Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chase & Status

So the most creative music producers right now are Chase & Status coming out of my favorite drum & bass scene? Click below to see if it's true.

Take Me Away, the most selling drum & bass tune in the past one month

Eastern Jam, one of the biggest dubstep tunes this year

And here you can listen to their DJ set, including many of their own tracks, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on 9 August 2008.

The End

I just learned that The End, my favorite nightclub in London and the nightclub I visited many, many times during my 5-year life there, will close its doors for good next January after 13 years in business. I'll try to catch one of its final nights.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A boutique designed by Zaha Hadid

Yet another must-visit was opened in Tokyo: Neil Barrett's flagship store designed by Zaha Hadid.

Address: 3-17-6 Minami-Aoyama Minato-ku Tokyo

The photos on the right are obtained from Excite Ism Concierge (18 September, 2008).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Michele McLaughlin "The Eternal City"

Video-wise, nothing particularly interesting. But this piece of simple piano music sounds good to me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Annika Larsson "Dolls" at Andrehn-Schiptjenko

(The image below is taken from Andrehn-Schiptjenko's website)

A video installation that lasts almost 50 minutes. You never understand what is going on in this video. There are five guys appearing in an artificially constructed white cube with a few lines and signs of red, blue, or black on the floor and the wall alongside a white cupboard on the wall and a small square platform on the floor with stairs on two sides. The video starts with a scene of a coffee maker making coffee with the sound of the coffee-maker replaced by some abstract music mocking the sound of coffee dripping. Once coffee is ready, a gray-haired guy in ski boots starts trying to bring a cup of coffee and a toast to another guy with glasses sitting on a chair just a couple of meters away. But he takes almost 20 minutes to do so, by dropping coffee cups on the floor and climbing up to the platform with help of a black, stout guy, etc. Another guy in a black suit who appears to be the principal along with the guy with glasses helps him by pouring coffee into a cup and putting a slice of bread into a toaster, which is hidden inside the cupboard. When the toast is done, the gray-haired guy, who appears to be the two principals' agent number one, smiles, by the way. He finally manages to pass the cup of coffee and the toast to the glasses-wearing principal, who simply put them on the side table without drinking or eating. Above the cup of coffee and the plate of the toast is the black, reversed-triangle mark on the wall. The next turn is the black, stout guy, or agent number 2, in boots with spikes beneath the sole. His task is to detach the cupboard from the wall and to destroy it with a hammer placed by the black suit principal under the wall sign of three parallel short blue lines. He also takes almost 20 minutes to do this task with help from other guys, because he drops the driller from his hand so one of the principal ends up detaching the cupboard, etc. Finally, a man with a black mask covering around his eyes, wearing a pair of skate shoes, challenges the task of passing a key to the black suit principal standing on the blue circle mark on the floor, just a couple of meters away from him. He also needs help from other guys. When he finally reaches where the black suit principal is standing, he stands with his back facing the principal. He inserts the key into the principal's pocket inside the suit jacket, by using his hands behind his back. When the task is complete, the video ends.

It doesn't make much sense, but it is much better than most movies and television programs. The video manages to stay at the borderline between absolute nonsense and something deep. And the video shooting technique is impressive. How each scene is framed by the video camera, and the sequence of scenes, is well-crafted. The shoes or the face expressions of the five guys are focused many times, making the viewer guess the emotion and character of these guys. The images of lines and signs in the white cube are inserted many times, making the viewer wonder the meaning of these geometric marks. Finally, the background sound construction is superb, too. The sound of dropping coffee cups or keys is erased, making the whole scene somewhat out of this world. The very abstract music actually expresses the anxiety of protagonists very well.

Certainly, this is not everybody's kind of video. But I love it because I love it without understanding it. That's the sufficient condition of good art.

For the detail on the artist and the work, visit the gallery's website.