Design

May 2 2008



The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology merges the concepts of lighting and art with this spectacular 3D LED piece, dubbed NOVA. Created for the institute's 150th anniversary, the display is made up of 25000 lightballs.

Incredibly it can display 16 million colours per second. The behemoth, which weighs 3.3 tonnes, is currently displayed at the Zurich train stations main hall, where it will live until September 2009. By Lisa Evans








Transportation

April 30 2008



Most of us know when we see an ‘M’ on the back of the BMW passing us on the freeway, there’s virtually no way we’re going to catch up.  The ‘M’ division BMW has recently revealed its latest concept — a tribute to their first mid-engine supercar originally manufactured by collaborative efforts of BMW and Lamborghini thirty years ago — the M1. 



In the world of supercars, the M1 certainly looks like it will hold its own — an effortless blend of retro cool with revolutionary elegance. The new Liquid Orange M1 may only be a concept right now, but just know if you see those beady headlights quickly approaching from your rear view mirror, move out of the fast lane — you’re about to be overtaken! By Andrew J Wiener








Music

April 28 2008


Context is everything.

To record 'For Emma, Forever Ago', Bon Hiver - aka Justin Vernon - retreated to the remotest corner of Wisconsin and recorded alone for  three cold winter months.

That sense of loneliness, that dull, confusing ache that swells up when things just fall apart, it's all captured here in hearty acoustic strums and softly whispered vocals.

Bon Iver is a play on the French words for 'good winter'.  And that is notable because what could have been a very bad winter for Vernon was salvaged by the recording of this extraordinary album.  

Sitting on the sonic spectrum between Iron and Wine and Jose Gonzalez, 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is nine songs of subtle, layered acoustic guitar and Vernon's healing falsetto.

It's an album you spin when your lover leaves you.  In that context, Bon Iver will make you feel better about being sad.

Context is everything and 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is brilliant. Download 'Skinny Love' here:

myspace.com/boniver




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Music

April 17 2008




Santogold’s 'L.E.S. Artistes' is a whole lot of good. With a spin of the single and the accompanying faux-gore video, it sounds like it was pieced together over several late nights at M.I.A.’s loft with help from with invited guests Tegan & Sara serving drinks, Nick Zinner controlling the stereo with all those obscure late ‘80s noise bands you’ve never heard of and revered UK beatsmith Switch twiddling a knob here and there for effect.

All the while Philly native, Santogold, bellows above it all with rousing, fists-clenched intensity. CSS’s Lovefoxx was there too, overseeing the green sausage guts aesthetic of the clip but she passed out in bathtub before the end. Sounds pretty damn great, don’t you think? Me too. By Dave Ruby Howe

myspace.com/santogold

Music

April 17 2008


Jamie Lidell - the IDM nerd turned whiteboyfunksuperfreak - is back.  His 2005 jaw-dropper 'Multiply' found fans on dance floors, head phones, cafes, Grey's Anatomy and in Target commercials.

Berlin based Lidell is an everyman whose cheery Motown soul is simultaneously uplifting and cerebral and his sophomore effort 'Jim' is a cracker of an album. 

Opener 'Another Day' bursts out of the speakers with bird songs and all the hope and joy of a summer dawn.  It's the kind of track that will have neighbours knocking down your door to join the party every time you play it.

Backed by gospel choirs and vaulting keys, Lidell's croon makes you realise how good Michael Buble could be if only he sounded this good.

The album's first single 'Little Bit Of Feel Good' is as funky as 'Jim' gets.  



It's an unmissable plea to the feet-draggers and cynics.

'Jim' is ten tracks of gorgeous pop and soul.  It's a summer record.  But regardless of the season you'll be playing it endlessly and feeling all the better for it. By Nick Christie

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Music

April 15 2008


I had the incredible pleasure of seeing Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu perform live in June 2007.

In a packed cafe, Gurrumul sang and played his acoustic guitar, accompanied only by a double bass.  

His voice was the most extraordinary live voice I have ever heard and its impact was devastating.  In a venue that held at most 200 people, the majority were reduced to tears by the power and poignancy of a man whose message lingers with you long after his songs end.

A former member of Australian band Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul was born blind and sings mostly in his traditional language.  

Gurrumul plays the guitar upside down because there were no left handed guitars in the communities he grew up in.

Gurrumul's story will inspire many. But his voice is what will cut through and if it lands on enough ears, his debut album 'Gurrumul'  available on Skinnyfish Music could prove to be a landmark Australian release.



myspace.com/gurrumul 

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Gurrumul

By Nick Christie

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Ads

April 15 2008




To promote the exclusive thrillers and horror films on 13th Street, the toilet of a nightclub in Hamburg was specially prepared. Just after entering the room, the light suddenly goes out and the room is bathed in Black light. And now a bloody crime scene becomes visible on the floor and walls: "See what others don't see. 13TH STREET. The Action and Suspense Channel."

Ad Agency - Creative Director: Bernd Kramer

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Music

April 11 2008


Foals make me jealous. I mean, how embarrassing is it to see these kids blast their way onto the scene with the kind of awe-inspiring, frenetic indie-meets-dance-punk you wished that second Valentinos EP would’ve had? Pretty embarrassing. In the spotlight for less than a year and Foals have already featured on a Kitsuné Maison compilation, inked major deals, and had their drummer pose for Burberry’s Spring/Summer line. Shit, these kids get their record produced by TV On The Radio’s main man Dave Sitek and essentially scrap his mixes in favour of their own. Next thing you know they’ll be ignoring all those MySpace messages from Timbaland. Damn them.

Then they go and rub it in my face with their terrific debut album Antidotes. Look at them - flaunting those nervous guitar lines, those booming drums and fevered vox. Even the horns can’t slow down the raucous second single Cassius, nor the stomp of Heavy Water. By Dave Ruby Howe

Get envious at myspace.com/foals

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Architecture

April 11 2008




The owner couple of this beautiful pre-fabricated cabin on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada, has been coming to their large recreational property for a quarter-century. But the big property in a great recreational location translated into lots of overnight guests and no privacy for the owners.

They felt they needed a 'getaway,' a place at their own property where they could capture the peace and serenity of the surrounding four-season nature without disturbing any of the existing trees or structures. They needed a place that remembers what the Simcoe cottage-country is all about.

The brilliant, award-winning solution by Toronto-based Taylor Smyth Architects is the one-room Sunset Cabin, a real cabin with a decidedly contemporary feel. The wonderful cabin has won several architectural and design awards and met the clients’ needs perfectly.

It is a one-room (190 square feet in size), self-contained box that was built by furniture craftsmen in four weeks in a Toronto parking lot and installed on site in 10 days.

Three of the exterior walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and of those, two are encased in horizontal cedar-screens for privacy, shade and light effects inside. One of the cedar screens has a large opening providing a direct view of the sunset from the built-in bed. The rest of the screen has random smaller gaps to allow various vignettes of the surrounding nature and to create fantastic light patterns inside. The slats are positioned so that there is no direct view in from the outside, but at the same time, it the inside feels almost wall-less.



The untreated cedar of the outer structure will turn silvery grey over time, helping the cabin blend in with its natural surroundings. In addition, the roof, visible from the existing main building, is a green roof planted with native plants of the area, further ensuring that the building mixes in with the landscape rather than sticks out in it.

All interior surfaces are unpainted birch veneer plywood, including the built-in storage cabinets. Doors at both ends of the cabin allow for cross ventilation. The interior floor extends outside to form a deck where the rustic feel continues with the screened-off outdoor shower.

The owners are apparently spending more time at their property than ever before. They enjoy the cabin year-round, heating it by a wood-burning stove and, if needed, electric heaters. Most likely, they are not inviting guests to share the space, so we can join in only by admiring the images. By Tuija Seipell


Music

April 8 2008




Produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk and released by Air's label Record Makers, Sebastien Tellier's new album 'Sexuality' is a rhythmic ode to - you guessed it - the art of love making.

'Sexuality' explores the common ground between Daft Punk's 'Make Love' and Air's 'Sexy Boy'.

Tellier's songs traverse voluptuous synths and sweeping strings.  The drums throb and whir soothingly at the edges of the sound.  Tellier sings in a convincing coo and whisper as if he is updating Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's ascendant 'Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus'.

Where Tellier's French contemporaries like Justice head for the euphoric, chanting hooks, Tellier goes mellow, radiating warmth and revealing subtle analogue textures.

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On the film clip for the instrumental track 'Sexual Sportswear', Tellier loops his keyboards like a double helix as a female body, lit up to resemble the iconic cover art for A Tribe Called Quest's 'The Low End Theory', writhes and moves to the music. By Nick Christie

Most definitely one for the lovers.

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