Saturday, 31 March 2012

Akira Yoshizawa


Origami has it's own natural beauty, a beauty which is may not be so clearly defined possibly due to our Western eyes, our appreciation of art having a somewhat different nature, however no one can say what the master origamist Akira Yoshizawa achieved in his career is nothing but beautiful. He was and still is considered as one of the greatest orgamists ever and, well, I'm not one to argue.

Art often baffles me in so many different ways. Most often it's with the profound mechanical skill of an artist with pen or paint, sometimes it's the mind-blowing concept behind a piece abstract work, but this time round  it's one of those 'HOW DO YOU DO THAT?' kind of feelings. It's the incredible lifelikeness of his folds. The fact that the medium and material is paper and is essential blank in any context or colour or connotations and then for his pieces to come across with so much personality imbued in to what are just seemingly folds.... I'm just insatiable with this mystery. Witchcraft is what it is.

And it appears Google too was quite in love with him too as they celebrated Mr. Yoshizawa's birthday with a doodle not so long ago, he would have 101! Head over HERE to check it out.

To read up on an interesting article about an exhibition in years-gone-by and to see more of his origami follow this link HERE for a good time.

Oh, and what the heck, here's a biography too HERE!

It is a truly special art from on which I could and should get in to. Check it out yourself!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

William Carlos Williams - The Use of Force

William Carlos Williams was an American poet and short story writer who had strong ties with modernism and imagism and had a background of being a working physician. He is probably most famous for his poem 'The Red Wheelbarrow' which implements the 'ideas in things' ideology where the language is stripped down and imbue emotions within concrete images. This style of writing can be influenced as strongly by photography as well as writing. 

Here you will find probably my favourite Williams short story, where he makes use of his physician background entailing a rather difficult home visit on a sickly little girl. The frustration and forcefulness is conveyed powerfully and engages the reader with the struggling doctor-patient relationship. 


They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.

When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor, we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Malleus - Roadburn 2009 Posters

I don't think I can emphasize enough about how much I love the work of Italian screen printers extraordinaire Malleus. I narrowed down their portfolio just to focus on the posters they produced for the Roadburn festival back in 2009 and it is these works which first gained my attention of the art collective. 

In my eyes I can see Alphonse Mucha's overt influence in all aspects, the consistent feature of semi-naked women, the explosive colours and the poster medium Mucha too favoured. It's also in the grace and beauty of the women and the subtle combination of the colours, though Mucha preferred earthier tones Malleus go psychedelic and burst with powerful, flourishing colour which is marvellous. 

I totally recommend you to go check out more of their work at their cool website HERE

On top of their awesome art, some members of the Malleus collective are also in the drone/doom band Ufomammut, see a cool photo I took of them live here, they are psychedelic and heavy and worth your time. 

Check out Ufomammut HERE and below...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Here and Now - ZINES!

So yeah, experimented with Blogger's 'Dynamic' layout. Didn't like it at all, so impersonal and black and white. At the risk of sounding like a three year old, where were the colours!? Bah.

Anyway, the good news is that the Zines are done and printed and looking great! Above you can see the cover bearing a photograph I took during the short burst of snow we had down here in Bath, looking up at the snow ledged on the bush brings an interesting perspective I felt. And I was stuck for ideas and had gone through several covers in the process. Believe me, that one is the best out of what I came up with. By far.

The Zine itself has short stories, some illustration which I'll post on here soon, the contributions were fantastic, and some photography by myself and Red, and if you would like one, just email me with your address and I'll post one out to you! And it will be free too, I just want everyone who wants one to have one!

My personal email is: dont_talk2urself [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk

(I have to type it out like that because otherwise dirty spammers will try to send me shit. And I don't enjoy shit)

What you can also do, which would be very cool, is join our Facebook group! HERE

Also on that note, I am looking for more contributors for the Zine, so if any writers or illustrators or photographers would like to have their work published then contact me and I'll see what we can do, hit up that email above and lets get going.

We are only a one man operation, and so I use the 'royal'/'made up' 'we' when I refer to ourselves, or I mean me, or.... whatever. Anyway, what I mean to say is, any support is much appreciated!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Record Review: Crippled Black Phoenix - (Mankind) The Crafty Ape

First Posted at Heavy Blog Is Heavy

Chapter I – A Thread
01. Nothing (We Are…)
02. The Heart Of Every Country
03. Get Down And Live With It
04. (In The Yonder Marsh)
05. A Letter Concerning Dogheads

Chapter II – The Trap

06. Laying Traps
07. Born In A Hurricane
08. Release The Clowns
09. (What?)
Chapter III – The Blues Of Man
01. A Suggestion (Not A Very Nice One)
02. (Dig, Bury, Deny)
03. Operation Mincemeat
04. We Will Never Get Out This World Alive
05. Faced With Complete Failure, Utter Defiance Is The Only Response

‘Craft’ is one of my favourite words in the dictionary (my most favourite being ’clavicle’, it has such sweet phonetics). It denotes as skilfully producing something by hand, and it is this ‘by hand’ bit which I wholly endorse. ‘By hand’ leads to something unique, something which has been imbued with its creator’s personality and skill. However, ‘Craft’ can also mean deviousness and trickery in an archaic form, and I believe it is this denotation Crippled Black Phoenix had in mind with the name of their latest record, especially when they still consider us all as those primordial apes.

On paper, and by right, Crippled Black Phoenix should be a crushing doom super group, with ex-Electric Wizard, ex-Iron Monkey, ex-Gonga and ex-Teeth of Lions Rule The Divine members; you wouldn’t have expected then that they undertake an expansive Pink Floydian approach to progressive rock. Yet, within the lush psychedelic soundscapes and handsome guitars and thumping rhythms they have that element of deviousness, that feeling of a pretty mask hiding the ugliness beneath, which lends a cliff-edge to this warm flowery meadow.

The comic-esque record artwork is interesting to interpret. The wolf face echoes the same one that appeared on 2010’s I, Vigilante and is now attached to a human body, and though it is snarling and looking fierce it’s running away. In fear, perhaps. Maybe there’s something worse than a wolf-headed man, something scarier?

I keep returning to Crippled Black Phoenix as, beside Colour Haze, I believe they are the classiest band operating today. Their I, Vigilante record was stunning, it was a descent, that weary journey from the zenith, and it reminded me of coming home from a long walk. No fanfare or crescendo, no blaze of fire but embers that smouldered in the dark and cast red across the floor.

I have found The Crafty Ape to have a much fuller and rounder sound than I, Vigilante, which was a more straightforward guitar record, now there are horns, organs, strings, choirs in places, female vocals stand out a bit more and the piano is beautifully played. It is this melding of orchestral sounds into a strong, cohesive stream or soundscape that, with recent forecasts in mind, makes me think of the weather and it’s forgotten splendour. All the elements have to be perfect, the temperature, wind, pressure, humidity, cloud cover, geography and only when they are all perfect does this pure, unique, white snow fall with it’s perennial aching beauty. Yet, of course, some sit in awe of the snow’s majesty whereas others stare in tragedy and it is this bi-polar beauty of snow that encapsulates The Crafty Ape for me. It is beautiful and psychedelic but also mournful and dark.

It isn’t all frosty, as there are sunbursts seen at the powerful end of ‘A Letter Concerning Dogheads’ and the visceral rhythm of ’Laying Traps’, but the British-instilled misanthropy and famous misery reflects most from this record.  I care a great deal for Crippled Black Phoenix, their records are always stirring and The Crafty Ape is a continuation of their triumph.

Hey, Full Album Stream... Cool...

Hiroshi Sugimoto

This past month has been, to say the least, difficult. However, here we are now, whole and well, and looking at the fantastic photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. And I like his minimalist style. A lot. It's subtle and fascinating and he likes his themes and most importantly I like his themes. Here, I am showcasing my favourite series of photos he's done where he's taken a photo of a film playing in aesthetically pleasing theatres at an extremely low shutter speed in order to capture the entire film in one image. In fact, I'll let him explain...

I'm a habitual self-interlocutor. Around the time I started photographing at the Natural History Museum, one evening I had a near-hallucinatory vision. The question-and-answer session that led up to this vision went something like this: Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes.  
- Hiroshi Sugimoto

For me, this is genius. I am currently in post production of producing a short film, indeed I am the editor, and so the idea of an entire film and all of it's thousands of frames captured into a single frame, not only explodes MY eyes, but it makes my head hurt too. 

I am loving Hiroshi Sugimoto, and I feel you should too, check his other cool works HERE

More digestible information can be found HERE