Currently transfixed to the work of Brooklyn-based photographer and collagist Brian Vu. Vivid and saturated in colour, his images aren't as positive as they initially appear, often referencing heavier themes such as religion, the afterlife and human relationships with others and ourselves. The self-taught artist has described past escapist visions as "praying to god on an acid trip". Working with the bare essentials including a point and shoot, Canon 7D and his phone, much of Vu's brilliance is often the result of putting "accidents" through post-production.
Curated by Stefan Pietsch and Jason Evans, This Long Century invites an odd mixture of artists, authors, filmmakers, musicians and counterculture icons to share their highly personal ponderings, visions, influences and memories to an ever growing archive, as if no one was watching.
Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood breaks down the context of her AW09/10 Gold Label collection, while Norwegian photographer Torbjørn Rødland captions a childhood photograph and Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance digs out the pure formative work that led to her debut exhibition. Other participants include artist Ricky Swallow, Einstürzende Neubauten's Blixa Bergeld, Berlin-Paris fashion house Bless and documentarian Les Blank.
260 posts deep, this site deserves to be bookmarked.
When we last riffed about Vancouver label Mood Hut, we never expected they'd raise the bar even higher with this street soul hit of the summer. With its inconspicuous vocal and sophisticated cyclical groove, Jack J doesn't over think it. "Absolutely spiritual". Put on some shades and walk the dog down to Mister Softee. Today is a good day.
Last week Club Mod teased Astre, the first taste of their newly relaunched label from under the radar UK talent Sharooz. The single has now been put under the head nodding trance of New York house/techno mainstay Marcos Cabral, a L.I.E.S. recording artist and former Runaway member. The Sharooz EP is out August 18 (preorder now). DO NOT operate heavy machinery while listening.
Perks and Mini do the world a favour by uploading their series of under the counter mix CDs to soundcloud. Recruiting the likes of 2ManyDJs, discretely billed as The Dee Wees, The Boredoms' Yamantaka Eye, Secret Circuit and Thomas Bullock of Rub N Tug, they have never been commercially available, traded like the underground currency amongst the inner sanctum. Sample 'Spa'z The Place' below, the slomo journey of unidentified objects pieced together by label head Jerky Perks and The Dee Wees, and explore more here.
Club Mod is an independent label centred on the instinctual energy of the dancefloor, releasing singles and EPs by a network of geographically scattered, spiritually linked kinfolk for those who like to move their body - and is relaunched today with details of new releases forthcoming from Sharooz and Baio and a bold new aesthetic courtesy of renowned designer Trevor Jackson.
Club Mod is developed by a trans-continental team to bring some of the most resonant sounds of house, techno and disco from clubs all over the map into the one entranced tribe. With due respect to the formative days in New York, Chicago and Detroit, reinterpreted through London, Paris and Berlin, and from our own roots in Australia, Club Mod amplifies those getting busy with the sound of tomorrow.
London-based Australian artist and graphic designer Leif Podhajsky presents his first exhibition in France, 'Synesthesia', at the Galerie Hors-Champs in Paris. We first came across Leif's mesmerising graphic works some years ago and were struck by how well his style gelled with Tame Impala's entrancing psych, and hence he was enlisted to create the sleeves for both their first and second albums and accompanying singles. In both his commercial and personal work Leif creates a kind of magic eye mindscape that's imaginative and immersive, an infinite universe of symmetry and colour, and on a large scale it's a welcome trip.
If you're in the city of light over summer and feel like losing yourself in Leif's artistic abyss, 'Synesthesia' runs until September 21.
Following on from the decadent atmosphere cultivated towards the end of the 70s in New York City's disco scene, Area arrived and elevated the nightclub itself to the level of high art so far unimagined, an environment of artistic excess and boundless imagination where music took a back seat. Frequented by Warhol, McLaren, Haring, Basquiat and the like, with DJ Red Alert often in the booth, instead of focusing on moving bodies though Area sought to move minds in a conceptual, mental dance rather than a purely physical one. Each individual theme of the clubs existence completely recast the club spatially, visually, atmospherically and sartorially every six weeks, re-situating the space in another time and place for people to enjoy and create art, nurturing a dazzling scene in the process.
Two of the clubs founders, Eric Goode and Jennifer Goode, combine their memories here in this very hefty tome, talking us through the time with a wealth of solid archival visuals and a replica of the clubs very first invitation - folded and rolled into a tiny blue pill - embedded in the cover.
London director Rollo Jackson is amassing an impressive catalogue of music videos and documentaries, of which 'Tape Crackers' represents a singular, obsessive highlight. Focusing on the memories, music and Moschino of one particularly avid junglist Mike Finch, Jackson spends some solid time at home with this rabid raver and his massive collection of tapes from the rave era, as he talks us through the minutiae of the movement. Presented in a humbly no frills, straight to camera fashion, Finch's zeal for the sound draws you in and takes you back, and even if you never wore the ecstasy patterned jeans or collected the double cassette packs you'll likely feel a little nostalgia pang. Worth seeking out, it's a wicked time.
It's difficult to recall the time when accessing music wasn't so easy. From November 1980-October 1982, Melbourne radio presenters Bruce Milne and Andrew Maine and graphic designer Michael Trudgeon published 'Fast Forward', an innovation on the fanzine format created to spread sounds and ideas among music communities. Housed in a screen printed softcase, the bi-monthly package contained a cassette tape of post-punk related interviews and music, with a corresponding fold out magazine.
Online archive Spill Label has lovingly scanned and ripped the 13 issue's contents, preserving an incredible point of access and reference to the era's local and overseas underground culture. The cassettes offer the only documents of Rowland S Howard's 'Shivers', performed by The Young Charlatans, and Pel Mel's demo of 'No Word From China', alongside interviews with The Fall, Pere Ubu, The Cramps, The Cure and Kraftwerk, arguably all at their prime and most eager to discuss their work, often accompanied by rare live recordings.
Admire excerpts of the astonishingly progressive design below.
Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, Australia
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, Australia
Newtown Social Club, Sydney, Australia
Newtown Social Club, Sydney, Australia
Samsung Hall, Manila, Philippines
The Republik, Honolulu, HI
The Beacham Theatre, Orlando, FL, USA
Grand Central, Miami, FL, USA
Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN, USA
9:30 Club, Washington, DC, USA
Union, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA, USA
Terminal 5, New York, NY, USA
Virgin Mobil Corona Theatre, Montreal, OC, USA
Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, USA
St Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI, USA
Metro, Chicago, IL, USA
First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USAView All Dates