Monday, 20 October 2014

MoC Radio Show # 1!

Its fair to say that since giving up the regular vinyl spinning slot at Sopranos I've really missed the chance to play out, especially since my record buying hasn't slowed down! So taking a healthy dose of inspiration from The Wab Lab I've decided to record a series of radio style shows where I can just play whatever I want. 

All the mixes will be archived on my Souncloud page (copyright Gods willing!) and my Mixcloud page, a link to which is located on the right of the screen. Along with my own selections I'm hoping to open the decks up to friends and local DJs who's can hopefuly bring a bit of variety and spice to the show. First guests will hopefuly include OTOH, Steven Milne of The Little Kicks and Yogi "Shoegazer" Duncan bringing a fresh selection of tunes for some gazed out vibes! 

As well as the audio mixes I've started working on some Audio Visual Experiments where ill be working with local DJs and producers to record special mixes and live sets with a special visual element, basically what I used to do for the DO IT! nights but from the comfort of my own home. Having such a swathe of talented friends it seems only right to help document what each of them is doing to make Aberdeen a cool place to be and also add in my own bit of flavour whether its recording some sounds or pumping out some tripped out visuals. Its taken a while to pull the finger out but thanks to people like Chris at The Wab Lab and the Tuff Wax guys I think I'm ready.

Have a listen to show # 1 below and keep an open mind and an open ear!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Kaffe Fasset Colour Clash at Aberdeen Art Gallery!

Aberdeen Art Gallery has been doing something quite strange, its been opening its doors to the public after hours. The first event saw WW1 come to life through a series of activities and art pieces to help mark 100 years since the start of WW1, check out some snaps here.

So with an amazingly colourful exhibition of work from Kaffe Fasset on display it seems Colour Clash was a good name for the next event. While hoardes of people qued up to enter the depressing world of the Oktoberfest beer tent on Union Terrace a very different group of people qued to get into the Art Gallery for a special evening of colour and fun! A 30 minute wait in the brisk evening air was worth it as I have never seen the Art Gallery so buzzing and so alive. People of all ages milling about, admiring not just the Fasset exhibition but all the displays in the gallery. 

Along with the main exhibition the gallery had teamed up with The Tippling House to provide a selection of fine beverages, local DJs Grill Cosby and Ali Ambient provided the sounds and local creatives provided a range of workshops with Real Nice Collectives Katie Shiach and Emily Moore on hand with special screen prints ready to be pulled by your own fair hand, its the first time I've ever printed something and hopefuly not the last! Philip Thompson was helping people create their own unique geometric colour patterns which you can see here and to top it off you could take part in your own Kaffe Fasset photo shoot modelling some of his most famous pieces, check out the fashion cats here

All in all a pretty great event which brought out a wide cross section of creatives and people who were ready to try something different and major kudos to the gallery staff for pulling together such a fun event. You can see the full set of photos from the event here, be sure to follow Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums on Facebook and check out the exhibition video below for some cool insights into the man behind the colours! 

Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour from Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tycho at The Art School, Glasgow!

A few months ago I discovered a new ear worm in the form of Tycho. Dive is one of those albums that floats along nicely and takes you on a little journey. I'd first heard about Tycho via his graphic design alias ISO50. The ever talented Stuart Simpson had one of his prints showing a bear walking across a kind of rainbow bridge, although it sounds like a hipster cliche it was actually quite a cool graphic which stuck in my brain.

So years later matching up the cool cover art of Tycho's Dive and Awake albums with that ISO50 print was serendipitous. I've been zoning out to Dive for a few months now and like with most new music I discover I got into a research mission which usually includes trying to see them live. Dublin a week after my birthday was on the cards but didn't happen for various reasons but soon after the Glasgow date was announced. In the meantime Tychos profile seem to get bigger week by week with some amazing singles and videos from the new album Awake doing the rounds along with a special live appearance on Boiler Room San Francisco (see video at the bottom, its good!) resulting in only a few tickets on the door for the gig. Thankfully after some akward milling about in the venues foyer I managed to purchase my tickets, get a shower and make it back in time to catch the start of their set!

What followed was over an hours worth of beautiful and dreamy instrumental music which took everyone in the room on a journey. Watching the guy in front of us break out into uncontrollable dancing while everyone else nodded away was kinda funny but then the urge to move overtook more people and the room got more and more engrossed in the music. Repetitive guitars, dreamy synth lines and some incredible drumming melded to form some incredible sounds. The band also had a full size projection screen going on which really added to the music, just as the albums artwork tries to convey the complex arrangement of music the visuals for each song seemed to be directing the viewer towards some kind of deeper understanding. If you check out their Boiler Room set you'll get an idea of the vibes they emit when performing, it was truly special to witness. You can check out some photos from the show below and if you get the chance go see em, just be prepared for a multi sensory overload and euphoric unplanned head bobbing!

P.S. I missed the support act Christopher Willits but check him out, its all about the vibes! 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Visit to NuArt Festival 2014!

After years of seeing the amazing murals dotted around Stavanger via blogs and magazines I decided it was time to make a trip over to see for myself what Nuart Festival was all about. 

The Nuart concept is a relatively simple one, secure big walls in public spaces and invite a host of graffiti and street artists to paint public murals combined with an indoor exhibition held at a local arts space. Simple in theory but I'm sure a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into each festival as they try to keep the artists involved at the cutting edge of both Street art and graffiti. Along with the artists a whole host of creative curios embark on their individual missions to get in on some of the Nuart action. 

The festival it seems has gone from strength to strength with videos and photos from previous years regularly doing the rounds and the out put from this years show has been just as prolific with Juxtapoz magazine sharing numerous articles from past and present, in fact it was through Juxtapoz that first found out about the festival. Fecal Face have some great articles too and VNA Magazine have a full interview with Tilt! Although we didn't manage to find all the pieces the experience of stumbling upon cherry pickers with men painting high in the sky and small scale pieces like the Evol tower blocks made it a worthwhile trip.

Some highlights that we didn't get to witness first hand included the Tilt grenade, watch the fly by here, Andreco's economy vs environment piece, Icy & Sots incredible stencil piece and ±MAISMENOS± political comment on Norways non EU Member status. We did manage to catch the opening of Sandra Chevriers latest show down at the dock side in the awesome Reedprojects Gallery space. Her work was a mixture of fine art portaiture with comic book collage yet there was a hint of geek chic at all, just really beautiful and thoughtful works. Following the opening we headed along to Fight Club aka The Pub Debate between Juxtapoz editor in chief Evan Pricco & Vandalog founder RJ Rushmore battling it out against two participating artists on the topic of Muralism vs Activism, I'm still trying to figure out who won!

You can check out a selection of my instagrams from the trip below but I highly recommend following Nuart Festival on instagram & Facebook, check some more articles on Juxtapoz and get ready for Nuart Festival 2015!  

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Eryn Inglis & Caitlin Hynes - Grays School of Art Degree Show 2014!

It seems like an age ago that we sat on the bus heading over to Grays School of Art to see the 2014 Degree Show, the highlight of the creative year for many and a chance for me to film some interesting stuff for work. Alas a change of jobs has meant I don't get to spend as much time admiring the work and meeting the new graduates.

But I made a special effort to catch up with two graduates who's work stood out. Caitlin is by far one of the most original talents to come out of Aberdeen in recent years with a distinctive style all her own and original ideas which have taken her on a rather manic journey. Focusing on female gangs, her work is infused with bright and brash colours, faces seem to be melting off the walls but treading a fine line between the macabre and the fun. Check out the short video about her degree show and ideas behind her work below!

From Sculpture I really enjoyed Eryn Inglis pieces, combining the security chains more commonly seen on shopping trolleys with some choice logs made for an interesting juxtaposition of closed verus open, chains or freedom, tied together with a distinctive shade of yellow. Also the tree's age old enemy the saw, looked on, menacing, rusted, silent. Again you can check out a short video of Eryn's work below along with some stills. You can also check out another piece I did on her here

Other students work which I enjoyed were the dreamy soft paintings of Julie - Ann Simpson, Catherine Ross beautiful landscapes and Ben Martins kinetic suspension piece looked cool. There was a lot of good work from painting and print making but a lot of the artists don't have websites so that's that!

Friday, 15 August 2014

C.S. Buchan, Best Girl Athlete & Fit Like Records!

C.S. Buchan is a name that's popped up on the blog a few times now, mostly for his rather beautiful music. And things have evolved quite a lot since I first became aware of Charley and his immense talents. Firstly his incredibly talented daughter who sings on much of his Material Others album has kicked off her own solo career under the guise of Best Girl Athlete. The name comes from a sports award Katie won a few years back so she is actually the Best Girl Athlete! So C.S. Buchan will be continuing to write and record but for the next wee while all efforts will be going into Best Girl Athlete who is writing her own material. You can listen to fruits of her labour so far on her Soundcloud page and also hear an exclusive track 'Hills' on the latest Glasgow Podcart. Also if that wasn't enough CS & Best Girl made a guest appearance on The Wab Labs special Tryptamines Galactic Synchronisation Experiment which you can watch here (warning does contain broad Scottish accents and swearing)!

Along with being involved in both bands Charley has set up Fit Like Records. An Aberdeen based label who have already released a split 7" with C.S. Buchan on one side and Indian Red Lopez on the other, read more about that here! Tomorrow Fit Like will be bringing their merry band of men and women down to Seventeen, formally One Up Records and now home to the Councils Cultural programme. Along with music there will be some short films and a chance to meet the man behind Fit Like, perhaps even bring along some demo tapes, you might bag a record deal! 

Check out some of the videos I've made with C.S. Buchan and Best Girl Athlete below, were planning to film the gig tomorrow as well to help give you a flavour of just how talented this lot are and you can find details about the event here! Nae bad!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Faile x Bast 'Deluxx Fluxx Arcade' @ Summerhall, Edinburgh!

So some of the biggest names in Street Art have held their first major exhibition in Scotland and its pretty special! I first heard about Faile and Bast a few years ago via Pictures on Walls who specialise in limited edition prints from some of the biggest names in street art and graffiti. You know those Banksy prints that people sell for £5000 and up, PoW are the ones who printed them and used to sell them for £200 a pop, just wish I'd actually liked some of them but hey ho. Along with Banksy they create editions for Invader, 3D, Pete Fowler and Faile & Bast

It was perusing these printed editions that brought Faile to my attention, their retro comic book styled graphics instantly stood out. At a time when many were simply appropriating and recreating already iconic images Faile seemed to be taking a different approach not only recreating but adding their own twist, subverting the images and creating something new and yet old. The same can be said for Bast, taking iconic Disney characters like Dopey and creating something recognisable but also a bit creepy. So it makes sense that these three powerhouses of paste ups should join forces and the "Deluxx Fluxx Arcade" is the result!

Bringing a real slice of Americana to the Edinburgh Fringe, Deluxx Fluxx is a tripped out adventure into the most coveted of gamer places, The Arcade Hall! Arcade culture might be on the wain a little but its still an ingrained part of the American culture, think about John Connors escape from the Terminator and films like King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters help to highlight how serious the arcade life can be! The arcade represents a place of wonder still, even now I dream of finding myself an adult with a childs mind, working for a toy company and setting up my own pin ball machine in my apartment ala BIG!

Deluxx Fluxx brings all of that wonder but filtered through the warped minds of its creators. Each game has been custom built and creates a level of interaction between art work and viewer that is simple and yet so effective. I spent about ten minutes trying to uncover the layers of a picture on one game, another involved making a 1950's cartoon girl do hand plants with a skateboard to avoid a shark circling the deserted island shes stranded on. If it sounds a little surreal then thats because it is! Its like walking into another universe of high visual stimulation and content overload. The neon foosball room through the back is like something from Batman Forever with its neon prints adorning every surface. Yet with so much work on display it doesn't feel like a single print is out of place. Every piece seems to compliment the next so while there's a lot to take in the show isn't overpowering. Along with the arcade Faile are showing a series of new works which have been finished during their time at Summerhall and are being displayed for the first time.  

The arcade can found in the basement of Edinburgh's Summerhall, a rather incredible building which currently houses a ton of exhibitions including works from Gary Baseman which ill cover later and a large scale installation by Antonio O'Connell. With so many great shows making up their summer programme Summerhall is a must visit spot if your in Edinburgh for the festival!