Friday, 31 August 2012

Once Upon a Time in the Cotswold's - A Photographic Diary...By Saul Wilks

I've had these photos stored away for about 3 months now, pictures taken on a weekend away I spent with my girlfriend in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswold's. The tranquillity and sheer beauty of this area is unabated, offering gorgeous backdrops and scenes which ever way you choose to look.

Located right next to the river Windrush, the Old Swan and Minster Mill is perhaps one of the finest places I have ever had the pleasure of staying at within domestic borders, offering fine wines, delectable food and the sort of high quality service and relaxation that makes it the special place that it is.

It's the sort of place where you can easily let your imagination run wild and for someone for whom old buildings with deep histories strike a chord, I often found myself transported back to ye olden times, wishing my Ralph Lauren was actually some fine 19th century extravagant dandy laden get up.

Having not been to the Cotswold's before it was pretty ace to be able to take my girlfriend somewhere so nice that we both vowed to return again... From the moment we arrived to the time we left, we ate, drank and lived heartily - undeterred by the dubious British summer weather that was afforded to us the whole time we were there.

I think we both mentally tripled in age during our stay, playing out many competitive battles of scrabble while indulging over numerous glasses of rich red wine and mind melting cheese boards while a log fire burned just over from us. When darkness fell and we'd finished dining we retired to our river side abode to toast marshmallows on an open fire while an atmospheric twilight played out in the sky above us... The only way I could possibly describe it is spectacular.

A weekend like this, away from the usual vices that London or wherever else has to offer, is the perfect ticket to cleanse one's mind and take advantage of awe inspiring scenery and true leisurely luxury that doesn't come around too often and it really drove home to me the amount of time we all probably waste doing the same mundane things week in, week out.

At the risk of sounding like Lord Rupert of Newport with my hoorah Henry patter about cheese boards and fine wines, I think it's right that I leave the words there and let the pictures do the talking...

I haven't done this for a while so I guess all that's left to say is the obligatory 'Enjoy'...

Thursday, 30 August 2012

NOVO..... by Shaun Dangerfield

Anything that crosses over from music into fashion will get my attention and as soon as I saw the NOVO label pop up I penciled it down for some coverage on here.
NOVO is a crossover between Korean label "Bean Pole" and Hermes artistic director Christophe Lemaire. 
It's not the usual collaboration of two labels who are trying to create some hype together because some thought has actually gone into it to the point where Christophe Lemaire's passion for New Wave shine's through in this new project. 

The name come's from the 1978 publication NOVOVISION which documented Yves Adrien's rock and Punk Rock articles regarding his anticipation of the electronic music revolution and this clothing line captures the imaging and style's from his thought's and inspiration's from listening to the music he loves. 

Christophe states that in his early days he had to make the decision on which route to take between DJ'ing or whether to be a fashion designer, Obviously that passion never go's away and so it intertwines in his label NOVO. 
A selection of clean cut designs in industrial grey's, chemical yellow and the variation of black/white, white and black, cold, industrial & electronic.
I love the whole depth to it. It's there for a reason and there is a point to it. 

Goods In..... by Shaun Dangerfield

I had a serious decision to make over this, something that took up a lot of thinking time over two day's.
I wanted a white shirt with a decent pattern and I was sorely tempted with the Novo Christophe Lemaire "light bulb" effort but I was put off mostly down to it being printed as opposed to being stitched like ya man Gitman here.
I looked at this shirt in Atoo Birmingham 3 maybe 4 times and I would keep putting it back but eventually it got the better of me with it's Japanese cotton and embroidered detailing, semi fitted and button down collar I'll get a decent wear out of this.

Next up I can't explain how long I have been looking for decent green cap, probably around 2 years now and I'm not a cap wearer anymore but when something grip's you it grip's you and my quest for a cap has ended.
LA's Undefeated x Ebbets Field wool ball cap in melton wool, I won't wear a cap often but when I do it will be this.
Lastly I bought this Denham piece to wear with the Gitman shirt above, I've not tried it on yet but it look's smart enough..... Smart enough for stalking.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Lake District.... by Shaun Dangerfield

Every now & then we all need to recharge our batteries and just simply chill out.
So this week we headed up to the Lake District and stopped on a farm. I forgot what it felt like to have no phone signal and no internet access... oh and no bank for 12 miles. But it was well worth it.
It felt like the twilight zone the first day as we headed round in the car trying to find an SD card for the camera which was like asking for the moon on a stick.
I kid you not I asked the fella on the counter in one of the co-op's up there for one and he said "I don't know what that is but I have batteries". Hmmmm not really going to be able to store my photo's on a battery mate so I'll keep looking thank you.
I was heavily rolling my eyes at this point but it all sorted itself out 15 & 1/2 miles later and purely by chance that drive back from Carlisle late evening emerged as such a perfect photo opportunity with the sun setting into what can only be described as a sunset dream with the rays shining through and the sun melting into the orange drop. I forgot what it felt like to see this after the year we've had.
Too much chatter anyway so I'll leave you with various photo's taken through the past week, in no order of days.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Playing Records.... by Shaun Dangerfield

When you go around DJ'ing you meet some great people.... but mostly on the dancefloor.
In my experience a lot of DJ's we meet are quite straight laced & turn up - play - get paid - go home.
The complete opposite as to what me/we are about and don't get me wrong there are those who get on it with you and enjoy it as much as everyone else there.... but there's not that many in my opinion & there is either too much chin stroking going on or it's quite simply just a job.
We played with BICEP new year's eve at one party and they are very like minded lad's, not in music term's as such now as we prefer their older gear with Boogie/Disco, but as people out on the town craving something different. They have however propelled themselves into a completely different world now and mark my word's 2012 will be heavily remembered for BICEP pulling weight.
We played a night with Aeroplane early in the year and for such a high profile DJ on the NuDisco/Electronic scene it was a sight to see this figure behind his laptop not move an inch or acknowledge the crowd that were so eager to see him, he used no headphones and quite simply played and left.... he epitomise's for me what is wrong with a lot of modern DJ's in a world that's getting continually lost within itself, as big named DJ's get paid a hell of a lot more money and continuously further up their own backside's there is the other side of the coin where underground night's are more fun & filled with more clued up people craving something extra.

We we're at a night at Corsica studio's in 2010 seeing Horse Meat Disco take apart the back room like the old bill's 5 o clock knock taking your door off.... pure damage, was amazing and again some top people there and we ended up by chance talking to a group from Southampton.
Leyton introduced me to me Lloyd (half of Nocturnal) and we had a little chat about their release "Southern Nights" & "Love Explosion" on the Disco Deviance label, we didn't speak for long but when you meet people who look smart and are into similar vices to yourself I always take note. We travel in similar circles and some of the Saint's lad's have turned up a couple of time's to Boogie Cartel nights & their attitude's and demeanour speak volume's & I like what they are about.

I have a lot of different side's to me musically as do we all but that deep disco / house sound has to be right if it's going to get played and stand out from the crowd which is getting quite a run out.
Watching Greg Wilson of recent time's (and I know this will go against the grain but...) and a handful of other's it's easy to fall into this slo-mo chugging set that doesn't lead anywhere and you feel like you are hanging on waiting for more so it's important to get that groove in there to keep you on your toes.
We have made various edit's and remixes but as we take it a bit more serious and dive deeper into production you start to take more note on what make's a track and how much goes into it... an appreciation for it.
Which is the reason for this post as I stumbled over Nocturnal's new release previews this week and they tick those boxes that you would crave for. They are only snippets unfortunately but I'll put them up for you to listen to anyway and keep the old ears open for the release date.

Their website is here and you can get some of the mixes from off there too...

As I said earlier in the week I played the Nest and I put everything that I played aside and made a little mix up special for Sinister, mostly Boogie and I'll get that up for you.

I'm not one for all these monthly chart's and new releases because so many now have Juno charts or Resident Adviser charts and I'm sick of seeing "June mix" or "August chart mix" for whatever genre you want to listen to, but I will say one thing and that's when I listen through a few of these NuDisco mixes Faze Action and the C90's always have stuff in there that I like and don't know of.... which deserve's some recognition I think because it's extremely easy to buy the whole top 20 chart's of your favourite genre and put a mix together, so new sound's are always good which is why I'm putting up the C90's and Faze Action's latest mixes.
This is a more electronic NuDisco side of business as you would expect from them and not something I would go out of my way for but I had a listen and I really enjoyed them through work yesterday and I like to put up a bit of stuff music wise from time to time for those that crave a harder sound but isn't a million miles away from some of the stuff we might play, especially Faze Action who have some amazing unreleased gear in every mix they do, usually NuBoogie or a Disco edit as opposed to their newer sound's but as you go through them I think you'll probably spot what I'm talking about....

Gant Rugger Madras.... by Shaun Dangerfield

I know what you are thinking.... why have you bought a madras now ?
Fact is I have no idea, but seeing as we we're doing a spot of browsing in Birmingham on Friday I just couldn't leave this for the silly price of £30, it's a lovely shirt and will be great for knocking about in thank's to atoo (and Gant Rugger obviously).

So my semi productive planned weekend turned out to be non productive apart from if you count lounging as productive.
I had all these plans of putting a mix together with Saul and hitting various places with the camera but in all fairness as soon as we hit the beer and some food we knew full well it was going to be one of those weekends (and thoroughly enjoyable too).

A couple of shots of weekend wear and tear and the quirky Bacchus bar ceiling (one of my favourite haunts in Brum) before some full on madras love then, music post to follow....