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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Food

June 16 2008



Home Made Delicate Food Delivery on Milan’s via Tortona is homey in a supremely stylish way. And it should be, being as it is located right at the epicenter of Salone del Mobile. Owner Monica Bangari with architects Riccardo Salvi and Luca Rossire envisioned a real home and created a cozy flow from the living room to a little garden (by landscape architect Carlo Callari of Milan’s ARePA studios). The fabulous AGAPE bathtub on the patio is an example of the clever partnership deals that the architects made with several prominent suppliers — all of whom are keen to be present where the world of design mingles. The suppliers, including the architects, are listed as “sponsors” on the restaurant’s website, which perhaps is an indication of their home-grown version of “let’s all work together for a common good and forget being so greedy.” Salvi and Rossire have collaborated since 1998 and completed many innovative projects including the design of furniture and accessories for various manufacturers. The food at Home Made is healthy and fresh – slow food at its Italian finest – and take out is delivered in swanky and lean 50s retro baggies. Handy and simple menus are published online for easy online ordering. By Tuija Seipell




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Events

June 13 2008



In 1877, Antonio Fluxá went all the way from the island of Majorca to England to learn about shoemaking. Whatever he learned there, he put into action immediately and founded a shoe company that his grandson Lorenzo turned into Camper Shoes  in 1975. Today, the family's fourth generation is at the helm, the company is still based in Majorca and its shoes are sold worldwide. If you were lucky, you received an invite to this fun-and-games Campy party held in Germany recently, to celebrate the launch of the Spring/Summer 08 collection. AstroTurf, retro gear, great music and sand in your sandals. We're in. By Tuija Seipell



Kids

June 13 2008



To many of us it seems like advancements in technology are moving at an extremely accelerated pace, but to those who are following in our footsteps, the rate of change could not be fast enough. For some school children in Camden outside of London, Gollifer Langston’s prototype transportable Classrooms of the Future will deliver information and communication technology (ICT) on a flatbed truck in the form of an oblong gray pod capable of providing a sufficient ICT facility that many schools are unable to install within their own environments.

The mobile classroom will move from school to school, and is designed to hold 15 students at a time.  Once the pod is delivered, a set of hydraulics expands the unit wider, and creates an entrance as well as a stage and a small-cinema-sized screen for presentations and performances.  The work space will provide mainly high school students a place to explore music and filmmaking. The Classroom of the Future will have capabilities of adapting for additional needs as technology races beyond what even the next generation can predict. By Andrew J Wiener



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Music

June 11 2008




Seattle's Fleet Foxes are the perfect soundtrack to a cold, rainy afternoon. Like a calm Brian Wilson filtered through My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, the band's lead singer, 21 year old Robin Pecknold is a remarkable musical talent.

Like a church choir led by your favourite indie band, the Fleet Foxes sound is a mix of glistening, layered vocal harmonies, softly plucked guitars and a sense of longing and wonder that only open skies and vast wilderness can evoke.  

It sounds simultaneously now and forty and one hundred years ago.

Free of time, this album, this band, Fleet Foxes, are here to stay. By Nick Christie


Offices

June 11 2008



Great interior design isn't just limited to private homes, the retail world, hotels and public spaces such as art galleries. Smart employers are realizing that a creative workspace inspires greater productivity and...you guessed it, creativity. Since we first identified this trend last year, we've seen many more great examples - so much so that we've decided to launch a whole new section on creative work environments around the globe. Like this great space designed for KULT offices, located in a former school atop Mount Sophia in Singapore, the inspiration for this PR and advertising agency was to return to the uncertainty and excitement of the classroom laboratory. Remember the fascinating hours spent in the school lab - setting fire to stuff, cutting slimy things, peering into microscopes, sniffing foul liquids, adding just a little bit more of that to this to see what happens? Kult staff step into their office through a large cut in the wall, which creates an other-worldly effect as they leave reality behind every morning. A central island work-space is illuminated by a spectacular, suspended light ceiling. This techno element is balanced by the ubiquitous views of nature, delivered by windows situated above each desktop along the entire length of the office's walls. A contrasting color scheme of black and white brings it all together creating a modern space that blends harmoniously with the natural environment.



We're so inspired by cool creative office design that we're going to make the subject of our next book: The World's Coolest Creatives Offices; the second in a series which kicked off on The World's Coolest Hotel Rooms, this week. If you know of such a cool creative environment please send us a tip. By Lisa Evans.

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Music

June 5 2008

Is it too early for lists?  Never, we say.  So here they are, all the songs that have set the bar so high for music in '08.

10 - Foals - 'Balloons'

These Oxford boys "fly balloons on this fuel called love".  So they own my favourite lyric so far this year.  They also sport snaky, crystal guitar lines and a gurgling brass section - what else can you do but sit back and lap it up?  Encore.



9 - Tokyo Police Club - 'In A Cave'

These young Ontarions, do it straight up.  The drum beat makes my neck snap, the guitars make me want to jump and the whole thing, in all its raw, snotty glory makes me feel like I did when I discovered punk for the first time. 



8 - Cut Copy - 'Lights & Music'

Even when they're cruising, Cut Copy churn out fabulously energetic pop gems. Tops.



7 - M83 - 'Graveyard Girl'

Would getting to second base in a cemetary be awkward/blasphemous? This makes it sound so right. And hot.


 
6 - Snoop Dogg - 'Sensual Seduction'

Snoop can do anything he likes, basically. He could ditch the blunts and 8-Balls for a harmonica and some overalls and get all country and western on us and he'd still drop a hot record.



5 - Santogold - 'L.E.S. Artistes'


Perfect pop. Without borders, without barriers. The best song from hands down the best indie-reggae rock-hop album, ever.



4 - The Presets - 'This Boy's In Love'


Like some forgotten gem from Depeche Mode's bombed out basement, This Boy's In Love thunders into the list. It's equal parts new romantic fey-pop and pure dancefloor dynamite. Brilliant.



3 - Vampire Weekend - 'A Punk'


Every time lead vocalist Ezra Koenig sings that hook: "Look outside, the raincoats gone" he dangles just one, excruciatingly good 'Say Oh!' off the end of it.  I wish he would have given me a more traditional 'Say Oh, oh, oh', but the fact he didn't is probably the reason I keep coming back for more.



2 - The Teenagers - 'Love No (Delorean Remix)'


Week old pepperoni pizza, Showgirls, broken English and blatant hipster narcissism. Yes, the Teenagers have it all.  And this Delorean remix somehow manages to make them even better.  Superb.



1 - MGMT - 'Kids'

Oh man.  The little rising synth, warbling like a bird to the sound of children playing. Is there are more uplifting intro to a song anywhere in the world right now? MGMT make you pump fists in the air, sing at the top of your voice, dance like a fool and smile until you hurt. Thank you MGMT.



By Nick Christie and Dave Ruby Howe



Food

June 5 2008



Rumor has it that Bangalore Express, opened a few months ago across Waterloo Station in London, is the first of many to come. Both menu and decor of this modern, Indian fresh-food place have received mixed reviews, but we like the inventiveness of the “scaffolding” used to build the booths and the upper level. Some have called it a recipe for disaster and other thought it looked like bunk beds. Both may be true as you do need to climb step ladders to reach the second level and much of the exposed structure is, indeed, made of FastClamp, a construction-site scaffolding system.



The interior colour scheme is organic in muted greens and browns. We love the peacefulness this creates. Bangalore Express is the newest venture of proprietors Charles Hill and head chef Yogesh Datta who also run the Painted Heron in Chelsea. By Tuija Seipell




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Design

June 3 2008


Movin’ on up, now more than ever encapsulates stunning design, impeccable service, effortless living from the time the sun rises to well after the sun sets. We’ve been noticing a rising trend in the sheer number of luxury residences - we recently told you about an exclusive collection of seaside properties in Abu Dhabi. And now from New York to Buenos Aires, and from Moscow to Beijing, we’ll reveal a few more of the coolest luxury abodes.

Many of us have been accustomed to the stylistic cues offered by W Hotels across the world — but how many of us will actually have a chance to pick up the phone from our own kitchens and receive assistance from the ‘Whatever, Whenever’ hotline? Soon, for those who jumped at the chance to purchase a W-styled apartment in one of their newest locations south of the World Trade Centre in New York City, the possibilities will be limitless.



W Residents may share the building with distinguished hotel guests in the lower portion of Manhattan, but luxury amenities such as a rooftop terrace, a fitness centre and spa in the sky, a media screening room and digital lounge, as well as a separate entrance, will be solely for those permanently living in the upper floors of the luxury tower. 



While the W Hotel New York Downtown will take up the first twenty-two floors, the upper levels have been split into furnished residences (Floors 23-30) and customised residences (Floors 33-56). Interior design exceeds expectations, even by W standards, with sleek and functional kitchen built-ins to a translucent wall from the bedroom to a ‘peek-a-boo loo.’



A bit further in the heart of Tribeca, Five Franklin Place is destined be the epitome of luxury residences. The 20-storey building will contain 55 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units that will be set up as duplex lofts on the lower floors; single-level city residents above; plus three triplex penthouses each with a rooftop terrace and serviced by private internal lifts. 

The building itself, designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkell of UNStudio, will be wrapped in a series of horizontal black metallic bands — each of which ungulates as it curves around and hugs the frame of the structure. The façade is apparently a direct tribute to the original 19th-century built form of cast iron that shaped lower Manhattan — and the metallic surface will reflect light while highlighting the magnificence of the neighbouring buildings. 



The building’s façade is not merely about aesthetics, as the bands will also create shading from the daylight, deflect heat, and guarantee every residence will have the highest degree of privacy, and simultaneously frame unparalleled views out across Manhattan. 

The Loft Residences on the levels have a double-height living area that maximises the light entering the space. The height of the great room continues on through a gallery where a white lacquered library wall ascends up into the second level. 



The upper-tier City Residences feature integrated terraces off the main living areas, and all units are custom-fitted with B&B Italia kitchens and built-ins throughout. The master bathrooms feature a circular sliding wall that allows the bathroom to become part of the bedroom and share its spectacular city views. 

And for those at the top, the five ultra-luxurious Sky Penthouses are unmatched in practically every aspect. Again, B&B Italia has masterfully crafted the space, including the kitchen.  Sweeping views from every room, even the master bathroom, automatically heighten the occupants’ awareness of their place in the cityscape and the surrounding environment. 



The skylines of our cities are rapidly changing — ingeniously designed buildings are competing for our attention. But architectural beauty alone is not going to provide the type of service we’re growing accustomed to expecting after spending millions on luxury lifestyle. We feel that the rise of luxury residences has only just begun — and we want to know all about it. If you are aware of luxury residences we should investigate, please let us know. By Andrew J Wiener.


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