UKB Guest Mix Podcast #40 – Guillaume Delattre

This month I invited Guillaume Delattre, DJ and producer, to record a new set for the UKB Guest Mix Podcast. His mix is on the money, a set of dark and dubby minimal tech house. It makes a perfect job of representing the skills of the Frenchman who is currently on L.E.T. Music, who incidentally are very good friends of the blog.

Guillaume, like many others, cites a different genre of music as his entry point. Rap and hip-hop were the bread and butter for Delattre way back when, spending most of his time producing instrumentals and lyrics.

However, gradually electronic music took an increasingly important part in his musical career. These days it’s his passion, and I think that’s evident from this podcast.

As a good friend and colleague of previous guests Christian Schiemann and Frau Hug, I’m sure this mix will be just as well received as his L.E.T. counterparts.

If you like what you hear, contact the L.E.T. Music team for bookings and other info on Otherwise line this up and enjoy!


Street art tour of Oslo

Okay, Norway may not be the first country that springs to mind for the eager street art hunter. But you might be surprised.

Stavanger holds the world’s leading celebration of street art, Nuart, kicking off in only a week or so (September 10). It’s a festival with an international audience and line up that makes visiting the city an absolute must for street art buffs. I mean, C215 Aakash Nihalini, Mobstr, Phlegm, Vhils, Escif…you get the idea. It’s a big deal!

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The capital Oslo may not have a festival of this sort, but if you know where to look there’s loads to see and plenty impressive work to spend a couple of days exploring. I had a look before going for any online tours and couldn’t find many, if any, so I put together this really manageable walk through some of the best streets for art.

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Where to start?

There’s tagging and all sorts across the city (see below for an example), but to make the most of your time I’d recommend hanging around hip Grünerløkka. A lazy comparison can be made to parts of east London but there’s really a unique feel to the area, and far more relaxed than it’s UK cousin.


Use Thorvald Meyers gate as your reference point and branch out from there. There’s plenty of coffee shops and bars for refreshments if your legs can’t carry you all day, or that index finger develops a nasty blister from all the snapping.

Schous Plass and beyond

Jump off the tram at Schous Plass and head down the hill to check out two great artworks on your left hand side.

Most impressive being the piece above Platkovsky’s work at Korsgata crossroads. I actually can’t find out who the artist is, but it’s minimalistic design and use of parallel surfaces a distance apart makes for a great perspective piece. Bravo sir/madam…

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Lying beneath is work from the Polish artist Platkovsky – whose abstract works inspired by urban architecture are to be found on this particular route, more on that shortly.

On this occasion it was obscured by some parked cars – so apologies for the close ups and a dodgy angled shot…




Go west

From there I took a wander down Markveien, and at number 56 there’s some more from our Polish friend Platkovsky. Tucked away in the entrance to a block of flats these bright coloured abstract pieces can be found across Grünerløkka and they’re pretty easy on the eyes!



Hausmania, Ingens Gate

Those among us who are self confessed Berlinophiles will be familiar with Tacheles, the squat-cum-artistic community that was based in the until recently abandoned building on Oranienburger Strasse.

Oslo kind of has a similar thing going on with Hausmania, branded a “self-governed cultural house”. Walking along the Akerselva river you can catch a glimpse of the place through the trees and some of the artwork on its walls. Quite difficult to get a good close up view of these pieces due to the river, but with a powerful enough lens you could get some good shots.




Blå, Blå, Blå…

The surrounding area by alternative music venue Blå is one of the highlights of Oslo’s street art offering. Every wall is covered, many by some top artists and a number of my favourite artists. This one below from Pez is a perfect example of his style…the nice guy on the bench isn’t bored by the painting though, surely it’s the book he’s reading?



While I visited there wa sa flea market happening (Sunday) so a few of the pieces were a little obscured, but the playful style of Zosen, an artist whose work I discovered on a recent trip to Barcelona caught my eye immediately. I’m an enormous fan of his style, reminiscent of the likes of Billy, Penfold and Malarky. Behind the second hand clothing and weed themes t-shirts and flags the work was still visible enough to appreciate!



Round to Brenneriveien

Nip through Ingens gate and onto Brenneriveien for a full street of some amazing work. Sheffield’s own Phlegm completed one of his signature monochrome murals here a few years ago and it’s still going strong.

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Nestled alongside is a great mural from M-City. I don’t know a great deal about him, the extent of my knowledge that he comes from Gdynia (near Gdansk in Poland), he’s called Mariusz, and his work is sh*t hot.

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Walking along this street is really worthwhile, there’s loads on display. A piece that caught my attention was the cool design to the Brenneriveien workshop and gallery in light pink and navy blue. Perhaps not that surprising given the workshop is home to some super talented artists.



Marius Johnsen‘s work from a couple of year’s ago stands strong above the street, this one entitled Is this what beauty looks like is an example of the overall theme of his work  emphasising themes relating to the “medial impact on society and the individual’s perception of this”.

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Plenty of other work around here thoigh, so make sure to leave enough time to explore. Here are just some examples that were up around the time of my visit…

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Live long and prosper at Vulkan

When I visited I was making my way to Mathallen in the Vulkan district of Oslo, a really interesting development project on the banks of the Akerselva river once home to warehouses and heavy industry.

There were a couple of really nice organised pieces on the walk round showcasing some of the top class letter work on display in the area. Something really pleasing about how clean these examples are as well as the colour schemes that kept in mind the surroundings. They fit in and don’t fit in almost simultaneously…

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Time to hit the Øl dusty trail

So by this stage, if you’re like me, the walking will have worked up an appetite for some local brews. With that in mind, make your way back round to Grünerløkka and catch a few more pieces before knocking back a few local specialities.

A collab between Platkovsky and FAK (not sure on this one) lies in wait on Stolmakergata and is worth one final detour to experience the two meeting of styles – abstract and character based art interacting nicely!

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So that’s it for my Oslo tour – I’m sure I missed out plenty of other great spots, so if you have any other suggestions, post them below. I can see myself going back a few more times so really excited to hear about other spots. If you use my tour, let me know what you think, or if you spotted any other great art on the way around!


Grit – Martyn Bennett @ Edinburgh Playhouse

An emotional and powerful re-imagining of Grit, Martyn Bennett’s final work and a landmark of Scottish dance and folk music, arguably became the highlight of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival programme. 


Martyn Bennett’s legacy of dance-infused Scottish folk music pulled folk music away from the traditional “misty-eyed” picture that once sprung to mind. His final project before succumbing to the Hodgkin’s Disease that plagued him for over three years, pushed boundaries far beyond limits others were only willing to dream about in the early 2000s.

By twisting heavy dance orientated beats around samples of various Scottish travelers and Gaelic west coast singers, it was a liberating and beautifully uncomfortable departure from traditional Scottish folk music. Groundbreaking in the truest sense of the word.

Martyn described the work, generally agreed to be his most mature as a producer and musician, as “offering an alternative to those who think that traditional music is being spread thin amongst urban trendiness”. Ten years on it does so much more – it brought the old to the new, and in doing so became a permanent marker in the landscape of Scottish music.

In the documentary Grit, Martyn went on to explain, “musically I like to find contrasts, I like to go from something quite serene and suddenly burst in with something that shakes the rafters”.

“Grit is about real voices, real people, real lives” further explained Bennett, no more so than his own life, having once described his cancer as “a piece of grit inside your soul which you can’t get out, so you have to try and make something of it”.

“Grit is about real voices, real people, real lives” further explained Bennett. A real life no more so than his own, having once described his cancer as “a piece of grit inside your soul which you can’t get out, so you have to try and make something of it”.


Bennett’s collaborator and friend Greg Lawson took on the challenge of translating his masterpiece into a live orchestra production, recruiting an A-team of Scottish musicians to give it the full works.

This is Scottish music’s answer to the re-imagining of Goldie’s Timeless by the Heritage Orchestra.

Three thousand festival goers squeezed into the Edinburgh Playhouse and were given a stunning performance by Lawson and his assembled orchestral dream team. Staying true to the album the performance worked through the tracklist, recreating the often manipulated sounds organically and with incredible accuracy. Sheila Stewart’s warbling vocals in Move performed by Fiona Hunter and Annie Watkins in Nae Regrets performed by Karen Matheson, helped piece the Grit story together perfectly before our eyes…and ears.

The savage bassline of Chanter was powerful and at times emotional to witness performed live. With a mixture of percussion and brass instruments giving the ‘oomph’ needed, heads were bobbing in the crowd and more than a few feet itching to get up and start moving. It felt like the majority of the stalls were using all their might to remain seated, ready to pile on down to the front. Spoiler alert – the encore featured Chanter again and the second chance to get on our feet wasn’t missed!

In place of the late Michael Marra, Scottish actor and voice artist David Hayman took on the recital of the translated Psalm 118 before momentary silence launched us forward into an explosion of noise, and fired headfirst into the meat of Liberation. 


Greg Lawson’s ace was giving the crowd an insight into Bennett’s unreleased track Paisley Spin which was earmarked for the album. Interestingly the track sampled Gerry Rafferty which came under scrutiny from his people. To wriggle out from this potentially uncomfortable confrontation, Martyn had tried to convince him and his lawyers that it was actually himself impersonating Rafferty!

I’m not sure if it’s an indication of Bennett’s strong talent for curating an album or shrewd legal head for not entering into an unwinnable copyright battle…!

Overall an emotional and powerful evening that predictably had the crowd hoping that Lawson would skip back to track number 1 and start over again. It wasn’t to be sadly, but the memories of this performance will certainly live long in my memory.


Deep Time – Edinburgh International Festival opener

The Edinburgh International Festival has a habit of making a big bang when it comes to August, increasingly at the start of the festival as opposed to the annual fireworks display on the final night. Carrying on from 2015, this year we were introduced to the fantastic “Deep Time” concept #deeptime by 59Productions, the team behind the 2012 Olympics projection work.

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Image: Wee Photos

Last year’s Harmonium Project which transformed the Usher Hall into it’s sophisticated  and elaborate canvas was followed up by an even more impressive epic outdoor public artwork.

Deep Time brought together spectacular animation, lighting and an equally powerful soundtrack from Scottish band Mogwai (also playing this month without projections!) for a truly awe-inspiring opening evening in the capital.

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Image: Murdo MacLeod

The theme of the projection was the tumultuous 350 million year history of my hometown, Edinburgh, from volcanic eruptions to dinosaur remains to the present day creative melting pot where Edinburgh welcomes the world to the biggest arts festival on earth.

The performance was 20 minutes in length, but that passed by in what felt like a couple of minutes – testament to the spectacular show on offer – and made the hour or more wait more than worthwhile to several thousand spectators.


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Image: Murdo MacLeod

As a fan of clean lines and block colours, some of the projections were very much in line with my taste in art. Towards the end of the performance the sequence following the exact mapping of the projected Edinburgh Castle on top of the real thing will live long in my memory, and on the desktop of my PC. Sections of the castle were illuminated in fantastic bright colours piece-by-piece with the rest of the buildings plunged into darkness. Simply put – an incredible sight. Edinburgh Castle has never, and may never, look the same again.


Image: Edinblogger


Image: Edinblogger

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Image: Murdo MacLeod

Although the free tickets were nabbed before many got a sniff, the Edinburgh International Festival filmed the full performance, which you can now enjoy below. Relive the magic, or experience it for the first time, online.



Street art tour of Barcelona part 4 – Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies

A year and a half since my last trip to the Catalonian capital, I found myself back in the streets of Gracia, El Born, Raval and El Gotic once again on the search for the cities best street art.

Last time I spent a lot of time traversing the various districts of the city. This time I spent less time on the streets, and more time in galleries, such as the Montana Gallery’s Paola Delfín show and the Martillo Fine Arts Workshop.


A quick snapshot of some pieces from the point of view of my refurbished Polaroid.

But in my final days in the city I set aim for the semi-organised Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies space that displays some fine work over a number of large, clean walls, and an interesting hollow concrete cube. The work here is produced with a phenomenal turnover, so much so that there is a website dedicated purely to documenting the walls from week to week, and even then it doesn’t cover everything that has gone up.

What follows is a blow by blow account of what lay in store during the second week of June 2016, such a wide range of art from wildstyle letters to calligraphic work, as well as a decent spread of really cool character based pieces.


Artist unknown


Artists L-R: Vejan, Rizo.


Artist: Vejan




Artist: Stefano Phen



Artist: Fork One


Artist: Kler





Artist: Mugraff



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Artist top: Pez, Artist bottom: Fork One



Artist: Fork One




Artists unknown




Artist: Sime

Finally, and a little off topic, but one of my favourite things about graffiti on the continent, white van men succumbing to the beauty of a tagged van. Plumbers, electricians and joiners of the UKk take note…



UKB Resident Mix – Steven Blyth

This week I put together a minimal mix, a genre I am becoming really enamoured with after my last mix for the UKB Guest Mix series. With a number of tracks earmarked for downloading, I was really excited to put them together this weekend.

I also recently became the owner of a new sound system in the form of Sony’s GTK-XB7, one of a trio of new High Power Audio speaker systems they’ve recently released. It’s a nifty one-box high power speaker geared for use in the home but seems to pack near enough club level quality, at least from the immediate use I had after it arrived. It can also be used on its side or vertically meaning if you’re tight on space, as I am, it sits nicely next to a chair or snuck away into a corner.

Anyway, since it arrived at my flat, I really wanted to create a mix to test out it’s “Extra Bass” function which I’d heard packed a good punch. A quick play around seemed to suggest that the rumours were indeed correct!

I put together an hour long mix of 122bpm tracks that I’ve been collecting lately from the likes of Dani Rivas, Victoria Engel and previous UKB guest Christian Schiemann to really push it – and possibly my neighbours – to the limit. This new found love of the minimal sound spawned from a week I spent in Romania last year where this sound dominated the underground music scene of the country. Since then I’ve become a little obsessed with that genre and Bucharest’s clubbing scene. 

After recording the mix I played it back via the GTK-XB7, and it’s sound quality is undeniable. The response from the massive woofers sitting at a serious 16cm each – at least twice the size of any other speakers I own, is incredible. Importantly it doesn’t sacrifice bass power above all else, the high end sounds are still seem just as crystal clear. The “Extra Bass” function I’d been itching to check out really takes the sound to a new level, you can imagine it taking control of a house party or barbecue very easily!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the mix I put together, the first in a new series of UKB Resident mixes, regardless of the speaker system you use. As always, feedback both critical and positive is always welcomed so let me know what you think!


  1. Litico – Victoria Engel [Indepth MusicRec]
  2. The Phantom (Manna From Sky Remix) – Manna from Sky, Raffaeke Effe, Giovanni Savoca [Zoo Lab]
  3. Rustico – Carmelo Gargaglione [Act Natural Records]
  4. Nemea – Chad Andrew [VL Recordings]
  5. Multiple – Dani Rivas [Innocent Music Ltd]
  6. Beguda – Dani rivas [Act Natural Records]
  7. Good Reason – Christian Schiemann [Les Enfants Terribles Music]
  8. Ebony – Chad Andrew [Deep Tech Records]
  9. Something About – Pony M [Deep Tech Records]
  10. Disolve – Marina Karamarko [Deep Tech Records]
  11. Vampire (Martin Dacar Remix) – Martin Dacar, Konrad Dycke, Daniel Broesecke [Deep Tech Records]