Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Weakest Link

I just got sent this and it's Anne Robinson at her finest and the rappers hold their own very well. Very funny.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chuck Anderson/No Pattern

I'm not even sure where I first saw 22 year-old Chuck Anderson's work, I think someone sent me a link to his work and I was instantly blown away not only by his technical abilities but also by his amazing feel for composition and colour. There are some things that art school graduates like myself tend to pick up through various spheres of influence such as technique and application but one thing you can’t teach someone is how to have an eye for detail and, moreover, how to integrate these into the greater dynamics of a composition. Chuck has this ability in bucket loads and that is why he stands out in the oversaturated design market.

Chuck basically holds down three full-time jobs. Firstly, No Pattern is the name that he freelances under. Secondly, NP&CO. is the label under which he sells prints, t-shirts and books and also acts as an online store. Lastly, THE BRILLIANCE! is something that was started by Benjamin Gott and Chuck as ‘a labor of love/hobby/creative outlet/entreprenaurial-experiment-endeavor sort of thing’. That puts those of us who barely hold down one job quite clearly in the shade.

Chuck has worked for clients as varied as Adidas, Dolce & Gabanna, Helio, Microsoft, Nike, Mountain Dew, NYLON Magazine, Lowdown Magazine, XLR8R, Vans and many, many more and he’s currently exhibiting until the end of January at the new Threadless Gallery in Chicago, which is upstairs if you go into their new retail store. If you’re in the area I implore you to go and have a look at his work. Oh and seeing as it's Christmas a print or two would be nice, just in case you were stuck for ideas.

To learn more about Chuck and how he got his start, his influences and so forth visit his website and check out the press section where you can find various interviews with him that’ll, erm, paint a fuller picture of this prodigious talent.

Below I’ve highlighted some of my favourite pieces of his. One thing I do quite enjoy of Chuck’s is his hand drawn work. Most people who use digital media to do their artwork usually can’t draw for shit but Chuck’s ability to give life to his characters within his detailed compositions is very impressive and it comes as no surprise that he is regularly asked to speak at universities about his work.

These are his Upper Playground / Fifty24SF collaboration shoes, which I have somewhere in storage. They're dope. I need a bigger house.

This is the furniture that he did with Lars Amhoff of Kinky Form. Again if you're stuck for ideas for Christmas or my birthday...

The awesome Lupe Fiasco record cover.

This is just one of the t-shirt designs that you can buy from NP&CO.

Chuck is also available for freelance work and you can contact him through No Pattern.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today I got an e-mail from Adidas informing me about the 'sale to end all sales' and seeing as (1) it never takes much to get me to an Adidas store (2) do we really need a second reason? Anyway one thing that I found out on the way to the address that they gave me was that it was slap bang in the middle of an outlet mall.

Oh yes, we drove past a field of wind turbines.

I don't know if any of you have ever been to an outlet mall, but they're filled to the brim with all the shit that the stores can't sell through their high street stores. Everything is either XS or 3XL, so if you're tiny or morbidly obese then an outlet mall is your nirvana. Well after fighting my way into the store, I was pretty much disappointed with what was on offer until I saw a pair of ZXZ Oddities for $12. Twelve! I'm not even sure how many pairs of shoes I have now but none have cost me $12. I did a little dance on the way out.

Anyway afterwards the wife and I decided to go and try a place called Native Foods in Palm Springs. If someone had told me 7 years ago that I'd be looking forward to a meal in a vegan restaurant I'd have asked them for two of whatever they were taking. Anyway, times have changed and having a vegetarian wife has surely helped sway me to the rabbit side. Native Foods was started by Tanya Petrovna who wanted a place that is 'an organic vegan / vegetarian restaurant designed to meet the needs of today’s discriminating, health-conscious diners – vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.' If you looked at their menu you would have trouble believing that you're in a vegan restaurant with all the chicken wings, burgers etc. on offer. Obviously everything is made from soy but the taste and texture is superb even for a carnivore like myself.

For starters we had the 'free' the chicken wings.

Jeni had a chicken burger.

I had a Jamaican jerk burger.

They also gave us a frequent eater card that is going to get a lot of use out of the two of us. That's the wife looking none too impressed as we were driving around trying to find out what the point of Palm Springs is. It's just a fuck off big retirement home, isn't it? I'm kidding, kind of.

So try out Native Foods if you're ever in SoCal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jeff Soto interview

This was done prior to his show as the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York a few months back. Yes, I know another Jeff Soto post. Obsessed? Who dear? Me dear? No dear! (OK, just a bit)

Another Night On Earth

Johannesburg-based Chris Keyz is the knowledgeable man behind easily my favourite music blog on the Internet, Another Night On Earth, supplying heads like myself with quality music cultivated from his extensive and deep record collection as well as mixes from some of the best DJs on the cosmic/disco scene - people like Andrew Allsgood, DJ Bwyse, Jaz, Kool Dj Dust and, well, Paul and myself. Chris is also a great DJ with a great sense of drama in his mixes and it's just a pity that he lives in Jo'burg where the opportunity to play the music that he loves is seriously limited by the fluffy bra brigade. Chris also designed our new banner here at Kumo, and we're honoured that such a designer as talented would take the time to do some work for us, and he has also been kind enough to allow us to stick the superb artwork and the links to the mixes from his blog up here for all of you to enjoy. For tracklistings and more please visit Another Night On Earth. Thanks a lot, Chris!

DJ Bwyse - Saturnal Reflections

Sebastian Broms - All In Your Mind - Hangover Mix

Paul and Marc Get High and Go To The Beach

Paul Williams - Permanent Vacation

Diepvries - Cool-De-La

Andrew Allsgood - A Million Sunsets

Brubbek - Brubbek Love

Jaz - Fresh Into The Sexy Night

Worst Friends - We're All Friends Here

DJ Kool Dust - Change The Goddamn Beat and Don't Be A Biter

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three Legged Legs

"In the year of 200 and 5, three creative warriors, Greg Gunn, Casey Hunt and Reza Rasoli, joined forces to create a new breed of directorial studio. From then on they have fought to organize efforts for the global betterment of writing, direction, animation, design and any other interesting form of media.

Equally comfortable behind a camera, in front of a computer, or over a sketchbook - the trio use whatever force and technique necessary to create memorable storytelling and fantastic visual feats of triumph.

Hello, we are Three Legged Legs. Pleased to meet you."

- Taken from the website

Here is a link to a video that was sent to me by Ashley Kanter for a video inspired by Jeff Soto's work.

Lets Be Friends

Explore the site, loads of great stuff on here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

James Kumo Xmas Mix for Delsin

James got asked to do a mix for the Delsin Records as a part of the promotion surge for his EP that is coming out in January.

You can download it here.


1. "RIB CAGE" - Dubfire - Desolat Music
2. "SIDES OF SPACE" - D5 - Delsin Records
3. "PAZUZU" - I:Cube - Versatile Records
4. "EARS" - Barem - Minus
5. "ENTER THE DRUM" - Audiojack - 2020 Vision Recordings
6. "DESCAP LIVE" - XDB - Deep Space Media
7. "THE DEEP" - James Kumo - unreleased
8. "THE SNAKE" (Jori Hulkkonen Remix) - Jussi Pekka - Distortion
9. "SPACE BETWEEN US" - Forteba - Plastic City
10. "ACID UBER ALLES" - Phantom Power - ClickTracks
11. "RED CABARET" (Daniel Stefanik Remix) - Onur Ozer - Vakant
12. "RAINBOW DELTA" (Jerome Sydenham Remix) - Len Faki - Ostgut Ton
13. "CHICA-GO" (Rejected Rotterdam Rework) - Jeroen Verheij - Rejected
14. "HUNDULU" - Chymera - Delsin Records
15. "PROPHETIZATION" - I:Cube - Versatile Records

Fact Magazine

All of the end of the year lists are flying in, and most of them are crap, but FACT Magazine seem to have got it pretty dead on.

Check 'em here and here.

FACT Magazine On The Web.

Great Clubs

Electric Chair

Some clubs just have the perfect blend of crowd, music and atmosphere that make them stand out above the rest and Manchester's Electric Chair is most certainly one of them. One of the reasons why I wasn't particularly upset about upping sticks and leaving Taipei for Manchester a few years ago was that I would be able to go to the Chair on the last Saturday of every month. There are no gimmicks, no lazer shows just solid music put on by people who are as into it as you are. No promoter in the back counting the money. The night has been running since the summer of 1995 and with a music policy that incorporates everything from funk to soul to hip hop to house to techno and just about everything else in a place 'where everyone parties as one - strangers and soul mates, straights and gays, north and south, students and scallies', as Luke Bainbrige so succinctly put it in The Observer, there is no doubt that Manchester has been all the stronger for having a night of such high quality.

The residents, Justin & Luke Unabomber in the main room and Kelvin Brown in the shack are a huge part of the reason why the night is so successful. With a flagrant disregard for 'the rules' they're musical risk takers and the crowd at the Chair expects them to do so on any given night. A soul track at 2am? Why not!? Sister Nancy 'Bam Bam' into the Pixies? Sure! It's a party in the truest sense of the word. There is only one thing on the minds of the punters as they walk in the door and that is, 'Let's fookin' ave it.'

Just about everybody has played at the Chair at some point and luckily for us they've archived quite a few of the mixes on their site.

One of the standout moments for me at the Chair was on the night that Kelvin Andrews played and after he had finished slaying the place Justin Unabomber came on and played The Four Tops 'Reach Out I'll Be There' and cue an entire club of people singing their hearts out, it was a truly seminal moment and I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Every person who has ever gone to the Chair has a similar story about a moment or a record that was played, it is a club of nothing but seminal moments, I'd hate to describe something as magic but there is no better way to describe the night.

It's a shame that they are calling time on the night at the end of January but for those of us who have danced the night away with all our new best friends it is an experience that we'll always be proud of. Long live The Chair.

Electriks On The Web

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Basic Soul Interviews

Jon K
Fat City/Eyes Down/SnipSnap

Jon K is a man with a prodigious knowledge of music that has made him the first port of call for many of Manchester's finest Djs and taste-makers when searching out music in his capacity as resident record slinger at Fat City. With a much lauded reputation for playing music from all four corners of the record shop cemented via his seminal and sadly currently dormant Eyes Down night as well as his residency at Friends & Family and guest slots at nights up and down the country he has recently embarked on a project to develop an agency that will provide music for television and film.

Read the interview here.

Karen P
Karen P Productions/Red Bull Music Academy Radio

Karen P is a radio producer, podcast/internet communications pioneer, DJ and writer. Karen established herself at the tender age of 23, as the youngest producer at BBC Radio One, on Gilles Peterson’s weekly ‘Worldwide’ broadcasting phenomenon. She enhanced the original ‘join the dots’ concept of the show, while changing the format, by organising sessions and live events, and introducing established artists whilst continuing to nurture new talents. Under Karen’s watchful eye, the Radio 1 Worldwide show toured the UK and international spots at the Miami Winter Music Conference, Sonar Electronic Festival in Barcelona and Exit in Serbia among many.

Always hungry for whatever’s new, Karen has quickly established herself as a global authority on podcasts and “post-broadcast” audio, setting up the groundbreaking projects that underpin the company that takes her name.

Karen set up an internet radio station to coincide with the annual Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle in 2005. The station has gone from strength to strength with many of the shows being seen as being essential listening for musical connoisseurs worldwide.

From starting off in radio at the age of 18 on a few weeks work experience to initiating and running some of the most forward thinking programming in radio today, Karen has done very well for herself in a relatively short space of time and we, as listeners, are all the better for having her in the world of music.

Read the interview here.

Elliot Bergman

Michigan’s NOMO have been making waves with prominent taste-makers and record collectors the world over with their take on the afrobeat sound in the tradition of the foundations lay down by the likes of the great Fela Kuti and Francis Bebey. NOMO is based around a core of eight multi-instrumentalists lead by Elliot Bergman and comprising Erik Hall, Jamie Register, Dan Piccolo, Olman Piedra, Dan Bennett, Ingrid Racine and Justin Walter. After previous releases on Kindred Spirits and Ypsilanti Records they have now found a home on Ubiquity Records on which they released the superb ‘New Tones’ - easily my album of 2006 - and on which they are set to drop their next album in the spring of 2008. They’ve already garnered plaudits from the likes of Urb who chose them as one of their coveted ‘Next 100’ in 2005 as well as from the sadly defunct jazz bible Straight No Chaser who said, ‘If you’re a fan of Antibalas, Daktaris, Tortoise, YNQ and post-Fela funkiness, then this should fit very nicely in your get-up-and-dance collection.’ With a future that is looking increasingly bright and a schedule that is getting fuller by the passing day, band-leader Elliot Bergman kindly took the time to answer a few questions for us here at Basic Soul.

Read the interview here.