Photo by Laura Lot
Compilations were longtime looked at askantly as they often give a superficial overview of a genre or artist. In recent years, a few exceptions surfaced, like Jan Schulte's Tropical Drums of Deutschland or Jamie Tiller & Raphaël Top-Secret's compilation entitled Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe, 1980-1991.
Another standout was the compilation Sky Girl, released in 2016 through the label Efficient Space, run by Michael Kucyk better known through his now defunct radio show Noise in My Head. The selection of folky, psychedelic, wavy oddities, often only released on diy labels, was compiled by two French guys, Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae.
The two are not producers, but through their digging and selection tastemakers in their own right. The start of the compilation was a CD, sort of a mixtape, with no credits on it, sold at Parisian store Colette in 2013, reflecting their personal and deep knowledge of music. Then Noise In My Head came on board and helped with the licensing and finally released the record on its sublabel Efficient Space.
But they not only work togehter, Julien Dechery first compiled in 2010 under his Eddie Ramamurphy alias another compilation entitled Play That Beat Mr. Raja #1 - Selected Oddities From The Tamil Film Industry (1984 - 1991) and then in 2012 Fire Star: Synth-Pop & Electro-Funk From Tamil Films 1984-1989. In 2018 he released a selection of songs of the artist Sebastian Gandera again on Efficien Space, which were before only available on tapes.
DJ Sundae, real name Laurent Richard, is originally from Montpellier, but now lives in Paris. He first founded Hollie Records, where he released Arthur Russell affiliate Nirosta Steel, chilean psych-folk or Japanese disco rock bands. After Hollie's closing, he now operates the label Idle Press, started as a re-issue label but recently released a CD of edits from Alexis Le-Tan and an album by Smagghe & Cross before that.
Together with Cosmo Vitelli, he co-hosts the radio show No Weapon Is Absolute, originally on Rinse France, now on NTS Radio.
It is already time for the third chapter of our gift guide. First of is Hestra's high-end glove from their table cut collection. Made from soft Hairsheep suede and the glove is fully lined with cashmere for well-being and warmth.
Next up is GOETZE's classic pleated Charles trousers in a tobacco stripe version, made from a luxurious cashmere wool blend. Together with the velour Our Legacy longsleeve shirt they make us reminisce about the 70's, but give it a modern twist.
Last, but definitely not least is a selection of nude and peachy shirts and sweaters. First up is A Kind Of Guise's Narayan shirt made from a soft touch Italian cotton fabric. Another shirt from A Kind Of Guise with a simple collar is made from a breezy cotton bamboo-viscose blend. The sweatshirts are from Éditions M.R and range from a classic cotton fabric sweater to a knitted Positano crew neck.
Modern and often contemporary architecture is seen as trying to be as exuberant and show off as possible. A contemporary who has been titled critical regionalist, because he takes into account the environment and the history of a site but still give it a modern touch, is the Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Inside his atelier © Kaita Takemura / Port
He became an architect via an untypical path. After graduating from high school, he first was a professional boxer. His interest in architecture was bigger and so he took on night classes and apprenticeships, but mainly taught himself. He did so by traveling through Europe, the United States and Africa and visited buildings by famous architects.
Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church © Mitsuo Matsuoka
Back in Japan he opened his own studio or has likes to call it his atelier Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in Osaka in 1969. Stylistically he soon found his own language, as he combines Japanese tradition with modern elements. Geometrically he is quite strict and prefers simple shapes, but always takes the natural environment into account.
This simplicity is reflected in his use use of materials, mainly concrete, steel and glass. He is also known for his play with natural light and the resulting shadows. His former job as a boxer helps him in his creativity, as sees "creation as fighting" and the permanent "struggle between ideals and reality."
Famous buildings are among others the Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church, known as Church of the Light, built in 1989 in Ibaraki, Japan, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. In 1995 he got awarded the Pritzker price and donated the entire price money to the orphans of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. In recent years he got more and more involved in environmental issues and is about to build his sea forest, umi no mori, a floating forest on an abandoned site.
Critics in every field of the Arts love to label artists, styles, approaches, and honestly often it helps and makes having an overview easier. But sometimes can not be categorized and put into a single drawer. This is the case for American artist Amy Sillman.
Cliff 2 (2005)
Originally from Detroit, where she was born in 1955, she started to be interested in painting in the 70s. But before graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1979 she a had various jobs like working in a cannery in Alaska, at a feminist silkscreen factory in Chicago, and training at New York University as a Japanese interpreter.
Psychology Today (2006)
Her artistic approach is influenced by the New York School (of art) and Abstract expressionism, especially William De Kooning and Philipp Guston, although she does not see herself as an abstract expressionist. Her style of painting is both, abstract and representational. She sees painting as a "a physical thinking process to continue an interior dialogue,a way to engage in a kind of internal discourse, or sub-linguistic mumbling." Mainly known as a painter, Sillman also produces zines, drawings, and iPad animations.
Her first museum survey took place in 2013 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Her works are seen in museums like Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She also teaches painting at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and since 2014 at Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. This she does not to make money, but to hand something down to young artists, sees herself as a link to the past.
The saying opposites attract is regularly used, most of the times describing personal relationships, but rarely associated with a place and its culture. But is actually quite suiting for the rise of disco music out of northern Norway, namely Tromsø, that would shape the whole country stylistically.
Stilistically one would not associate the warm and driving sounds, that would become known as nordic disco, with the rather harsh, even hostile environment of the North. Well known artists are Todd Terje, Prins Thomas or Lindstrøm but it is interesting to see the whole scene developing from the beginning and this is what the documentary Northern Disco Light does.
Like a Butterfly effect it started in the remote city of Tromsø in the mid to late 80's, so way before internet. For the local teenagers some excerpts on TV were the only outer influence, music magazines and records had to be imported. Out of this necessity to do it yourself, a scene started there and then moved down to Bergen and Oslo.
Next to the Norwegian pioneers Bjørn Torske, Prins Thomas, DJ Strangefuit, Lindstrøm, Annie, international guests like Bryan Ferry, Nemone, Idjut Boys and Bill Brewster are interviewed. You can watch the documentary in full for free here!
The scarcity of products, artworks, or pretty much anything increases the demand and therefore the price and often in the fields of art or design give an askew view on its originators. This is also the case for the Italian designer, architect and essayist Carlo Mollino. He is mainly remembered for his furniture design, which reach extreme heights in recent auctions, but that was by far not the only thing he was interested in.
Born in 1905 in Turin to an engineer father, Eugenio Mollino, he first studied engineering and art history and later architecture. First started in his father's office in 1931 and then after winning some competitions went on to work on his own.
His designs stood out, because he used biomorphic forms, often inspired by the female body, contrary to the predominant rationalism at that time. He is known for his chairs, lounges and low tables. His most famous architectural works are the destroyed Società Ippica Torinese, the Teatro Regio, the opera house in Turin or his own villa, Villa Mollino. Next to his practical work, he also wrote essays about architecture, photography and film.
Together with Mario Damonte and Enrico Nardi developed and designed the race car the Damolnar, or as Mollino preffered to call it Bisiluro, litterally Twin Torpedo in 1955. Not only designed the car, but also raced it, winning two years in a row the 750 cc category at the infamous 24h of Le Mans race.
Carlo Mollino in his Bisiluro. Photo © courtesy Museo Casa Mollino
But it is not only his professional life, that make him an interesting, it is also his spare time activities, in which he all excelled, that make him stand out. Next to being a race car driver, his love for speed was reflected in his love for skiing. He was an avid skier, developing and illustrating techniques to ski faster. After he inherited his father's wealth in 1954, he started to be interested in aviation, buying 7 planes.
Another facet, which was only discovered after his death, was his collection of erotic Polaroids, he had taken of women, mainly from the Turin nightlife. He photographed them in a studio in his villa, Villa Molino, where he also did the styling and set design, lending each picture his signature style.
December 10th, time for the second installment of our Christmas Gift Guide.
First of is the beloved perfume, which perfumer Mark Buxton created for GOETZE. A unique scent for everyday use for men and women. Also shown is an Elk leather glove by Swedish brand Hestra, which is insulated, so perfect for colder temperatures. Not only a perfume by GOETZE is presented, but also a white striped shirt with a modern touch.
Another classic is A Kind Of Guise's classy wide trouser known for its relaxed but elegant fit, here in a version made from a warm Italian wool fabric. No shortcoming on comfortable winter sweaters. FTC's cashmere knits are everyone's favorite. Shown here are a turtleneck sweater in a timeless grey and a black crew neck. Among them is Norse Projects' Sigfred Lambswool Crew Neck in a light grey melange.
Always great gifts are the accessories from the Belgian brand Howlin'. Warm head and neck with their scarves and hats, made from brushed Shetland wool. Here presented with the practical and sturdy leather boots from Grenson.
Cinema has the ability to delicately reflect a culture and its periods, stylistically, politically but also socially. Famous examples are the Nouvelle Vague in France or the Italian Neorealism. But also outside Europe and the U.S.A. are thriving cinemas, like the Iranian New Wave, which started in the later 1960s and is still active.
The featured film, even though quite new, stems from this school and is called About Elly, Dar bāre-ye Elly, and was released in 2009. It is the 4th film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, most known for his two Oscar winning films A Seperation (2012) and Salesman (2016).
The film resembles an intimate play, as there are not many characters and the change of locations is kept to a minimum. The characters are played by an Iranian ensemble cast, with whom the director likes to work regularly. Among them are actors like Golshifteh Farahani, also successful in France, Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini or Payman Maadi.
Film starts slowly, on the verge of being boring, showing friends going away for the weekend. But then suddenly turns into an intense, suspense loaded character sketch. The movie shows how the interplay between lying to save someone or telling the truth, can turn bad.
In Austria the 8th of December is a public holiday and so we use this day to present you a mixtape that soothes your start into the day. Can of course be used for every day with a sleep-in possibility.
Despite being a holiday, our store is open until 5pm and ready for shopping. We serve hot punch and would love to see you!
Photography today is highly democratized, as it is accessible to everyone, not much technology is needed and it is easy to make decent photos with a smartphone. But this was not always the case and photographers had to carve out their niches in the field of photography. A person , who did so, by combining art, fashion and photography is the British photographer Mark Borthwick.
Mark Borthwick was born in London in 1966 and first started out as a make-up artist, as he was a New Romantic. Through this work he got in touch with the fashion industry and in the middle of the 80's, as a way out of his heavy party routine, started to make photos. His wife, the fashion designer Maria Cornejo, then gave him a 35mm Leica camera, and this is the camera he still mainly uses.
He then made a name for himself in the early 90s by publishing long and seminal editorials in magazines Purple, Self Service and AnOther and working for brands like Maison Martin Margiela. His main characteristics are his direct and not polished approach, which is not only reflected in his personal pictures but also his commercial projects.
This is shown through his use of light, which often lend the pictures an amateur like character. He still photographs on film, as he puts it "as long as I can buy film I will use it". This additionally enables him to play with light, also after the photo was taken.
Another important element of his work is time, so he works regularly with reoccurring people and clients to see how they evolve and change, most famously the British model Stella Tennant, but also actors like Chloe Sevigny or musicians like Cat Power and brands like Mykita, Bless or Margiela.
He is primary known for his photography, but also works in other fields. He made a film together with the aforementioned singer Cat Power. The film Speaking For Trees shows her performing live, as the title suggests, in between trees. This was inspired of a performance of her, that he saw in a small, intimate bar.
He makes also music on his own, where he is also situated in the more experimental fields of drone and noise, but also makes music together with Hisham Bharoocha, former member of Black Dice as Usun and also recorded a CD with Trevor Kampmann as Horse Ing Two. Other important aspects in his life are making art, mainly collages, but also writing prose and cooking.