Archive for May, 2010

Friday Feeling #10

May 28, 2010

null

Blue Hawaiian

1 oz Light rum
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Cream of coconut
1 Slice Pineapple
1 Cherry

Time to get a bit heavy duty – blend all the ingredients (bar the pineapple and cherry) in an electric blender with a cup of ice.

Pour the resulting contents into a highball glass.

Decorate with the fruit! Now to start playing with fire in grass skirts.

James

J Beatz Shoot – May 2010

May 28, 2010

Big up J Beatz!

Check J Beatz on:

Twitter
Myspace
Facebook

Kristian

Teeza Interview – Riot E.P Release Monday 31st May

May 27, 2010

At Welcome To The Fold, we pride ourselves on supporting and promoting a new generation of Grime acts that we feel are not only making amazing music, but making in their own way and on their own terms. Teeza is one such artist.

Hailing from West London, the producer/MC has been catching our attention for a little while now, with his devastatingly hype (and melodic) instrumentals and punchy spitting. Having appeared on a recent episode of Logan Sama’s Chosen One’s, and with the release of Riot E.P. imminent, we thought there could be no better time to catch up with Teeza for an interview.

Riot E.P – Out Monday 31st May. Available at www.teezamusic.bandcamp.com
Riot Muzik EP Preview by Threefold_Media

Introduce yourself to our readers:

For those that don’t know, my name is Teeza and I’m a producer from the Grime scene and my new release the Riot E.P. is out on Monday 31st May.

Why call yourself Teeza?

It came about in school. It was given to me back in the day because of my DJing style – I used to play tracks and chop them up for a while before letting them drop.

So it’s got nothing to do with you being a bully or anything then?!

Haha! A little bit maybe haha!

You’re MC as well aren’t you?

Yeah I am. It’s not really my main focus, but I do write lyrics from time to time.



Do you find being able to spit compliments your productions, giving a better idea of what MC’s will want in terms of drops or structure?

It does in a way. When I write a beat I sometimes imagine what kind of lyrics, styles or flows will suit it. Sometimes though I just want to make standalone instrumentals for DJ’s and the raves.

You seem to have a wide musical range in your tunes. Both Riot and Secret Level are reminiscent of Dexplicit, however your Air Bubble remix is completely different – all skippy snares and bass. Is it liberating not being tied down to one particular sound?

Yes I think it’s better that way. Since I started producing I always wanted my style to be more rounded. I never wanted to be boxed in or known for one thing as, naturally, that would limit me. I listen to loads of different music, so I guess all those influences come out through me and into what I make.

It is a reflection of me. Music production for me is driven by mood. Most people don’t know I make Hip Hop and R’n’B as well as Grime – you can catch me making styles of music you would never expect.

I remember talking to you on Twitter about UKHH rapper Jehst, an artist I really wouldn’t expect Grime guys to appreciate…

Yeah his rapping is really technical. I’ve always been into that kind of stuff though, the thing is, I’m from West London and so when I started making music it was inspired by the Garage sounds from my area. As the sound changed and got ‘Grimier’ I changed with it. More time I’m listening to Hip Hop though and other music.

Do you play an instrument and if so do you find it helps your production?

I play a few different instruments – I’m not particularly good at any of them if I’m truthful – but it sets me apart from other producers in that I’m making music that isn’t necessarily ‘Grime.’ My music has no blueprint I just make what I like – it might be 140 bpm and have those Grime elements but it will have other elements as well.

I might put different types of melodies on there or mix up some different sounds.

You, Royal T, J Beatz, Nu Klea, Spooky are considered part of a new generation in Grime music, one that is bringing the dance floor element of Grime back to the fore. How do you feel about that?

I guess so. I think Royal-T and I make similar types of music sometimes, we made ‘1up’ and ‘Secret Level’ around the same time in 2008, even though I only released it this year. Yeah I’d say we are the new generation of producers. I’ve noticed that over the past two or so years, the sound has slowed down and gone towards Hip Hop. We are trying to bring the Grime essence back.

What we make now is much more similar to what was being made back in 2005-6.

You recently appeared as an MC on Logan’s Chosen Ones alongside Scrufizzer, Voltage, Dream McLean and Oh No. How did you find it?

Yeah I’ve always liked it! I started writing in 2003 so I’ve always enjoyed set appearances and what not. Logan’s was fun – I hadn’t been on a set for ages and hadn’t been back to Kiss since 2006. It was good to link with Scruface too.

Are they MC’s you collaborate with?

Well I’ve known Scruface for a good 5-6 years and we’ve done lots of collabs here and there. I’ve just done a track with Voltage with another one in the works and I’ve just finished a tune with Dream called ‘Stop Me’ which I think he might be releasing as a single.

We will be doing quite a bit of work over the next few months so watch.

What did you make of Scruface’s announcement he was going to quit?

Ahh he’s just going through a faze man, he’s not going to quit! We talk a lot – near enough every day – about music. People have those bad days is all. I know when he’s at home he’s non-stop recording and keeping active.

Back to the E.P. then, what can the people expect?

Raw Grime. It is quite hype and the tunes sound strong. I mixed them down so the snares and bass punch through with the mids and los.

Is the E.P. a fair reflection of you?

Yeah it gives you one side of what I can do. I kept it quite tightly packaged with the tunes similar in theme.
Will we hear any MC versions of the tracks?

Initially I wanted to do a mixtape featuring 10-20 MC versions of Riot, but everybody’s busy doing their thing so I thought It’d be best to come through with the instrumental. There are a couple versions out there.

‘Jheez’ has got a nice Calypso feel to it, with that steel drum type of sound in there. If you could get a Yardie MC to spit on it, who would it be?

You know what, I’d say Goodz. He smashes it when he spits in that Yardie style. In fact I think he’s probably one of the best Grime MC’s ever. Maybe even Shizzle…

So, the most important question of all. Riot is out next Monday (31st May), where can the people purchase the E.P.?

You can buy the Riot E.P. for £2.99 exclusively from www.teezamusic.bandcamp.com

Any shoutouts?

Safe, big up everybody supporting, Team Supreme, Once Upon a Grime and Mute for the artwork!

Follow @teezamusic
Teeza’s Myspace

Kristian

Let’s Get Lost: Racism in the Fashion Industry

May 24, 2010

Last week a colleague forwarded me a link to an article on refinery29.com regarding a recent shoot for Interview Magazine featuring model Daria Werbowy, shot by Mikael Jansson. The story itself has caused a fair amount of controversy regarding alleged racist undertones within the shoot.

null

null

Personally, I think this shoot is one of, if not the most evocative fashion story I have seen all year. The lighting, poses, clothing and colour all contribute to an overall ambience which I find simply captivating. You can almost taste the salty tang of sweat, the earthy and metallic grease and engine oil, the cold bottled beer and the acrid, lingering smoke.

As a big fan of dancehall music and dingy, sweaty yet atmospheric clubs in general, I cannot envision a more perfect setting to hear one of my favourite genres of music. All of the models, not just Daria, look beautiful, and while there is the faintest nuance of menace in the air, that is thanks mainly to the setting; it certainly, to my eyes anyway, does not reinforce any negative stereotypes of black people.

null

null

However, this is where the allegations come pouring in. According to its many detractors, it places black models in the shoot merely as ‘props’, dressing them in ‘tough’ leather and knits, while placing Daria in ‘ethereal’ and ‘angel-like’ gowns.

Looking at these images as objectively as possible, I’m still not entirely sure of the validity of this statement. I mean sure, Daria is the main focus of many of the images – although not all, it is important to note – but I think that the images would be just as strong without her in them at all; the shoot is about capturing an atmosphere, a moment in time in some faraway place that many of us Western Europeans will never experience.

null

null

It is antithetic escapism in a way; instead of providing something typically beautiful and aspirational, it does the opposite and shows us a world of vice, sleaze and depravity, which, due to its obvious id-based appeal, is just as alluring.

The fact remains that clubs like this do exist; from grimy dancehall venues in the backstreets of Kingston to basement dubstep clubs in East London, the ‘dive’, as many of these places are known, represents a coming-together of people for one thing – a love of music. All the pretentious trappings of so-called nightlife – dress codes, expensive cocktails, and condescending attitudes – are forgotten; the venues aren’t pretty but they are brimming with energy, both sonic and sexual. In my opinion, that is what this shoot conveys perfectly.

null

Of course, this isn’t the first time in recent months that the fashion industry has been accused of racism. Last year, the October 2009 issue of Vogue featured a shoot – shot by Steven Klein, styled by Carine Roitfeld – in which model Lara Stone was depicted covered in brown paint, in a move dubbed by many as ‘contemporary blackface’. The outrage over this shoot is, in my opinion, fairly justified.

null

Although I am a big fan of Steven Klein, it is surprising that anyone would allow this kind of photoshoot to go ahead. While I don’t think that a depiction of ‘neo-minstrels’ was necessarily the aim of the shoot, it was nonetheless a naive move by those in charge, and actually detracts a lot of attention from the other images in the shoot, which are otherwise very cool indeed.

null

null

I guess your outlook on this whole debate depends on your views on what is considered racist. Personally, with regard to the Daria Werbowy shoot, I think that most of the outrage has been generated by whites who think it is up to them to dictate what people from other ethnic backgrounds find offensive. Sure, there are black people who will find it offensive but there are also plenty who don’t (Kiah, the colleague who forwarded the images to me, is Jamaican and loves them) which wouldn’t be the case if the images depicted were overtly offensive.

Another big factor is the way in which fashion chooses to politicise itself. Many people speak of fashion as being very politically and socially motivated, something which I don’t agree with at all. Any kind of political or social commentary embued within a collection that I’ve seen has been very trite and contrived at best; certainly nothing that has made me want to make any rash lifestyle changes.

Fashion makes itself political because people that design want it to be taken seriously as an art, which it is not. It may be conceptual, but fashion design is a craft, not an art. Clothing, in my opinion, cannot express any kind of political statement; it can express an opinion, an outlook on life – look to the Dadaist, make-do-and-mend aesthetic of punk, or the often prison-related fashions present in hiphop style – but when it comes to fashion, the only real politicisation comes through depiction in a context, through mediums such as photography or film.

It is only when clothing is placed within a context that it is given meaning; the ‘Guide to Successful Living’ campaign started by Diesel in 1992 is, to me, one of the most satirical and provocative advertising campaigns ever made, and marks a true milestone in terms of the politicisation of fashion advertising.

When you consider that there are so many actual examples of racism and persecution in the world that continue to cause pain and suffering to people all over the world, getting worked up over a perceived slight in a magazine editorial seems, to me at least, to be fairly out of perspective. Let’s concentrate on fixing some of the other evils in the world before blaming fashion for all of the world’s problems, shall we?

James

Red Dead Redemption

May 20, 2010

red dead

This game has been getting some rather exceptional scores lately and its becoming more and more apparent as to why. Rockstar Games’ latest epic, released Tuesday for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America and tomorrow in Europe, takes the open-world formula that has proven so well for the Grand Theft Auto franchise and applies it to a different place and time. Forget the Infernus’, the bowling and wanted levels. Now horses are the mode of transport, cards and dice are the games of choice and avoiding bounties will be your main concern in the Old West.

Here’s the trailer:

Rockstar has done a good splendid job transplanting the familiar Grand Theft Auto aesthetic into a world devoid of technology, grid systems and bustling street corners. Red Dead Redemption’s charm threatens to draw me back into open-world epics, although I’d would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated by this prospect.

In an age where single-player games are increasingly being streamlined down to a succinct 5 hours or so, Rockstar’s open-world experiences are becoming increasingly rare — and difficult to devote so much time to.

Here’s an interesting two part video giving you the run down on some of unique features in the game.

Life in the West: Part 1

Life in the West: Part 2

Image courtesy of Rockstar Games
Red Dead Redemption, out 21st May on PS3 and Xbox 360

Dré

Fulvio Bonavia – A Matter of Taste

May 15, 2010

Who said fashion couldn’t be delicious?

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

Fulvio Bonavia began his career as a graphic designer and illustrator of film posters. As a photographer, he brings his artistic and design sensibilities to each and every one of his pictures, doing all of the post-production himself so that his images are infused with his vision from start to finish.”

Absolutely wonderful photographs, I think you’ll agree. The way that Bonavia has managed to match the textures from foodstuff to textile is simply inspired.

via Coute Que Coute.

James

London Zoo – Lips To The Floor (Old but Good!)

May 13, 2010

This is a classic. Whilst I may be a fervent Grime fan, tunes like this should be played to those that take the music too seriously. Dubbledge and his crew performed this live at a gig I promoted and it was the highlight of the evening for sure!

Enjoy!

Kristian

Celebrities & Diffusion Ranges: An Analysis

May 12, 2010

null

The Kardashians, who have designed a capsule collection for Bebe

How involved are celebrities in the design of their diffusion ranges?

In a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph, renowned fashion designer Zandra Rhodes criticised the stars who put their names to fashion collections, stating “they have taken things out of their wardrobes — by Balenciaga or some other brand — and had it knocked up by the chain, which is why [some of these] places lost a lot of their designers.”

If indeed Ms. Rhodes is correct, are such collaborations necessary? In a world of seemingly endless opportunities for consumption, are these ranges needed to ensure a brand remains visible to the public, or are they simply further adherence to the modern cult of celebrity?

Zandra Rhodes: Role Models From World of Fashion Fail Our Children

Of course, it’s fairly obvious to suggest that celebrities don’t know what they’re talking about. For example, the placement of Lindsay Lohan as creative adviser to established fashion house Emanuel Ungaro – and the resulting, devastating criticism of her first collection – has done much to damage the idea of bringing in a famous name to enhance a brand’s standing in the public eye.

It certainly seems as though every ‘celebrity’ in LA has turned their hand to designing – from Paris Hilton to J.Lo to… well, virtually any mainstream hiphop artist you care to mention. It is almost as if there is some kind of ‘fame hierarchy’ in place, in which different forms of talent are considered more reputable than others, and everyone is just trying to move up the food chain – reality TV stars want to sing, singers want to act and just about everyone wants to be a designer.

However, the fact remains that much designer fashion remains blissfully out of reach for many – and lest we forget that diffusion lines, as well fragrances, underwear and other less expensive but nonetheless branded items are where labels get their lion’s share of income from. Fashionistas (myself included, sometimes) may sneer and turn their noses up at overtly-branded diffusion T-shirts and other rudimentary items that are given astronomical price tags because of conspicuous logos, but thanks to the twin miracles of consumer capitalism and mass media, a three-pronged fork of self-definition through possession, a push towards instant gratification and commodity fetishism strikes many consumers straight through the heart – and often the wallet – leaving them powerless to resist.

null

Items such as fragrances are where fashion houses make most of their money

More importantly, however, it keeps the accounts of major fashion houses nicely topped up, so that they can continue to operate and produce more ways for people to feel like a part of something aspirational through consumption.

This may sound cruel, but unfortunately that is the way in which a capitalist society works. During my time at university I learned that fashion, rather than being a fluffy little ‘optional extra’, is actually a crucial pillar in ensuring that the economy continues to flourish. Many would fail to see the connection, as I did; fashion is not just about catwalk shows and haute couture, but deals with creating desirability for almost every consumer goods item you care to think of, from mobile phones to soft furnishings. Due to its cyclical nature, it ensures that objects are not replaced when they cease to be useful, but when they cease to be ‘fashionable’ or desirable. Fear of exclusion is a powerful thing, and many will maintain their consumption habits to remain within the group.

Not always as easy as it sounds though. Contrary to many people’s belief, and the sheer mountains of damning evidence, the general public is not stupid, particularly since the recession. Consumption habits have completely polarised; yes, you still have people queuing endlessly at quick-fix disposable stores such as Primark, but you also get people making much more informed choices about where they spend their money. As a result, companies have to coax and persuade people to buy their products – which is where advertising comes in, although that is a topic so vast in itself I won’t be going into it. Another way is through celebrity endorsements, which brings me neatly back to the aforementioned diffusion lines.

null

Elle Macpherson, whose Intimates range, forged in a partnership with Bendon Limited Apparel, remains one of the most popular celebrity-endorsed lines

Celebrities are so explicitly public property these days that in many cases, a personal investment of emotion is made by the member of the public. How many times have you heard someone expressing strong feelings towards a celebrity, both positive or negative, despite the fact that they have never even been on the same continent, let alone met? The same applies with fashion collections. By attaching a known face to the brand, people can make an emotional connection between their feelings for that person and the brand they are associated with. Furthermore, if that celebrity is known for being particularly stylish, people can attempt to emulate their style by buying clothes that they supposedly designed.

When you look at it like this, I suppose it doesn’t really matter whether the celebrity in question sat down with the head designer and a pad and pencil and conceptualised the entire collection from scratch, or merely turned up one day, cast their eye over a bunch of potential designs and signed off the ones they liked. In the same way as you wouldn’t expect a musician that endorses Pepsi to be any good at making drinks, or a footballer that promotes certain foods to be a good cook, why expect an actor to actually be able to design?

How involved are celebrities in the design of their diffusion ranges? Well, as long as you like the clothes, what does it matter?

James

Little Big Planet 2 – New Tools, New Rules.

May 12, 2010

MM

Co-Founder of Media Molecule Alex Evans discusses the new tools and features in Little Big Planet 2.

If you missed our post on Play, Create, Share click here. Or you could just scroll down a bit you lazy so and so..


Video Courtesy of Gametrailers

Dré

Play, Create, Share

May 11, 2010

play create share

Play, Create, Share is the future of video game content.

sack boy

This was the Sony’s statement to its competitors nearly two years ago. Three words with endless possibilities, awash with post-modern vector power points and encapsulated within its flagship community-based video games. The term was created by Sony for its exclusive titles. Titles that rely heavily upon user-created content which can be uploaded and distributed over the PlayStation Network. Little Big Planet was the first release to fall within the Play, Create, Share bracket and despite initial teething issues it has proved to be a true success story in both micro transaction and community-based products.

After a year of speculation, Sack Boys worldwide popped, slapped and guffawed as Media Molecule announced there would be another Little Big Planet offering. Sony have alluded to creation on a grander scale than the first game. The trailer hints at this with a wider level of customisation with digital puppets, intelligently design characters, narrative arcs and hybrid genres all being demonstrated within the revamped engine.

Here’s the trailer (Did Nathan Barley do the score?):

The biggest concern with a sequel so heavily reliant upon its players content is that a new release would make everything previously created on the original LBP redundant. Media Molecule were keen to dispel this rumour by confirming that all the levels from the first game would be incorporated and fully compatible with Little Big Planet 2.

sack boy mod nation

Great news for content junkies but the gripe many have with the original release is the constant removal of content that has even the faintest nostalgic wink to a red plumber or blue hedgehog. Both Sony and MM demonstrated draconian copyright enforcement that would make Viacom blush. Let’s just hope that they won’t be too strict this time around when it comes to punishing the hard working individuals that served as stanchions for the community. People spent hours upon hours meticulously trying to rehash their favourite levels from classic franchises only to have them erased within thirty minutes for having the audacity to reference a mushroom.

mario lbp

The success of Play, Create, Share will be dependant on Sony’s communication with competitors rather than ambiguous statements of intent. Little Big Planet did exceptionally well considering its restrictions but did not fully live up to the original claims it made. ModNation Racers will arrive in two weeks time; the second game in the Play, Create, Share banner with just as bold claims.

It looks astounding what this game could and should be capable of. An intuitive and easily customisable sandbox that will allow the player easy access to a range of physics tools to create kart levels with both the fun and freneticism of Mario Kart and aesthetic horse power of the Playstation.

modnation

With two strong titles on the horizon Play, Create, Share appears better equipped this year. I shall remain optimistic as the framework is certainly admirable. If the press conferences’ claims turn out to be accurate this time it will signify a new era in video game console development and could usher in a new way we experience video games, training a generation of aspiring level designers, mappers and skinners in the process. Just to reiterate, brokering will be key in opening the door to true ubiquitous, uninhibited content. Look no further than Spotify for proof of the pudding – a handshake and discussion goes a long way.

ModNation Racers, scheduled for release on the 21st May 2010 on Playstation 3 and PSP
Little Big Planet 2, expected Winter 2010

Dré