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!

Friday, 1 August 2014

'Laptop Lapdance EP' by My Dry Wet Mess on Fine Grains!

Fine Grains bring you another heavy duty vinyl release from Berlin based My Dry Wet Mess. Gio spent the last few years building his own sounds and putting out releases on various labels, continually developing his craft and pushing his unique vision which is an interesting mix of dance music that works just as well in the club as it does on the living room turntable.

The Laptop Lapdance EP is MDWM first vinyl release and features 4 original cuts showcasing his production skills which weave around and reveal an interesting soul behind all the electronics and gadgets used to make the music. Of course being the son of Ennio Morricone's bass player and being introduced to hip hop and sampling at a young age probably played a part.

The flip side features a host of remixes from Glasgow's Auntie Flo's, Dam Mantle and 2 finely crafted remixes from Ikonika. The EPs artwork is also worth a mention featuring some cool design from Fine Grains founder Alex Horne, check out more of his design work here!

You can listen to the full EP below and order a vinyl or download via the Fine Grains Bandcamp where you can access all their releases to date.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

'REWIRE' Art x Audio Exhibition, Book & Vinyl Box Set @ Gamma Transport Division!

In a switching of roles Gamma Proforma bring you REWIRE, an experiment in vision and sound. The logic behind the show is based around music influencing visual art but flipped on its head. Instead of an artist being tasked with interpreting a musicians vision its the musicians and producers who will be creating sonic sound scapes to accompany fresh visual works from some of the biggest names in the Graffuturism movement. 

Gamma head honcho Rob Swain is no stranger to big projects having recently released a 20 year career spanning tome with sheOne as well as curating the Futurism 2.0 book / show in London. Futurism 2.0 was my introduction to Gamma Proforma and the arrival of my first order brought some excitement to my day and the over stuffed parcel brought more than just a book. T shirts, postcards, mix CDs and stickers all came spilling out when I opened it but its not the free stuff that's made me a fan of Gamma, its the quality. Time and effort goes into each project whether its a new t shirt design, a book project or exhibitions, with a host of great shows already under their belt at Gamma Transport Division in Edinburgh.

The exhibition is in place with the artworks being created right now but if you want to see the resulting book and vinyl box set happen then Gamma needs your help. They've set up a kickstarter campaign here, you can choose how much you would like to donate and select from various rewards with £50 getting you a copy of the book, a download of the album and a few other goodies but £100 will get you the book and a copy of the vinyl box set! If your minted and fancy owning one of the original artworks then a donation of £2000 or more can make this happen, I just wish I had that kind of money sitting around! But seriously they have a load of different options to choose from and its a cool project to support so check out the kickstarter.

As mentioned above the project will culminate in an exhibition, set to open in a couple of weeks at GTD in Edinburgh. You can check out some work from the various contributing artists below including Nawer, Sebastien Preschoux, Augustine Kofie, Jerry 'Joker' Inscoe, Poesia, sheOne, Stendec, Moneyless, Phil Ashcroft, Derm, Robert 'Tone' Proch, Sat One, Graphic Surgery, Felipe Pantone, O.Two, Roids, Clemens Behr, Christopher Derek Bruno, 108, Kidghe and Stohead, some serious talent and I recommend checking out each of their sites for more work! On the musical front you can expect some far out sounds from Luke Vibert, Divine Styler and Mark Lyken who swaps his paint cans for a mini moog for this project, you can check out the full list of musical contributors on the kickstarter page.

So donate if you can and make sure to show some love & support the project. And if they don't reach the funding target then well just have to settle for a night checking out some amazing art work from some of the best artists around right now! Win win as they say!

The Wild Dolphins of Aberdeen!

I wasn't too sure about these Wild Dolphins if I'm honest. And it wasn't anything against the artists involved or the ideas behind the project but more the concept of a twee art show, twee dolphins dotted about with pretty pictures on them. Don't get me wrong water colour landscapes are nice and fine art paintings have their place but when the majority of the work you see is based on the traditional then things tend to become a little stale and this is often the problem with creativity in Aberdeen. The cutting edge, the new school is often holed up in grays or its drowing in the apathy of the city and its lack of space to create and share work and ideas. If you asked me what kind of art I like then it would probably fall into the big murals, clean graphics, bold lines, street art, graffiti, tags, gritty and off the beaten track kinda spectrum, work you can stumble upon which has some sincerity to it.

But I have been pleasantly suprised and have really enjoyed checking out a few of these Wild Dolphins. Its good to have the old cynic inside you slapped once in a while and these Dolphins have certainly done that! Walking into work and seeing the buried skeletons of saber toothed tigers every day has been a real treat, walking through the train station to see the swirling waves or the doric wonder up in Old Aberdeen, designed by Gabi Reith has really helped change my perspective. And even more so than seeing them myself is seeing the reactions of others, families turning it into a hunt, searching out each creation, hairy bikers rocking up, jumping off their bikes just to get a quick snap next to one of the beasts and people of all ages stopping and taking a minute to appreciate a piece of art. Anything which gets people in Aberdeen to engage with creativity is a good thing! 

Its these reasons that have made this cynic a fan of the project and regardless of aesthetics you have to commend Aberdeen Inspired for delivering a project of this scale and for taking a chance on some new artists like Real Nice Collective and A Wooden Tree. You can check out more Dolphins via the Wild Dolphins Instagram and get a map of the different locations on the Wild Dolphins website.

Monday, 28 July 2014

'Unrecorded' by Jen Bradley @ Smart Gallery!

I've been having a bit of a break this month because sometimes its nice to step back a little. But in that time some great exhibitions have taken place and are almost over while some have yer to start, more on that later.

So if your itching for something to do this weekend then check out 'Unrecorded' by Grays graduate Jen Bradley. Combining found objects relating to people and places, primarily flats gives Jen's work an air of mystery. How often we walk past the hidden doors on Union Street, failing to realise above the commercial fronts lie thousands of flats, all occupied with mini soap operas unfolding behind every blind. Ok maybe its not that dramatic, maybe its just people watching the telly or cooking the supper. But Jen's works, especially the buzzers seem to hark back to a different time, evoking a sense of nostalgia for some long lost tenament life. You want to press the buttons on her cast works and find out if there's anyone waiting on the other side, a strange sensation when you know there isn't.

"Jen Bradley endeavours to illuminate the disregarded, she borrows the method of the archivist and archaeologist when attempting to decipher, categorise and evaluate found material. Jen captures remnants of a fleeting existence, remnants of a life once lived, questioning where history exists if it is not recorded?"

Certainly a very interesting concept and one which Jen has pulled off with the greatest of skill. You can see the results of her findings at Smart Gallery until the 3rd of August! 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Devils Toy - Redux!

While scanning through the hundreds of skateboard related posts on facebook one title stood out, The Devils Toy. Further investigation revealed some major skateboard film history in the form of a film from 1966 which documents the exploits of a group of teenage skates in Montreal. The film is considered a bit of a classic, showing the speed and skill of the skaters but also the still true reality of skateboarding, the face off with the law!

The films description still stands 50 odd years later "It was frowned upon by the constabulary and disapproving adults, but the skateboard gave the youngsters who mastered its technique a thrilling sensation of speed unexcelled by any other pavement sport. Filmed in 1966 on Montréal streets before the elongated roller skate was banned, this film captures the exuberance of boys and girls having the time of their lives in free-wheeling downhill locomotion." Even for my own first experience of a clay wheeled skateboard back in the late 80's I can testify to the thrill of cruising down even the smallest of hills, the slam at the end was worth it as it only took that one ride to get me hooked, although it would be some time before another board would materialise in my home!

And so 50 odd years after The Devils Toy was filmed a new set of deviants have taken up the mantle, re visiting the classic film and also adding their own redux versions this time from locations across the globe and from notable film makers with in the skateboarding community. We have edits from Lyon by French Fred, New York by Steve Durand and revisit to the original city Montreal by Myriam Verreault along with a host of edits. 

You can check out the original 1966 film below along with Victoriaville, Vancouver, Athens edits. Ill post more as the weeks roll on. Roll Forever!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Will Barras 'Plaza' @ Gamma Transport Division, Edinburgh!

If your not familiar with the work of Bristol based graffic artist Will Barras then now is the pefect time to check out his work with current exhibition 'Plaza' on show at Edinburgh's Gamma Transport Division.

Will has been a producing his unique characters and paintings for a number of years although his style has evolved since the early days of his Addict t - shirt designs (which are like gold dust these days) and has progressed with his use of colour and line perfected to the point where abstract colour splodges and drips can be rendered into the most beautiful shapes and forms. His bio on the Stolenspace site sums it up nicely "His figures appear to be in a state of perpetual metamorphosis - caught for a brief moment between one manifestation and the next. always at the mercy of the swirling forces that surround them." Some of Will's other paintings bring to mind scenes from Blade Runner with futuristic city scapes blurred into background as lean figures meander through the voids.

I recently did a short post about some of Will's newer works as they are just so breathtaking, like a rainbow flowing across the canvas but also showing something dark underneath, not unsettling but buzzing with some unknown energy. You should check out more of his work via his website here. The majority of work in 'Plaza' seem to follow a different path with a more fun and playful feel to them, splashes of colour bring a variety of characters to life away from the looming cityscapes. The more you look the more his lines will suck you in!

As well as setting up the Gamma show Will managed to squeeze in a stunning mural for Recoat as part of their Spring Fling murals, you can read more about that here. If your unable to make it along to GTD then you can still purchase a piece via the Gamma webstore here and the show runs until the end of July.

Will Barras - Plaza - Exhibition at GTD Edinburgh - Gamma Proforma from Gamma Proforma on Vimeo.