Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tattered Skateboarding magazines and Barry McGee


I remember reading about Barry McGee in a Transworld Skateboarding Magazine many years ago. His work interested me in a basic way. Eventhough his works didn't capture heavy content and convey some hyper-genius concept it somehow still had something impressive to it.Perhaps it was due to its basic nature and approach that it appealled to me. Saying things in a simple manner, yet doing it with humour and effect.

So many years later, after having trashed the tattered Transworld Magazine and propably having cut out the images of McGees work , only to loose them later, I keep coming accross McGee and his "animated views".He expresses his vision through paintings and drawings, and does these with much originality and never once has made something that came accross as pretentious or forced.McGee creates his humble drawings and paintings, and demands ones attention through his display methods, crowding frames right next to each other, into a corner, to the extent where they are even placed on tope of each other, only kept in place by a nail, or lets them flood to the floor, though as if recklessly thrown into the corner of a messy room.

Mc Gee is an artist that allows you to breathe out yet still gain something and at the same time make you feel like you're observing a friends posterwall and keep discovering something new everytime you come to visit.



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sneak Preview:



So if one is familiar with the band Boris, one surely is also aware of the many faces of Boris. Imagine being in a band that plays any “genre/sound” they feel like tackling at the moment, and that release something every few months. Apart from that they have also collaborated with a list of noteworthy musicians, and if that’s not enough, they are also Japanese, so bonus for that! Whenever Boris releases something new, everyone is in high anticipation to hear what ’sound’ the band meddles with this time, or how accessible this album will be in comparison. Often , when collaborating, the direction of the albums are often more defined by the other involved musician. Sun baked snow Cave (with Merzbow), Rainbow (with Michio Kurihara), and clearly Altar (with Sunn o))), definitely serve as evidence, yet their contribution still serves as a prominent foundation.

Therefore Boris Solo Albums are usually quite all over the place, as there is no other which can balance out their sound or steer it towards a certain approach. Smile seems like a collage out of all of their releases, mixed with a new and yet to be defined Boris approach. It features hints of previous Boris schemes that might point to Pink at times and then unexpectedly go into Something off Rainbow or more serene. Some vocals sound like a jap pop band and then, in tracks such as what seems to be called Bonus Track (not sure as the only track names released are in Japanese), vocals take on a long and soothing style. All in all, Smile is a great album, it can be regarded as a true manifestation of how I have experienced the band. Many may say it might be slightly too “pop”, or some might just shrug when informed of yet another release, but either way those who truly enjoy Boris innovative means and genre hop scotching should surely anticipate its release date: April 29th , or until you find a download link! Yet, the singles (as they have been referred to as), will already be released on Southern Lord on the 29th Feb!

Monday, February 11, 2008

R.I.P Katzi (1996-2008)


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Ruins: and the remains of Ruins , Ruins Alone

Ruins is a band that would require a whole new genre in order to be defined. This is not due to their music being inaccessible or extremely challenging to get into. In fact it is quite the opposite. Despite their experimental approach, their music is in fact quite catchy. The band themselves have narrowed down their music to a dense mix of harcdcore punk, prog theatrics and free improvisation.

The band which was formed in 1985 originally consisted of a drummer bassist duo, (yes, like Lightning Bolt),including Yoshida Tatsuya on drums and vocals, and Sassaki Hisashi on bass. After bassist Sassaki Hisashi’s departure from the duo in 2005,Tatsuya has continued as Ruins Alone, which has been stated to be a performance that needs to be seen to be believed. The band has also collaborated with New York experimental jazz musician John Zorn, which further elaborates on their Avant-garde sound, and have covered Black Sabbath songs (reversible) as well as the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The dominant feeling one gets when listening to Ruins is a punk approach, yet not in the sense of sound but rather in the bands energy, which is then interrupted by atmospheric parts. The music of ruins at times sounds like an arcade game soundtrack, which has been combined with Patton-esque vocals (if any comparison is possible). The great thing about Ruins is that its energy becomes catchy, whilst the actual music still seems chaotic and experimental. Ruins have traveled the world with the Japanese New Music Festival, which was a tour organized by Tatsuya who managed to compile a line up of 5 bands out of just 3members. Following Hisashi’s departure, Tatsuya departed on a “Bassist Wanted” tour, in which he performed with a different bassist in every town he performed at, as well as doing solo shows. At the moment Tatsuo, the remains of Ruins continues to perform as ruins alone, is still an active composer, improviser and avant-gardist , and plays has replaced Sishasi with Jesse Krakow.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Idea of the month:Back to 2D

So instead of attempting to look hyper-real, artist Finn Magee created a 2D alarmclock and desklamp which still maintain their purpose. No more cluttered desks or bedside tables at last. The artist entered the Designers in Residence exhibition with his innovative Flat Life Project, which presents a poster featuring the actual image of an alarm clock or a lamp with a 3D chord coming out at the side, which therefore proves this to literally be functional art! A still life of a lamp which actually sheds light and a flat image of an alarm clock which can actually wake you up.The artist is busy developing this into a purchasable product, so keep a look out as soon there will be no such thing as a messy household…