Archive for November, 2009

Audrey Hepburn Auction

November 30, 2009

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OK first of all, I think we should all take a moment to fully appreciate and acknowledge the beauty that is Audrey Hepburn. I mean we’ve all seen that picture, which is why I didn’t want to use it to illustrate this post… I chose the one above, purely because when I saw it I was struck by the sheer magnificence of it. Audrey Hepburn – classic, overwhelming beauty in every sense of the word.

Now, onto business.

In order to raise funds for All Children In School, a joint venture between Unicef and The Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, an auction of some of her most iconic dresses is being held at La Galleria on Pall Mall in London on 8th December at 2pm. All auction items are to be exhibited beforehand on the 6th between 12-5pm and on the 7th between 9am-5pm.

On offer are 36 classic vintage pieces from the likes of Valentino, Elizabeth Arden and Givenchy, as well as letters, accessories and a wedding dress designed by the Fontana Sisters for her wedding to James Hanson; easily the star attraction. Such pieces are likely to fetch a pretty penny – in 2006 her Givenchy gown from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s fetched £467,200 at auction.

Full details of the exhibition and auction can be found here.

James

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Clash of The Titans Trailer

November 30, 2009

Sorry, wrong titans. The new Clash of The Titans trailer is doing the rounds at the moment and from what i’ve gathered from this teaser- titans will clash. The film is a remake of the 1981 cult classic and some obscure book on Greek disputes. Taking the lead this time round will be Sam Worthington as Perseus, son of Zeus and part-time snake charmer. It looks set to be the spring blockbuster, expect it in your local cinema’s on March 26th 2010.

Heres the trailer:

Friday Feeling #6

November 30, 2009

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Delmonico No. 1

3/4 shot London dry gin
1/2 shot cognac
1/2 shot French vermouth
1/2 shot Italian vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters

This venerable cocktail was a signature feature of the menu at the Delmonico in New York, way back when before Prohibition had a stranglehold on American society. Shake well in a chilled shaker full of cracked ice, and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

James

Siggraph Asia 2009

November 30, 2009

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On 16-19 December Yokohama, Japan plays host to Siggraph Asia 2009, the 2nd ACM Siggraph conference and exhibition in Asia. Regarded as one of the most important education platforms for graphic design and art in Asia, Siggraph Asia 2009 is expected to attract over 8,000 industry professionals, creating a hub in which a wealth of ideas on technology, art, culture and science are conceived.

Some of the main attractions include an art gallery displaying various works from digital art to photo-manipulation, a computer animation festival that features cutting-edge digital visuals and guest speakers such as David Kirk, a former Chief Scientist at NVIDIA, and Joe Rohde, Senior Vice President at Walt Disney Imagineering.

As well as this, the Emerging Technologies exhibition shows how breakthroughs in art and technology can be utilised alongside computer graphics and interactivity to deliver visual products to tomorrow’s consumer, while the Networked Dome Theatre is a demonstration of very-high-resolution images in a nine-metre dome by the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University. The demo features spherical images of a solar eclipse and other celestial imagery streamed over a 10-gigabit network from Osaka.

The idea behind the Siggraph Conference & Exhibition is to stimulate the intellect and creativity of the attendees through art, computer animation, courses and lectures from industry luminaries. The conference also acts as a recruitment centre, providing an open forum for jobseekers to meet with potential employers.

Full details of the conference and exhibition can be found on the Siggraph website.

James

Smurfie Syco Interview for Grime Forum

November 27, 2009

Despite having a new mixtape to promote, a tour to prepare for and an album to complete for next year, 19 year-old Smurfie Syco is unnervingly calm. Embracing a workload that many other artists would find too much to handle, the North London MC positively relishes the challenge “That’s where I want the pressure. Right on my shoulders!”

Fresh off his third tour with Dizzee Rascal and with 3 days before his debut release SmurfieSyco.com hits the shelves, Kristian Samuel-Camps caught up with Dirtee Stank’s emerging star to talk Dubstep, Dizzee and Downloads.

I’m sure you get asked this in every interview, but just to clarify, why are you called Smurfie Syco?

Yeah I do! In my family I’ve got loads of brothers and sisters and we all had nicknames for each other. My one was Smurfie ‘cos I was really short. In my area, when I used to run about with my friends, they called my Syco, ‘cos I was this little terrier. Then, when my friends started to come over to my house, they would hear my family call me Smurfie and get confused. So in the end they called me Syco Smurfie. When I signed up to MySpace I switched it around and it stuck from there.

It’s quite a catchy name isn’t it?

Yeah it is. It works to my advantage.

How did you get signed to Dirtee Stank, and what’s it like working with Cage, Dizzee and the Newham Generals?

It’s kinda like Justice League haha! Or maybe Ninja Turtles – Cage would be Splinter with the guidance and knowledge! I’ve been eager to do things and got excited about situations only for Cage to say three or four things and change my mind completely. He sees things way in advance, and is great at making the decisions – which you can see in Dizzee.

All the decisions Dizzee has made, Cage has been instrumental.

Justice League is a good name for them because they are superheroes to me. Even though we’re friends, it hasn’t clicked for me yet. I’ll hop off the tour bus with Dizzee and see people react crazy…

How much say does Cage have in the camp?

He’s like the final thing. At the same time though, he won’t crush my artistry. Seriously, when my album comes out you will see stuff everywhere! He allows me to do whatever I want and then he’ll give me the guidance. It’s up to me to except it. Karate kid can never tell Mr Miyagi how it’s gonna go. He has to listen and interpret it. That’s what I’m doing.

I’m not scared to take risks.

Conversely do you find it stressful having these guys around you, scrutinising your work?

It is stressful. You do get to a point where it’s a gift and a curse. It depends on the audience, and what part of the audience I listen to. You’ve got the fans that are happy to have new music and see new faces, and then you’ve got these internet critics who don’t know much about music at all. In the grand scheme of things, the things that they say will keep them where they are.

They want to compare, compare, compare. I can’t understand why they can’t accept something for what it is. I can’t address all that because if I did, I would never get an album done.

How would you describe your style of music?

Ooh it’s a crazy mix. I ain’t given it a label just yet but it deserves one though ‘cos it’s really good! Haha! It’s melodic and quite old fashioned. I never really owned any music in my house so I listened to a lot of music that at first, I hated. I didn’t jump out of my mum’s womb and straight into Reggae! Now though, when I hear those sweet melodies on a Sunday morning when my Grandma’s cooking or something I can just vibe.

There is a mad mix in my music – I can hear it all in there. On this mix CD I listened to it top to bottom and it is Grime. It’s not quite what is going on today, but it reminds me of those ‘Boy in the Corner’ days. I know that’s a big thing to say but on one track that Dizzee features on (Clappin), it could have made it onto Boy in the Corner. If not Showtime. It’s definitely that era of music. It’s a conscious tune too – it’s not reckless.

What would you say to those people who say that, because you didn’t climb the ranks, Dizzee shouldn’t have signed you?

I would say to them that Dizzee wouldn’t be where he is today if he couldn’t make good decisions. If you respect him and think he’s a smart guy then respect his decision to sign me and wait and see.

Your hotly anticipated new CD, Smurfie Syco.com is due to be released on the 30th. How you feeling?

Excited man. I just want to see it in my hands and I’ll be like ‘Yes!’ I want to go and see it on the shelves as well.

Promotion across Dirtee Stank media, including Dizzee’s official announcement yesterday, has kick started the hype…So what can people expect?

Expect hype! If there is anything out there you want to get right now, forget that and get this CD! It is a breath of fresh air in music. if you are buying CD’s, buy mine, Chipmunk’s, N Dubz, Tinchy’s, Dizzee’s and Newham Generals and that will be 2009 right there. My mixtape deserves to be next to all those releases.

Are there any guest spots on the album?

One. Dizzee Rascal and that’s it. Together we recorded three to four songs for the mixtape, but I’m a perfectionist. When I first signed [with Dirtee Stank] I told Dizzee ‘Don’t tell anybody I’ve signed’ and for six months, nobody knew. Everybody there thought I was an office clerk or something; sorting stuff out on the phone, helping the tour manager. I wanted to figure out what I was going to do first.

It eventually got round that I was signed and so I got recording. I made my first single ‘Where’s Your Head At?’, and after performing it live it got such a good reception that Dizzee wanted to come onto the tune. So for me that’s a sign I’m doing the right thing.

What will be the first single?

The lead track will be ‘This Way’ but my first single will come next year with the album, which will probably be ‘Where’s Your Head At?’

Your free download ‘Unleash Da Syco’ instrumental EP showcased your loud and brash production talents. Did you produce any beats on the album?

I produced all the beats on the album. I’m a huge Dubstep fan and it’s crazy ‘cos I discovered it through DJ Tubby by accident. I really ignored it for the first part, but I’ve always been attracted to the grimier side of Grime, Bassline and that. So when I found it I was like ‘Rah!’ Nobody was MC’ing on it apart from Newham Generals and Crazy D at that time, so I immediately wanted to.

‘Unleash Da Syco’ has some musical similarity with Dizzee’s earliest work – it’s messy, electronic and sample heavy. Was this one of the things that first endeared Dizzee to you in the first place?

It could have been. To be honest I’m not sure – I’d have to ask Dizzee. In fact I don’t think I’d ever want to know. I’d like that to remain a mystery because it keeps me working and if I stick to one type of music it’ll blur my creativity.

Would you consider yourself his protégé?

Erm…I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think Dizzee’s protégé is still out there somewhere. There’s elements of Dizzee, D Double E and Footsie in my work, but I don’t think I’m his protégé.

Your 300 bars series on YouTube was an innovative online promotion tool and opened you up to audiences in a frank, honest way. Are you going to maintain the series or have you got something new planned?

If MC’s want to talk about MC’ing, then I would love to see another MC do that, and spit for six minutes constantly! That series must have totalled thousands of bars. The reaction from that series was big. I’m still getting tour fans going ‘Wow!’

We are working on something! That was one of 15 ideas we had and even now the ideas don’t stop coming. We will definitely do something for people to subscribe to and I will be going even harder to make sure there are more eyes on me.

The crowds on Dizzee’s tour have certainly been going mad for you, judging by the videos and youtube comments. What was touring with Dizzee like?

It’s the best thing that could ever happen to my music. It showed me that I could do what I was doing in my spare time, professionally. The first Dizzee tour was Boy in the Corner and Showtime fans moshing. The Maths & English tour, girls had started to come in, then on the last Tongue ‘n’ Cheek tour it was chicks 6 rows deep from the front. I’m happy I’ve seen that and it has made me understand where I want my audience to go.

I love all the girls there – I’ve even got my own little group now called The Smurfettes – which are my own female fan club.

Anybody who wants to join by the way, just holla me on Twitter @Smurfiesyco!

Tell us about your album due to be released next year. According to Dizzee’s MySpace, he, along with Cage will be executive producing it. Can you shed any more light on it at all?

It’s untitled at the moment, but we’re aiming for a 3rd quarter release. My single should carry me through until then and I believe there is nothing from the UK that will be as complete as mine.

With that in mind, what does the rest of this year hold for Smurfie?

Just promoting really, speaking to my audience, keeping them in the loop. This is nursery rhymes right now. I want to take my crowd and start singing real music that can stand on its own.

I want to stress that SmurfieSyco.com is the sharpest end of the knife, and will be for some people because it’s Grime. But after this I’m going bigger, wider, and you will like it because I keep things real. I’m heading toward success – if you want in, follow me!

Any shout outs?

Shout out Dirtee Stank – it’s the label! Laurence – number 1 UK label manager. Shout to Musical D, my family, my fanbase and R.O.A.D – the Righteous, Organised and Determined.

Kristian

Leica x Hermes M7 (Limited Edition)

November 26, 2009

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Leica, everyone’s favourite vintage camera brand, has joined forces with Hermes to produce the limited edition M7 in Hermes’ trademark orange/tan colourways with chrome accents. Only 100 of these will be produced, for the rather exorbitant price of $14,000 each. Bargain. I have to say that the look of these goes perfectly with Hermes’ a/w 09/10 collection – the vintage airman aesthetic is truly captured in this item – you can almost imagine seeing it in the cockpit of a Lancaster bomber circa 1942. Very, very nice.

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James

Smurfie Syco

November 26, 2009

Interviewed and then accompanied Dirtee Stank’s Smurfie Syco for a day around his ends in Wood Green, before reaching Kiss with DJ MK.

Pics and interview to come, but check out in this vid in the mean time:

I’m the pesky snapper getting in the way of the camera 😉 Big up Smurfie who is promoting like a madman right now. Follow him @smurfiesyco.

If you need press coverage, contact me here

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

November 26, 2009

Today we present, Mr Craig Mack.

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When you think of Craig Mack, the first song that comes to mind is the Flavour in Your Ear Remix, the first image that comes to your mind is probably a smug git tapping some bottles. Somewhere in between that track and that person is the reason why Mack is not held with the reverence as his chubby Bad Boy counterpart. Mack picked on scraps, while the Big bandwagon sparred with the rival coast- it’s orchestrator always close at hand.

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Many forget that it was Craig Mack who cemented Big Boy Records as a genuine threat to the airwaves. His debut LP, Project Funk Da World possessed all the trimmings of a bonafide boom bap classic. It had character, fine production and an emcee more than capable. Perhaps it’s biggest downfall was that remix which featured two players who were keen to stamp their mark on an industry dominated by a synth-laden west coast. Biggie’s ambivalent flow set the bench mark, and Busta erratic prose stole the show (remember crazy Busta?).

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Both emcee’s are undoubtedly legends of hip hop now, but they lacked the ease with which Mack dropped bars. When he was good, it was effortless; a throwback to the days of call and response and high-top’s (bring it back Temps). This isn’t meant as disrespect to Biggie and Busta. They more than deserve the acclaim, but I would argue that Mack has waited long enough for a bit of recognition; at least a chapter on the revival of east coast hip-hop.

Ladies and Gents, Unsung Hero of the Hop:

Mr Craig Mack.

Get Down
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Jockin My Style

Dré

Burberry Prorsum Pre-Fall 2010

November 26, 2009

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Burberry Prorsum have unveiled a lovely little peek at their new menswear line for 2010. As you can probably tell military styling is a big influence – Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s CCO, has spoken of the new line:

Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey mined Burberry’s military heritage for the Prorsum pre-fall season with a battalion of weatherproof wool felt coats cinched with chunky belts, leather and shearling aviator jackets, and gabardine trenches. “This collection is anchored in history, and what you’re seeing is a roll-call of Burberry outerwear,” said the designer. “I love mixing different decades ­— but using modern fabrics.” He said the brand’s new social networking Web site, artofthetrench.com, got him thinking about the ways Burberry trenches have been worn over the years.

But there are soft edges, too, with Victorian elements, such as silk dresses overlaid with delicate lace and even lace-covered trenches. And Bailey easily brings hard and soft together: Wool sweaters have silky bow-shaped epaulets, while bows and ruffles take the edge off sharply tailored skirts and peplums add flourish to military-inspired suit jackets. Colors range from brooding dark greens and blacks to khaki and nude.

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In an earlier post I mentioned my desire for a Burberry trenchcoat – having seen these designs I have to say I really want the very first one… far too cool for school. And too expensive for James, no doubt. Sigh….

James

Armand Van Helden & A-TRAK Present Duck Sauce – aNYway

November 26, 2009

Armand’s still promoting the funk and for that we salute him. Archive aesthetic plus honey coated harmonies equals this years summer anthem- three months late. Maybe that could be the selling point. A funky summer house track to keep you warm during the winter months.

Here’s the track, enjoy:

Dré