Just something groovy from our NYE headliner. Clocking in under two minutes, “Ecstasy” is probably unfinished and barely even seeing the light of day, but we’re glad it did. Landing somewhere on the map near “3rd World Grrl” and “Diamonds & Pearls”, at least one of which is also produced by Twon’s homie DJ Sexplay, who came through here with a similar type of thing. Here, we get jazzy ’80s lite funk and Antwon dropping a KBLX-ready hook. All good things. Happy Friday.
Interview looks back at the life and work of one the 20th century's most dynamic creators
Almost two and a half years ago, the contemporary art world lost a pretty towering figure with the death of Richard Hamilton. Half a century before that, Hamilton had created pieces that left a permanent mark on global culture. He had left behind enduring images that became emblematic of pop art’s cultural ubiquity: collages, paintings, screenprints, and album art that would become reference points for art school discussions for decades. As the piece below demonstrates though, Hamilton’s career was not one you could squeeze into a single movement. In the years since his death, his work has been on display plenty, naturally, since there’s a lot of shit to show. With a recent retrospective on display at Tate Modern in London, Interview sat down Alan Cristea–Hamilton’s good friend and the distributor of his artistic estate–to talk about Hamilton’s work and legacy, both of which are still very much alive.
Spike Jonze's Her and how technology shapes our relationships
So Spike Jonze is, and will always be, the fucking man for resume reasons that are kinda beyond listing. But for the purposes of this conversation, he played a founding role in Jackass, and his latest masterpiece Her is a beautiful love story that casts our collective relationship with technology in a light that’s maybe creepy and fucked up and sinister, and maybe genuinely optimistic, depending on where you’re sitting. Personally I’m a little more in the camp that says it doesn’t need to “say” what it’s saying. Jonze will tell you, “It says what I wanted it to say,” which is a good way to preface this video since, basically, it’s a great conversation piece.
Lance Bangs, Jonze’s colleague and the lead shooter on the Jackass movies (he pukes a lot in them), is also the man. And in this 15-minute doc, Love in the Modern Age, he consults a few more of his famous and interesting buddies on love, using the film as a jumping off point. The question: what exactly does love mean in the modern world? Personally, I’m thoroughly confused about my own answers to that impossibly broad question. But watching the kind of answers it pulls out of folks like James Murphy and Marc Maron is totally worth watching. Peep the doc below.
Dreamy, acoustic vibes from a fresh face on the Atlanta scene
Trust is life. You trust yourself to wake up in the morning. You trust the bus, the car, the train. You trust others to be there and you trust the sun to go down. Trust is what East Atlanta singer/songwriter/producer Raury’s music thrives on. At the age of seventeen, enamored by women and youth empowerment alike, Raury seeks to add to the trap dominated scene Atlanta is known for across the nation with something more tangible and relatable than a Young Scooter anthem. Don’t get it fucked up though… you may find him in the cut blasting Young Thug at any given moment.
With “Bloom”, his voice soars above charming, sublime instrumentation and brings you into a world made for two. The very essence of romance is uncertainty accompanies the song’s description. With a euphoric, beautifully honest album on the way, Raury is on to something special. And he’s only getting better.
Going back underground this Saturday night
I’ll keep it brief because there are really only a few key details to get down here. It’s been a minute since New Year’s, and it feels like it’s time to get back to it. This Saturday night, post V-day, you can come find us at a secret spot in Oakland, where we’ll be accompanied by a few good friends. Curating the vibes for the night will be a devastating trio of Daghe, SMH, and Trill Team 6‘s own Starter Kit. Hit us with an RSVP email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll shoot you an address in time for Saturday night.
A beastly new trapped-out anthem from Future and friends
For a while it seemed like we’d never see a second Future album. There was the smash hit title track, the slightly cringe-worthy Miley collab, and too many street singles to count, but a release date for Honest still has yet to materialize. However, the release of “Move That Dope” yesterday – a single featuring Pharrell, Pusha T, and Casino – will hopefully deliver Honest to our eardrums.
“Move That Dope” certainly has the names and the weight to make a big splash. 2013 saw “Turn On The Lights” producer Mike WiLL Made It going down more pop-friendly avenues that some folks probably wish he would have refrained from, but here he brings a refreshingly new sound to the vocalist that helped initially propel him to fame. Mike WiLL’s abrasive industrial rock-style synths are possibly a testament to Yeezus‘ prescient experimentalism. Future’s repetitive, insistent hook seems to distill down the essence of rap music in 2014, while Pusha T comes with some predictably nostalgic lines about how he used to sell drugs but now he doesn’t. Although he has been consistently churning out hits the past 12 months, it’s been years since I’ve heard a Pharrell verse that made me run the track back; here he completely steals the show. The only disappointment is that fellow Freeband Gang member Casino sounds more subdued than he does on his less high-profile work. Honest is still blowing in the wind, but if the urgent sound of “Move That Dope” is any indication, it’ll be here before we know it.
Pretty masks and gorgeously warped graphic pieces from Jesse Draxler
Always dope to see the artists you’ve kept up with continue to grow and try new things. We’ve featured works by Jesse Draxler for a few years now, and watched as he’s whittled his aesthetic to a fine point, his collage and graphic work assuming a tone of stark, understated futurism. It only makes sense then, that other folks have taken notice.
Most recently, Drax collaborated with designer Emma Berg, crafting visuals and actual physical masks to accompany her Winter ’13 collection, entitled “YY” (shorthand for Yin-Yang). Eventually the collaboration culminated in a solo show of Jesse’s work, curated by Berg, whose opening doubled as a showcase for the collection. The corresponding set of visuals, YY, features digital manipulation of images taken at the opening, wherein pretty girls rocked Draxler’s original mask designs along with Berg’s garments. The result, as the title suggests, juxtaposes the classic elegance of the original pics with a sharp, digital aesthetic, all chopped-up scrambled forms and inverted colors. Not that we needed any more reasons, but these pieces are more confirmation that Jesse’s artistic evolution is worth staying tuned into.
A timely exploration of the queer roots of dance music culture
“If the roots of electronic music are so sexually diverse, why do today’s audiences need to be reminded of it? Have we forgotten about the queer nightlife worlds of the ’70s and ’80s?” It’s this question that inspires Resident Advisor’s recent sprawling editorial, “An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture.” In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I hit an “electronic” festival or a rave, but given the contemporary bro-step climate I catch glimpses of, it’s easy to see why a piece like this might feel necessary.
Taking the Howard Zinn approach to key movements in the history of dance music, RA’s Luis Manuel Garcia traces from New York discos, to Chicago House, to Detroit Techno, to UK’s ’90s rave scene, all the way up to the present, acknowledging the role of queer and trans folks of all stripes played in shaping each of these subcultures. In doing so, Garcia consults a wide cast of characters and voices, . There’s even a piece on our good friends behind Rhonda in LA.
Honestly, this kind of broad-reaching retrospective is valuable for a lot of reasons. Obviously, there’s the cultural history angle. But for anybody looking dig a little deeper into the massively rich and varied history of dance music, it’s a solid primer. Below are a few dope excerpts, via Resident Advisor.
Some unearthed reel-to-reel treasures, thanks to the good folks at PPU
A few months ago, the Darnum laced us with a very vibey mix, and put Max and I onto a permanent Bowties-house staple with Dwight Sykes’ hypnotic “In the Life Zone”. The song is an excerpt from Sykes’ Songs, a collection of long-lost tracks compiled by People’s Potential Unlimited. Resurrecting bedroom recordings, and limited-release singles from the Kalamazoo, Michigan soul man, recorded mostly in the ’80s and ’90s, PPU helped to bring a little shine to some dusty jams that been tucked off far too long. Now, PPU has unearthed the Situations tape, a collection of hiss-heavy rehearsal sessions and rough cuts from Dwight and his little-known soul outfit, Jahari. Below is a sampler of some highlights, but assuming you have the means to actually listen to tapes, you can hear the whole thing on cassette now, for a grand total of $7. Very smooth.
Photography by Intwovision
Wooooo. Thursday was special, wasn’t it? That one was a long time coming. For the folks that made it to Owl N Wood for our first Wine & Bowties Talk, many many thanks, it was truly a moment. With Wine & Bowties we’re in the business of win wins. Facilitating symbiotic relationships and experiences while doing cool shit. That’s the motto.
With each experience and each event we have to stretch ourselves a bit, and Thursday was nothing short of that. One of the reasons we selected the panelists that we did was because all of them are on the way up. Fueled by passion and purpose these folks are continuously progressing at their craft, and that’s one of the many reasons that makes them dope in our eyes. To Lauren, Max, Daghe, Queens and Japheth, thank you for being part of the experience.
In the events to come we’ll get better at capturing these moments. For starters we’ll try recording the discussion next time (I know right? Floppin…) and we’ll also look to engage more with our online community during the panels as well. In the mean time, you can marinate on the images courtesy of Kyle D of Intwovision, who snapped a few pics from our first Wine & Bowties Talk.
A brief introduction to the speakers featured in the first of our Talks
Tomorrow marks our first foray into panel discussions, and we’re extremely juiced. Hope you guys are too. Once again, briefly, our conversation will be hosted by the good folks at Owl N Wood, Grand Ave’s expertly curated boutique, which features new and vintage apparel and products, both American and Scandinavian. We’ll be getting started at 7, and we encourage anybody who’s working on turning their craft into a hustle to come along for the ride.
Thankfully, we’re lucky enough to have some insightful voices gracing the panel. Pooling their collective experiences and wisdom will be an eclectic group of East Bay natives and transplants, each of whom has made a significant contribution to the local scene over the past few years, via their creative pursuit. From retail to music to art to apparel and beyond, each of our five of our panelists should be able to offer some insight into how they’ve translated the things they’re passionate about into a fulfilling journey, sometimes even with actual paid bills. Below, an introduction to our superstars, Lauren, Daghe, Japheth, Queens, and Max.