Monthly Archives: October 2011

Diplo gets his Vogue on

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HIYA // Wes and MikeQ
 
So aside from the terribly old news of his contribution to taking the third world to the first, Diplo is now trés mode with such first world accoutrements as GQ and Vanity Fair (though it pains me somewhat to identify him as 'that 'Paperplanes' dude – guys, for me, that was a totally mediocre tune. Go listen to some of his less lamestreamed stuff). In fact, he's actually a columnist at the latter. Diplo's latest column exploits a night out at Vogue Knights Tuesdays – and I don't mean the rival magazine kind.
 
I'm kinda fuming – just a little – out of jealousy, here. A Vogue Ball/Night was one thing I really had trouble trying to get a hold of last time I was in NY. Like most people who see the film, ever since I encountered Paris Is Burning, the Vogue Ball scene and culture has held great fascination for me. Earlier this year, I met father of the House of Ninja, Benny Ninja, survivor of the legendary Willi Ninja when he hit the runway in Sydney for Australian Fashion Week (I squealed when he glided out) and that only fueled my desire to get my Cindarella on and be at a damn ball.
 
Anyway Diplo, despite his modest claims of not knowing a lot about being black/gay/cool, having gleaned all his knowledge of that particular Bermuda from DJ MikeQ and Maluca, was the white/straight/'uncool' guy, perfect to go to a vogue ball in Manhattan a little while ago. Documented by Vanity Fair contributor Shane McCauley, Diplo takes us through his Knight on a Vogue Tuesdays (though unfortunately, the exact location and club isn't disclosed, except that it's right next to the Comfort Inn somewhere in Midtown, amongst a bunch of emtpy warehouses. Respect though, it'd not only get shit if that littled secret got outed online at Vanity Fair, but it'd probably have already moved on anyway by the time anyone hauled ass over there).
 
Check some of Shane McCauley's pics from the story below and in the gallery, but head over to Vanity Fair for Diplo's full commentary (or full MikeQ plug, as it were, scene aggregator extraordinaire that he is). And you should also totally read Julianne Escobedo Shepherd and Krisanne Johnson's story on NY's next gen Vogue scene for The Fader too, from earlier this year.
 
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"...what makes a good party isn’t the fashion, the clientele, the hipness of “D.J. current hit,” or the club’s interior. They see that a really good club is built by the community, and that a community breeds the creativity in the music and the dance. You’d think that, on first look, when the dance competition starts, that these guys hate each other. The new-school vogue style is built on a lot of hair whipping (if you have the extensions or real thing — Willow Smith’s song got played a lot in different forms) and a lot of falling down backward on the offbeat. This part of the dance is amazing. It seems the more violent the hair whipping and the falling, the crazier the crowd goes." – Diplo

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"...always, the weird scream/snare on the fourth beat is used to precision. It’s the sound that you might hear in Psycho, when Janet Leigh is being stabbed to death in the shower. It’s the sound that all the dancers mark to do a special move: an enormous fall, a deadly hair whip, and hip-dislocating side thrust. Or many other very violent moves that would not be allowed on So You Think You Can Dance." – Diplo

[Ed's note:True, no pure Voguer has ever reached Top 20 on SYTYCD – trust, I know. And they haven't yet exhibited actual Vogue style as a number on the show. YEAH, I'm a fan, haters to the left.]
 
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MIX // How To Make It In America 2

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Season 2 of How To Make It In (New York City) America made a welcome return this month! I missed these guys. Everyone's kind of vaguely annoying in their way, but infinitely lovable despite this; probably because they very much reflect you or someone you know. Especially the duo of single syllable shmucks that headline the situation, Ben and Cam, who not only have you sympathetic to their causes, but rooting for them.
 
Unlike Eddie Kaye Thomas' interjection after Blood Orange's excellent 'Sutphin Boulevard' on the mix, I don't particularly want to be friends or hang out with any of the lead characters; though I am very happy and entertained watching their pain and their joys, their embarassments as well as their triumphs.


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On the other hand, I'm totally crushing on KiD CuDi's Domingo this time round, even though I was less than impressed by his shirtless CK ads from last season. Kudos to KiD redeeming his bad self. Anyway. I've been sitting on this one for a while, it's been a busy time, excuse the lack of posting blah blah blah...
 
This is another solid mix, a perfect accompaniment to the series as well as your Wednesday, well curated by the bro behind the music of the equally-Wahlberg–produced Entourage, Broke Mogul, who hooked up with Mick Boogie to make this mix. Tracklist below; stream it or go download it after that:
 
01. KiD CuDi – The New York Intro
02. Future Islands – Balance
03. Theophilus London – I Stand Alone
04. Mugison – I Want You
05. Blood Orange – Sutphin Boulevard
06. M83 – Midnight City
07. Soul Searcher – Can’t Get Enough (DJ Theory Remix)
08. Agoria – Heart Beating (ft. Kid A)
09. Avicii – Levels (Original Mix)
10. Oliver Koletzki & Fran – Hypnotized
11. The Joy Formidable – Austere
12. Little Dragon – Crystalfilm
13. Meek Mill – House Party (ft. Young Chris)
14. Buddy – Awesome, Awesome
15. Summer Camp – I Want You
16. Duck Tails – Killin’ The Vibe
17. Catcall – Swimming Pool



  How To Make It In America Season 2 - The Mixtape: Volume 2
 
Or you can go download it HERE (direct download link)
 
And if you missed it first time round, here's How To Make It In America Season 1 - The Mixtape

4Play // Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

"I've got one dinosaur fact. It's not even a fact or anything, it's just that someone told me once that a dinosaur called Iguanadon had big thumbs, so that they could go like – "
 
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" – that, and kill someone. And that's the only thing I know about dinosaurs."
In this 4play film for the UK's Channel 4, we get an intimate and endearing look at the calm, quietly frank and enormously talented Orlando Higginbottom.
 
Following his path from his home studio in Oxford through to Melt! in Germany, this is a beautiful and warm short, directed by David Terranova in his first commission for television. And incidentally, I caught the producer's name at the credits, and it turns out that a friend I'd thought was lost in the wilds of Japan was responsible! Hey you, Corvin Dhali! Nice work!
 
Shot through various nostalgic filters and curious angles, the beauty of this film is that it makes you feel like you're discreetly poking through Higginbottom's musical life, with him quietly narrating over your shoulder as you do it. But I think the nicest thing for me is how open and welcoming Higginbottom's attitude is towards making, listening and enjoying music in general.
 
If this doesn't make you excited for his debut album (on top of everything we've posted about him on this blog, and everything we haven't), then Halloween must've come early and just...taken your soul. And your heart. AND YOUR EARS. In the meantime, feast your eyes:
 
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for 4Play
 

Catching up on The Dø

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Helloy Babes // Olivia and Dan
 
We're long time fans of The Dø. It's just a shame that they haven't ever quite gotten the attention they really deserve. We were so excited when a new EP dropped last December with an impressive couple of tracks including the excellent 'Slippery Slope'. I've been listening to a version of their newest LP, now entitled Both Ways Open Jaws, since at least the very start of this year; and here it is finally getting it's full international release starting in Continental Europe on the 28th of October, with Australia, the UK and the US following on November 11th, 14th and 15th accordingly.
 
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And it's a beautiful album. The thing is, a lot of bands only have a certain window in which to release music in - after all, you need to be on the wave to be able to ride it. But with some acts, even if it takes them ages to release an album they wrote seemingly forever ago, the time passing doesn't take anything away from how good their actual music is (plus Olivia and Dan are like, total babes).
 
To catch you up on our lack of keeping you up; here's 'Slippery Slope', the awesome first single off of Both Ways Open Jaws, in it's hypnotic, tribal-folk and addictively odd glory (the video for which we posted last year):
 
- [mp3]
 
From 'Slippery Slope', The Dø change their tune and show their range in the second track, 'Too Insistent'. The melody, sung by Olivia's aching, childlike vocals, tug at strings you never knew you had, whilst Dan's production is intimately close yet somehow expansive; sweetly warm and jangling in perfect accompaniment to Olivia's voice. 'Too Insistent' is just too lovely:
 
Too Insistent by The Dø
 
[Edited: my bad! Illegal album stream! Let's hope y'all get to hear it proper soon. In the meantime, here's a teaser instead. SORRAY]
 

The Dø Album Teaser


Hidden Ground

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HIYA // Paul Dixon aka David's Lyre
 
David's Lyre is a project I've always been impressed by and enjoyed, with all it's vague mystery. But not mystery in that annoyingly contrived, inaccessible, or aloof kind of way; just in a quietly-going-about-business, but-listen-here kind of way. Now Paul Dixon's discreet labour has come to fruition, with the debut album for David's Lyre due for release on the 24th of October. It's called Hidden Ground, which is also the title of it's lead single.
 
I've been sitting on this track around, so whilst I'm at it, here it is:
 
- [mp3]
 
Whilst initially not as definitive as previous offering 'In Arms', 'Hidden Ground' takes a couple of listens to reveal how compelling a track it is, with it's double kicking beat, full of odd percussion, indeterminate whirring, molten guitars and pianos echoing out as if from the bottom of some deep cave. According to Dixon:
 
"Having spent the best part of the last 6 months in studios with no natural light I have emerged out the other side alive, with album in hand - albeit with sore eyes.

I am writing to proudly announce the free single 'Hidden Ground', a taster of my forthcoming debut album.

It has taken a while to get here, but really it's just the beginning. Thank you for being part of it from the start."
 
And here's an easy sight for sore eyes, the video for 'Hidden Ground' created by Ben Seary, a black and white affair of projections on porous stone sculptures, or something:
 
Hidden Ground by Davids Lyre
 

Everything Goes Metronomy’s Way

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The new clip for Metronomy's 'Everything Goes My Way' featuring vocals from Roxanne Clifford from Veronica Falls is really quite lovely. Simple. And strangely, leaves the eyes relaxed enough to actually just listen to the lyrics and the melody. A video clip that truly supports the song instead of distracting from it, or trying to make it better. Probably because the song is excellent in the first place, and doesn't need visuals to be fully appreciated or understood.
 
Admittedly, amongst all the things I've starred, bookmarked and dog-eared lately to check out/watch/listen to/read at some infinitely 'later date'; even though I'm STILL late on it, this clip is the first thing that I haven't procrastinated on and just watched. And I'm glad I did. It's a kind of David Attenborough observation of the habits of what I presume are some kind of deer. The band walk through the fields and forest in a joyful sort of manner, and that's it. It just doesn't need anything more than that.
 
Everything Goes My Way by Metronomy