Archive for September, 2010

New York Times: Op-Ed at 40

September 29, 2010

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On Sept. 21, 1970, readers who turned to the last inside page of The Times’s main section found something new. The obituaries that normally appeared in that space had been moved, replaced by something called Op-Ed. The vision of John Oakes, the editorial page editor, and Harrison Salisbury, the eminent foreign correspondent, Op-Ed was meant to open the paper to outside voices. It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper, people from all walks of life whose views and perspectives would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page across the way. (Hence, Op-Ed – Opposite Editorial.)

And so here we are. Four decades and nearly 15,000 pages later. This special anniversary section features artwork and adapted excerpts from a tiny fraction of the writing that has appeared on the Op-Ed page over the years, as well as selections from commentary published exclusively online.

An excellent and detailed look at the world of Op-Ed, from the extensive experience of the fine people at the NY Times. Includes a full 10-minute video presentation of guest artworks over the past four decades too. Take a look here.

James

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Newham Generals – Like It or Not

September 27, 2010

Again, the Newham Generals smash it. ‘Like it or Not’ is the latest dubstep-infused tune to be released (in hood video format) from the forthcoming ‘Bag of Grease E.P.’ out on the 4th October. Produced by Skitz Beatz, Dee and Foots ride his rumbling basslines and epic stabs with deceptive ease, dropping lyrics fans may have first heard the duo spit on a recent DJ Cameo set.

Everyone hypes about this new generation coming through, and whilst there is definitely solid talent there, many can’t hold anything to the style, pattern and flair the Generals exhibit. Whilst there is an undeniably serious and violent undertone in most of their music, it is more often than not offset by a playful lyrical approach. If ever you see the New Gens perform live, there is always a smile or a tongue in cheek. Watch the below video to see what I mean.

It’s something I feel is lost on the younger generation of MC‘s who seemingly make it impossible to enjoy their music if you are in anything but an angry or aggressive mood. The hosting element is lost on them. Anyway, back to ‘Like it or Not’ – it’s a record that’s hard, danceable and unique to the UK. Big up Dee and Foots who relentlessly cook up new styles, sounds and patterns like it’s normal.

Good to see Kronik vybzing in the video too!

Kristian

TBC Brass Band – New Orleans

September 26, 2010

I have just come back from an epic holiday in New Orleans. Famed for it’s food, drink and music (it is of course the origin of Jazz), N’awlins is a feast for the senses. Here, I leave you with a video of a local brass band called TBC playing on the infamous Bourbon Street, which my partner and I saw a few times. The intensity of their performance could never be captured in a video, but watch nevertheless. A truly awe-inspiring spectacle.

Enjoy,

Kristian

Bioshock Infinite

September 24, 2010

bioshock inf

So here is the first taste of 2k’s latest effort Bioshock Infinite. The game is certainly shaping up to be the spectacular, vertigo-inducing cyberpunk extravaganza Ken Levine had promised last month. You might want to have an air sickness bag at the ready.

Bioshock Infinite will be the third instalment of the hugely successful franchise and the first to depart from the claustrophobic metropolis of Rapture. Favouring a more grandiose affair; the cyberpunk inspired city of Colombia will be your backdrop –gliding through the skies as a both a symbol of American opulence and technological dominance. The game is set in 1912, fifty years prior to the events of the first two games. Players with take on the role of one Booker DeWitt, professional wrestler? No, a former Pinkerton agent now known as a “fixer” sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth.

elizab

I remain intrigued by the project and while the footage does look incredible. One thing I cannot get my head around is the release date. The game is scheduled for release sometime in 2012. Which begs the question, can the hype be sustained for that long?

We’ll see….

Dré

Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names

September 22, 2010

Wow. Just wow. Click to enlarge.

via The Daily Swarm.

James

Russ Mills – Recent Excursions

September 13, 2010

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Truly beautiful work. via Behance.

James

Murakami Versailles

September 13, 2010

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“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.
Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

Takashi Murakami

From 14th September – 12th December 2010.

James

Opium – freestyle

September 10, 2010

Our first foray into film.

Big look. Big up Opium!

Newham Generals – Bag Of Grease

September 8, 2010

Newham Generals are one of my all time favourite acts. Undisputed Grime legends, Footsie and DEE have honed their craft over a number of years, a journey which has taken them from pirate radio to sell out concerts and festival stages. They have set trends, blurred musical boundaries and are living proof that making Grime music with wide appeal is still possible.

All this despite only having one CD to their name. Well, that’s all about to change.

Newham Generals’ ‘Bag of Grease E.P.’ is soon to be released digitally and already it looks like it’s gonna be a stomper. Featuring five tracks (four of which have been produced by SKITZ Beatz), ‘Bag of Grease E.P.’ is short, sharp and to the point and will, judging by the samples, live up to its name in every single way. It’s special microsite leaves nothing to the imagination either!

The E.P. includes modern classic ‘I’m a General’ & the remix (featuring the late great Esco Bars), as well as ‘Like It Or Not’, a gritty Dubstep number that’s a nod to the Generals’ shakedowns at FWD>>. Out on October 4th, ‘Bag of Grease E.P.’ will breathe life back in the game. Or take it, depending on how you look at it.

Kristian

Opium – Opium (CD RELEASE 27th September 2010)

September 7, 2010

Front Cover

Back Cover

Hailed by Wiley as a ‘don’ and held in equally high regard by many of the UK’s best urban acts (including Skepta and Tinchy) Opium is ready to step up as the UK’s next Grime star. His self-titled debut mixtape ‘Opium’ is an impassioned exploration of Grime – both lyrically and musically – and features production from Wiley, DJ Target (1xtra & Roll Deep), Chucka and Z Dot.

Released digitally on the 27th September through iTunes, Spotify and Amazon, Opium has delivered more depth and clarity with his debut than most artists can manage in a fistful of albums. Having learned his craft under the tutelage of Grime veterans Wiley and Godsgift he has steadily established his own sound and approach.

His ‘stream-of-consciousness’ lyricism breaks from the typical ego-driven MC fodder currently abundant in the scene, and is complimented on the album by consistently futuristic production.

‘My Dream’ sets the lunar tone, with mellow synths washing over Opium’s thoughtful verse. Emphatic title track ‘Opium’ is a version of the Wiley space-stomper and ‘Empire’ is the glossy lead single in which he muses over his legacy and future.

Being of Turkish descent and having lived in Munich for a number of years, Opium subtly expresses his own cultural experiences through music. The mixtape cover cleverly conceals his nations’ flag within world of his own making. As ‘My Dream’ says, it’s time to “scrap everything old and start feeling new.”

Opium ‘Opium’ is released digitally on 27th September via iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Big up Threefold’s Dre for the artwork, and myself for the words. 😛

Kristian