Music

July 3 2008




Ah Presets, you haven't let us down. When a pre-release copy of The Presets new album 'Apocalypso' landed on the Coolhunter desk last week, it was with great anticipation that we gave it a first spin. And Bam! straight away, it hit us - that crispness of sound, Julian Hamilton's semi-comatose delivery and the wailing synths - it was indeed The Presets we have come to know and love. 'Apocalypso' is a more complete album than its predecessor 'Beams', the songs more fully formed and subtly layered.

With the pounding 'My People' a club staple for months now, the album's second single 'This Boy's In Love' has all the hallmarks of glittering synthpop classic with its rising verses and dream-like chorus backed by tear-drop piano keys.  Elsewhere, 'If I Know You' sails by on skittering hi-hats and while Hamilton croons atop pulsating bass. On the album closer 'Anywhere', The Presets get emotional as sparse four-to the floor drums and empty vocals get overtaken by bouncy synth stabs and a New Order-esque, lighters-in-the-air crescendo.

The new album 'Apocalypso' drops on April 12, followed by a world tour. It's going to be a monster year for The Presets. By Nick Christie.

www.myspace.com/thepresets
 

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Music

July 1 2008



Unlimited credits are in the offing for whoever brought the majestic Al Green together with producers ?uestlove and James Poyser. Green’s new album, ‘Lay It Down’, is the best cut of soul you’re likely to hear all year. With guest spots featuring Anthony Hamilton and John Legend this is one very modern album and an absolutely essential addition to your Al Green collection.

The other essential Al Green albums?!  The Cool Hunter has you covered.

Let’s Stay Together — 1972


No introduction needed, with a title track that stayed at number one in the US for nine consecutive weeks. The rest of the album may not have been chart-worthy, but it’s nevertheless just as strong.

The Belle Album — 1977

Expected at the time to be his last secular LP, Green produces himself and lets loose a cracking series of meditations from a man caught between the religious and the secular.

I’m Still In Love With You - 1972

Released at Christmas of 1972 this, the most slickly romantic of Green’s albums, begs to be busted out next to a roaring fireplace with only the most special of wine and women in accompaniment.

Gets Next To You — 1971

The template-setter for the early 70s Green albums, this sounds like tightly reigned wanton madness.  Absolutely brilliant.

Call Me — 1973

Built on Willie Mitchell’s fastidious production, this is Green’s artistic zenith.  A masterpiece that totally beguiles the listener. By Matt Shea.



Music

June 28 2008


In the midst of festival season, The Cool Hunter thought it timely to highlight the world's greatest festivals.  Some of them you may have heard of, others you most certainly haven’t.  Regardless, all of them are essential for the worldly music lover.

Sonar — Barcelona, Spain

It would seem that going to a music festival doesn’t necessarily mean duking it out for three days in conditions not fit for human habitation.  Sonar is the festival for the discerning type, swapping mud-swamped squalor for the beautiful Ramblas village district of Barcelona.

Exit Festival — Novi Sad, Serbia

Held in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, Exit began life as a softly-softly political protest against the Milosevic regime.  Now staged within the grounds of an eighteenth century fortress, Exit has grown into a massive four-day cauldron of music and mayhem.

Aldrei For Eg Sudur (I Never Went South) — Isafjordur, Iceland

Forget rockstar egocentrics and drift to the north of Iceland in the fist thaw of the Easter weekend for a music festival that concentrates on Icelandic talent.  With conditions that scare off the average festival monkeyman, Aldrei For Eg Sudur is the most communal of music festivals.

Fuji Rock Festival — Naeba Ski Resort, Japan


Set amongst the lush forest of a summer ski field, Fuji Rock takes the music festival’s need for a large outdoor area and runs with it, providing one of the most spectacular and tranquil settings you could possibly imagine for a major rock festival.

Splendour In The Grass — Byron Bay, Australia

Australia isn’t as cheap to visit as it used to be, but suck it up to make it to Splendour In The Grass.  Great line-ups are complemented by a relaxed vibe and the spectacular beach surroundings of Byron Bay.  - Matt Shea

Stores

June 26 2008




It is risky to try to express luxury for an 18-28-year-old, wealthy male audience - and not turn them totally off. Rafael de Cardenas of New York's Architecture at Large took on this challenge with the rebuilding of Ubiq Philadelphia, the destination of choice for sneakerheads from far and wide.

As sneakers and streetwear do not lend themselves all that well to wine-colored velvet or chandeliers, de Cardenas approached the redesign of the large store with a cold and bold, simplified black-and-white palette. Hard, black-lacquered surfaces, op-inspired patterns, harsh lighting and simplified displays mix with beautiful detailing and white ceilings and floors.



Thrown into the mix is a posh back room, where streetwear is displayed in a traditional gentlemen's tailor room complete with dark-wood panels, antique furnishings, restored Victorian plasterwork and a magnificent, restored mahogany fireplace. It is all a nice fusion of mansion and showroom, inviting and cold, pared-down and rich. With his approach, de Cardenas has managed to teeter in the wobbly middle-space between the reassuring - 'you can tell this is expensive, can't you?' - and the nonchalant 'I don't really care.'



The entire store is up about a meter from street level, so you can be assured that you are seen, day or night, on display, shopping for your latest pair of Clae, Stussy Deluxe, Vans Vault, Original Fake, UMBRO by Kim Jones and many others. Apparently, rap artist Kanye West has shopped there, so it should be good to go for the rest. By Tuija Seipell

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Fashion

June 25 2008




Mark our words: skinny legs are on their way out. Hard to believe, we know, given that every hipster from Hobart to Helsinki is sporting licorice legs right now but the tide is slowly turning, thanks to the world's top designers who have decided that they've had enough of the look. Enter Prada, who are still setting global trends and leading the way in true fashion innovation, despite being a global mega brand (which usually spells one thing: boring). The brilliant fashion house is on a mission to bring back seriously voluminous  "flares," but with a fabulous signature quirky Prada twist in the form of lavish fabrication and intricate prints. Not for the faint-fashion hearted. 



Still with Prada, parts of their beautiful new shoe collection look as if they have slipped straight out of a Salvador Dali painting or some other strange alternative universe where there are no design rules. We love the decorative heels, which look more like pieces of grand, hand-carved furniture than a pair of pumps. They're almost too good to wear. By Lisa Evans

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Random Archive


Food

June 25 2008




We�re constantly in awe of the incredible ideas coming out of the world of retail and hospitality interior design. Over the last few years we've seen an influx of creative new minds enter the field who are redefining the concept and making their own rules. The latest inspiring example of innovative interior commercial design is the new Maedaya Grill & Sake bar in Melbourne, created by local design firm, Architects Eat. The sushi restaurant's interior, mostly 'bound' by ropes,  demonstrates the possibility of using ordinary recyclable material for hospitality projects without compromising sophistication.



The rope idea originated from the classic design of sake bottles, which are traditionally secured with ropes. The principal materials for this project are Manila ropes, timber and concrete, all reflecting natural elements such as vegetation and earth.

EAT  took a different path with the first-floor function room, which is in stark contrast with the ground-floor 'rope' room. Here they have created a modern, minimalist space with white-washed walls, Japanese black-stained timber flooring, simple timber benches and raw stainless steel canopies. By Lisa Evans.


 

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Fashion

June 20 2008




Collaborations are the way forward now in a rapidly changing fashion landscape. Everyone from high-street retailers right through to smaller, niche labels are collaborating with interesting creatives from all disciplines in an effort to bring a bit of true individuality, exclusivity and authenticity back into fashion.



French label Surface 2 Air Paris has taken a unique approach to the concept by collaborating with cult French dance music outfit Justice to produce a mini collection. Epitomizing the personal style of Justice members, the collection includes 2 worn-in biker-style leather jackets, which are fitted to the body, in keeping with the �super-skinny� silhouette still favoured by most hipsters around the world. Jeans are also part of the collection, which, you guessed it�.are super skinny. The result is a hot look but one that requires the long-term abstinence from traditional French staples -  cheese and croissants.   Ah�what we do for fashion. By Lisa Evans
 

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Lifestyle

June 20 2008




Not so long ago, you didn't even know the sex of your baby until the day of birth. Today, we'll know just about everything there is to know -- especially now that expectant mommies and daddies can gaze upon their progeny with the help of Echographic images 4-D. Apparently, these are the best medical images available. Echographic imagery is not new, but it has not been widely used for this purpose. For the old-fashioned among us, who feel that emailing even ultrasound images of your baby to everyone is intrusive and somewhat disturbing, this is bad idea. And one might wonder if we shouldn't be concerned about interfering with the baby's scarce months of peace and quiet before he/she must face our noisy, over-lit world. Add to this our impulsive need to share every single moment of our rather uninteresting lives with the rest of the universe, this could become rather tiresome. However, once the Genie is out of the lamp, there's no stuffing him back. So, expect to see images and video of unborn babies all over your desktop soon. By Tuija Seipell.

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Music

June 19 2008


Brooklyn quartet Yeasayer’s music is a concoction of indie rock and worldbeat that should probably come off as stilted and manufactured but the band instead, like a pack of hip-shooting alchemists, mesh these genres together in experiments that pay off brilliantly. 

Guitars, sitars, mandolins, bongos, cowbells, and fretless bass are all run through with driving synthesisers, while ceaselessly harmonising vocals tend to stay deep in the mixes, adding to the ethereal quality of their music.

Obvious touchstones David Byrne and Peter Gabriel would be proud to turn out music as brilliant and thoroughly engaging as this. 

By Matt Shea

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Lifestyle

June 19 2008




From Berlin Germany, Metrofarm Studio has produced a number of stunning, custom built DJ Desks. Having released a concrete DJ table a couple of years back, the new desks, in folded stainless steel and wood painted black and neon orange demand attention.  But they're not just for finely tuned vinyl slingers looking for the perfect ergonomic ratios to heighten their musical flow. They're for anybody with a musical mind and an eye for detail, looking to add spark to a lounge room, club or gallery.  It's art for the DJ's sake. By Nick Christie

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