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Content For The Sake Of Content

April 7, 2014 – 10:28 in Current Affairs | Calum

Content For The Sake Of Content

Websites need content, I get that. And it’s beneficial to do the occasional art post because it helps temporarily subvert the idea that we’re not all just shallow fucks who like looking at jackets. At the same time, you have targets to meet and ad-revenue to justify. So, perhaps that conceptual installation you put a photo of on instagram last week – which only received a paltry 12 likes and you’re sure at least three of them were from struggle brands – isn’t going to appeal to your readership. What do you do? You get an illustrator – fuck it, anyone half decent at photoshop – and commission them to combine a relatively ubiquitous figure or commodity (Bart Simpson, or a lego man, doesn’t really matter) and violently clash it with whatever the pinnacle of cool culture is for that week (let’s just say Bape or Tyler, the Creator – who cares, no ones going to really read it anyway). It’s banal, aesthetically turgid and generally lazy, but it seems to keep on happening. Despite it’s lack of any real conceptual background, I keep seeing Kanye remixed with vintage American War posters and the outcome is invariably terrible. The same goes for fictitious shoe collaborations, ‘what the NFL would look like if all the badges were designed by hipsters,’ and anything else that would get you laughed out of a community college graphic design course. Feed the hypebeasts, because they’re fucking idiots. Perpetuate mediocrity, because who really cares, right?

Content for the sake of content is my biggest gripe with websites of our ilk. Yes, we have to keep things ticking over and continually provide new content, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of at least some semblance of quality or insight. If it means you only post three articles a day, instead of 7, so be it. If this seems like a rant, it’s because it probably is, but I feel there’s merit to what I’m saying. Publications which treat their readers with a degree of intelligence are becoming increasingly rare and too often we are catering to the lowest common denominator. The rise to prominence of user-generated content over the past five years has certainly increased the number of media outlets within this small world of ours, but diversity of opinion and interesting contents seems to have suffered greatly at the hands of ‘staying relevant.’

There is a solution to all of this; stop posting unimaginative shit, but I doubt that’s an idea which is going to take hold.

Current Affairs
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Mac Demarco – Salad Days

April 7, 2014 – 09:38 in Music | Calum

Mac Demarco – Salad Days

Mac Demarco has a new album out and it’s pretty good. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of him until fairly recent and, therefore, I am unsure if that makes me almost cool or painfully late to the party, but I don’t really care. I first caught onto Demarco through his track Ode To Viceroy, which is an incredible, laid back number laced with psych vibes – it reminds me of summer and that’s definitely a good thing. I digress; his new album is called Salad Days and this is a pretty good interview if you want to understand more about it or the man himself.  I’m not good at doing album reviews, I leave that to those on here who are talented enough to do them, but you should definitely check it out.

Standout track for me was Chamber of Reflection.

Spotify linkage. 

Music
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World Cup Adverts

April 4, 2014 – 18:06 in Current Affairs | Calum

World Cup Adverts

My earliest memory of the World Cup is this advert. Released just prior to the 1998 French World Cup, it was by far and away the coolest thing my six year old self had ever seen. And that’s coming from someone who always preferred adidas, because no-one is ever going to come close to competing with the early iterations of the Predator boot – either in terms of design or just simply looking cool as fuck. Nike have, however, always had the edge when it comes to marketing and not even this Road to Lisbon ad – complete with Zinedine Zidane on a fucking moped – could knock them off their perch. Much of this is due to Wieden + Kennedy, the ad firm synonymous with the Portland-based sports manufacturer, who consistently appear to be operating on a whole other level from their rivals. Not everything they do is my bag, but when they get it right, it’s hard not to love the creativity and theatre which is abundantly apparent in their offerings.

Check out their Brasil 2014 video here. 

Oh, and if you want the magazine equivalent to Roberto Carlos leathering a football down the runway, check out Mundial Mag.

Current Affairs
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Toby Feltwell Interview in Sex Magazine

April 4, 2014 – 17:46 in Fashion | Calum

Toby Feltwell Interview in Sex Magazine

Toby Feltwell has been instrumental in some of your most cherished memories within music and clothing and even if you knew it – you probably never fully appreciated it. Starting out as a young kid who hung about Slam City Skates, like so many others who went on to achieve greatness within this small realm of what we consider to be cool, Toby then went on to work with Mowax and Bape. Indeed, he was instrumental in the Japanese brand’s overseas operations and a key cog in the working relationship between Pharrell, Nigo , which spawned Billionaire Boys Club. Yet, he does not command the same levels of adoration of the aforementioned duo, largely due to the fact that he has eschewed the limelight for much of his career. His story, however, is certainly fascinating and recently Sex Magazine caught up with him for a rare interview.

Today, Feltwell is the main driving force behind Cav Empt – arguably the most intriguing brand within streetwear in the past five years. Working alongside his Bape and BBC collaborator and friend, Sk8thing, Cav Empt have fed us the idea that it is ok to be new, rather than pursuing some mawkish 80s or 90s nostalgia for kids who were never there. Cav Empt feels global, founded by the internet and draws upon a host of both high and lowbrow references; juxtaposing them in such a manner that each garment is both thought-provoking and aesthetically pleasing. It was interesting to glean further knowledge about the Japanese brand which has cloaked itself in mystery, save for a handful of interviews.

Here’s an except:

Caveat Emptor means “buyer beware” right?


Yeah. When I told some lawyer friends I was starting a brand called CE for Caveat Emptor, they thought it was a brilliant, because it’s a legal concept really. The basic position of commerce before consumer laws impose more obligations on the seller, meaning if you’re buying something, then it’s up to you to make sure you’re getting what you’re buying. It’s a basic position of common law that’s been modified to protect consumers over the years and has a heap of meanings when you apply it to a brand.

The marking CE is also ubiquitous. It’s on the back of my phone.

That CE mark is a safety standard allows goods to be imported into the European Community. Now that the world is a global marketplace, everybody wants to sell their products in Europe, but they have to comply to certain safety regulations and a CE mark shows that they’re compliant. We like the idea of reverse adopting all these other products that are everywhere. You don’t notice until somebody points it out and then you start seeing it everywhere.

Read the full thing here. 

Fashion
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