UKB Guest Mix #26 – Gabriel Kemp [UKB026]

House and techno with an occasional garage edge, Gabriel Kemp brings his style to the fold for UKB026.

As a resident of Edinburgh’s latest club night Revolver (a monthly showcase of those regularly behind the decks in the city) hosted at the recently resurrected La Belle Angele, Gabriel’s promo mix for the February edition caught my ear as a slick house and techno mix with great selections.

In much the same way, this near hour long mix from the former Animal Hospital mainstay provides more of the same but with something a little different.

Stay locked.

Gabriel Kemp [UKB026]
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Tracklist
1. Butano, Brito, Muller, Bodine – Westbound
2. James Blake – Wilhelm’s Scream (Samu.I edit)
3. Cobblestone Jazz – India In Me
4. Gemini – Where Do I Go?
5. Gregor Tresher – For Many Days To Come
6. Mr. Scruff – Sweetsmoke
7. Kabale Und Liebe, Lauhaus – Hiphouse
8. Hodge, Facta – Spheres Of Costa Rica
9. Rebeval – B Is Naggin
10. Beesmunt Soundsystem – Body Shape
11. Nevermind – Oooh Dub
12. Damiano Von Erkhert – Last One
13. Asusu – Velez (A Made Up Sound remix 2)
14. Hakimonu – Insular Realms
15. Marco Zenker – Geezin

Steven
UKB

Currently showing – Urbansolid [Street Art Documentary]

It’s Sunday evening, Monday’s now as close as it’s been all week. So what better way to wind down the weekend than with a documentary?

I’ll be posting a new documentary on a different aspect of street art, music or alternative culture from Europe every other weekend, so keep an eye out for some more of these on the blog or via Facebook and Twitter.

Urban Solid collage

First up is this nicely shot 15 minute by David Drills following Italian street sculptors, Urbansolid. Their expertly crafted clay sculptures can be found in many of the world’s best cities for street art. London, Berlin, and now Paris, the focus of this mini-documentary.

Their work is clever, poking fun at modern society, or making razor-sharp observations and translating these into their installations.

A very interesting watch, especially so for those who have stumbled across their work in the past.

Steven
UKB

Street art tour of Barcelona part 3 – El Poble Sec

Rounding up the Barcelona online tour, part 3 leads you from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya to Plaça d’Espanya then down the Avinguda del Paral·lel, finally to the covered walls of the Jardins de Walter Benjamin – home to some really amazing lettering work, and completely different to parts 1 and 2 of this feature.

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Having wandered round the Olympic Stadium (some nostalgia for anyone who remembers the 92 games) I headed towards the MNAC with its breath-taking positioning and surroundings.

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On the way, I came across this sentence scribbled on an overpass wall, in stark contrast to its positioning among the grand buildings of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya .

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It translates as ‘the democracy reeks of plutocracy’. However there’s a play on words in a way as democracia is misspelt as demonocracia, hinting at the devilish state of the countries democratic principles. Not your usual knob-on-a-wall style scribble, that’s for sure.

This one really stuck with me, in a region whose constitutional future hangs in the balance, statements such as these are fascinating. Who was it written by? And why did they write it here, especially?

Around the Plaça d’Espanya and onto Avinguda del Paral·lel, I caught a piece from Kram posted on a doorway. This illustrated poster is really popular throughout Barcelona with Ozzy another artists excelling in this medium. Kram is definitely one to keep an eye on. Some of his larger scale work is stunning too. I’ve included it here, as although I didn’t see it in person, it’s too good not to share…

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At the Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies, there was plenty of work on display too. Dodging in amongst the skateboarders I caught some snaps of these works. If you’re visiting Barcelona and would like to take in some art, I’d thoroughly recommend stopping by.

Some guys chilling on the benches that afternoon appeared slightly menacing, yet moved so I could get a decent shot! Good lads…

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Further up, this strange concrete structure played host to a fantastic collaborative piece between El Pez, Cranio and Koar. It was closed off for some sort of work but I managed to poke my camera through to get a reasonable flick, although it doesn’t do it justice.

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Would be excited to see more of this from Cranio and El Pez, two different yet complementary styles in El Pez’s more fish that are spawned from a more traditional graffiti stile and the illustrative indigenous characters of Cranio that work very well together.

When catching the bus up to Montjuic – I spotted what appear to be legal walls (or maybe just very popular) down at the Jardins de Walter Benjamin. The majority of the work I’d seen so far in Barcelona was more “contemporary” street art – a pretty lazy definition – basically not letter work.

However, this part of the city was heavily tagged and there was some amazing lettering on display. Check out some of these examples.

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As you’d expect from a city like Barcelona, it’s an absolute treasure trove of art. Although I spent almost 5 days wandering around the various districts and neighbourhoods, there’s so much more to discover, and to quote that well-worn travel guide cliché, I didn’t even scrape the surface.

I’ll be back. Until next time, hasta luego Barcelona.

Steven
UKB

UKB Guest Mix #25 – Shu [UKB025]

We’re at the quarter-mark with UKB mix series – UKB025 marks this milestone with this deep and varied bass mix courtesy of Berlin based producer and DJ, Shu.

Having cut his teeth in music production as a guitarist, Shu’s first contact with electronic music was drum & bass and techno, before moving to Berlin from Koblenz and falling in love with the deep and dark sounds of the city’s dubstep scene.

Citing Caspa’s set at MELT! Festival in 2008 and FabricLive 37 – Caspa & Roska as two definitive moments in setting musical trajectory, these helped Shu intensify his commitment to production. He has since gone on to find himself in the world of 140bpm halftime, while also releasing 130bpm and bass music tracks.

His signature dark and deep productions have seen him follow up on his first release Quantensprung EP [BF Recordings] with further material on labels such as Indigo Movement, Bassliebe, Phantom Hertz and Gradient Audio.

His free track Rook on FatKidOnFire and several other productions have gained support from N-Type, Distance and Demon, and demonstrate the quality Shu’s releases have to offer, many of which feature in this solid mix for UKB.

Shu is part of the Signals Crew in Berlin,  who host a bi-weekly show on Rood.FM, and plays regularly in Berlin and throughout Germany. You can listen to more of his mixes via the DeepDarkDungeonDubstep blog and on London’s Basspath Radio.

But for now, enjoy his latest, UKB Guest Mix #25 – Shu.

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Tracklist

1. Acre – Reload [Tectonic]
2. Aphix – Sin King [Keysound]
3. Hodge & Facta – Visions [Tempa]
4. Hodge – Mind Games [Hotline]
5. Beneath – Duty [Tectonic]
6. Pinch & Mumdance – Turbo Mitzi [Tectonic]
7. Facta – Poliwhirl [Wisdom Teeth]
8. Hodge & Facta – Spheres of Costa Rica [Tempa]
9. Roska – Hyperion [Tectonic]
10. Kahn & Neek – Backchat [Hotline]
11. Wen – It’s Alot [Keysound]
12. French Fries – Champagne [ClekClekBoom]
13. Peverelist – Kinetics [Magic + Dreams]
14. Dusk & Blackdown – Peng One Two [Keysound]
15. Dusk & Blackdown – Drenched (Facta Remix) [Keysound]
16. Caski – Tunnel Music [Keysound]
17. A.Motion – Swerve [Slime]
18. David Eliza – Scapegoat [Slime]
19. Djrum – Tailing [2nd Drop]
20. TRVE & Occult – ??? [Dub]
21. Gnista – I Want U Out [Dub]
22. Shu – Hatred [Dub]
23. Shu – Cause [Dub]
24. Epoch – The Steppenwolf [Keysounds]
25. Vacant – Afraid [EDM.com]
26. Luke Benjamin – Asha [Keysound]
27. Shu – Trust [Dub]

Steven
UKB

Street art tour of Barcelona part 2 – Gracia to El Raval

Following on from the last Barcelona street art tour post, I took to the streets of the amazing (but polar opposite) Gracia and el Raval. While having slightly more of an idea of my route this time compared to the maze of el Born, this map is still only indicative, at least within Raval!

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Gracia (Carrer de La Legalitat to Mercat de L’Abaceria)

Having journeyed down from Park Guell, and ensured the morning’s sophisticated culture stop was taken care of, I made my way for what probably turned out to be my favourite part of Barcelona, thanks in part to the laid back indie vibe and artistic atmosphere.

Barcelona’s El Pez has his fish spread across the city, including an amazing piece off Avinguda de Parallel (more on that in part 3…) but this old shutter from ’08 caught my eye, having deteriorated at the same pace as the building it’s part of. It fits the scene perfectly.

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Buoyed by this first find of the day, I criss-crossed the neighbourhood, ducking down side streets and gathering quizzical and concerned looks from local workers as I crouched to take pictures at odd angles of obscure bits of wall.

This doorway I passed had another poster from Ozzy, who was rapidly becoming a new favourite of mine with his bright and vivid poster designs. Not sure who or what Utah Ether is, but he/she/they definitely pissed someone off in these parts as nearly all the stickers bearing the name had been scratched, torn or painted over.

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Francisco de Pajaro whose work ‘Art is Trash’ I covered in my recent trip to London, had a small piece near a café by Plaça Revolució de Setembre 1868 that had all but disappeared. I took the opportunity to slap a sticker above it too.

For newer examples of his work, check out my recent blog from the anti-art master.

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Further down towards central Barcelona I came across these pieces from C215, who would appear to have as much work in the city as native El Pez! These pieces are of different ages it would seem, but all great examples of his stencil artwork. As you can probably tell, I’m an unashamed fanboy.

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The last stop of the day in Gracia was at Mercat L’Abaceria. Over an Almogaver Clasica I was told by a waiter at a local café that the shutters of this lively market dropped around 2pm effectively revealing an awesome open air street art exhibit while the locals head home for some early afternoon shut-eye. Pieces from Inkgravity, Nada and Konair stood out here. Incidentally Konair’s half eaten ice-lollies were spotted far and wide – bit of a local legend it would seem!

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El Raval (Rambla de Raval, Carrer de la Vistalegre to Riereta)

From the sedate and chilled Gracia to the rawer, electric and exhilarating El Raval. I dropped into this exciting neighbourhood at the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum before diving in head first at the buzzing and frenetic Rambla el Raval.

This mosaic piece at nearby Carrer de Vistalegre by Olae Olae, and another sign intervention from Frenchman Clet Abraham caught my eye before visiting the community led pieces along Carrer de l’Aurora.

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Although maybe not the most particularly outstanding pieces of artwork from a technical point of view, I found these to be some of the most interesting and revealing in terms of gauging the dynamic of el Raval.

As an area that houses several squats, it felt like there might be quite a lot of resentment towards the police or authorities. The pupil of this eye, one of a number of heavily politicised artworks,  represents the residents of the area keeping watch. Really very interesting stuff.

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On my way to check out the enormous Joan Miro tribute (“Ciutat Bella”) at the foot of Carrer de la Riereta (an amazing, colourful homage, definitely worth seeking out!), I took a few detours and found this work from Tony Depew and politically charged stencil from Icy and Sot, the Brooklyn-based Iranian street art duo.

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Originally, I’d said I would post all snaps from Barcelona over two posts, but there’s still a number of great work left from the Avinguda de Parallel and surrounding area, so these will follow in the, now final, part 3. As always, love to hear your thoughts on these, so keep them coming via Facebook and on the comments section below.

Steven UKB

Insa GIF-ITI: Biggest street art project…ever?

The term ‘GIF-ITI’, is a relatively new one, and a sub-class of street art/graffiti that is ruled by London based artist Insa. Having begun his career as a graffiti writer, he has since gone on to become known for his unique patterns and motifs, which have since been displayed around the world, on the streets and in the galleries.

Insa is an artist renowned for experimentation and innovation, exemplified by his ground-breaking GIF-ITI creation. The concept is simple, take a wall. Paint it and take a picture. Repaint it, take a picture. Repeat this process until you can piece all the images together into one short animated GIF, creating a piece of moving art on a physical wall that paradoxically, can only be viewed online.

Insa Unga Gifiti 4

Check out some more amazing examples from Insa, back in our blog post from May 2013.

The scale on which GIF-ITI has been attempted has been relatively modest so far, but only when viewed in comparison to his latest project.

The giant animated artwork – the most ambitious of its kind – was painted on the ground in four stages over four days in Rio de Janeiro, measuring an incredible 57,515m2. The design takes inspiration from his iconic ‘Looking For Love…’ heart.

The huge paintings weren’t captured from a nearby tall building, or even a drone. Each individual snapshot was instead collected via satellite, orbiting 431 miles above the earth. Something quite incredible from the point of view of a regular (and average) street art photographer like myself!

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On the work, Insa said: “the scale of this project is like no other; it’s been a dream of mine for years to create a piece of graffiti that can be seen from space, but working in synchronicity with the earth’s cycle to also create an animation is next level.”

“To me the GIF was made by the satellite, all I had to do was receive the images and overlay them, then set them to loop.”

“What I love about producing my GIFs is the amount of effort – the scale and man power that has gone into this is huge – but ultimately it’s still just a 600 pixel wide GIF to be shared online. In terms of scale and for the way this project attempts to illustrate time, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted my art to be.”

You can check the video, produced in collaboration with Ballantine’s, for more on the project, how it came to be, and the logistics of a truly epic project.

Having pushed the boundaries this far – the question is, where does he go from here?

Steven
UKB