Brown Sugar

'Round up the usual suspects'
Following up his wonderfully melodic debut Amsel 001 release- Voyage Avec Yukazu, Rafaele Castiglione returns with the much-anticipated Nature of the Universe EP. Castiglione has worked alongside Berlin-based label Amselcom for the last two years, and during this time has established himself as perhaps their most prominent artist. The hugely talented producer is brimming full with ideas, sourcing inspiration from the likes of Nu, Stimming or Frivolous, to name just a few. 
With this latest release Rafaele Castiglione has continued down his beguiling musical path, delivering deep and mysterious waves of peerless production that make the body sway. At heart- Nature of the Universe is a minimalist dub masterpiece, which gently takes your hand and guides you through blissful dancefloor meditation. Accompanying you through this is also US collaborator John LaMonica, whose marvellous vocal canon tricks and psychedelic lyrics help harmonise those mystical sounds. Open City on the flipside possesses a more melancholic feel- perfectly blending clever arrangements and progressive, evolving melodies. The most fascinating element of this track is how it’s high reaching, ethereal synths give it a human face that evokes great emotion in the listener. The DkA remix remains somewhat faithful to the original, reducing the track to its essence, whilst pushing the boundaries ever outward. The final result is irresistible, spiritual music for the rituals of our time. We invite you to a session that promises to transform and elevate the most primal places in your brain.
Artwork by Bakea
http://amselcom.de/rafaele-castiglione-nature-of-the-universe

Following up his wonderfully melodic debut Amsel 001 release- Voyage Avec Yukazu, Rafaele Castiglione returns with the much-anticipated Nature of the Universe EP. Castiglione has worked alongside Berlin-based label Amselcom for the last two years, and during this time has established himself as perhaps their most prominent artist. The hugely talented producer is brimming full with ideas, sourcing inspiration from the likes of Nu, Stimming or Frivolous, to name just a few. 


With this latest release Rafaele Castiglione has continued down his beguiling musical path, delivering deep and mysterious waves of peerless production that make the body sway. At heart- Nature of the Universe is a minimalist dub masterpiece, which gently takes your hand and guides you through blissful dancefloor meditation. Accompanying you through this is also US collaborator John LaMonica, whose marvellous vocal canon tricks and psychedelic lyrics help harmonise those mystical sounds.

Open City on the flipside possesses a more melancholic feel- perfectly blending clever arrangements and progressive, evolving melodies. The most fascinating element of this track is how it’s high reaching, ethereal synths give it a human face that evokes great emotion in the listener. The DkA remix remains somewhat faithful to the original, reducing the track to its essence, whilst pushing the boundaries ever outward. The final result is irresistible, spiritual music for the rituals of our time. We invite you to a session that promises to transform and elevate the most primal places in your brain.

Artwork by Bakea

http://amselcom.de/rafaele-castiglione-nature-of-the-universe

(via amselpick)

JOINTRUST

Japanese fashion label Jointrust has drawn the curtain on its 2014 fall/winter collection. It appears that they’ve gone for a largely somber, understated colour palette in their design aesthetic. The collection sees navy, grey and black splashed on loose fitting cardigans, jumpers and pea coat jackets. This modish disposition would be incomplete without a fedora hat to nestle on your crown.

Our lad Delroy has cooked up some serious heat with this one. It’s a mixtape brimming with raw lo-fi tracks, but it’s not his usual manic ghetto house blend. He’s pitched things down a few notches, and given us a glimpse of his East Coast roots. So turn down the windows and get these beats coming out your speakers!

Our lad Delroy has cooked up some serious heat with this one. It’s a mixtape brimming with raw lo-fi tracks, but it’s not his usual manic ghetto house blend. He’s pitched things down a few notches, and given us a glimpse of his East Coast roots. So turn down the windows and get these beats coming out your speakers!

(via pootee)

Charles Bradley: Soul of America
It is hard to believe that a man with Charles Bradley’s on stage charisma and timeless vocals had to wait half a lifetime to achieve the success that he so richly deserved. Starting out at the age of 20 as a career singer, Bradley spent many years under the shadow of James Brown, performing as ‘Black Velvet’ or on less subtle occasions  ‘James Brown Jr’. Yet this documentary remarkably joins the 62-year-old soul singer in the month preceding his first album release No Time For Dreaming. 
 Charles Bradley Soul of America is a rare story that allows us to explore his struggles throughout life, and discover what kind of man he is, what he dreams of. The film draws obvious comparisons with Searching for Sugar Man, the 2012 film about Sixto Rodriquez’s unlikely rise to stardom. Truthfully, both deserve enormous credit for managing to capture the strength of human spirit when faced with adversity. And paired with Charles’s undeniable talent, he is finally able to lands himself a record deal with Daptone Records, a label responsible for the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. But perhaps most importantly, he is able to fulfill those lasting ambitions of devotedly caring for his mother and living a modest life in Brooklyn.
 The film pays tribute to Bradley’s character, a man who is genuinely likeable and full of heart. These admirable traits are certainly supported by footage of relatives recalling Bradley’s decision to sacrifice much of his youth and adulthood for the betterment of his family. Despite suffering personal tragedy and the devastating death of his brother, his beliefs and faith in God never waver.
Charles’ personal strife undoubtedly reflects in his soulful and stirring music, especially when crying out lines like ‘Why is it so hard to make it in America’.
At the centre of the documentary is a fascinating portrayal of Charles’s transformation from an impersonator to a solo performer with his own identity and crucially, songs. You are given a glimpse into his progression through clips of rehearsals, live performances and interviews with complimentary band collaborators. Witnessing such infectious enthusiasm and continued optimism is a joy to behold first hand.  Unsurprisingly, the film puts together a wholly appropriate and enjoyable soundtrack that features old recording from artists such as Otis Redding, Al Green, Sam Cooke and the man himself James Brown. 
 Soul of America may not be wholly polished, but neither is Charles, and this well-founded documentary really leaves you feeling uplifted. You can certainly be assured that this will please fans of the soulful singer and inspire many more.  

 

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

It is hard to believe that a man with Charles Bradley’s on stage charisma and timeless vocals had to wait half a lifetime to achieve the success that he so richly deserved. Starting out at the age of 20 as a career singer, Bradley spent many years under the shadow of James Brown, performing as ‘Black Velvet’ or on less subtle occasions  ‘James Brown Jr’. Yet this documentary remarkably joins the 62-year-old soul singer in the month preceding his first album release No Time For Dreaming.

 Charles Bradley Soul of America is a rare story that allows us to explore his struggles throughout life, and discover what kind of man he is, what he dreams of. The film draws obvious comparisons with Searching for Sugar Man, the 2012 film about Sixto Rodriquez’s unlikely rise to stardom. Truthfully, both deserve enormous credit for managing to capture the strength of human spirit when faced with adversity. And paired with Charles’s undeniable talent, he is finally able to lands himself a record deal with Daptone Records, a label responsible for the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. But perhaps most importantly, he is able to fulfill those lasting ambitions of devotedly caring for his mother and living a modest life in Brooklyn.

 The film pays tribute to Bradley’s character, a man who is genuinely likeable and full of heart. These admirable traits are certainly supported by footage of relatives recalling Bradley’s decision to sacrifice much of his youth and adulthood for the betterment of his family. Despite suffering personal tragedy and the devastating death of his brother, his beliefs and faith in God never waver.

Charles’ personal strife undoubtedly reflects in his soulful and stirring music, especially when crying out lines like ‘Why is it so hard to make it in America’.

At the centre of the documentary is a fascinating portrayal of Charles’s transformation from an impersonator to a solo performer with his own identity and crucially, songs. You are given a glimpse into his progression through clips of rehearsals, live performances and interviews with complimentary band collaborators. Witnessing such infectious enthusiasm and continued optimism is a joy to behold first hand.  Unsurprisingly, the film puts together a wholly appropriate and enjoyable soundtrack that features old recording from artists such as Otis Redding, Al Green, Sam Cooke and the man himself James Brown.

 Soul of America may not be wholly polished, but neither is Charles, and this well-founded documentary really leaves you feeling uplifted. You can certainly be assured that this will please fans of the soulful singer and inspire many more.  

 

Half of a Yellow Sun
Not alone in my admiration for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s wonderful novel, I naturally held lofty expectations for this intriguing project. When you consider the compelling source material and great cast assembled, it seemed highly possible that this could really make the transition onto the big screen. Sadly, in the footsteps of its cinematic ancestors-  Monica Ali’s ‘Brick Lane’ and Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’, this latest offering continues the trajectory of underwhelming film adaptations of postcolonial fiction. 
Man of the moment Chitewel Eijifor’s plays the conceited, charismatic academic Odenigbo who finds himself plunged into the throws of the bitterly violent 1960’s Biafran war. Accompanying him on this tempestuous journey of a post-independent Nigeria, is his other half, the elegant and troubled soul Olanna (Thandie Newton). The narrative largely focuses upon their relationship, with the backdrop of tragic events transpiring around them. The two leads are very impressive in their roles, sustaining a fantastic intensity to their performance, and never shying away from the intimacy and chemistry needed for a dynamic of this nature. These moments are dispersed between some compelling archive footage, helping to capture the mood of the nation and allowing its audience a glimpse of the stark reality.
Director Biyi Bandele, has admirably tried to stay true to the story, but in my opinion must shoulder the responsibility for a number of the films shortcomings. Admittedly, attempting to condense such a sweeping tale into the 120 minutes running time was always going to prove challenging, nigh unattainable. However, the film is often stately and sluggish, descending into soapy melodrama too easily when exploring central revelations. Familiar scenes of domineering mothers, unplanned pregnancies and infidelity dominate the early scenes. Consequently, although sympathetic to the tragedy of such a story the audience may struggle to fully believe in its muddled narrative.
When presenting different time periods of the story Bandele’s editing was frustratingly abrupt, as new and significant stages of Odenigbo and Olanna’s lives are only separated by a brief, black freeze frames. It is unclear whether Bandele perceived this as an effective way of demonstrating the immediacy of war, or simply elected to approach it somewhat impatiently, all too aware that he needed to to get through all the vital material. 
Although moving, and in places a gripping picture, there is a notable imbalance in Half of A Yellow Sun, as Director Biyi Bandele ultimately fails to blend domestic anxiety and action sequences into an effective drama. 

Half of a Yellow Sun

Not alone in my admiration for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s wonderful novel, I naturally held lofty expectations for this intriguing project. When you consider the compelling source material and great cast assembled, it seemed highly possible that this could really make the transition onto the big screen. Sadly, in the footsteps of its cinematic ancestors-  Monica Ali’s ‘Brick Lane’ and Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’, this latest offering continues the trajectory of underwhelming film adaptations of postcolonial fiction. 

Man of the moment Chitewel Eijifor’s plays the conceited, charismatic academic Odenigbo who finds himself plunged into the throws of the bitterly violent 1960’s Biafran war. Accompanying him on this tempestuous journey of a post-independent Nigeria, is his other half, the elegant and troubled soul Olanna (Thandie Newton). The narrative largely focuses upon their relationship, with the backdrop of tragic events transpiring around them. The two leads are very impressive in their roles, sustaining a fantastic intensity to their performance, and never shying away from the intimacy and chemistry needed for a dynamic of this nature. These moments are dispersed between some compelling archive footage, helping to capture the mood of the nation and allowing its audience a glimpse of the stark reality.

Director Biyi Bandele, has admirably tried to stay true to the story, but in my opinion must shoulder the responsibility for a number of the films shortcomings. Admittedly, attempting to condense such a sweeping tale into the 120 minutes running time was always going to prove challenging, nigh unattainable. However, the film is often stately and sluggish, descending into soapy melodrama too easily when exploring central revelations. Familiar scenes of domineering mothers, unplanned pregnancies and infidelity dominate the early scenes. Consequently, although sympathetic to the tragedy of such a story the audience may struggle to fully believe in its muddled narrative.

When presenting different time periods of the story Bandele’s editing was frustratingly abrupt, as new and significant stages of Odenigbo and Olanna’s lives are only separated by a brief, black freeze frames. It is unclear whether Bandele perceived this as an effective way of demonstrating the immediacy of war, or simply elected to approach it somewhat impatiently, all too aware that he needed to to get through all the vital material. 

Although moving, and in places a gripping picture, there is a notable imbalance in Half of A Yellow Sun, as Director Biyi Bandele ultimately fails to blend domestic anxiety and action sequences into an effective drama. 

Rhye- Open (Jeff Samuel Faded Remix)
Slow-soul duo Rhye’s music has proved to be ideal remix material. It could be that the band’s singles are softly and cleanly constructed, their basic elements easy to come to terms with after just one or two listens. Most likely, though, it’s the soothing, mystical sound of Rhye vocalist Mike Milosh that’s been bringing out the best in producers, who have taken to jettisoning most of the original material and wrapping Milosh’s coos around their own constructions.
We’ve already heard disco auteur Maurice Fulton’s infectious, funky remix of ‘The Fall’,and now Jeff Samuel has offered up a fantastically jaunty eight-minute re-do of ‘Open’. No stranger to this sort of thing, the Midwestern-born, Berlin-based producer’s been at it with Ghostly artists and others for over 15 years now, and so his take on “Open” sounds like it comes from someone who knows how to completely re-imagine his source material. Samuel takes a snatch of Milosh’s come-on of a chorus from the original— the portion that includes the word “Faded”, hence the title— and throws it on an infinite, dizzying loop, constructing a compelling house structure below it. And be sure to watch the carefree, mono video that challenges you to keep a straight face; 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue5HQ1cN_qw 

Rhye- Open (Jeff Samuel Faded Remix)

Slow-soul duo Rhye’s music has proved to be ideal remix material. It could be that the band’s singles are softly and cleanly constructed, their basic elements easy to come to terms with after just one or two listens. Most likely, though, it’s the soothing, mystical sound of Rhye vocalist Mike Milosh that’s been bringing out the best in producers, who have taken to jettisoning most of the original material and wrapping Milosh’s coos around their own constructions.

We’ve already heard disco auteur Maurice Fulton’s infectious, funky remix of ‘The Fall’,and now Jeff Samuel has offered up a fantastically jaunty eight-minute re-do of ‘Open’. No stranger to this sort of thing, the Midwestern-born, Berlin-based producer’s been at it with Ghostly artists and others for over 15 years now, and so his take on “Open” sounds like it comes from someone who knows how to completely re-imagine his source material. Samuel takes a snatch of Milosh’s come-on of a chorus from the original— the portion that includes the word “Faded”, hence the title— and throws it on an infinite, dizzying loop, constructing a compelling house structure below it. And be sure to watch the carefree, mono video that challenges you to keep a straight face; 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue5HQ1cN_qw 

David Lynch explores factories in a new London Exhibtion

Given a choice between visiting Disneyland and an abandoned factory, film director David Lynch will forever pick the latter. Take one look at his series The Factory Photographs, and it’s not hard to grasp why.  Whether it is the sites of dereliction or hothouses of industry, the various buildings captured make perfect movie material.

'They are like cathedrals,' says Lynch, of the factories. He talks of decay as a 'fantastic thing', before referring to rusting machinery and nature's slow requisition of abandoned spaces as something of 'great beauty' - though his images are anything but full of greenery.

Detached pipes and fractured brickwork litter the focus of Lynch’s lens. ‘There are shapes and textures in the factory that are so painterly,’ says the director, ‘It’s amazing.’ Each room brings more components and abstractions and with them, shadows that add the perfect darkness to black and white prints.

Lynch’s obsession initially began soon after he filmed The Elephant Man in 1980. ‘I always heard that the north of England had the greatest factories,’ explains Lynch. ‘That it was fire and smoke, and just pure beauty.’ And so, along with cinematographer Freddie Francis, he planned a trip to visit Britain’s industrial heritage - only to discover for the most part it had been torn down.

Now Lynch’s collection of photographs are on display at the Photographer’s Gallery in London. Haul yourself along and grasp what this great mind revels in; bringing to life the past while haunting the present.