Lust For Youth- the performance pseudonym of Swedish producer Hannes Norvidde- is a moniker synonymous with dark, cavernous interpretations of sound. It would certainly be pernicious to say that his first three long-players (Solar Flare, Growing Seeds and Perfect View) were unlistenable but they definitely clung to a sense of insularity, pointed manifestations of the abrasive and the oblique. Yet, International marks a departure from oblivion and a cross-over into euphoria. At least in a musical sense.
Once exclusive to Norvidde, Lust For Youth’s fourth album is the first unveiling of a project that has evolved to encompass the talents of Copenhagen noise-pop practitioner, Loke Rahbek and guitarist, Malthe Fisher. Of course, this injection of new personnel is conceivably responsible for Lust For Youth’s expansion of sonic horizons, the break from atonal, droning loner-pop into a more wholesale party vibe.
Moving out from the murky ambience of previous records, International feels like a concerted effort to position Lust For Youth in the New Wave tradition. Referencing the moment when guitar music stopped flirting with synthesisers and quirky atmospherics (see Roxy Music) and threw itself into bed with them (pick your point between 1979 and 1985) the spectral, echoey post-punk of ‘Epoetin Alfa’ and ‘Illume’ draw similarities to Echo and the Bunnymen and Depeche Mode, whilst the remainder of the record appears to be a love letter to the fractured ebullience of New Order.
But International does more than just borrow the beats of its New Wave antecedents. As it clambers for synth-pop perfection, its vocals are an exercise in minimalism and hostility. With these inflections bereft of emotion and intensely beleaguered, the euphoria that the album trades on is deceptive. Conceptualised on ‘Born Slippy’ doppelganger, ‘Running’, it becomes apparent that Norvidde’s obsession with such euphoria is at once celebratory and cynical; the track is an anthem for the hedonists but a crash-course for the ravers. Willing participants in the club scene, the modus operandi of Lust For Youth 2.0 is to endeavour to write tunes that pack the dancefloor but maintain a wry awareness of the futility of this sweaty, often chemically-enhanced, ritual. And this philosophy is International’s ace-in-the-hole, it is a record packed with joyous, jovial rhythms that, on closer inspection, hide regret, disillusion and shame. Gloom masquerading as glory.
However, International’s biggest strength may also prove to be its greatest weakness. The songs are all immaculately produced but, after a while, their constant metronome click, pulsating rhythms and protracted wearisome expressions threaten to drive the band into the Europop middle-of-the-road. Sauntering through on waves of static noise, the record sometimes begins to drown in its own repetition and struggles to stay afloat.
Once renowned for an uncompromising industrial sound, Lust For Youth’s International lets wistful melody peer through layers of hard electronica to create a warped, dirty pop record. Like an aural iteration of the self-loathing, noxious comedown that haunts the mind and the soul after a night of decadence, Hannes Norvidde’s fourth album in as many years is a cathartic and subdued documentation of European club culture.
Manchester’s Delphic return with a mixtape of brand new material which sees the 3 piece go back to the dancefloor, with a mix of Balearic and Acid House influenced sounds. Get Familiar, the title of Delphic’s first foray into the World of mixtapes. Not content to rest on their laurels after being selected as one of five artists to provide music for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, Delphic released and toured Collections and performed a three-night residency at the prestigious Manchester International Festival 2013. Yet Get Familiar is also an entirely apt title for where they stand at this point; it’s directed as much at themselves as it is anybody else, indicative of the band’s choice to re-align themselves with what they believe. “It feels a little cheeky, like a 60′s pop album title?” says vocalist James Cook. “We felt it related to us because, after setting a new studio up and making this album without a producer, it felt like a new dawn for us.”
Fashion-forward menswear retailer ETO have launched their new S/S line and if you want to stay clear of the High Street this summer this is the ideal place to go.
ETO Jeans launched in 2007 and since has quickly gained a reputation as a retailer of on-trend menswear. With over 50 years’ experience they’ve developed their styles to divert away from the stereotypical and conventional designs – so you know you’re not going to be wearing the same style as everyone else.
Their S/S line has fashionable, comfortable and desirable clothing covered this season.
For men, it’s all about the classic denim short this summer. Expected them to be seen all over, from local beaches to exotic hideaways, the brand’s light stone wash shorts will ensure you stay cool in the summer heat. Wear to the knee of rolled-up with shirts and jackets.
When choosing your shorts, avoid dark colours and go for a distressed-look denim: this will captivate the relaxed feel of the trend and give an overall casual vibe as welll as detracting the heat.
The sports luxe trend is a fashion frontrunner this season and was all over the spring / summer catwalks. To ensure you rock this trend combined with unique style, swap the netted basketball vest for a baseball jacket, like this one from ETO Jeans. Stylish and casual enough for everyday wear, the dark burgundy colour will flow into A/W trends, so you can wear it all year round.
New York duo HEARTSREVOLUTION release Kate Moross directed video for title track RIde or Die.
They have taken their time to create something truly magical, while staying true to their diy punk principals. In addition to the completion of their debut album, the band has just finished building the world’s first and only Swarovski crystal covered ice cream truck. Using close to 1 million Swarovski crystals that were passed down by Michael Jackson, the truck will be used as their tour vehicle and is the embodiment of their childlike spirit.
To further fuel their global call to arms, the two have embarked on an international street art campaign. They have been doing graffiti installations in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York, including 2,014 stuffed animals known as their Street He(art) project.
While HEARTSREVOLUTION have worked with the likes of Just Blaze and released a string of Eps, singles, and mixtapes, they return to thrill us with their first LP of classic Rock & Rock dance gems. The 13 tracks that make up Ride or Die are a blend of bubble-gum pop sensibilities with Riot Grrrl ferocity that explores childlike innocence along with a visceral revolutionary spirit. Up-tempo tracks such as “Ride or Die”, “Kill Your Radio” and “Vertigo” show-off their punk spirit and sound as though they came out of a basement in Olympia as much as the streets on New York.
Bedroom dance parties are bound to break out with “Kishi Kaisei” and “KISS”. “Digital Suicide” and “Heart vs the Machine” make light of their versatility and electro prowess while “Final Destination” features New York hiphop mainstay Esso. And just when you think it’s all fun and games, you’ll find an unexpected masterpiece like “Gen wh(Y)”. This song explores a level of intimacy and vulnerability that is rare, and is a call to arms as the band wears their heart on their sleeve and questions just about everything.
The Convergence series focuses on pioneers who use technology to innovate: to break the usual beat rather than getting stuck in a loop, and is presented by Village Underground.
Curator, Glenn Max who has previously produced Meltdown and created Ether festival says,
“Convergence will celebrate the restless spirit that propels the ongoing dialogue between art and technology. It is an opportunity for like-minded people interested in the convergence of art and technology to come together and recognise a shared sense of optimism and acknowledge the collaborative spirit that carries music into the future.”
Convergence will commence at venues across East London, including Village Underground, Barbican, St John’s Hackney and ACE Hotel. It will bring together promoters and technologists including Black Atlantic, Noise of Art, Bleep and Mixcloud. More artists will be announced, as will a series of talks at both the Barbican and Village Underground.
Get a free sampler below
The Germany based record label Denovali highlights strange, beguiling and compelling music. Their roster refuses to be pigeon-holed pulling in music that encompasses from drone, electronica and darker experimental sounds, to ambient music, piano jazz and string compositions. This line-up features Ulrich Schnauss (Live) with Nat Urazmetova, Anna von Hausswolff, The Haxan Cloak, Hidden Orchestra with Lumen, Porter Ricks, Witxes and John Lemke.
We have a pair of tickets to giveaway to the Denovali event. Or you need to do to enter is follow us on Twitter and re-tweet / comment on the competion Tweet. Easy!
1972 marked the year Bible thumpers and porn freaks ate popcorn and dug porn without shame. Deep Throat’s (rumoured) mob ties, the infamous Linda Lovelace and a $600 million gross would change the world forever.
The worlds most famous porn star Ron Jeremy talks to Fused about the skin flick that introduced him to the world of adult entertainment.
1972 marked the year Bible thumpers and porn freaks ate popcorn and dug porn without shame. Deep Throat’s (rumoured) mob ties, the infamous Linda Lovelace and a $600 million gross would change the world forever.
The worlds most famous porn star Ron Jeremy talks to Fused about the skin flick that introduced him to the world of adult entertainment.
Where did you first see Deep Throat?
I first saw Deep Throat as a little kid. Well, not really that little. I was with my dad when I first turned 19 back in Queens College. We saw it at the Mayfair movie theatre in Queens. It was my first time seeing a porn film and it was kind of goofy. I thought it was not a very good movie ’cause I was comparing it to mainstream films. That’s all I had seen. However, when I think about how it compares to adult movies it was actually very, very good. As a porn film it’s definitely among the best, especially back then as the movies were shot on film.
Did you ever jerk off to Deep Throat?
No, in all fairness I never jerked off to Deep Throat I. I never jerked off to any kind of porn film. But I did jerk off to Gilligan’s Island and I Dream of Jeannie. I got to tell you I did prefer Mary Ann over Ginger.
What has been your involvement in the Deep Throat series?
I would have been in Deep Throat 1 had I been in the business back then, but Harry Reems was in Deep Throat I with Linda Lovelace. I had a major role in Deep Throat II (remake), IV, V and VI starring…oh gosh… the butt woman? I forgot her name. And I have been used as a judge every so often when they do a search for a new “Deep Throat Queen”.
What’s your opinion on the rumoured mafia connections in early porn?
In all honestly, I won’t totally deny it. There were rumours that the producer was involved with certain families in New York. And it’s a pretty known fact that the families were involved in porn back in the old days. But when the market went video they pretty much got out of it. There was no point, if you needed 100k to make a movie, you might need a loan and they’ll get back a quarter million from you, they got involved in distribution. Gangsters, to be involved, want to have control. So they can control film releases, so their theatre gets it in Chicago, NY, LA…down south. When the market went video they had no way to control it….anybody can open up a video store and sell regular videos. Plus when you can make a film for 5k, you don’t need a loan for that. You have that in your pocket.
I liked the Producer a lot. I’d go to their house for Italian dinners. They were so much fun. They would make their spaghetti with sausage meatballs. Like all Italian guys that were gangsters, they can all cook real good. That’s when you know a guy is truly a gangster, when he can cook like a son-of-a-gun.
What was the trick behind Linda’s technique?
Well, the producer loved the way Linda Lovelace would do the deep throating – when it would get stuck in her. She’d do this little pause and then took it all the way. She would put her mouth around it, she’d take it down as far as she could go until it hits the epiglottis…the uvula and then all of a sudden she would go ‘uhh’ and take it one step further. So there would be like a pause, and he really got a kick out of it because no other woman ever before, and actually since, has deep throated quite the way Linda Lovelace did. She would take it and pause and then boom shoots down. There was the little break period where you know, it’s pretty bizarre, she takes it down, it hits bottom and then half your shmekula is still outside and then all of a sudden boom right to the balls.
When you were involved in the Deep Throat series did you try to find girls who could continue Linda’s technique?
Yes, in 4, 5 and 6, I had girls that could deep throat right to the balls. I learned a lot from a woman who could take any size – me or John Holmes right to the balls – and you wonder where in the heck is it going. You wonder why her scalp isn’t popping out in the back. It is truly a masterpiece, she is like the sword-swallower, so what she would do, is she would take like butter or margarine and lubricate her gums, polysaturated margarine, so I did that in my movie. I added to the series the girls lubricating their gums with butter, just something to make it goofy.
How did Deep Throat affect society?
Well, what is interesting to note about Deep Throat is that a lot of major celebrities came to its aid. I think it was Warren Beatty and his sister, Shirley McClain. I think Linda Redgrave might have come to their aid and Alan Goldstein and Jack Nicholson. I know that a lot of famous directors wrote an amicus brief to the court case when Harry and Linda were on trial. These celebrities all gave amicus briefs to court and they really worked hard to defend Harry Reems and Linda Lovelace. What made this film kind of interesting out of society’s point of view anthropologically and socially is that they were trying to indict actors for a performance that they did in a movie. A lot of the other actors said while we don’t find porn films that exciting, we don’t like them, you know, we find them disgusting, however, don’ t ever indict an actor for a performance they do in a movie. That is very dangerous grounds to play with. That is very unconstitutional, very much against freedom of speech. And that you don’t play games like that. They were trying to make it like paying for sex was a crime, like prostitution or philandering, obscenity, whatever. They have indicted us since, ya know, in many cases we’ve all faced the music.
It put porn into conversation. All the celebrities said Deep Throat made porn chic to talk about.
Before then it was like men in black socks wearing masks, don’t talk, don’t think, just go to a little private peek show booth and look at it. With Deep Throat it became a thing with theatres, you can go to theatres that serve popcorn, try to make it classier. It was the beginning of the more mature era of porn. Deep Throat was a very, very important landmark of that aspect, now you can see porn, and go, oh what the heck. Somebody might laugh at you, not everyone is going to accept it if they’re religiously oriented. It made it chic. In fact, it made such amazing headlines all over the country – you know when it played – it was stopped.
I’ll never forget the famous headlines in Queens, New York ‘Judge Cuts Throat, World Mourns’.
During the making of Deep Throat 2 (1974) and with the FBI on their backs, Arrow was forced to make two different film reels. Somehow in the lab the X-rated film reels were stolen, leaving the film company to release an R rated version. Did you see it?
Yes, it was very bad for business. Who wants to see an R rated film like that? I actually remember seeing it in a drive-in theatre in the Catskills Mountains and being all pissed off because you couldn’t see any sex. I would die to see a copy of that film again. I was actually in another Deep Throat 2, which was released years later, around 1979 or 1980. They probably should’ve given it a different name, but they just acted like the other one didn’t exist. It’s very bizarre.
What’s your take on the Deep Throat soundtracks?
I remember that the music in Deep Throat 1 was campy and adorable. Porn films always had that boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom music, but Gerard Damiano (director of Deep Throat I) always had the desire to go straight, so he put in music that was unlike typical porn music. Not just bouncy stuff, but more fun-goofy-crazy music. There’s the scene where the guy orgasms in Linda’s mouth. Rockets and explosions are blasting off, and they play all this patriotic music. Gerard Damiano edited the film to its music, so the actions would match and the beat would match…like up and down strokes on the old shaft…it was pretty clever.
During Deep Throat, the Producer wanted to put in real songs that had lyrics – songs that would match what was going on in the action. They put on real soundtracks. Now days you can make a porn film for like $5k, some little pro-amateur where you interview the girl and have sex with her. You know….Where you from? Here’s a cup of coffee, blow me. There’s your dollar.
The woman who scored Deep Throat 2 went on to do the music for The Incredible Shrinking Woman, starring Lilly Tomlin. She was actually a legitimate musician. I believe the director was hooked up with recording artists in New York, which was one reason it was so good. When they were editing Deep Throat 2, the entire building was full of studios and recording artists doing their demos for various record labels. The director was friends with a lot of them, therefore by sheer accident, Deep Throat 2 has very professional music. Both 1 and 2 have better soundtracks than the vast majority of films that were made before or since.
Not everyone can pull off joggers in an elegant way, and for most of us they are strictly for the gym only, but this season it is perfectly acceptable to team the sportswear classic with a tailored jacket.
H&M’s latest campaign sees Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr dressed in a pair of skinny joggers and a fitted blazer. If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, you can catch a sneak peak of it here.
The high-fashion trend featuring joggers has been around a while has reached new heights, with more stores stocking this relaxed yet formal style.
If you’re a fan of this comfort-lead trend or simply want to try something new this summer, here are our top picks to help you nail the look.
The American Vintage carbon grey acid wash joggers from Repertoire Fashion are the perfect base for building up this style. The elasticated waist allows for a comfortable fit, while the elasticated ankles keep the joggers fitted so you can retain your figure. To make this trend summer-ready, try to avoid blacks, opting for lighter colours with a distressed finish instead.
If you’re looking for a staple piece you can pair with other outfits, this classic black blazer from Topshop is exactly what you need. The structured, sharp-cut lines will define your shape and will add a formal edge to the look by complementing the unstructured joggers perfectly.
If you want to step away from black and incorporate a splash of colour this summer, consider this L’wren Scott floral-jacquard tailored jacket from Matches Fashion. The mix of yellow and white fit in with the current pastel trend, which is seen every year along the S/S catwalks and is practically a staple piece. If you’re worried the joggers won’t give you any shape, the jacket’s peplum will give you an A-line silhouette – perfect for an hourglass or top-heavy body shape.
In the campaign we see Miranda Kerr, styling her outfits up with a pair of black heels however we prefer a nude strappy heel, like these from ASOS. This colour softens the tones from the grey joggers and black blazer and adds a touch of femininity and class. This simple change in shoe colour transforms this look from an urban style to elegant high fashion.
So ditch the head-to-toe velour and go sports luxe instead.
Mick Rock is the ’photo laureate of glam’. Best known for his iconic shots of 1970s rock icons such as Queen, David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Ramones and Blondie. He’s partied with the best of them and lived – just – to tell the tale.
He is a huge influence in the world of photography, fashion and style, and recently released the photography book ‘Transformers’ with the late Lou Reed.
What would you say your inspirations are?
The unique charisma of my early subjects. Without rock and roll I wouldn’t be a photographer. By 1974, a few years after it all began, I started to look around and check out other photographers, but I never really looked at a lot of photographs or magazines. Except of course album covers. I just felt it out and learned what I needed to as I went along. I was really only interested in my own pictures and how I experienced them and it seemed to work. I never had any photographic role models. The people who excited me the most were the lunatic symbolists and romantic poets I learnt about at Cambridge University. My early subjects resonated in that way. I saw them as poets and artists, not simply as ‘pop’ or rock performers.
How did you get into photography?
I had a very classical education. I got a scholarship to Cambridge University where I studied modern languages and literature. But of course that’s where I got more deeply into rock and roll, picked up a camera and the whole lunacy began!
How did you learn about photography and being a good photographer?
I learnt about photography as I went along. When you look at some of my early colour photos of Syd Barrett (the man who started Pink Floyd but left the band after one album) technically, they are all over the place. The grainy, orangey look of those pictures was born from the fact that all I had was a little reflector, I was using daylight film inside (at 160 ASA) and I had to push it three stops in the processing. So these images have a certain painterly effect that people seemed to love and apparently still do!
Did you have a specific technique?
You had to be able to register a picture on film but beyond that, technique wasn’t so important. What was important was getting the image and capturing the energy and aura of the subject.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I can go from punk to glam in five minutes. I don’t think I have a particular style; it’s more about having an attitude. A rock n roll attitude. I don’t stick to one particular approach. A lot of photographers may set up the camera and lighting, take up their position and click away. I have a restless soul. I get bored fast. I need to keep adjusting, playing around, moving and exploring angles and different lighting concepts. I need to feel free and easy. I load fast. Even in the middle of a concert I could load, bam, and we’re off!
When I take pictures I take them not just with my eyes, I take them viscerally as well. It’s completely non cerebral. When I’m on a roll I get greedy! I’m hungry for images. The beauty of digital photography for me is that I can endlessly feed my addiction to images. With just the occasional pause to change digisticks.
How do you get the most out of your subjects?
First I do a yoga and meditation workout to open up my antennae, and then I feel out the situation. I don’t impose myself. I don’t have rigid ideas for the most part about what I’m going to shoot. I tune myself to the subject and situation at hand. Sometimes it can be loud and raucous other times it’s more gentle and caressing. You have to do what’s appropriate to the subject. Because all that matters is you get the right pictures!
How have your subjects changed over time?
They are all very aware of their public image these days. Much more aware than they were back in the 70s. We live in a visual universe today. Pictures don’t just go on an album cover, they go everywhere, and they have a life of their own. The machine out there – the internet – wants to be constantly fed. It’s like a monster! And what does it want above all? It wants pictures and imagery.
Why do you think people are so fascinated by the 70s?
The summer of 1972 changed so much. It was the beginning of modern rock and roll and that’s why the interest in the 70s is still so high today. David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop especially. They were revolutionaries, not just sonically but also in the broader culture. There is a famous photo of mine of the three of them taken in the summer of 1972 that I originally called ‘The Terrible Trio’. Later in the 70s I started to name in ‘The Unholy Trinity’. A friend once said to me that 1972 was the beginning of the new millennium. And now I look back I think it probably was. Certainly its influence clearly resonates still today.
What was CBGBs like for shooting?
It was a very important place back then. It was part of my love affair with New York. This was the house of sin for punks – punk in NY grew up in CBGBs.
It was a great place for shooting live performance. The band’s right there in front of you, you could get right up against the stage. It was very intimate. I shot Debbie there, The Dead Boys, Talking Heads, The Ramones, Patti Smith and more.
Now CBGBs has been taken over by my good friend, John Varvatos. This was a very brave decision as there are lot of purists out there that did not want to see such an iconic venue re-vamped. He’s kept something about the spirit but the floor and loo are much cleaner, although he has kept a lot of the old décor on the walls. It was unbelievably filthy back in the day! Not that anyone cared then!!
What do you think sets you apart from other photographers?
I’m very adjustable to situations. When you come out of the music business you really learn flexibility. I’ve shot performances, parties, on location, in people’s homes, in hotels, backstage, indoors, outdoors, and obviously in the studio. The studio came a little bit later. First time in the Autumn of 1973 with the Bowie saxophone shots that were originally used in the ‘Pin-ups’ album package. There is a certain freedom from working in the studio. There are no limitations on my energy output. I can make a mess. I can play DJ. I can whirl around. I can shout or whisper. I can dance. I’m in complete control. There are no constraints.
What did you like about backstage photography?
I was totally there by invitation whether it was Lou Reed, Queen, Iggy Pop, David Bowie or Thin Lizzy etc. Lou said to me recently on the events tour we did for our beautiful limited edition ‘Transformer’ book that I was so familiar that they thought of me less as a photographer and more of a guitar player or part of the band. And that’s how it felt in those early days. I was part of it. I wasn’t a press photographer, nobody owned me, and I wasn’t on anybody’s payroll. I was hustling my way as I went along!
What about stadium photography?
Stadium photography is performance photography. And when you’re there you’re like a big game hunter. I don’t like stadiums anymore. I prefer to shoot inside – somewhere a bit more atmospheric.
What advice would you give to an up and coming music photographer?
The thing about when you watch a performance on multiple occasions, whether it’s Queen, David Bowie, Iggy Pop or Lou Reed, or a post millennial act (which I occasionally still do) you learn their movements, and their lighting set-up. You know when to pounce and that’s the miracle of Raw Power and Transformer. It’s definitely a good idea to try and study your subject a bit first if possible. You’ll learn their movements and eventually be a step ahead of them.
Do you know when you’ve got the shot?
I always get the shot! But do I know the exact frame? Sometimes I’m moving too fast to be sure which particular frame but I know what it smells like when I’ve got the shot. When I’ve really nailed it.
Is there a difference in approach when shooting an album cover?
When you shoot an album cover it’s different because you’re looking for that one shot that’s got to have broad resonance. It’s very focussed and the energy is somewhat different. When you do a photo session for a magazine, you have to shoot a load of pages. But you know with an album cover that once that image is out there it will be around for a while. Magazines are disposable, whereas an album cover is often forever.
What do you think is the most famous album cover you’ve shot?
It would probably be the Queen album cover. I met the band just after I returned from the Chateau D’Herouville just outside of Paris with David [Bowie] when he was recording Pin-ups. They suggested we meet because they wanted to get a piece of that glam rock vibe, which was very fashionable at the time – just as my reputation was starting to seriously build. This was at a time when being fashionable as photographer was much more of a low-key thing. It was all about getting known in the business. That was how I earned my living. People in the UK maybe knew who David Bailey was but in general photographers were low profile in the public eye.
In 1967, California became the national hub of American psychedelia, with bands as esteemed as Love, The Doors and Jefferson Airplane dissolving all essence of entrapment and social code, throwing open the doors of perception to a mass of drug-infested followers. Things then came full circle as the Hippie love-in culminated in tragedy, Meredith Hunter’s murder at the Stones’ chaotic Altamont performance providing the movement and the decade with a symbolic bookend. Shining a light on the critically-malnourished acts who occupied the California scene in the aftermath of psych’s acid frenzy, Too Slow To Disco, compiles a 19-song tracklist that acts as a widespread snapshot of a West Coast scene still very much in thrall to excess but looking to throw off the promiscuity and abandon associated with its free-loving, hard-partying predecessors.
Does it work? Simply: yes. An exquisite helping of layered, crystalline sounds that encapsulate the luxurious, sun-drenched California ideal- its golden beaches, luminous sun and syrupy, fairy-tale romances- the compilation boasts a soulful, funky vibe that blends the eclectic mantras of psychedelia with the decadence of early-70s prog whilst precipitating the late-70s disco explosion. Its over-wrought and indulgent production values are probably the result of the more expensive powders and liquids lined up on the mixing deck; where LSD injected disorder into the Hippie kids, the appearance of cocaine supplies these musicians with the power to compose less callous rhyme, producing smooth liquid melodies shorn of revolution and protest, re-introducing pop to its original concerns; love, relationships and aching hearts.
It’s a perfectly pleasant ride into the mid-70s Californian sunset that leans on the era’s wider wealth of pristine songwriters. The mutant funk that clothed Stevie Wonder’s artistic liberation (‘Let’s Put Our Love Back Together’, ‘If I Saw You Again), expressive guitar parts and ethereal sheen of Pink Floyd circa-Dark Side of the Moon (‘Do You Feel It?’), grandiose choruses of Hitsville USA (‘Room To Grow’) and the dewy-eyed sentimentality of Wings (‘Liverpool Fool’) are all picked up along the way. The limited success of these musicians (excepting Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers) belies their ability to pen contagious, hip-swinging tunes. Although unrecognisable to many, some of those featured are the names behind such mammoth chart hits as ‘You To Me Are Everything’ (Denne and Gold) and ‘Boogie Wonderland’ (co-written by White Horse’s Joe Lind).
So, with the scene’s capacity to construct such aural gold, why has it been left to DJ Supermarkt to unleash this feast of forgotten music into the world? Point the finger at post-sixties California’s inherent excess and lucidity, which whilst infectious, was not to everyone’s taste. When these West Coast artists were dabbling in horns and walls of sound, over in New York, punk was beginning to flower. Those of the Ned Doheny and Don Brown ilk were swimming in the escapist fantasies of the American Dream at the same time as Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine and the Ramones were serenading CBGBs and the like with the American Reality. These punks were the exponents of a sleazy leather-clad poetry that was laconic in its vision and arty at its core- one that spoke the vernacular of the street kids who were no doubt alienated by California’s inconceivable excess.
Too Slow To Disco’s fizzing hi-hats, suave organ riffs and dreamy lustre capture a nation retreating back into itself and ignoring the harshness of its times, turning to pure pop to escape the horrors of assassination, war, mass-murder and Watergate. Should music provide us with a window to the world or throw the shutters down completely? Cynics will lambast the album’s prevailing refusal to engage with pertinent issues but some will see the existent of such songs as much-needed routes to escape.
A cool, inoffensive collection of pop ditties that appear to anticipate the vibrant disco scene that co-existed with punk. Is that a good thing? You decide. We’re going to sit on the (picket) fence on this one.
The story goes that Amelia Meath (one third of Vermont folk trio Mountain Man) approached producer Nick Sanborn (Megafaun, amongst others) to remix one of her tracks. Particularly happy with the result, they decided to try for a full collaboration. Enter ‘Sylvan Esso’.
The end result is less ‘Fleetwood Macintosh’ than you might imagine, with Meath’s folk roots almost entirely removed from the production; There is but the barest glimpses of untreated guitar, and a vocal delivery equally ethereal and confident, dealing less with meadows and maidens, and more with dudes, ass, t-shirts, and “getting down”.
Opener ‘Hey Mami’ sets the scene with a capella harmonies gradually being surrounded by hand claps, dubstep beats, and some of the wettest bass since that Jon Hopkins album. Rather than sounding like a remix of two disparate elements, Sanborn’s production gives a contemporary frame for Meath’s relentless vocal melodies.
The duo’s pop leanings are clear, this is an album full of hooks and climaxes where it could otherwise be austere and experimental. Indeed, the album occasionally threatens to roll into floor-filler territory; H.S.K.T. (borrowing its refrain, and little else, from children’s standard ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’) has a 4/4 beat and a snare-rush, for goodness’ sake.
Highlight ‘Wolf’ sees Amelia comparing sleazy pick-up artists to the titular beast, with a minimal backdrop of 8-bit bass, echoing Grimes’ Oblivion, without the foggy reverb. Lead single ‘Coffee’ tiptoes around R&B, before breaking free into a gleeful coda.
The remix that started it all, ‘Play It Right’, is perhaps the least successful, with everything thrown at it. Whilst a thrilling pop rush on its own terms, the strongest tracks here are at their most successful when Meath’s vocals are given room, whilst the electronic elements rumble in.
To their credit, the dichotomy between the duo only surprises initially, with thrill of bass and beats accompanying Appalachian harmonies being less of a draw than their common goal of reaching the same point of pure pop.
No stranger to the avant-garde, Todd Rittman cut his teeth as the guitarist of experimental deconstructors of rock ‘n’ roll, U.S Maple, over an eight-year tenure that saw the cult Chicago band release five albums of pulsating, post-hard core noise rock. Now fronting the equally experimental Dead Rider, Rittman has become the ringleader of his own methodical band of peace-disturbers. True to outsider ethics, they appear to take their cues from the Velvet Underground’s neuroticism, making music not for audiences but for their own artistic gratification.
Such stringent ideals can be damaging but it’s refreshing to encounter artists who refuse to siphon their integrity for mainstream ears. And to say that Dead Rider’s latest offering, Chills On Glass, is unaccommodating would be an understatement. It is, in fact, an album that gets its kicks from being comprehensively intimidating. Each track is a discordant musing awash with a primal, artful noise that poses a perilous threat to the listener’s aural heath and places the sanity of these unfortunate souls in jeopardy.
Chills On Glass’ deliberate hostility is analogous to the reception you’d receive after stumbling into a grimy back-street barroom filled with antagonistic patrons. Imagine Todd Rittman and the band hunched over one of said watering hole’s decrepit, rat-chewed tables, slowly ingesting a poisonous tipple that mixes the claustrophobic electronica of The Prodigy with the fetid Poe-esque prose of a young Nick Cave, and you’ve captured the disturbing beauty of their third album.
A veritable nightmare of cut-and-paste instrumentation, deliciously arranged to induce nausea, the record sees walls of static noise collide headfirst with searing industrial stutters. Opener ‘New Eyes’ is a chaotic collage of synthesiser and loose drumming, glued together by Rittman’s improvised spiel. It’s an arresting start to an increasingly schizophrenic album, and one that throws the door open for the band’s myriad possibilities, their indulgence in the soothing electro-pop whirr of ‘Blank Screen’ forced to share space on the tracklist with the minimalist, jerky sound patter of ‘Four Cocks’ and blues guitar overdrive of closer ‘Fumes and Nothing Else’.
If you successfully manage to cut through the album’s all-enveloping cacophony and connect with its words, you’ll be met with non-sequiturs and introspective verse that seem to reaffirm the album’s fractured aesthetic. Fittingly, Rittman’s ruminations on everyday banality more often than not peter out entirely (perhaps because he’s got nothing to say) before careening into textured vortexes of sound.
Chills On Glass’ incoherence suggests the decay of meaning whilst its fragmented, apocalyptic instrumentation heralds the onset of anarchy. A defiant sonic assault on form, expectation and good taste. Brutal listening.
King Khan & The Shrines are back with a new video for the title track “Born To Die” taken from their latest album “Idle No More”.
“Born To Die” is set in a mythical time, it tells of the ongoing plight of the upper class to exterminate the innocent while shining a light of hope in the strangest of places as King Khan explains…
“I was really inspired by this story I once read about Marie Laveau, the legendary voodoo priestess of New Orleans. They say that she was asked to help with a court case where an innocent Creole man was falsely accused for something and was supposed to be sentenced to death. She stood outside of the courtroom every day and put some very hot chili’s in her mouth and held them there for the entire time the court was in session for days, with tears rolling down her face constantly. The man was set free.
I wanted to show Louis the 14th ordering modern executions to show folks that things have really not changed much. The powers that be are still these royal families that call all the shots. I still believe there is a ray of hope that comes from some mysterious spiritual place. Ultimately I wanted to pay tribute to Alejandro Jodorowsky who is one of my spiritual gurus and one of the greatest film makers of all time.”
Get the new album
Their new album ‘Idle No More’ is out now on Merge Records on iTunes now.
April live shows
04/17 UK, BRIGHTON – THE HAUNT
04/18 UK, LEEDS – BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
04/19 IE, DUBLIN – WHELANS
04/20 IE, BELFAST – THE BLACK BOX
04/21 UK, GLASGOW – BROADCAST
04/22 UK, MANCHESTER – THE ROADHOUSE
04/23 UK, LIVERPOOL – KOROVA
04/24 UK, LONDON – SCALA
Self-described feral street kid iTCH, from the United Kingdom, made his way across the US, stopping briefly in Texas for South by Southwest, or SXSW, to give American audiences a more raw sound straight from London streets.
Before setting out on his own, for ten years, iTCH, AKA Johnny Fox, was the front man for King Blues, an UK band punk rock that fused ska, folk, and hardcore punk into their sound. His sound now is more hip-hop and less ska or funk, but has retained or even gained more hardcore edge.
His album Deep End launches March 26. You can listen to tracks from two of his EPs at www.itchmixes.com.
“What I try to do is mix the lyricism and political bite of hip hop with the raw anger and energy of punk,” iTCH said. “This album is very much different than anything I’ve ever done before. It still has that political edge to it, but I’m allowing myself to be more vulnerable.”
iTCH was a true street kid growing up in the Hackney borough of London, or as he called it “the shitty bit.” He moved from abandoned building to abandoned building with other like-minded kids. He said his early childhood is reflected in his sound, but that wasn’t always the case.
“What I was scared of before was that I had a very unconventional childhood and I hid behind sloganeering in order for people not to find out about myself,” iTCH said. “I found that the more vulnerable I made myself, the more real I became and the more people actually took to it. It was a learning process.
“From the time I was 13 to 20 I lived in abandoned buildings with Spanish punk rockers that didn’t speak English, but took me under their wing. It shaped my political ideals and gave me an alternative lifestyle because I didn’t go to school or anything like that. I was learning how to survive. I gave me fighting experience and a real grounding so now I have these different experiences that I can share.”
He said growing up in the streets and hearing the different cultures and music also had a profound effect on him.
“It’s a massive part of it. There is so much pirate radio that when you tune your radio driving through certain cities, you can’t get the major radio stations,” iTCH said. “It’s just people plowing drums, grime and bass. It’s the real music that comes from the streets and it’s here and it quickly becomes your own music. It certainly shapes you. There are so many people from different parts of the world there and such a mishmash of different cultures with different lifestyles that it totally affects the music.”
Words and photography Jimmy Alford
The album Deep End is out now.
Listen to Itch & Dan The Automator mixtape here.
iTCH is currently in the middle of a huge tour with Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip and has been confirmed to play the second leg of the tour, starting in April. Dates as follows:
22nd Wolves – Slade Rooms
23rd Preston – 53 degrees
24th Liverpool – East Village
25th Warwick – Warwick arts centre
26th Chester – The Live Rooms
27th Reading – Sub 89
28th Plymouth – White Rabbit
29th Bournemouth – Old Fire Station
1st Bath – Komedia
3rd Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
For the 6th edition of Unlock Art The Kills have been chosen to present the ‘Great Double Acts’ edition. Alison Mosshart & Jamie Hince investigate the importance of collaboration to the artistic process, and how artists have always collaborated in some form or other throughout history including Rubens, Jeff Koons, Gilbert & George and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
The film challenges the popular myth: that art is made by solitary, angst-ridden artists, and reveals just how varied and abundant artistic creation can be when collaboration is involved.
The series of eight short films have been produced in collaboration between Tate and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts which aims to unlock the big stories and ideas behind art. Other presenters in the series include author and broadcaster Dawn O’Porter, HBO Girls star Jemima Kirke, actor Alan Cumming and new Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi.
The Institute (18.3.14) was ram packed, somewhat reminiscent of a can of sardines, for what was billed in the city as a ‘hot ticket’. The band didn’t disappoint, with most recent song ‘Love Letters’ getting a rapturous reception.
The crowd at The Institute can often a bit too tame in comparison to other gig venues up and down the country and tonight was no exception, until the band’s most popular tracks managed to stir a reaction from the audience. ‘Radio Ladio’ was the flame that started the fire, with the crowd bellowing the words in a cult like fashion.
Metronomy can be admired for their style, dressing in the identi-kit manner in which their new album presents them. Though ‘all style and no substance’ is something they could never be accused of. Having seen the band in all their incarnations since their conception, to say they are tighter and more precise in their playing is somewhat of an understatement.
‘I’m an Aquarius’ was actually better live, with the acoustics of the venue picking up all its little intricacies making lead singer, Joseph’s voice even more pronounced than when the track airs on radio. Bassist, Gbenga, was certainly a crowd pleaser, busting moves similar to those expected during the heyday of Studio 54 and adding flavour to every track with his unique charm and rhythm.
Seeing the band live you forget how many pieces of treasure they actually possess, with hits from ‘The English Riveria’ playing a prominent part in their set. ‘The Bay’ was another highlight, whilst ‘Everything Goes my Way’ showcased drummer Anna’s sweet voice and set the boys hearts racing. ‘Month of Sundays’ from the band’s most recent offering was a magnificent feast of aural pleasure.
The Institute gave revellers the opportunity to see the band in an intimate setting, while the acoustics showcased their musical talents to the max. The crowd took them to their hearts and were definitely left wanting more.
Who knows they might even be inspired to go and write love letters of their own?
Words: Kimberley Owen
Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is pushing the city’s status as a creative powerhouse as it attends Milan Design Week 2014. The renowned, international event, taking place from 8-13 April 2014, will promote HKDC’s cutting edge Hong Kong: Constant Change exhibition, featuring 60 or so designers, in particular young design talents and their design projects, representing a distinct constellation illuminating a sustainable design cosmography for the future of Hong Kong.
Held at the famous La Triennale di Milano in Milan, the Hong Kong: Constant Change exhibition is a highly anticipated event for many of our city’s prominent designers and will showcase Hong Kong’s design power on the international stage.
Organised by Hong Kong Design Centre and major-sponsored by Create Hong Kong, the Hong Kong: Constant Change exhibition reflects the unique influences that have catapulted Hong Kong to the forefront of Asian and international design. Indeed, as a global city with a rich local tapestry, Hong Kong is shaped by its distinctive history and culture, where for many decades change has been the only constant. The Hong Kong design community has long embraced this unique positioning and unprecedented opportunity within Asia and China. Adding to that is the city’s cultural diversity, density, state of flux, contrast between modernity and tradition, and the East and the West, which continues to be at the forefront of its creative output. The city’s distinct design cosmography continues to evolve and makes it one of the most exciting hubs of innovative creativity in Asia.
“This exhibition brings our uniquely diverse design talents to the world and will put Hong Kong in the international spotlight alongside other global design powerhouses. It demonstrates how change has propelled our creative inspiration and influenced all aspects of design, which in itself also serves to propel further changes,” explained exhibition curator Nille Juul-Sørensen, the award-winning architect and veteran to Hong Kong’s design and creative industries.
Hong Kong: Constant Change exhibition will offer a multimedia experience that brings to life Hong Kong’s design edge and heritage, with large video walls showing footage of Hong Kong’s unique lifestyle and articulating major influencers on the city’s designers. Part and parcel of the exhibition experience is a dedicated smartphone app feature, allowing people to continue experiencing the power of Hong Kong design even after the exhibition has ended. Adding to its uniqueness, the exhibition will showcase Hong Kong’s different design disciplines, including Architecture, Art Tech, Communication, Creative Ecologies & Education, Fashion, Interior & Home, Hong Kong/International, Street, System, Tradition/Modern, as well as Young.
Among the many other unique attributes of the exhibition, it further excels the networking between Hong Kong and the international design and business community. “Hong Kong: Constant Change is unique in that it is a window for Hong Kong designers to showcase collectively the metropolitan’s design power to international and business connections around the world. The innovative presentations by the young and up-and-coming designers from Hong Kong will also take place to show to the international audience the future of Hong Kong design,” said Victor Lo, Chairman of Hong Kong Design Centre.
Of all the shortlisted designers/design projects, the Young designer section will feature some of the most promising young design talents in Hong Kong, including MIRO (Rony Chan, winner of the 2013 CreateSmart Young Design Talent Award), Stickyline, Chris Cheung, Goodss Passion , Genic Eyewear by Emily Tai and Gobi Chui, I’mperfect by Hung and Eddy, Kevin Cheung, as well as Pill & Pillow, Amenpapa, The Yesterday Skin, and OpenUU and much more.
The so-called ‘walking city’ is filled with beautiful architecture and, unlike many of its neighbour states, steeped in history. The home of top Ivy League University; Harvard, it is a perfect 48-hour city to take in sights, shopping and coffee drinking.
It appears to be home to the largest amount of Starbucks and Dunking Donuts per capita of anywhere we have ever seen. Despite attempts to avoid either it is difficult in the central district but thanks to what appears to be a canny government policy to keep the heritage of the city’s buildings intact and looking fine at least these corporate Goliaths house their establishments in great looking buildings.
Despite the residents’ obvious love for the coffee giant whiling away hours walking through the districts will reward you with Wonderful views and plenty of opportunities to reach for your camera and history books.
Where to stay
It’s always a treat to be able to see inside the iconic buildings of a neighbourhood and nothing quite says Boston like the 3/4 storey brownstones that make up its suburbs. Copley House is made up of several such buildings giving visitors an insiders view of true Bostonian living.
Luckily the climb up the front stairwell that makes up the entrance to many of the houses isn’t too steep to drag your luggage up but with no lifts inside if you’re on a higher floor you might want to rethink the size of your bag.
The accommodation is made up of studio apartments. Ours was a medium studio with a roomy living space and kitchenette alongside a table set within the bay windows. The separate bedroom has just enough for a double bed and built in wardrobe but with the extra living space it really doesn’t need to be any bigger. Modestly decorated in mutual tones it’s both homely and neat and ideal for a more independent visit.
Set in the neighbourhood of Back Bay, down a quiet street (and opposite a conveniently placed 7 Eleven), you don’t have to walk too far for shopping, sightseeing or eating.
As a base we walked to the exclusive area of Beacon Hill (about 20 mins) to check out the antiques shops, popped to the harbour to visit the penguins at the Aquarium (about 25 mins) and walked through the pretty snow covered public park (about 15 mins). Literally over the road is the Prudential Building where you can visit the sky walk for views over the city. It is also a shopping centre and a walk straight the way through will lead you direct on to Boylston Street and the parallel running shopping Mecca of Newbury Street.
For a unique night out
Just off Harvard Square and hidden amongst the shops an unassuming staircase leads down in to the expansive subterranean venue for Beat Hotel. This is not actually a hotel at all but a restaurant and live music venue that splits into two bar areas, a large restaurant, dance floor and all-round vibrant hang out. Enough for over 500 people to spend the night.
Although only open for five months it has a feel of a space that is well established – due partly to its kooky Tangiers-esque decor, aged and reclaimed warehouse flooring, century old wooden furnishings and Amish handmade tables.
The menu isn’t overwhelming but instead creative, varied and tantalising. We chose a starter of deep fried calamari and vegetables alongside a dish of Mussels in a garlic, tomato sauce. Both delicious, light and incredibly tasty.
For our mains we chose the Duck breast with a sweet potato bubble & squeak and cream spinach with a cherry sauce. Cooked medium rare the combinations were subtle but the sweetness of the cherry sauce just gave it the fruity lift it needed. We also gave the Brazilian fish stew a try; filled with large chunks of white flaky cod and king prawns it was served with a portion of rice (which it didn’t really need) it was delicately spiced without being hot on the tongue.
After the mains we couldn’t manage a dessert from the daily changing choices but we did see others diners opt for the impressively proportioned red velvet and coconut cake.
There is live music every night of the week. For a Monday evening we were treated to a set by the ABs who played jazz funk classics – the perfect way to end a meal and relax with one of the venues great house cocktails.
Where to drink
A lively hang out that’s an ideal place for tasting great local and regionally brewed craft beers. You are handed a menu as soon as you enter with a fine choice of draft and bottled beers. But be warned there are some seriously strong percentage beers on offer here.
American style cuisine is served up in baskets and for a bar snack you can’t go too wrong with the Tater Tots with a side of Chipotle mayo to soak up the effects of the ale.
For a slice of history
Union Oyster House
This Boston institution has stood as the oldest continuously established serving restaurant in the States and was a favourite of John F. Kennedy. In fact he used to ask for his favourite booth each time he was dining and as a result the restaurant dedicated the booth to him. Now the seats on booth 18 are a very special place where diners often pop around to take a peek (which is slightly disconcerting when you are sat eating your clam chowder).
You can see why it would have been a favourite of JFK with dark lighting and a secluded hidden feel it is a private place to relax and enjoy their freshly shucked oysters.
We passed over the steak dishes in favour for the fish specialities and thanks to its positioning near the harbour this felt like the right thing to do. The choices were sauce rich; the Seafood Newburg contained lobster meat, shrimp and scallops all covered in a creamy sherry sauce. The Lobster Ravioli was served in a Lobster cream sauce with sherry and fresh herbs – almost tipping us over the edge. Everything here tastes amazing but the portions are so big you’ll wish you shared – just don’t fill up on the warmly served corn bread.
Enjoyment comes from watching hapless tourists tucking into lobster and getting very messy while waiting for your mains.
Areas to visit
Back Bay – great for shopping
The central district is easy to navigate and offers a fine amount of shopping and site seeing on its doorstep. The Prudential Tower houses a mall and just behind that Boylston and Newbury Street has it’s fill of stores. While the aforementioned is more high street names Newbury caters for slightly more designer tastes with
Beacon Hill – great for wandering
Beautiful houses and gas lit streets are a treat to the eyes while the independent stores are an assault on the purse strings. Antique stores line the streets. The area is also home to one of TV’s most famous bars; Cheers. However unlike its namesake the bar is totally unlike the one on the series (it’s tiny) and caters for tourists who are dropped off to visit by the tram style tour bus drivers.
Get the Pass
We recommend getting the City Pass which allows entry in to museums, galleries and attractions including the beautiful New England Aquarium. It also acts as a queue buster to popular attractions and if you use it well you’ll save money on entry too.
This morning has been spent measuring walls and trying to work out exactly how much it might cost to cover the walls of an entire house in the lushness that is House of Hackney’s Flights of Fancy Wallpaper.
We worked it out; and the answer at £145 per roll was way too much, but figured we could make do (just) with one wall covering – one very prominent wall. Now all we have to do is work out which shade to choose and which of the gorgeous accompanying accessories we can add to the list.
Hello Cheeky is the first solo show by British illustrator Hattie Stewart. We’ve been a fan of her work after seeing it up-close at 2013′s Pick Me Up event at Somerset House and we’re not alone – other fans include House Of Holland, Marc By Marc Jacobs and Adidas who she has worked with in the past, alongside Azealia Banks and Nylon Magazine.
Her ‘Doodle-Bombing’ technique sees the artists drawing over the covers of influential publications such as Love, Vogue and i:D. Her signature style and cheeky winking heart is distinctive and playful and has led to big commissions including an worldwide collaboration with Pepsi.
29th March – 26th April, 2014.
114 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD
Following earlier single releases via Distorted Tapes & Gravy, the band’s first One Little Indian release is devastating new single ‘Shoe Prints In The Dust’ b/w ‘It’s A Pity’ recorded at the legendary Toe Rag studios with Liam Watson. Out April 21st.