Jimmy Whoo, Parisian producer and Co-Founder of Grande Ville Records, returns with the second part to his Motel Music album that he wrote over a three month stay in Los Angeles. Consisting of “dark, filmic moments that weave together dreamlike visions of L.A. landscapes and night time glamour,” or in this writer’s words, a mellow mix of contemporary electronic, hip hop, soul and jazz. Motel Music part 2 is an electronic album safe enough to play straight through at your next cocktail event or dinner party, with enough complexity to entertain the more engaged listener many times over. Truly wonderful.

Release Date: 3/17/2017

wish-you-were-here-symphonic-albumThis one came into the station a few months back and grabbed my attention immediately. Anything remotely connected to Pink Floyd is worth a listen in my opinion. About twenty years ago a record called Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd which is an amazing interpretation of legendary, mind bending Pink Floyd, so that sparked high expectations here. This particular release celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original 1975 Wish You Were Here. While the majority of this album is indeed orchestral, there are vocals. Alice Cooper lends himself to the title track, and “Welcome to the Machine” also features vocals. These tracks feel out of place, and upset the delicate balance of honoring a classic. Nevertheless, the pure symphonic compositions are excellent.

“Plagiarism in graphic design means the unauthorized use or close imitation of existing artwork and the representation of it as one’s own original work […] Appropriation in art and art history refers to the practice of artists using pre-existing objects or images in their art with little transformation of the original”

~ ethicsingraphicdesign.org

Typography Cool

Someone somewhere called this cover art for New Order’s Confusion 12″ single “typography cool”, which designer Peter Saville was a pioneer of. The color combination represents a code of numbers that corresponds to the letters of the alphabet. One would need the color wheel included on New Order’s 1983 release of the same year Power, Corruption, and Lies for decoding.

New Order Movement Album Cover

Plagiarism or Appropriation?

Although the cover art for Confusion is an exception, Saville was dinged on more than one occasion for his “graphical appropriations” in his other designs for New Order. Take for example the cover art for New Order’s 1981 debut studio album Movement. This is a clear reference to a 1932 poster by Futurist painter Fortunato Depero.

Futurist Poster by Fortunato Depero

Comments from Saville

When asked to comment, Saville explained that it seemed more appropriate to “quote Futurism verbatim rather than parody it ineptly.” By making such an obvious statement about the origins of the Movement design, Saville believed that no one would think he invented it.

Have you heard? Communication is a two way word.

The most remarkable thing about Industry’s Mini LP is the album art. It’s hard not to admire the clear graphical study that has been given to it. What could have otherwise been a simple photograph of the group in period garb has been stripped of it’s essential elements and reduced to pure geometric forms. Cover art designer Norman Moore was perhaps influenced by Piet Mondrian or Theo van Doesburg.

Photo of the band Industry. Circa 1983

“Everything, living or not, is put together from basic building blocks evolving towards consciousness.”

This is a fundamental tenet of Theosophy; a doctrine of religious philosophy which holds that all religions are attempts by the “Spiritual Hierarchy” to help humanity evolve towards perfection. Each religion therefore holds a portion of the truth. Was Moore a Theosophist like his predecessor Mondrian? Unknown. While this remains a fantastic piece of cultural residue from the 1980’s, let me be clear: the music itself is trash.

Notes from the back jacket.

“I started Chinoiseries in August 2006, when I got back from a trip to Viet Nam, the land of my grandparents. As a vinyl junky, I really couldn’t come back to France without bringing back some wax. After hours spent riding on a motorbike in Saigon streets, a taxi finally helped me find some old Asian records. I was feeling like an explorer discovering a forgotten treasure. I bought almost 30 vinyls, most of them in poor condition, went back to the crib, and started making beats with some material that I wasn’t used to.”

U.N.K.L.E. Revival on vinyl, and it feels so nostalgic. Never a good review coming from Pitchfork for these guys. Over and over again, I’ve tried to understand why.
“Alienating some, while inviting others,” it may have read.
“Exciting their core fan base, but really annoying the rest of us,” it may have also read.
Well Burn My Shadow and Surrender Sessions 11-12 were awesome. So, fuck off. Cunt soup.
Admittedly, Pitchfork is actually pretty useful for finding new music, but it becomes increasingly obscure as the days end for this fellow. Someone somewhere is still discovering Pink Floyd, The Doors and Led Zeppelin for the first time. God bless them.

A Do it Yourself Pipe Book Shelf
There are a few of these floating around out there, but I first got the idea for a bookshelf made of pipes from a friend and fellow Renaissance Man. Rather than matching items from IKEA, or spending a lot of money for quality woodwork, he gave me the idea to use steel pipe and pine for creating a whole wall book shelf. This was to replace a multi section home entertainment center, grossly over engineered with screws, pegs, hinges and particle board. It was purposefully left behind by the previous home owners. I smashed it to a thousand pieces with a ball-pine hammer. It was easier to move that way.

A few Bing searches later (yeah, I said it..) and I had a pretty good idea of what to do next. Measure! Twice! Then? McLowes… And I was ready to spend a few hundred bucks. Several pieces of pipe needed to be hand cut and threaded, so I made sure to be one of the first people in the store that fateful Sunday morning. Not two minutes in the plumbing section, and an associate by the name of JV peaked around the aisle to assist.

“Morning. I was wondering if you could cut some pipe for me. Kind of a lot, actually…”

I handed him a list of way more shit than I really needed.

“That’s no problem. We love cutting pipe.”

After showing him a picture of a diy pipe shelf, it was clear that i had found one of the best Lowes employees in the world. For nearly two hours, I hung out with this dude while he painstakingly perfected every cut. And it was free. I would be damned for sure if the project failed. So you can imagine the hard truth it was, returning home to find that the measurements were fucked.

Not to be deterred, the shelf was completed one week later after much painting and hole drilling. Put together solo, it was assembled on the living room floor, then tipped up into place against the wall before being secured with some reclaimed hardware. There was no need to attach the shelf to the floor, as the weight of the unit itself proved enough of a stabilizer.

Attack of the kitchen lights with Saturn rings! What a massive forearm workout these Kurt Versen atomic lights turned out to be. I first discovered the design at a shop downtown, but for like $350 a fixture. The industrial nature of the lamps got me thinking that they were mass produced at one time, and therefore available for less money somewhere else. A quick search of “vintage modern lighting” on ebay, and I found a seller with 50 of the exact same fixtures for sale @ $125 a piece. The internet wins again.

Unfortunately, i wasn’t that easy. They came out of a school in New Jersey, and were sprayed some horrible off white color; some where in between shades of smoke stain and piss wash. Many times did I curse the painter’s name while sanding these babies down to the naked steel. Hours. Days. Weeks. It was a long time getting all that paint off. Worth the savings? The kitchen does look dope. The frosted bulbs project light up instead of down.