James liked it so much it ended up getting put on the list.
Tune: Trans Forest Alignment So as far as the album is concerned, what was the idea behind the title Holkham Drones? www.myspace.com/lukeabbottmusic Most of the time when I give titles, I stick with working title no matter how bad it is. But the track Holkham Drones was something like ‘Bad
Metronomy // Metronomy rose to fame in the midst of the electro-indie band explosion that was great (The Presets, Hot Chip,) and not so great (The Teenagers). Yet Metronomy have managed to flawlessly remain separate from that whole scene.
When we catch up with Metronomy they are in the middle of filming for a TV interview in Paris, where their record label, Because Music, is based. Mount takes the time to have a chat with Crack about touring, Devon and David Guetta.
can be with the music. I think it’s integral to the music and about how you are perceived by the public. I try and keep a reign on it as much as possible.” Do you think its important for a band to have a specific image?
This could be due to the fact they have been meticulously formulated and intelligently put together over a number of years. They started out as a one-man band, with guitarist and vocalist Joseph Mount, but over time the band has been transformed musically and has quadrupled “With the in size since its inception in 1999. After receiving critical acclaim for their second album Nights Out and after an extensive tour, Metronomy are back on our radar after completing their third album - The English Riviera. Currently operating as a four piece after the departure of keyboard player and bassist Gabriel Stebbing, Metronomy is now comprised of Joseph Mount, Oscar Cash and new members Anna Prior on drums and Gbenga Adelekan on bass guitar.
new stuff we’ve been a bit pickier about who we
get to do remixes. I want to get people like David Guetta. I
Unlike some of their contemporaries, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Whilst performing they often sport circular lights attached to their bodies that make their chests flicker and pulse in time with the music. Hugely tongue in cheek and highly entertaining to watch, Metronomy are testament to the fact that electronic music can be just as entertaining in the live arena as rock ‘n’ roll. Even with the new additions, Joseph still maintains creative control over their unique sound; electronic hooks with a catchy poppy vocal and instantly recognisable bass. According to Joseph the last album, Nights Out, was a “half-arsed concept album about going out and having a crap time!” The single Heartbreaker was incredibly popular and an example of this mindset in that it twinned an upbeat addictive dance melody, with rather gloomy dulcet vocals. This is something we’ve come to expect and to love from Metronomy. Thematically, Nights Out was an album that questioned the impertinence of contemporary youth culture, albeit without any sense of resentment. The English Riviera however, has been described a much different affiar by bassist Adelekan who said it’s “Daft Punk meets The Eagles”, an interesting combination if ever there was one. The new single She Wants (free to download from their website) is pretty much exactly what we’d hoped for from Metronomy – a grown up, darker sound, reminiscent of some, heavily distorted 80’s throw back. One part Duran Duran, one part Roxy Music. Just a bit more sinister. On first listen, the track could be dismissed as nothing outstanding, but after it’s finished you find the bass line sticks in your head. Their catchy hooks are married with a strong sense of restraint and minimalism, an example of Mount’s musical calibre and recent maturity as a songwriter. If this first single is a prophesy of what is to come from The English Riviera, then we can’t wait. If anything, Metronomy are a hugely underrated band. Perhaps The English Riviera will give them the greater recognition they so deserve. Expect to see them gracing a stage at any good festival near you this summer.
think that would hilarious but expensive.”
What have Metronomy been up to recently? “Touring mainly, with gaps in between, but basically touring for 18 months or something like that. We started touring and then Gabriel left and Gbenga Adelekan joined. We then continued touring for another year before we had a break and got on with the next record. Obviously we were doing loads of festivals as well, so working really hard!” What has changed now Gabriel has left? How is the new four piece set-up working for Metronomy? “When we first started going out there was a real sense of refreshing change, much closer to what I’d always imagined in a way. More enjoyable really.” So there is no animosity between Gabriel and yourself as you’re still producing Gabriel’s side project, Your Twenties? “I have been yeah, we’re still in touch, but now the new album is getting ready to go and we’re out touring again I’ve got much less time to do that at the moment. I’m always trying to help out though.” You’re originally from Totnes which isn’t really known for having a massive electronic scene. How do you feel about Devon as a hotbed for new music? “The only stuff im aware of is people I knew from school. Obviously Gabriel and his brother Michael, then there’s Robin Christian; the drummer from Male Bonding, also James Hoare from Veronica Falls. We were all friends at school and we kind of grew up together. I suppose there is a small bunch of people, but it doesn’t feel like there’s anything you could call a ‘scene’.” The artwork associated with the band as well as your videos have proved to be iconic and instrumental in creating such a strong image. How heavily involved in this process are you? “It’s always nice to try and get as involved as possible really. But I suppose you’ll always get a bit of a too and fro with the label about what they need and what you want. That’s the same with the artwork as it
“Yeah I think it does. It usually happens anyway, as in if you’re into the same music you’re often into the same fashion and it ends up being quite a natural thing. I reckon it can be more common with electronic music as there’s a sense of heritage and bands do try and have a certain look or aesthetic.” Your last album Nights Out was incredibly popular both in the UK and overseas. What’s inspired the new album The English Riviera?
Devon I guess. It’s loosely inspired by the south and the coast. I like imagining that Devon is this really exciting part of England and some really cosmopolitan fiery coastline…which it can be. Hence the name The English Riviera. How have your live shows changed since the last album? The new record is much more about being musicians and actually playing stuff. I suppose in a sense it’s a more of grown up affair, so we’re trying to make ourselves a little bit more dignified. Although, at the same time it’s not like we’re suddenly pretending we’re someone that we’re not. We’re keeping all the good stuff from the last shows, though I’m definitely coming ‘round to the idea of playing as a four piece as well. You’re almost as famous for Metronomy as you are for your remixes. Any plans for future mixes? Yeah with the new stuff we’ve been a bit pickier about who we get to do remixes. I want to get people like David Guetta. I think that would be hilarious but expensive. I’ve done a lot of remixes and I’m much more into the idea of producing and working with people rather than them sending me something and just changing it. But no, nothing at the moment! So what does the future hold for Metronomy? Promotion, a UK tour in April and May and then a month in Europe. The diary is getting more and more full. It’s exciting! The new album, The English Riviera, is out in April this year and the first single, She Wants, is available to download at the end January.
Tune: She Wants
~ In-store artwork commissioned by 55DSL around the theme of harmonic distortion for the London flagship store © Mike Lythgoe
Mike lythgoe // the in-demand creative chats influeneces, methods, and the benifits of being pro-active:
Crack’s office is cosy to say the least, though its not blessed with the gift of great space. Cut-outs of various imagery and photos clutter the walls, and among those are the various posters designed and submitted to us from previous issues. One of which is an image we received over a year ago from an upand-coming young designer / illustrator - Mike Lythgoe. ‘The more you put in, the more you get out’ is a phrase often thrown around with varying degrees of truth, but it’s certainly a saying that can be applied to Mike. Armed with an enviable mix of creative flair, coupled with a sharp business sense, which he uses to successfully promote and expose himself, this year has seen him go from working part-time in retail, to designing for some of the biggest clients in the world today. Crack caught up with Mike to talk about his quick rise to the top.
Since creating a piece for our centre-page poster, you seem to have had a very successful year. How have the last 12 months been for you? That centre page poster for you guys was where it all really started, it was my first published illustration and has thankfully opened doors to a lot of other commissions. Since moving down to London in April it’s been non-stop for me. I’ve been doing extremely long hours interning and spending most of my time on my freelance work.
What have been your biggest influences? Like most most designers, I am continually influenced by ever-changing subjects. I think it’s best to be influenced by things outside of the industry you are most involved in. At the moment I mostly look to architecture for inspiration. Flicking through the pages of Mark magazine never fails to fill my head with potential compositions and forms that are waiting to be transformed into illustrations. What artists and designers are inspiring you at the moment?
What was it like working with Alexander McQueen and taking your designs across to fashion? Working at McQueen was a great experience. It was the first place I applied for an internship and a day later I was doing 14-hour days, six days a week. Designing a pattern one day and then having it sent over to Italy to be printed, within a few days you could walk into the room next door and see your print being made into a garment. Although it was a shock to the system, working in such a fast paced environment really set me up for what to expect from a job in the design industry.
There are loads of illustrators and designers out there I admire and for whom I have lots of respect, although I try not be influenced too much by other people’s work as I think it is really important to make your own way in design. For me the most inspiring illustrators are Valero Doval and Mario Hugo; they are two of the most consistent illustrators out there. I’m also really into what Rob & David are producing at Inventory Studio. Their client list is varied and their output is certainly something to admire. - - - - ->
~ Illustration for Cheapzine on Art Nouveau inspired art ÂŠ Mike Lythgoe
~ Illustration commissioned by Diageo, the alcohol beverage giant, for their company box at Old Trafford ÂŠ Mike Lythgoe
~ Flyer design for Dakota nightclub © Mike Lythgoe
~ Winning entry for the Dont Panic poster competition © Mike Lythgoe
“I try not be influenced too much by other people’s work as I think it is really important to make your own way in design.”
How did you first get into design and what’s your background? I’ve had an interest in design since I was really young. My dad is a successful artist, so growing up around it definitely influenced me in wanting to pursue my own career in the design industry. After finishing my degree in illustration and taking some time out to live in Vancouver, I moved to London, which is where it all started working out for me. Can you talk us through your creative process? My work process is always pretty organic; I don’t like to plan too much. I will spend a while looking through my image banks and coming up with a few ideas, but without forging too much of how I want the final image to look. Then I get straight to work and see where it takes me. I think that having a mental image of what you want the finsihed product to look like can sometimes stunt the creative process. There is a balance to be found between communicating the intended message and not being too preconceived in how the image will look.
Where do you source all your imagery? Do you use any of your own photography and illustrations? A lot of my imagery comes from my forever-expanding collection of found imagery. I spend a lot of time trawling the internet and secondhand bookshops for images. I also have a few photographer friends with whom I collaborate if there is a particular image I need. I think it’s really important to collaborate as often as you can, there’s always something to be learnt from other like-minded creatives. Do you have any advice on how to land briefs, as it seems you have an ever-improving client list that includes Nokia, Diageo, Becks and 55dsl? I think being versatile and also making sure your work is commercially viable is really important. I love everything I do, but I also want to make a living out of it. I have a lot to thank my agent at YCN (Young Creatives Network) for as I have had some great commissions in the last year. It’s really important to put yourself out there and get as much exposure as you can, but being part of a recognised agency is a great avenue to attract more clients.
You seem to have been very proactive with approaching magazines and various platforms to feature your work. Have you found this useful in successfully raising your profile? Definitely, you can never have too much exposure. Some clients do come to you directly, but you can’t bank on it happening all the time. You need to put your self out there and show them what you do. Some of my biggest commissions have come from companies seeing my work in blogs and in magazines. What’s your job involve at YCN and how do you still find the time to freelance? I started out at YCN as an intern and then went on be a full-time member of the design team working on projects. I worked a lot of long hours and had to find time in the evenings and weekends to pursue my freelance projects. Eventually I was getting enough freelance work to not have time to work 9-5 as a full-time designer. I was lucky enough to be offered studio space at YCN to continue with my freelancing work. It’s perfect really. It means I get to work for a greater variety of clients and on a wider range of projects that aren’t just solo illustration briefs. - - - - ->
~ Concept illustration commissioned by Beck’s for the 2010 Beck’s art labels © Mike Lythgoe
“I don’t like to plan too much. I will spend a while looking through my image banks ... Then I get straight to work and see where it takes me. I think that having a mental image of what you want the finished product to look like can sometimes stunt the creative process.”
~ Print design for the spring/summer 2010 collection by Alexander McQueen © Mike Lythgoe
How have you found the current job climate has affected finding work and securing briefs? I think the creative industry as a whole has been affected, but there is still a lot of work out there. It just means that you have to look harder. On the plus side, a lot of companies that had to tighten their strings as a result of the economic decline have been turning to illustrators to do the work that might have previously been carried out by other types of creative. For example, in the execution of a photo shoot the turnaround is quicker and they only have to pay the illustrator and not a crew of people needed for the planning. It’s given illustrators a lot of creative control. Do you have any advice to pass on to aspiring designers? One thing my dad always told me was “the more you put into it, the more you get out of it” and this is especially true of the design industry. You have to work really hard to get to where you want to be, and then don’t stop once you are there.
What are your favourite websites / blogs? I have a long list of blogs and sites that I visit on a regular basis. I think my favourites would have to be Visuelle, MOOD and Convoy. The other day I stumbled across the most useful site I’ve seen for a long long time; www.wordmark.it. You can type in any word and it previews that word in every typeface you have on your computer - amazing. What’s next in the pipeline for you? I have a few things coming up in the near future. I recently completed a big commission for Hewlett Packard, which will get me some great exposure. I’m also starting to venture into more graphic design-based projects as well as my illustration. I just got asked to design a new website for a record label so I’m looking forward to learning some new things and broadening my horizons in 2011.
Poster designed by Only 20 www.only20.co.uk
To have your design featured for our poster send entries to email@example.com www.youlovecrack.com
lunice // ÂŠ Jennifer Dunaj
Harnessing the natural enthusiasm of a 22 year-old, with some innovative beat making and AN obsession with dancing, Lunice is one to keep an eye on:
Last year Crack was lucky enough to witness the mighty MF Doom live at the Roundhouse and considering the anticipation we’d built up in our heads and the quality of the resulting performance, we didn’t think there was much else that could have topped it that night. We then stumbled into a side room and saw a kid with more energy behind the turntables then the whole crowd had for Doom. The obvious thought passed through our brains; ‘who is this kid and where is his energy coming from?’ That kid was 22 year-old Lunice….
Wonder and Madlib as influences while he was growing up, with more mainstream producers like Bangladesh (producer of Lil Wayne’s A Milli), The Dream and Timbaland having much more an influence of late. Initially his remix EP series, Lazeremix, reworked the likes of Missy Elliott, Kanye West, Rick Ross and Aaliyah, with a very Timbaland-heavy sound present in the production. His remix of Nicole Scherzinger’s Whatever You Like is particularly infectious, and was the one record that really caught our attention when we first heard a great mix he did for Dazed Digital. This track pretty much sums up Lunice’s formula: it’s distinctive,
That ‘whole thing’ Lunice refers to is something he is very close to achieving - if he hasn’t already. Records like Purp Walk and his remix of MeGusta’s Mega Drive, are perfect examples of this sound he’s outlined and what makes him such an intriguing artist. His future as a notable producer for other artists is also well underway. The list of rappers he’s already working with includes Chiddy (of Chiddy Bang), Lil’ B and mixtape king - Wiz Khalifa, yet he plans to establish himself a lot more before jumping in at the deep end, instead choosing to a work with artists who can relate to his style and appreciate his work, instead of megastars.
For those who haven’t witnessed Lunice perform, it’s pretty special to watch. The idea of standing onstage looking ‘cool’ evidently doesn’t cross his mind as he spends much of his time DJ’ing in a perpetual state of movement. He gets involved in full dance routines between mixes, “What I do nowadays is get inspired from any genre that often coming forward to party with the crowd. You get the impression he gets the same buzz from outwardly catches my ear, then I get fully into that genre in order to dancing to records he’s completely familiar with as he did when he first heard them. The good news is he explore it. I then bring the groove and rhythm I’ve learnt carries this energy through into his productions. He explains: “I make music because never in my life did I feel such a rush and a good feeling from when I completed my first beat.”
“I decided to become more of a ‘forefront’ producer, representing myself as an artist until I’ve built a good enough discography of work to holla at legit rappers and singers. I’m trying to connect with vocalists who are mainly my age and generation. I’d much rather work my way up with the right people who are in the same situation as me.”
from that genre right back to a rap/hip-hop
Several videos of Lunice creating dance routines to the likes San Francisco’s Lazersword crew have become popular on YouTube with over 200,0000 views of Lazersword’s Gucci Sweatshirt alone. The concept of being a DJ didn’t cross his mind until he tried his hand at production as he was too wrapped up in the sounds of other people. He explains: “What’s crazy is I never intended to be a DJ, but I guess you naturally fall into that kind of stuff after a while because when you’re producing your own material, you come to a point where you need to figure out the best way of showcasing your music to the people.” Lunice certainly knows how to showcase. Some would find a DJ creating a whole dance routine behind and in front of the decks a bit distracting and a mini performance in between mixes a little pretentious, but it adds to his individual style. It is an endearing trait from a DJ who has just as much an interest in his records making him want to dance, as the crowd. It’s a unique twist on performance that has definitely got him some much-deserved attention. A quick search on the internet heralds a number of clips with Lunice frenetically break-dancing and even diving into the audience. It’s hard not to get caught up with this kind of energy. “I try to push myself as a ‘live artist’ performing on stage much more than a conventional DJ. It’s important to have good stage presence because that energy goes directly into the crowd and the crowd replies with that same energy.” Although the routine is a conscious decision, it’s not a novelty act as he takes the music very seriously: “I don’t do requests”, he says affirmatively. His individuality is also very much apparent in the make-up of his music. He has a distinctive style that relies on short sharp vocal samples, aggressive snares and high-pitched synths. Piecing this together in your head may make it sound like a complete disaster, but the result is a futuristic sound, which at the same harnesses all the best attributes of 90’s rap and electronic music. He name-checks producers such as 9th
bass driven, synth heavy and ultimately a very simple re-working of a very mainstream record. Fast-forward a number of months and Lunice had clearly developed his sound a lot further, contributing full length mixes for the likes of FACT magazine and, notably, Lookout magazine. He feels these efforts reflect him a lot more as an artist at this current stage of his career. “This recent mix I’ve made for Lookout Magazine if feel really reflects the phase and rhythm I’m into right now” Although not exactly a location one would associate with this kind of music, Lunice is proud of his upbringing in Montreal and the fact that he’s one of many artists, DJ’s and producers that make up a whole host of Canadian talent (not including Drake or Justin Bieber). “There are singers and producers I’ve met throughout my musical ventures in Montreal that have such insane talent, style and originality.It all depends on how the team behind them will push a particular artist”. The momentum Lunice has built doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. His first solo record, The Stacker Upper EP, was recently released and he partnered with Diplo on Mad Decent to remix Deerhunter’s Helicopter, which has been championed by the likes of The Fader and Pitchfork.
Connecting with their immediate generation is the focus for a lot of upcoming artists and producers nowadays. Changes in the industry have allowed musicians to become completely self-reliant and easily establish an online presence in order to connect with an audience and other artists before they have formally released any records. Lunice fully backs Twitter as a launch pad for upcoming talent. “It’s amazing! It’s a super simple, straight to the point way to communicate with people.” What’s uncertain is which direction Lunice will choose to take next, but what is certain is he’s one of very few contemporary performers who’ve have managed to create such a solid identity so quickly. From hearing first hand the passion and attitude he has for his music and witnessing his sheer enthusiasm onstage, it’s clear he’s happy he’s going in any direction at all, yet alone one as innovative and as thought-out as this. His modest sentiments echo someone who is happy to be in the game at all “I never thought it would actually get to this point and I’m so grateful for all that’s happened so far”
The Stacker Upper EP is available to download now
Tune: Purp Walk Hip-hop is at the foundation of Lunice’s music, but his style and attitude towards remixing has changed as part of the plan to create the solidified Lunice sound, as he explains: “What I do nowadays is get inspired from any genre that catches my ear, then I get fully into that genre in order to explore it. I then bring the groove and rhythm I’ve learnt from that genre right back to a rap/hip-hop instrumental concept. I think that’s how my sound differs from others. My whole thing to make a listener say, ‘that’s a Lunice beat’, is still blurry, but it’s starting to piece itself together.”
You can follow Lunice on Twitter @Lunice
Words: Tom Botting
white lies // White Lies are on the side of a dusty road in rural Poland. They are stranded four hours from their destination and have little hope of making the festival for which they have been booked. Emotionally drained and morale running low, the band wonder whether there is any chance they’ll make their slot. After a lengthy and painful 10 hours they are finally picked up. They get to the venue in the nick of time and get on stage. Having had no sound check, it is a gamble how they will come across, let alone how the crowd will receive them. The whole gig is a rapturous success and the 20,000 strong audience know every word. If the three-piece ever needed reassurance, this would be it. White Lies’ sound has changed. Their raw new album demonstrates their aptitude to evolve as a band, aided by working with heavyweight producer Alan Moulder. He has helped the band retain their unique sound, whilst pushing for a rougher more real album. They return after a hectic three years with a wealth of musical knowledge, and a confident relaxed attitude. The success they have gained internationally is astounding. Having spent 18 months touring after the release of their first and UK number one album, To Lose A Life, their popularity stretched to all areas of Europe as a result, shifting huge quantities of records and becoming a main stage draw at some of the biggest festivals in the world. It’s safe to say success this rapid hasn’t come to a British band since the Arctic Monkeys.
our album was good enough to give out, and so because of that we had a lot of confidence in the record.
than it did on your previous album. Do you feel your sound and your tracks have become a little harder edged?
So moving on to the new record, how has the old White Lies informed the new? Have you made a conscious move away from your previous sound?
I think so. Some of the tracks have a harder edge than others. A few of the tracks are softer as well, but overall this album is rougher than the last. I certainly feel after the last few years of listening to music, it’s often the music with rougher edges that make a difference to me.
It’s going to be quite a sizeable move away from the first album. When we made the first album we had a fairly limited knowledge of recording and a fairly limited knowledge of writing. We were all around 19 years old when we first started, and didn’t have a lot to draw from. By the time it came to recording Ritual we had experienced more music. Over the last few years we have all amassed a more extensive library of influences on which to base the new album.
With this album we were conscious the production was massive. There are a few places in which you will be able to pick up it isn’t 100% ‘finished’. We wanted to leave cracks and this has added depth to our sound. Tell us more about your touring experiences? Going to Poland sounded mental with you guys breaking down on the side of the road for 10 hours.
Also, Harry has a very recognisable voice. There is a something about the way he sounds that means you will instantly know your listening to a
“There are always going to be lies, so whoever
Yeah, that was funny. We thought we weren’t going to make it, and then we got there and it turned out to be the best show on that tour. It’s important for bands to travel, but it’s hard to know what to expect from different countries. Each country had something different to likes us, likes offer in terms of audience. People listen to you and react in a different way in other countries.
us, and whoever doesn’t…well…we don’t really listen
The buzz that surrounds the band is clearly still there, after a live premiere in October of new album Ritual at York Hall in London sold out within minutes of going on sale. Touring is second nature for the band. They take in the highs and the lows of being on the road as their little Polish adventure demonstrated. With current listening for White Lies ranging from the Swedish metal of Opeth, to the sonic expansiveness of My Bloody Valentine and the etheral techno greatness of Trentemoller and Plastikman, it’s clear their tastes have developed beyond the young indie boy tag they may have been stamped with. Add Moulder’s expertise, they have clearly developed a wealthy knowledge to shape their new music. Crack sneaked in an interview with Jack Brown from the band, when he took some time out to talk about future plans, the music industry and their international recognition. Having had such a whirlwind success with To Lose A Life, you went from being a small indie band, to having a number one album in a very short space of time. How did you deal with that? Yeah, it’s been good. One of the first major events in our career was the release of our album. Straight away we had a number one record. We were chucked in at the deep end, but we didn’t really feel phased by it because the first thing we did was jump on a plane and toured all around the world. We came back to the UK after a long tour of America, Japan, Australia and Europe. After we had been on tour we felt the immediate impact and success of the album had worn off for us. We were keen to avoid getting caught up in the semi-dangerous wave of success we had experienced. You spoke about how your first album’s success had already worn off by the time you finished your tour. In the age we live in, music is quite a fickle industry. As fast as the hype machine can bring you fame, it can bring you down too. Does this worry you? When we started to get attention in 2009 I don’t think we were too bothered. We had already recorded an album and were happy and pleased with it. There wasn’t much else we could do. It went really well. It felt amazing we were living up to people’s expectations. We thought
to them. ”
White Lies track. Because of this we’ve never been worried about losing touch with the sound we started with. With reference to this album, what music have you found influential and what is currently inspiring you? When we started working on this album we listened to a lot of the music Alan Moulder had produced because we had him on board from the early stages to produce this album. He has made some incredible records and worked with some incredible artists (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails). We wanted to delve into his recording past to see what he had been working on and inform ourselves about working with him as a producer. Also, we have all got into electronic music over the past few years, and that has informed the album, though this is a massive generalisation because the amount of music and different styles I have bought over the past year is insane. Infamously second albums are a struggle. Bands are susceptible to pressure after a successful first release. Did you encounter any teething problems or creative differences when you were putting together Ritual? We had minimal issues, but a few are inevitable when you’re working on something with other people. Everyone who is involved has an input. The producer wants their input and you’ve got a record label that wants to know exactly what you’re doing. There were some slight differences, but to be honest it was a reasonably enjoyable process compared to the first album.
Do you think it’s quite hard for a British audience to tell how well a band is doing internationally? British media judge a band’s success on their relative success in the UK. You have a huge international following.
I definitely think so. We were really keen on achieving international success and I think each country will treat you depending on how well you do in that country. This is especially true of the UK. People assume if you do well over here you will do well over there, or if you do badly over here you will do badly everywhere else. That isn’t how it works. This album will hopefully be an international success. We are touring all over Europe, where I think the album will do best. What has been your best experience with White Lies to date? I think it would be the completion of the second record. It shows what we have achieved over the past few years. This record is what marks a point in our career where we have managed to improve on everything we have done before, and really prove to ourselves what we have managed to create. And finally, what really pisses you off about the music industry? Oh man, I dunno. To be honest when I started out I got annoyed about a lot of stuff in the music industry and the music press. I don’t have a problem if people don’t like our music, or write a nasty review with something about our music. That’s their call. They can say that if they like. I have a problem when journalists try to talk about us as people, like they know us. Or talk about our families. They talk about your families! Has that ever happened to you? They like to pry a lot, especially about who they think you are and in many ways it would suggest they know you. It doesn’t get to me as much as it did. I’ve accepted that it’s just what happens in the industry. There are always going to be lies, so whoever likes us, likes us, and whoever doesn’t…well…we don’t really listen to them.
Ritual(s) are a part of our every day life. What does the title mean to the band? A lot of the songs deal with various rituals. There are lyrics in the songs that could be about ceremonial rituals, though it is more about humans and rituals as a daily rite of passage. All rituals are a kind of distraction in our world. In a way the album links all these different things and draws them to the same conclusion. Is doing this really just a way of killing time, or trying to find some purpose in life?
Tune: Bigger Than Us
www.myspace.com/whitelies In a another interview, Harry had said that this record was a lot more grown up, a little bit raw, and had a few more rougher edges to it. He also said he had been smoking far too much in the past year, and his voice sounded a little cracked and rougher
Words: Siobhan Mari Raw
ÂŠ White Lies
Celebrating it 50th year, the arnolfini is a bristol arts institution steeped in history:
the arnolfini //
The Arnolfini in its previous home at the Watershed © Arnolfini
“we moved into BUSH HOUSE in 1975 when it was derelict and kick-started the regeneration of the area. UWE did a study on that impact and reckoned it was worth somewhere in the region of £600 million.”
Nostalgia is something of a frowned upon practice in the contemporary art world. Constant progression and the continual thriving for development, new ideas and originality, allow very little room to gaze back in wonder. Arnolfini’s 50th year as Bristol’s primary centre for contemporary arts is a landmark that deserves marking with a well-deserved turn of the hourglass. A Bristol institution with a vast heritage, the aforementioned progression of Arnolfini is a credit to the continual forward-thinking ideas from the people who run it and the ability to shape-shift with the changes and challenges posed to us by each different era. From the illustrative to the visual, from the musical to combinations of all the above and much, much more; there is very little artistic genre that hasn’t graced the spaces, the walls and the surrounding area of Bush House since Arnolfini took up permanent residence there in 1975. The iconic building on Narrow Quay has been Arnolfini’s home ever since, and while Bush House has experienced many internal changes during this period, the building itself has remained a reassuring constant in central Bristol, an area that has seen total redevelopment on a bigger scale than almost any other part of the city. Now the building stands healthier than ever; a true symbol of Bristolian culture and more than that, a symbol of contemporary art worldwide. The juxtaposition of the meandering, ever-changing art world within the confines of the beautifully rustic, bold and hardened confines of Bush House is a wonderful combination. Arnolfini was originally founded by Jeremy and Anabel Rees (then
Lawson) in 1961 in its original home above a bookshop on Triangle West, at the top of Park St. In their early days, the Arnolfini operated as a gallery and a picture loan scheme, in which members of the public could borrow artworks - much like a video rental store. It was in this space Arnolfini hosted its first exhibition; a selection of works on paper by Josef Herman and paintings by Bristol-based artist, Peter Swan. After numerous successful shows and exhibitions, The Arnolfini established itself a centre for contemporary art in Bristol and took up residences in both Queen Square (1970) and W Shed (1973 - now the Watershed Cinema), before moving in 1976 to its current home in Bush House. Pre-dating the re-construction of the central area as we know it, Arnolfini’s move acted somewhat as a pre-cursor to the sustained development of the Floating Harbour in later years. Some say Arnolfini’s move to Bush House was the trigger that meant redevelopment of the entire area. Current Creative Head, Tom Trevor, has been with the Arnolfini since 2005. He explains: “It’s been a long process of development to the point where we now have world-class facilities on the inside. It’s one of the top spaces in the country for mixed arts.” As mentioned, the Arnolfini has remained here ever since and in 2003, after a refurbishment in 1987 in which the bar space was opened, the building underwent huge National Lottery funded expansion. It
reopened in 2005 with almost double the exhibition space. Since then, the possibilities of an ever-morphing art world have been realised, with Arnolfini taking a much a stronger interest in multimedia art forms and music, hosting a much wider range of art on a scale and quality unimagined in its conception. A stamp of this quality and diversity was confirmed in 2010 when it was one of three venues chosen to host the first-ever live election debates featuring the three main political party leaders. Tom Trevor expands on this: “In a sense we are building on the foundations of 1961, in that Jeremy and Anabel Rees had this mantra: “To take challenging, controversial and sometimes relatively unknown artists and provide a showcase for their work.” That’s what we’ve been doing for the last 50 years - providing a platform for emerging artists and giving them the springboard to go on to greater acclaim. “We’ve always tried to place them alongside the international names to give a good mix, but it’s really important that we are about experimental arts. The key thing is we are a mixed arts centre, so it’s that cross artform dialogue that is part of the special chemistry here. We are art; but also performance, music, film and literature. “ It’s this mix that has seen Arnolfini have a number of standout ‘firsts’ over the years. Tom Trevor picks three standout exhibitions he feels have defined Arnolfini. - - - - ->
Geometry Of Rage © Arnolfini
Now Open © Arnolfini
6C<JH;6>G=JGHI (&?6CJ6GN"'.B6G8= Galleries open 10am - 6pm Tue - Sun This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Sadie Coles HQ and the Estate of Angus Fairhurst. Angus Fairhurst, The Problem With Banana Skins Divided / Inverted, 1998, polyurethane rubber. Copyright the Estate of Angus Fairhurst, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Angus Fairhurst © Arnolfini
The Golden Mile © Arnolfini
Maas Movers ÂŠ Arnolfini
Style In The 70’s © Arnolfini
New British Sculpture © Arnolfini
New British Sculpture -1968, This was an exhibition of contemporary sculpture sited in public spaces across the centre of Bristol. Presented alongside shows at Arnolfini and the City Museum & Art Gallery, it was ground-breaking in as much as it anticipated the shift towards ‘site-specific’ installations, as well as locating work in everyday contexts beyond the gallery. This ambitious project subsequently developed into the Peter Stuyvesant City Sculpture Project (1972), to which Studio International magazine devoted a whole issue and paved the way for the influential TSWA context-led projects in the 1980s. The poster for New British Sculpture won a design award. The Graffiti Art Show - 1985, This show developed its own mythology, as one of the first exhibitions to present work by UK street artists within a gallery. It also secured Arnolfini a place in the history of what was to become known as the ‘Bristol Sound’. A group of graffiti artists, including Goldie and 3D (Robert Del Naja, later of Massive Attack) were commissioned to spray work directly onto the gallery walls, and for a linked event Arnolfini asked The Wild Bunch, the Bristol sound system from which Massive Attack and the record producer Nellee Hooper emerged, to perform in the downstairs gallery. A video document of the event records the presence of many of the Bristol musicians and artists who would later go on to worldwide fame.
trade and contemporary slavery. It subsequently toured nationally and internationally to other port cities around the world. One exhibit was a large-scale work by the Beninois artist, Meschac Gaba, called Sweetness, which was a vast ‘model village’ made entirely from sugar. It represented an imaginary port city incorporating some of the world’s most instantly recognisable buildings, including Bristol’s own Clifton Suspension Bridge. The sheer number of Arnolfini exhibitions over the years has been marked by a number of posters that adorn the walls of the café. These used to act as the sole marketing tool for the Arnolfini, as archivist Julian Warren explains: “The Arnolfini used to have its own in-house designer and sometimes the artists would do them. They key thing is the founding director Jeremy Ress had a background in typography and design, so he was very keen Arnolfini had a good design for all its print output, and this was one of the very distinctive things in its early years. “In the days before internet, it was the sole way to do marketing. You produced posters and got them out and about. There are about 300-400 posters in the archive.
how the technology has changed.” Their consistency as an arts institution is astounding. coherently sums up the Arnolfini’s place today.
“There are different ways we can view ourselves. But we need to constantly be recreating and refreshing. Bristol has such an amazing cultural scene and I think Arnolfini is a massive part of that, so we have a duty to be open to these new ways of thinking because that’s what we are about. People can count on us being more daring. It’s important. “We’ve always been part of this theme and what Arnolfini does is move things forward. Like when we moved into Bush House in 1975 when it was derelict and kick-started the regeneration of the area. UWE did a study on that impact and reckoned it was worth somewhere in the region of £600 million. But in terms of the arts, we were the first to offer a really dynamic local platform. Sometimes people can feel really excluded from art and we have a real task to give people that sense of engagement and ownership, so people can get involved in the different arts we’ve been championing.”
---------Port City - 2007, This was Arnolfini’s response to the commemoration of the bicentenary of the parliamentary abolition of the slave trade. This included a major exhibition and a programme of live art and music, as well as sited works around the city, it addressed current issues of global migration,
”When you look at them you can see how design has changed. They are quite a good reference point for changes in design and desktop printing techniques from the 1970’s onwards. The very first photos in the archive are hand-made screen prints. You get a few colours coming in the posters towards the end of the 60’s and then by the 70’s you have full-blown Technicolor. You get this sense of history through the posters. You can see
© Adam Bletchly
ive thousand blackbirds just dropped out of the sky in Arkansas, pelting passers-by and police officers with avian corpses. The end is nigh.
As the story broke, the speakers in JFK Airport, New York, crackled to life: “Homeland security level is orange, pay attention…” Orange, that’s right before red, should I slow down or hit the accelerator? While I’m standing there, waiting for the for the warning loop to spark back into life, somewhere in the foothills of the Hindu Kush Mountains, a bearded ghost is plotting the demise of our civilisation, presumably from a broadband-equipped cave. As hundreds of Obama’s pilotless ‘Reaper’ drones circle the skies overhead. Homeland security says its time to “establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan” for me and my family – hold onto our pants and wait for the lights to change. An apocalyptic start to 2011; 700 doves die in Italy, dozens of birds in Sweden, fish in Brazil, cows in Wisconsin and 40,000 dead crabs washing up on our shores.
I’m racked with paranoia; my pockets are stuffed with AA batteries, flashlights and first aid kits. Bombs blasts are ringing out in Afghanistan, Tunisia, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Italy. Mother Earth is riled. La Niña has sent devastating floods to Australia, Brazil and southern Asia, with an unknown savagery.
America to counteract the influence of Chávez.
And, the media’s economic indicators continue to place the country’s finances on a precipice. Just in this week; the UK’s inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index, shot upwards to an eightmonth high of 3.7% at the end of the year, topping Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation-prone figures. That means 2011’s end-of-year figures would mean a realterm pay cuts of 5%.
A disenfranchised member of the Wikileaks’ steering team claims the organisation is sitting on huge tracts of data collected as part of a hacker-on-hacker sting. Roughly 100,000 people have downloaded an encrypted file named ‘insurance.aes256’ and its unknown payload of “significant material” that Assange and Co. can release at will.
Looking back, Wikileaks’ cache of diplomatic secrets, one of the biggest stories in the second half of last year doesn’t look that bad, or important. The site’s revelations often bordered on the inane, or at least the expected; that foreign leaders wanting a sit down with President Obama had been offered time with the president if they took on a Guantanamo detainee; that Hillary instructed diplomats to spy on top UN staff; and that the US sought regional allies in South
None of the documents are classified as Top Secret, neither do they threaten the US at the kind of Cold War level that saw the Soviets buy H-Bomb designs and the names of double agents. But there’s more to come...
as Russian Prime Minister Putin’s ‘mouthpiece’, alleging he received lavish gifts to promote Russian energy interests, and calling him ‘feckless’. No shit Sherlock.
Send rants to firstname.lastname@example.org In other, more relaxing news, Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has got into trouble over his actions at a 28whore-deep party which took place at his mansion. In response to accusations that he slept with a 17year-old prostitute during one event – a women more than 50 years his junior – Berlusconi told the press he would not resign: “What, are you all mad? I’m absolutely calm, I’m enjoying myself.” Bunga bunga. In Assange’s cables, diplomats referred to Berlusconi
Illustration: Adam Bletchly
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THURSDAY 27 FEBRUARY
0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 | GIGSANDTOURS.COM A METROPOLIS MUSIC PRESENTATION BY ARRANGEMENT WITH NOMANIS
BRISTOL LOUISIANA 0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 www.gigsandtours.com
By arrangement with Select Agency
Je s c a Hoop TUESDAY 8TH MARCH
0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 | gigsandtours.com A Metropolis Music presentation by arrangement with ITB
Tuesday 29 March
Bristol St Bonaventures
0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 0844 844 0444 / GIGSANDTOURS.COM
Saturday 19th March
THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY
BRISTOL COLSTON HALL
0117 922 3686 | 0844 811 0051 | GIGSANDTOURS.COM
A Metropolis Music presentation by arrangement with 13 Artists
A Metropolis Music presentation by arrangement with CAA
THE NEW ALBUM ‘INTERPOL’ OUT NOW www.interpolnyc.com
BRISTOL COLSTON HALL www.raylamontagne.com
0117 922 3686 | 0844 811 0051 Book online: www.gigsandtours.com
C L U B
M E T R O P O L I S Saturday 05 March
TUESDAY 17 MAY
CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH 0844 477 1000
WEDNESDAY 18 MAY
BRISTOL FLEECE 0117 929 9008 0844 811 0051 | GIGSANDTOURS.COM Download the debut single ‘Darling Buds of May’ now from iTunes A METROPOLIS MUSIC PRESENATION BY ARRANGEMENT WITH PRIMARY TALENT INTERNATIONAL
F o r e x c l u s i v e l i v e a n n o u n c e m e n t s a n d p r i o r i t y b o o k i n g g o t o : w w w. g i g s a n d t o u r s . c o m
BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH +THE SORRY KISSES
Friday 11 March
KING CHARLES BRISTOL LOUISIANA www.thelouisiana.net / 0117 929 9008 / 0844 811 0051 bristolticketshop.co.uk / gigsandtours.com
CRACK FASHION: February / March 2011
Shirt - Vaudeville & Burlesque (Urban Outfitters) Leather trousers - Vero Moda Rings - The Great Frog Earrings - ASOS Wrist band - CC Skye Gold bracelet - House of Harlow Boots - Jeffrey Campbell
come as you are //
credits // Art Direction & Fashion // Marie-Claude Lamb Photographer // Paul Whitfield Make up // Maddie Austin Hair // Amber rose Models // Ashleigh @ profile models
Blue suit - The Kooples Earrings - French Connection Heels - ASOS
Biker jacket - Veda @ Urban Outfitters Lace bra - Kimchi Blue @ Urban Outfitters Silk shorts - The Reformation @ Urban Outfitters Studded wristband - CC Skye Gold bracelet - House of Harlow Rings - The Great Frog
Silk dress - La Petite Salope
photography - Paul whitfield www.paulwhitfieldphotography.com Fashion - Marie-Claude Lamb email@example.com Make up Artist - Maddie Austin www.maddieaustin.co.uk Hair Stylist - Amber Rose www.amberrosehairstylist.com model - Ashleigh www.profile-models.com
© Cloud Nothings
Despite the majority of people living in this country not being American by nationality, the American teen dream is something to which we Brits have a huge fascination. High-school America has been the subject of successful Hollywood films in the UK. We dream of frat parties to American Football games to the highschool dances - we gaze over pond in wonderment at this idyllic teenage playground. American rock has always played a huge part in this dream from the pre-pubescent and frankly awful (Blink 182, Sum 41), to the intelligent (Weezer), to a list of skater punk bands as long as your arm, the youth of America will always be linked to this sound. While countless bands have sounded like a re-hashed pastiche of the skater sound, when Crack heard Turning On - the first release by Cloud Nothings - just over a few months ago, our ears were pricked to the unpolished nature of the record. Dusty, raw and, as it turns out, recorded on one microphone, this was pop music with an edge and a recorded indifference. It’s a gloriously ramshackle blast. Fronted by 20 year-old college drop out, Dylan Baldi, Cloud Nothings have gone from this self-recorded, selfpromoted release, to self-titled album in just under a year.
Dylan explains this progression: “When I recorded Turning On it was recorded on one microphone. Recording Cloud Nothings in a Baltimore studio and going in there for nine hours at a time for a few days was very different. Before, in nine hours I think I could have probably recorded a whole album. Baldi’s new record is a more polished and hardened affair. These are a series of two and a-half minute blasts of American escapist rock, with a firm footing in fun. The first record was created as a pre-cursor to this full length debut and even though it’s a harder sound, Baldi stays true to what he established on his first record. “The difference is Cloud Nothings is recorded a little better and it isn’t as lo-fi as Turning On. It’s also more energetic. It’s probably what the songs on Turning On would sound like if I recorded them a little faster. It’s an improved version of Turning On, or at least that’s how I think of it.” Baldi’s youth hasn’t stopped him delving into the past for much of his influences: “My main inspiration is Husker Du and also a band called The Replacements. I’ve always been quite inspired by early 90’s skater punk and a lot of classic punk like The Germs.” In reality, their debut album has been mapped out and informed by a much wider variety of influences; most notably The Pixies and The Buzzcocks at their poppy best.
The formation of Cloud Nothings as a band dates back to Dylan’s time in college when all he wanted to do was get away from the classroom in order to play music. “I started Cloud Nothings when I got really bored and used to use all my free time to write and record music. My school was close to home so I’d just get back and spend every waking hour recording. I put some of the songs online and this small label called Bridgetown Records in California contacted me and ended up putting out my first record - Turning On. I then ended up signing with Car Park in the US and Witchita in the UK. So much of this was because they heard the songs online.” “I found the rest of the band from going to shows and playing shows in and around Cleveland. I had never played in a band with anyone prior to that. Cloud Nothings represent another band that have experienced the whirlwind of success releasing your music on the internet can bring. Dylan has been able to release the record he wanted to make, and an extremely receptive UK audience has taken to it with aplomb. This has resulted in a full UK tour and being picked up by one of the UK’s most respected independent record labels – Witchita. The UK is certainly somewhere where Dylan feels Cloud Nothings work. “We were over almost the whole month of November
when the band was playing shows and we are coming again in February. The fans seem a lot more knowledgeable and people come up to you and talk to you at the end of a show. Everyone seems a lot nicer. “It all happened really quickly, but not so fast to the point where I can’t deal with this or control what’s going on. It’s all been in the last year really, so it’s not been so fast I can’t handle it.” So from basement recording, to being signed and doing a full UK tour, in just under a year. The answer how this has happened so fast comes when Crack asks Dylan: When you’re not with Cloud Nothings what would we find you doing? “Working on other music. Playing music all the time. That’s what I do. I just play.”
Tune: Can’t Stay Awake
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season highlights elektrostatic festival
sunday 8 – wednesday 11 may
Renowned Bristol-based composer Martin Kiszko sets brand new ecopoems to music, featuring rising opera star Arlene Rolph and images by Oscar-winning animator Nick Park.
A celebration of the best performers from Elektrostatic past and present plus a headline-grabbing concert from Grammy Award winning new music ensemble Eighth Blackbird.
8pm, Tickets: £10, £7 concessions
wednesday 13 april dreams from the east An evening of richly imaginative music for voice and ensemble inspired by middle-eastern music and culture. Featuring Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s recent masterpiece Grammaire des Reves and Kubla Khan by Michael Ellison 8pm, Tickets: £10, £7 concessions
tuesday 10 may
sunday 8 may best of elektrostatic A free afternoon of music featuring special performances from artists who have appeared in Elektrostatic over its four seasons. 2 – 6pm, Tickets: FREE
eighth blackbird New music trailblazers, Grammy Award winners and the US's ﬁnest contemporary chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird deliver provocative, physically powerful and mind changing performances of contemporary music.
New music you can bring home to your mother Washington Post 8pm, Tickets: £15
monday 9 may
wednesday 11 may
elektrostatic and mayfest present
steve reich’s drumming colin currie percussion group
music circus Composer and larger-than-life performer Peter Swaffer-Reynolds (composer for No Fit State Circus) cocurates an evening of unique music inﬂuenced by circus and theatre. 8pm, Tickets: £10, £7
box ofﬁce +44 (0)117 922 3686 www.colstonhall.org
wednesday 9 march
A transcendent and dramatic tapestry of pounding bongo drums, mesmerising marimbas, glassy glockenspiels and synthesized vocals, with an irresistible sense of momentum and a thunderous climax. A rare opportunity to see one of the most iconic pieces of the last 50 years. 8pm, Tickets: £15
DHP Concerts Presents firstname.lastname@example.org
FEB 2011 tues 15th weds 16th sat 19th sun 20th fri 25th
The Louisiana 06 Feb Lulu and the Lampshades 09 Feb Lauren Pritchard 10 Feb The Phoenix Foundation 28 Feb Pete Lawrie 01 Mar Sound of Guns 29 Mar Dave Rotheray 09 Apr De Staat
The Cooler 02 Feb Jim Noir 04 Feb Man Like Me 07 Feb Jonny 14 Feb Wolf People 04 Mar Anna Calvi 05 Mar Aidan John Moffat 12 Mar Flats 13 Mar Admiral Fallow
Other Events 09 Feb White Lies, O2 Academy 17 Feb Imelda May, Colston Hall 21 Feb Black Spiders, The Croft 04 Mar Darwin Deez, Anson Rooms 28 Mar John Grant, St. Georges 12 Apr Underoath, The Bierkeller 21 May Loudon Wainwright III, Colston Hall
www.alt-tickets.co.uk / 0845 413 4444 / www.gigantic.com
fri 4th * sat 5th sat 5th fri 11th † weds 16th * thurs 17th fri 18th fri 25th sat 26th
START THE BUS Men / Support Three Trapped Tigers / Oh Jupiter Good Natured / David Lyre / La Sera JAMIE WOON / Ghostpoet DARKSTAR / John Roberts / Vision Of Trees No need to shout presents:
START THE BUS / *THE FLEECE / † METROPOLIS Hjaltalin / Seeräuber Jenny Fijiya & Miyagi / Support Fiction / Heartbreaks Optimo / Support HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR Crystal Fighters / Support The Primitives / Craft Spells No Crystal Stilts / Support Space Dimension Controller £4/£3/£2 No need to shout
£7 Adv. No need to shout
£4/£3/£2 We like to party !
£4/£3/£2 Club Cosmique & Crack
tbc No need to shout
£4/£3/£2 No need to shout
£4/£3/£2 No need to shout
START THE BUS sat 9th Renaissance Man fri 22nd Is Tropical / Support
£4/£3/£2 No need to shout
James Blake // under milk wood //
© James Blake
© Tobacco Factory
Crazylegs: James Blake Basement 45 10th December 2010 ………………………….
Under Milk Wood: The Brewery Tobacco Factory 11-29 January 2011 ………………………….
The inception of the Crazylegs club nights in Bristol has provided Bristol’s music fans with innovative doses of bass heavy music and as a night they are always on the front foot when it comes to showcasing new music. The latest instalment of Crazylegs was no exception, and saw an impressive line-up with James Blake taking centre stage supported by Girl Unit and LV. This line-up secured an up for it crowd, not just for the music, but also the all round good atmosphere these nights usually bring with them.
Under Milk Wood: three words which, for so many people – from the GCSE student to the discerning middleaged theatre goer – convey far more than the sum of their parts. Dylan Thomas’s wonderful and meandering Play for Voices has been variously adapted and re-imagined both on stage and radio since it was first broadcast in 1954. Now, Splice Productions frame the play in an imaginative and highly entertaining context.
Ablely supported by the UK funky sounds of Marcus Nasty to start proceedings, hype gradually built over the course of the evening until it hit fever pitch later on with Blake on last. Putting their headliner on last is not a trick always employed at clubs, but with the night ending at 4am, starting Blake at 3am wasn’t a problem. Blake has been currently been adopted as Radio One’s new artist du jour. Unfortunately for him, you can’t go an hour on Radio 1 without Ferne Cotton gushing about her new favourite track - Limit To Your Love. Obviously, there is no smoke without fire, and Blake’s music is great. A real amalgamation of electronic and dubstep, with a brilliant use of R&B samples; Blake is a producer of the thinking man’s urban music. The most recognisable of Blake’s tracks are often simple, understated affairs, but with a real soulfulness that sets him apart from his contemporaries. Basement 45 is a bit of a cavernous venue with tunnels and pothole like rooms giving the impression of a house party at Bilbo Baggins’ crib. As expected it was heaving, so packed it did become a bit of a problem trying to lift your arms from your sides in order to dance. There were, as expected, lots of eager young girls attempting to get as close as humanly possible to experimental music’s new wunderkind. However, you know it’s a good night when the ceiling is literally dripping with sweat and you can feel your eyeballs vibrating inside your skull because of the bass.
Having taken our seats at the Tobacco Factory’s Brewery Theatre, we are instantly transported to 1964: Buddy Holly’s rock ‘n’ roll boogie-woogie bellows out above our heads, while two microphones stand centre stage, poised to broadcast Thomas’s piece on its 10th anniversary radio performance. As such we are, in fact, the audience of stage dramatisation of a radio broadcast. So as the two main actors – the self-assured, seasoned Mr Glynn Williams (Bob Gwilym of Casualty fame) and the demure, lass-done-good Miss Joyce Jones (Kerry Joy Stewart) – guide us through Thomas’s play with their lilting Welsh intonations, we also gain a glimpse of their own personalities. Yet somewhat ironically, this studio-based plot is centred around the sound artist, Miss Betty Foley (Natasha Pring), who, as a lovelorn, vulnerable twenty-something with no (formally) ascribed lines, ploughs her way through the performance with a crafty bottle of gin. The audible consequences made through her mismanaged soundscaping are guaranteed to raise belly laugh after belly laugh after hiccup (depending on how many you’ve had at the bar). Given Thomas’s notoriety as a man not averse to a drink (or three), the choice of incorporating booze so prominently in the performance may seem a little banal. Yet not so; as the middle-aged professionals weave and thread through Dylan’s lyrical patchwork of life in small town Wales, we are visually drawn to Foley and her engaging antics; an exposition of fragility and the nuances of drunken behaviour.
If you were unfortunate enough to miss Blake play for Crazylegs then fear not friends, Blake is set to play his debut live show in Bristol on February 23rd. This tour is set to be a massive watershed for the young man, who will almost certainly step above the parapet with a full live show not really attempted by many other experimental producers in the game at the moment.
Despite the elaborate subtext, director Kath Rogers adheres to Thomas’s original work. We are treated to some wonderfully elegant and seamless interplay between the play’s voices and the interactions taking place within the studio. That no lines are added to link these two dimensions is testament to carefully considered yet inspired directing.
However, the balance is temporarily upset through a frenetic moment of bedlam which the performers’ frolics momentarily overshadow and encroach upon Thomas’s masterpiece. Yet thankfully, the ensuing interval is well-timed, and leaves us asking where the performance can next take us?
More tomfoolery? More wonderful portrayals of housewives’ tales, malicious gossip, meditative incantations and heartfelt memories? Yes – all this, and a wistful twist which reveals that even actors have a human side. Under Milk Wood is a widely admired and hugely acclaimed work; given Splice Production’s take on the text, similar plaudits might well be just around the (street) corner for them too.
maya jane coles // the walkmen //
© The Walkmen
© Maya Jane Coles
The Breakfast Club feat. Maya Jane Coles Underneath Take-Five Cafe Janruary 22nd 2011 ………………………….
The Walkmen Trinity Arts Centre Janruary 21st 2011 ………………………….
Throwing club nights in mid-January is always a risky business. Cold weather, post-Christmas blues, pesky New Years resolutions and a lack of both money and serotonin means getting clubbers out of mid-winter hibernation can be a bit of a challenge.
Unwisely believing the cold snap was behind us, a small crowd huddles beneath the up-lit church that is Trinity Arts Centre. Shoes extinguish burning embers and jackets shiver as air, warmed by the massing crowd within, beckons each toward the heavy wooden entrance.
One way around this is to book Maya Jane Coles, probably the hottest new talent in underground music today, whose stratospheric rise from zero to hero over the last six months has been fuelled by a wide range of club hits on choice labels like Realtone, Hypercolour and BPitch Control. Combining her burgeoning pulling power with a secret venue, previously unused for throwing parties, and a door tax of only six quid, you’ve got a winning formula. This is exactly what The Breakfast Club did on the third Saturday in January.
The Walkmen, on their first visit to the UK since the release of their much acclaimed and some-what festive Lisbon LP, have enticed both fresh ears and die-hard followers from tea and radiators to the historic church setting.
The Breakfast Club is the brain child of Amos Nelson, one half of Leftroom Records’ Waifs & Strays, Ed Karney, Mixmag’s long-standing techno editor and finally Rag Satguru and Duha Rahman from Bristol’s leading house institution Just Jack. They decided last year that there was a gap in Bristol’s already busy night life for a more bespoke series of parties set in unique locations. These parties now act as a superb platform to introduce cutting edge underground house and techno artists to the city. Over the last year they have brought the likes of Soul Clap, DC10 residents Dyed Soundorom and Clive Henry, the Harry Klein’s Julietta and Hot Creations’ Robert James and Richy Ahmed to a variety of venues around the city.
The hubbub surroundding the bar dies quickly as the last of the plastic cups are filled up, as the support act clambers to the stage. Mona, fresh faced and sporting classic American hair are bold and fluent on stage, producing a clean, well thought-out rhythm that kept feet tapping and heads patient but could do little to provide enough entertainment to convince many that they could be anything more than a support band in future. All eyes maintained watchful and waiting, it was clear that the main act were sought after. Mona finished off with their first release in the UK, Listen To You Love, and Mona’s front man Nick Brown thanked the crowd. A second quick, cold, cigarette, a second quick return to the bar, and a second dodge and weave through the shirts and jeans. Lights up. Walkmen on. Crowd set.
The first thing that strikes us arriving at the Breakfast Club is the unique choice of venue. With details only released the day before, rather than opting for one of Bristol’s better-known venues like Dojos or Basement 45, the BFC have chosen to throw their party in the cellar beneath the Take Five Café on Stokes Croft. A rather genteel tearoom and restaurant during the day, they have converted the basement into a glowing rave den complete with Void sound system and a glowing astral starscape projected onto the ceiling. As we touch down on the dance floor, Rich Beanland, the other half of Waifs and Strays, is just handing over to local house and disco hero Christophe and already the basement is packed. With the party having sold out ten days before, every inch of available floor space is utilised to maximum effect by an even mix of boys and girls of varying ages. When Coles finally takes to the decks at 1.30am the atmosphere notably shifts up a gear. Standing at just over five feet tall with a thick black comb-over, and a dress-sense that’s more dubstep than house-head, she is every bit the diminutive super-star in the making. She proceeds to cause some serious damage with a broad selection of her own tunes, both old and unreleased, mixed into jacking Chicago classics and more upfront European house. As we emerge drenched with sweat at 4am, it’s clearly apparent from the smiling faces all around us that the Breakfast Club is the perfect antidote to the mid-January blues. The next Breakfast club is on Friday 18th March at a secret location.
To the regular listener Hamilton Leithauser struck all the right notes. He was poetic during slower tracks and his vocals were grasping, coarse and raised when the beat sped up. The band played a seamless set of new and old from their five-album catalogue. Yet still, even to the regular listener, the three-song encore of Little House of Savages, The Rat and We’ve Been Had was far and away the highlight of the show. The Walkmen never appeared to fully animate or captivate the full audience and for the recently won over fans it wasn’t a show that will ensure tickets will sell fast next time they return to the UK. Having been a fan of their later releases, Crack was perhaps expecting too much from the New York band. The evening lacked either the energy, or immersion to fully win me over. Upon leaving, friends who were disgruntled with these thoughts will tell you otherwise, and Juveniles and Victory will remain at the forefront of our play list for the time being. But a memorable gig? Hmmm, maybe it was just the cold...
1. Texas for example? (8,5) 8. Cigarette – Homosexual (3) 10. & 14. Dairy averse (7,10) 11. Tutor (7) 12. Hot drink (3) 13. Zero (3) 14. See 10 across 17. Fried potato slices (5) 19. Computer network with restricted access (8) 21. Golden (5) 23. Spanish ‘the’ (2) 24. 2001 film, ‘Shallow___’ (3) 25. Simple (4) 26. Fizzy drink (4) 27. Stinger? (3) 28. White and black bear (5)
29. Food consumption (4) 30. Ploy (6) 31. Explosive device powered by nuclear fission (1-5) 32. Fast-food often consumed at the end of a night out (5) 34. Sphincter (4) 36. Hurl (5) 38. Affiliate (6) 41. Adjust (5) 43. Repeat (4) 45. One who indulges in self pleasure (6) 46. Place to eat (6,4) 48. ‘The ______’, Manchester band formed in 1982 (5) 49. Average (3)
1. American resort renowned for gambling, shopping and fine dining (8,4) 2. Surpass (5) 3. Having characteristics that others adore (8) 4. Attentive (5) 5. Stage setting (3) 6. A rag man (anag.) (7) 7. Improve (7) 8. Anal announcement (4) 9. Nuts (6) 15. Professionally busy? (2,3,3) 16. Tattered (10) 18. Ski track (5) 20. Nuclear apparatus in which fission can be initiated (7)
21. A-Z (8) 22. Stringed instrument (5) 27. The opposite way (9) 33. Device to increase audio strength (3) 35. Cigarette user (6) 37. Indian vernacular (5) 39. Facial hair (5) 40. In debt to (4) 42. Am not (informal) (4) 44. Tent activity – act a bit fabulous? (4) 47. Negative response (2)
Solution to last issue's Crossword:
ACROSS: 1. EPIC, 4. JAEGER BOMB, 9. Spy (10,5), 10. FIRST TEAM, 12. TITLE, 15. UNABLE, 16. EQUALITY, 17. CALAMARI, 18. LINKED, 20. ELUDE, 23. BEETHOVEN, 24. SECOND IN COMMAND, 25. AIR DEFENSE, 26. DULL DOWN: 2. PENSION, 3. CHEESE BOARD, 4. JACK THE LAD, 5. GLEAM, 6. ROAST, 7. OVERT, 8. BATTERY, 11. APELIKE, 13. ILL INFORMED, 14. BULLET HOLE, 17. CHELSEA, 19. ETERNAL, 21. ULCER, 22. ERNIE, 23. BEIGE
Horoscopes (because we can see into the future)
Aries – The New Year brings new opportunities. Saturn and Pluto’s galactic alignment means for the first time in years you will be showered with money, gifts and love. Which should go someway to making up for the shit 2010 you had on all levels.
Taurus – With Mars on a collision course with Earth, now is the time to act upon your instinct. Throw away all your clothes and possessions. Be free. Sway with the season and not with the coalition. Move into that Yurt, and embrace nature.
Gemini – After all that Christmas indulgence its time to lay off the Hagen Das for a little while. New Year…new you, and now is the time. Seize the day not the spoon.
Cancer – There has never been a better time to stop your wayward drinking habits. New Years Eve was one step too far. Getting your Mum to stop you pissing in your brothers room at 4am is not a fresh look. Look to the moon for guidance and stay away from Bargain Booze.
Leo – Your wallet seems to be bulging with all the cash you’ve received over Christmas, as no one bought you presents because Leo’s are notoriously dull and have no interests. To combat this, Leo’s will invest in attention seeking gimmicks such as a neon fixed wheel bike with white handlebars.
Virgo – The inevitable collision between ET on his bike and the sun will have disastrous consequences for all Virgos. This is likely to manifest itself in a confusing misconception from Virgos that what the world is missing are Christian rappers. Everyone should watch out for low flying rhyming hymns coming from the lips of all Virgos.
Libra – Don’t expect much this month. There is only darkness, extreme darkness. A solar eclipse caused by Uranus will occur on the 5th. You will need to be prepared for the worst.
Scorpio – This year will be the best year for you, and its not going to stop there. Actually the rest of your life will go swimmingly. You will never experience any hardship or trouble ever again, which should come as a relief.
Sagittarius – Due to your erratic position in the galactic alignment, Sagittarius’ should hold on tight, this month is going to be a bumpy one. Your complete lack of social finesse means you will be dropping clangers everywhere. Resist the temptation to drop sexual innuendos at every opportunity and don’t tell your mate’s friend she looked good in bra and pants when you saw her last time. It’s just uncomfortable.
Capricorn – After suffering a solar meltdown, irreverent thoughts will naturally turn to Kerry Katona and Capricorns will feel the urge to undergo some kind of lifestyle switch in the next two months. Like a reverse exercise DVD, it’ll be a lot easier than leaving the house. Just buy some gear from that guy up the road, three packs of Marlboro Lights, and you too can look like Kerry.
Aquarius – The loose orbit of Neptune will mean you indulge in a new religion. The likely choice is a religion in which you send money to a Shamen on a monthly basis and receive nothing back in return. You will be delighted with the outcome, mainly due to the fact you will lose weight, as you can’t afford any food.
Pisces – Ditch the spouse, leave the family at home, buy that Ferrari, and sleep with a prostitute.
© Images by Rudi Everts.
DISCOVER THE SPIRIT OF HAVANA
Enjoy Havana Club responsibly