London calling – street art round-up (Pt. 2)

As promised in part 1 of the London street art update post, here are the pick of the rest of the flicks from my 48 hours in the city. Some more top work from Borondo, an excellent piece from Nick Kuszyk at the Village Underground, and a classic from Alex Senna.

As ever way too much to see in just 48 hours, but check out what I did manage to see below!

Firstly, I couldn’t resist taking a wander by this from Stik, I’ve always liked this piece and it’s just off Brick Lane so it’s easy to make a detour by. These guys are pretty much synonymous with London now, and have been cropping up around different European cities more frequently.

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Much has been made of Borondo lately by urban art websites and blogs, myself included, but these two interesting works really demonstrate his talent and also his versatility. Apparently created from painting the inside of shop windows and delicately scraping it away, they are quite different from his larger outdoor painted pieces, but no less impressive.

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Nick Kuszyk’s Village Underground effort was probably one of my favourite’s from the trip. In fact, it’s probably up there as one of my all time favourite’s at the Village Underground. Martin Ron’s giant robotic hand being another that had a massive impact. The vivid colours on this one really make it pop.

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Ever since declaring my favourite Latin American street artists in a blog post, Alex Senna has been one of the artists I’ve been keeping tabs on. His, usually, black and white works are really cool sometimes with an almost Dysney-esque innocence about them. This example was just along from the Old Street roundabout.

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The stencil paintings of Snik are really unbelievable. Multi-layered and intensely detailed. These two examples just off Brick Lane were drawing the attention of a large street art tour, whose guide was more interested in the larger scale Rone pieces a stones throw away.

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…and this is the Rone piece. These portraits of beautiful women and flowers from the Aussie were also on display at D*Face’s Stolen Space Gallery, a really nice exhibition. The huge green monster alongside another of Rone’s ladies is called Frank and is the work of Mysterious Al.

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Finally – another old piece from the inimitable Roa joined by another South American, Martin Ron. I really liked the 3D aspect of his photo-real break dancer.

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So, yet another great trip to London, there’s always a mountain of new work to check out. I’m already excited to go back in July and check out what else has gone up in the intervening months! What did you think? Have you seen any on the streets lately that you think should have been included? Get in touch!

UKB
Steven

London calling – street art round-up (Pt. 1)

Undeniably one of the best cities for graffiti/street art/murals, whatever you want to call it, when in town for the UK blog awards I made sure to set aside a day to wander the ever changing streets of east London and take in the latest.

With guys like Borondo and Nick Kuszyk recently in town, along with exhibitions from the legendary (in this case, the use of the word ‘legendary’ is entirely deserved) Thierry Noir and Rone there was plenty to pack into 24 hours in the capital.

To give enough attention to some of my favourite pieces, I’ve split this post into 2 parts, this being the first.

Check out what I saw below, and as always comment, share, get in touch on Facebook, or tweet me @urbankulturblog.

London based James Cochrane aka Jimmy C had been getting about recently, before setting off for the In Situ Festival in Paris. These 2 more recent pieces are some of the best examples of his portrait style constructed from circular spraypaint spots or squiggles.

I like getting really close to his outdoor works to check out how they were put together, it makes the fuller picture all the more impressive when you step back, these close-ups hopefully give you a sense of the idea.

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I was really excited to check out Borondo’s work and was completely blown away. Not only by the quality of the pieces (they are visually some of the most impressive on the street just now) but the fact that there were so many.

Below are just two of his latest walls, off Brick Lane and next to Rough Trade Record Store. Check out part 2 of this blog post for something completely different from the stupidly talented Spaniard.

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Fin DAC’s portraits have also been gathering lots of attention lately. I interviewed him for UKB back in 2012, but this was the first of his pieces I’ve seen in the flesh since then. The Irishman making good use of this spot alongside work from Malarky.

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There’ve been plenty of tribute pieces online lately, marking the death of ‘The Godfather of House Music’, Frankie Knuckles. Paul Don Smith’s art often takes inspiration from film and music luminaries, this one was no different. His work is quite unassuming, small scale, often tucked away in doorways. Brick Lane is home to a number of his stencils, this being one of the most current I spotted.

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Lastly I caught a glimpse of this from Cranio on the way to grab a bagel! The indigenous characters of his native Brazil that feature frequently more often than not are the vehicle for his thought provoking stance on identity, consumerism and corrupt politicians…among other things!

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Part 2 coming soon, featuring further work from Borondo, as well as Rone, Nick Kuszyk and more…

Steven
UKB

Paula Temple’s top 5 Unseen tracks & review // Studio 24, Edinburgh

It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since Unseen snuck onto the Edinburgh club scene. From the city’s home of techno at Studio 24, they’ve welcomed consistently solid guests to help bring that ‘back-to-basics’ warehouse atmosphere to those in the know.

With their focus purely on music, refusing to be swayed into booking ‘big name’ DJs to sell the place out, the quality of selector supported by the Unseen residents is never in question.

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Unsurprisingly, their 2nd birthday celebration was no different having secured for the evening the services of R&S Records’ Paula Temple - a real coup.

Temple, whose making people stand up and notice after slipping off the techno scene following the release of her 2002 EP Speck of the Future, delivered a live/DJ hybrid show to match any that have gone in the past 24 months at Unseen.

And she certainly made sure we knew what all the fuss is about, with a heavy industrial techno set that we’ve come to expect from the night, but definitely raised the bar for the occasion.

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In fact, I think Temple’s set was one of the most thundering I’ve heard anywhere for a while, so much so that the amazing (and trippy) visual display by VJ PlanetArm was temporarily dislodged and ended up at the front  of the stage, thanks to the fierce vibrations!

She’s also been one of the only DJs I’ve seen lately who gave into a short lived T in the Park style ‘one more tune’ chant and fired up an additional 5 mins for the crowd. A crowd that, it should be said, is consistently one of the best natured and genuinely enthusiastic in town. All in all, another great night. I really hope to be celebrating another 2 years, at least, with the Unseen residents and their impeccable guest selections.

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Following such a great set, I caught up with Paula for a quick chat to pick out her top 5 tracks from time here in Edinburgh. For those of you who were there, sit back and reminisce. For those that weren’t, listen and curse yourself for being so foolish!

Paula’s Top 5 Unseen Tracks

1. Adriana Lopez – A Secret Behaviour [Grey Report]

2. Viktoria Rebeka – Radiation Manu [Affin]

3. Kangding Ray – Evento [Raster Noton]

4. Rrose – Pentagons [Eaux] – sample from Red Eye Records

5. Vanquieur – Lyot (Maurizio Mix) [Maurizio]

Urban Kultur at the UK Blog Awards 2014

The end of April saw UKB attend the National UK Blog Awards in London, where the best UK-based bloggers gathered to celebrate their achievements over the past year, and importantly, see who came away with the title of ‘blogger of the year’ for each of the categories.
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I made the trip down to London to represent Urban Kultur at the ceremony and, hopefully, bring home the award!

The Arts & Culture category that UKB was nominated under was pretty diverse which no doubt made it hard for the 3 judges to pick out a winner.

With apparently only a point separating a number of the winners and those in the runner-up spots (or ‘highly commended’), for the sake of our nerves, it was probably just as well the Arts & Culture category was the first to be announced.Relief then, as UKB was picked as one of 2 runners-up, and awarded the accolade of being ‘highly commended’ in the UK Blog Awards 2014.

It was a great honour to be recognised at the awards, especially since it had been judged by established Arts & Culture editors and writers from the likes of Ents24, as well as the UK Blog Awards organisers.

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Since starting off as a pretty low key blog in 2011 during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it has been great to see it expand. I really hope it will continue to grow in the future too, as I still have a lot of new ideas!

This small success, though, is in no small part down to the readers of UKB who voted the blog through in the initial stages. A big THANK YOU to everyone who read the blog, liked or shared any of the posts, retweeted any of the tweets, or just voted for UKB. It really is much appreciated.

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Thanks is also due to all of the DJs and producers who have spent time recording some top quality mixes for the podcast series. Thanks also to the artists and producers who have been kind enough to spend time chatting about their work and answering my endless list of questions with ridiculous levels of patience. It’s their work that has helped me to keep the blog as fresh and diverse as I possibly can.

Finally, thanks to DJ Mellowdram for helping hook up some of the finest mixes for UKB in the podcast series (and for recording some himself!), and to guest blogger & photographer James O’Hara for more recently covering some of Scotland’s best music and provide some great images to support.

Thanks once again and keep on reading!
UKB

UKB Guest Mix #19 – Pasch [UKB019]

Urban Kultur edges towards another landmark with a relentless heavy drum and bass mix from Pasch [Bold, Nachtbebem, Urban Breaks] – part of the RuFFM and X-Fade radio show crews in Germany. In addition to being a highly respected DJ, Pasch is the German head for Breaks and Drum and Bass at Mixmag Germany.

For nearly 10 years he has played in the clubs of his native Frankfurt. However, cities as far flung as Rio De Janeiro have heard his multigenre and bassy sets. Full of variety, Pasch has been able to display his talent by playing alongside acts like Commix, Klute, John B, BlackSunEmpire, Dub Phizix, ChrisSu and Optiv.

His trademark is tight mixing, rapid tempo switchover with an unerring selection of bassmusic, all of which are in full flow for UKB019.

The native Hessian holds down residences in Frankfurt at the Nachtbeben, Urban Breaks and the newly announced Bold parties at the infamous Tanzhaus West venue.

Turn this one up and enjoy. Remember to leave us any feedback either on Soundcloud, Facebook, or on the comments section below!

More from Pasch on Soundcloud and Facebook

UKB

Eduardo Paolozzi looks out on Leith again

Following on from the impressive mural by the Blameless Collective – Leith Late have almost delivered the latest of their own ‘Mural Project’ pieces in collaboration with Fife artist, Russell Dempster, portraying famous Scot Eduardo Paolozzi.

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Russell’s piece represents the 3rd large scale street art mural organised by Leith Late and adds another level to Edinburgh’s modest scene (well, at least the organised scene), growing steadily in the last few years thanks to organiser Morvern Cunningham.

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I cycled by the spot on Henderson St today to check it out in person and caught up with Russell as he put the finishing touches to his portrait of one time Leither, Eduardo Paolozzi. Asked to create a mural with a link to the area, Russell chose to paint Paolozzi, who many regard as the UK’s own father of pop art. He felt that although he was a notable Leither many in the area are unaware of him, his work or his connection to Leith.

Judging by the positive reaction (he was being congratulated by a number of locals as I took a few photos!) Paolozzi will most definitely have made his way into the collective Leith consciousness this week.

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The piece is made of 5 posters, put in place with the help of locals from Sofi’s Bar next door, with the subtle colour added afterwards. The shop front that is now home to this artwork was at one time an ice cream shop – a nice link back to Paolozzi’s childhood in Leith where he lived above, and helped out in, the family ice cream business.

I was quite surprised to find out that this is the first outdoor piece of this scale that Russell has attempted as the almost finished product is outstanding. It seems like it’s been a learning experience though.

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He explained that scaling up his work from a size that he’s more familiar was a test, adapting his work on the fly to suit the space when some initial plans just didn’t work as well as he felt they may have done.

But really, without him having told me this I’d have been completely oblivious. The outcome is epic! The shattered glass effect looks amazing, and is reminiscent of some of Paolozzi’s sculpture works, for example those at the top of Leith Walk with their disjointed overlapping appearance.

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If you’re in the area, it’s well worth a detour to check out Russell’s mural. It really has lifted that part of the street, no longer does it look bare and derelict. It’s also great to hear that the locals are taking to the piece, and becoming quite protective of it already.

The official opening of the mural is tomorrow, with Sofi’s Bar being the place to be just next door. A job well done, and beers thoroughly deserved for all involved!

Finally, check out more from Russell on Facebook, on his own website, or get your hands on some of his work on his Etsy shop.

UKB.